Washington, DC, May 1, 2013—In our rapidly changing and complex globalized society, the education of our youth requires collaboration, commitment and structures that create and sustain communities of educators passionate about their mission and vocation. The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Christian Brothers) is looking to the future through a unique, worldwide assembly that will take place May 5-17, 2013 at the Institute’s Generalate in Rome. The second International Mission Assembly is a forward-thinking gathering that takes strategic planning to the global level and highlights association between the Brothers and their lay Partners to provide students with an innovative, transformative, and holistic education.
Recognizing the importance of lay leadership for the future of the mission, the foundation for this assembly was laid in 1993 when the Brothers had the foresight to invite 20 lay Partners to a portion of their General Chapter, a legislative assembly. They extended that invitation again in 2000 which is where the idea for an International Mission Assembly to foster the mission through lay Partners was born. The first assembly was held in 2006.
This year, 20 delegates from the United States and Canada, including Dr. William Hudson, President of Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, MN, will be among the 140 participants representing the approximately 5,000 Brothers and 80,000 Partners who serve nearly 900,000 students in 80 countries. Together they will develop a long-term plan to respond to the needs of today’s students in the vision of St. John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers. St. La Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 17th century France and assembled communities of educators with the sole purpose of providing a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor.
Building on St. La Salle’s belief that communities of dedicated educators are essential to providing effective education, participants will craft a seven-year plan that will impact students from every ethnic group, religion and continent. Under the theme “One Family, One Mission: Lasallians Associated for the Educational Service of the Poor,” they will review the current realities of the mission and identify priorities to implement worldwide at local levels to advance the mission. They will address their progress toward a 21st century pedagogy, campus ministry and catechetics, and the essentials of an educational community. They will present outcomes at the 45th General Chapter in 2014.
“To gather voices from the world’s four corners who can speak in harmony about their passion for educating young people and the right of children to a quality education is a privilege few of us will ever have,” said Brother Robert Schieler, General Councilor. “To be associated with lay colleagues and Brothers who live the teaching ministry as both a vocation and a profession is to be part of a movement that can unleash incalculable good for every nation’s greatest treasure, their youth.”
Daily updates will be provided on the Christian Brothers Conference website at http://lasallian.info/2013/04/30/daily-updates-from-international-mission-assembly, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LasallianLink, and on Twitter at @Lasallian_RELAN and #LasallianIA13. To coordinate interviews with participants, contact Elizabeth Moors Jodice at 202.529.0047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Brothers Conference is the Regional office for the Lasallian Region of North America, part of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The Institute is a Catholic religious order of laymen whose mission is to provide spiritual and human education to the young, especially the poor. Founded by St. John Baptist de La Salle in 17th century France, today approximately 5,000 Brothers and 80,000 Partners serve nearly 900,000 students in about 1,000 educational ministries in 80 countries. For more information, please contact Christian Brothers Conference, Communications Office, 3025 Fourth Street NE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20017, 202.529.0047, or visit www.lasallian.info.