Tag Archives: program

As Week Four Ends…

Upon our return from Memphis, Brother Frank, our Provincial for the Midwest Province of the Christian Brothers, conducted cooking and etiquette classes with the LTIPers at Christian Brothers College High School (CBCHS).

Many of the young men were, “familiar with the kitchen” …as Gus would say. The sessions with Brother Frank provided an opportunity to learn in a more relaxed and comfortable setting.

On top of it all, there were no tests!  In designing the program, we believe these sessions are a wonderful preparation for our time in Kansas City when we will be living and serving at Holy Family Catholic Worker beginning June 11.

We completed our last day of clinicals (field experience) at De La Salle at St. Matthew’s in St. Louis on Friday, June 10.

Since May 23, the LTIP students spent three hours each day “in the trenches” with students doing apprentice-like activities which further acquaints them with the role of teacher. Thus far, they have completed 45 hours of clinicals and well over 130 hours in formal classes.

The days have been long, but tremendously beneficial.  Our focus will shift this next week while living in Kansas City.  The emphasis will be in Catholic Social Teaching and immersion experiences that will clearly coincide with the Corporal Works of Mercy (to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, visit the sick, and bury the dead).

To those of you that are parents reading this blog, thank you!  You have done a wonderful job in raising your sons.  To the friends, Partners and Brothers – thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Brother Pat


“And it was good!”: LTIP Week 3, Part 3

On Saturday, the merciful Brother Pat allowed us to sleep in, and the day was quite relaxing. At five we went to the Saturday vigil for mass with the Brothers right there in the residence. We then joined them for dinner at a local sports bar.

From there we went back to the residence to have class with Brother Pat who introduced us to four of the philosophies of teaching, as we’d have a more in-depth discussion the next night with Brother Michael. We talked about the perennialist approach, which believes that there are certain unchanging truths which each student must be familiar with, and the essentialist approach, which asks the question, “what is essential to know for students today.”  Those are two subject-based approaches. Two student-based approaches are progressive and romantic. They both focus on the students’ interests and realize that each person learns differently, so teaching differently can be essential. We then concluded the night by watching “Dead Poet’s Society” to watch Robin Williams demonstrate a teacher moving in and out of these approaches.

Brother Pat saw all that happened and saw that it was good. The fifth day

Class with Bro. Mike Schmelzer at CBU

Sunday morning was another sleep-in morning. After we all awoke we went to Perkins for brunch. Back at CBHS we had some more R & R until that evening, when we went out with Brother Michael Schmelzer for dinner and then went back to CBU to go into more detail about the different approaches and philosophies of teaching. Our minds were worked pretty hard and stretched considerably so that night; when we got back, we were all out pretty quickly.
Brother Pat saw all that happened and saw that it was good. The sixth day

Out for dinner with Bro. Mike

On Memorial Day, we woke early to tidy up our areas before having to leave Memphis. After the laundry was finished we headed to mass to celebrate Memorial Day with the brothers at CBU and the brothers from CBHS joined us.

Perfecting our ironing technique

After mass we enjoyed a picnic of hamburgers and brats and had a great opportunity to socialize with the brothers throughout the morning and afternoon. We are so grateful to all of them for the hospitality that they provided for us. We made it back to Glencoe a mere five hours later and enjoyed some rotisserie chicken. Afterwards Brother Pat taught us all a valuable lesson about how to iron. We took our turns with the iron and while waiting, Gus and I played some ping-pong. It was a great matchup.

Brother Pat saw all that happened and saw that it was good. The seventh day.

A little ping-pong action back at Glencoe

The next day it was back to our “normal” lives here at Glencoe. Our days of rising for morning prayer at 8AM, class until lunchtime, and then moving on to our clinicals at DLS at Saint Matthew’s. After that, we went over to CBCHS and enjoyed a great meal and swim at the brothers’ residence. Brother Frank made it down later that evening from the Provincialate and we plan to learn about etiquette from him these coming days. In fact, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for one of his classes now and I’d hate to be late for etiquette classes!

We thank you all and ask for your continued prayers and support.

Peace in Christ,
Live Jesus in our hearts – forever!


“And it was good!”: LTIP Week 3, Part 2

Most of us rose early Friday morning for breakfast; some of us missed the memo on the time we were to be awake and showed up a half hour late (by some of us, I mean myself!). But that didn’t stop us all from enjoying the wonderful hospitality of Mrs. Vo. She made us pancakes that morning and was so much fun to get to know as she is so joyful.

At CBU and in front of the Civil Rights Museum (The Lorraine Motel)

Soon after, Brother Chris Englert, principal showed us around the school. We were all extremely impressed with the great condition it was in, especially the remodeled restroom. Honestly, it was probably one of the nicest restrooms I’ve ever seen. At the end of our tour we were brought to the school store where we could pick out any item we wanted. I now have a purple and gold CBHS hat to add to my collection.

From there we left for Christian Brothers University to meet with Brother Terence McLaughlin who played an integral role in integrating the high school in 1963. An African-American student’s mother approached him and requested that her son be enrolled at CBHS, and despite resistance from the church and state, Brother Terence persevered and allowed him into the school. His story and humble attitude about it were beyond inspiring.

With Brother Terence McLaughlin at the Lambert Hall community

We left from CBU to go to the National Civil Rights Museum in downtown Memphis, built right off of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was staying when he was assassinated. The museum was filled with the history of the civil rights movement from the very beginning. None of us could believe the horrible laws that had been put into action by the government to continue the oppression forced on African Americans.

Touring Memphis: Beale Street and the Peabody Hotel

Later on that evening we picked up Brother Tom Sullivan and Brother Chris to enjoy some ribs and catfish on Beale Street. We were met with two “frightening” experiences. The first came when we arrived on Beale and saw a sea of people dressed as zombies for the annual “zombie walk” that takes place in the city. People bring canned foods to a drive that allows them to take part in this bizarre, but amusing practice. The second came when our very own Marc Vega almost ordered chicken fingers for dinner. We were able to convert and sway him into choosing the ribs.
Brother Pat saw all that happened and saw that it was good. The fourth day

“Happy Campers”: Bro.  Pat, Bro. Tom Sullivan, Charlie, Gus, Marc, Matt, and Bro. Chris Englert.

To be continued…



“And it was good!”: LTIP Week 3, Part I

Hello all,

It has been over a week since we’ve last updated you on our travels, and much has happened since, so without further ado…

Our days have been planned out to begin morning prayer and class each day at 8 AM, and then move on to lunch. Clinicals continued at De La Salle at Saint Matthew’s afterwards throughout the week. On Tuesday, we tutored through the first hour of the day, and then moved on to the “Renaissance Program” that they have in place at DLS. Each of us went with a group of young people and teacher to join in the festivities. Marc stayed in and played chess, Matt joined in some gardening, Gus practiced baseball with the team, and I played some good old kickball with a group. From there we moved back into the gym for study hall and more tutoring.

Brother Pat saw all that went on and saw that it was good. The first day.


With the students at De La Salle Middle School

Brother Stephen Markham then joined us and took over much of the morning lesson time on Wednesday and Thursday. We’ve been reading through “The Holy Longing” by Ronald Rolheiser, which is concerned with spirituality, how it is defined, and the different parts of ourselves that contribute to it.  That afternoon we traveled to DLS and split up from there. Matt and Marc joined the eighth graders on a service trip down the street to read to some preschoolers in the neighborhood, and Gus and I stayed back. Gus attended a speech class and I was able to observe the conflict management class that was going on at the time. The class joined in a game, which demonstrated that sometimes, it’s not what we say, but how we say it. As soon as that hour was over the tornado warning siren sounded so the school filed into the gymnasium to assume the position. That took up the rest of our time with them.

Brother Pat saw all that happened and saw that it was good. The second day.

With Bro. Stephen and “hitting the books”

The next day, we continued our discussion with Brother Stephen about our spirituality, and then he was on his way. We said goodbye to him and headed into The Ville neighborhood for our clinical work. Matt and I sat in on a religion class where they prepared for a quiz the next day. The teacher, Mr. Holly, then gave them a break and brought them into the gym to play Tip, a basketball game. Later on, we continued our tutoring with accelerated math, which is a program that allows the students to go at their own pace. From there we hit the road for Memphis, Tennessee. We arrived at Christian Brothers High School late that evening and went straight to bed.

Brother Pat saw all that happened and saw that it was good. The third day.

To be continued tomorrow…



LTIP 5 Continues: School Visits in Saint Louis

Greetings Lasallian Partners,

As our LTIP journey continued, we spent our first time away from the Glencoe retreat center in Wildwood, MO.  After a morning of group prayer and reflection, class discussion time, and lunch, we made our way into the city of Saint Louis to visit two of the schools we will be frequenting in the coming weeks.

We first visited De La Salle at Saint Matthew’s Middle School in Saint Louis, where we were greeted by Melynie and later met the president, Corey Quinn, and the principal, Phil Pusateri.  Each is just as excited as we are to work together to learn about the Lasallian tradition.  During our meeting, we were eagerly greeted by a few of the students who were curious about who the guys were in the blue LTIP shirts.  We were just as excited to meet the kids for the first time.

We will be spending our afternoons here over the next three weeks.  It was great to become acquainted with the neighborhood and meet the students and staff that we will be working with, beginning next week.

At De La Salle Middle School with President Corey Quinn

Next we went to Christian Brothers College High School in Saint Louis, where we toured the campus and met the principal, Brother David Poos.  Then, we spent a few hours touring the grounds and the Brothers’ Residence before going to dinner.  It was easy to see that CBC is a fine example of a campus where countless people work together to care for a beautiful facility while educating hundreds of young men.

The four of us with Brother Pat at CBC High School

After dinner, we took a class in Protecting God’s Children, along with Bro Pat Conway and Bro Tom Sullivan.  We were able to hear testimony from a variety of people whose main goal is protecting our children.  Throughout the session, the discussion was very beneficial because there were a variety of people in attendance.  From educators, coaches, and parents to volunteers like us LTIP students, we were all able to share ideas and insight from different perspectives that will prove beneficial as we work to protect and educate our youth.

Today was a very eventful day, which really served as a precursor of what is to come.  From the way the day went, it was easy to tell that we are all really excited to spend more time in the classroom with the kids starting next week.  Hopefully, Bro Pat won’t miss us too much!

All in all, it has been a great day and a wonderful start to our summer journey.  Marc, Gus, Charlie and I are eternally grateful for the opportunities we have been given this summer.  Special thanks to the Brothers, especially Brother Pat, our benefactors, and finally our families who have been the most influential as our first teachers and have nurtured us to discover our own passion for teaching.

With sincere joy and thanks,

Matt Kotek

Live Jesus in Our Hearts — Forever