Association

Consider, then, that your reward in heaven will be all the greater inasmuch as you will have accomplished more good in the souls of the children entrusted to your care. In this spirit Saint Paul told the Corinthians, You will be our glory in the time to come on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

You can say the same thing of your disciples, namely, that on the day of judgment, they will be your glory if you have instructed them well and if they have profited from your instructions, because the lessons you have given them and the profit they have made from them will be unveiled before the whole world. Not only on that day but throughout all eternity, you will receive the glory of having instructed them well, because the glory that you have procured for them will reflect on you.

 

Fulfill the duties of your work so well, then, that you may be able to enjoy this blessing.

(Meditations for the Time of Retreat, 208.1. De La Salle)

 

     So they went out, got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus, was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not recognize Him. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So He said, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. (John 21: 3-6)

 

     Association has existed since the origins of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, but has developed in an altogether unprecedented way during the past forty years. The foundation event which links the Institute today to its origins is that of June 6th 1694, when John Baptist de La Salle and twelve of his followers came together to consecrate themselves for life, to the Christian education of poor boys. The link between this foundation act of association and the growing interest in association in the Institute today can be clearly seen. (43rd General Chapter, 2000, Lasallian Association, p. 2)

 

Circular 461

 

2021-2022

Part One: Fall

De La Salle could not sustain the mission and vision alone therefore, he assembled a community to guarantee the survival of the Christian Schools

 

Part Two: Spring

Community values and includes the diverse voices of its members. As we read, reflect, and discuss hopefully the values that both bind and direct us will be made apparent.

Semester 1
Association

De La Salle's vision could not be accomplished by one person. This module looks at De La Salle's insight that it was only a stable, committed community that would implement and sustain the grand vision.

 

Circular 461 (Associated for the Lasallian Mission...an act of HOPE) continues to build upon De La Salle's vision.

Fundamental Elements of Lasallian Association from Circular #461

1. Association exists for the mission.

2. Association implies being a member of a community for the mission.

3. Association results from experience and is a dynamic journey, not an acquired status.

4. Association stems from faith, vocation, and state of life.

5. Association presupposes a freely made commitment.

 The Christian Schools of De La Salle The originality of John Baptist de La Salle is not so much that he was a pioneer, for example, in gratuitous schools for the poor, the simultaneous method, the use of French as a vehicle of instruction, centers for training teachers, or any of the other educational innovations with which he is sometimes credited. Rather, his contribution was to create, resolutely and against great odds, a stable community of religiously motivated laymen to construct a network of schools throughout France that would make practicable and permanent the best elements from the pioneers who had gone before him. By the time that De La Salle gathered the principal Brothers together in 1686 for their first solemn assembly, the essential elements that were to characterize the Christian Schools of De La Salle were already in place. The name itself is significant. The title "Christian" not only stressed the religious character and purpose of the school, but also served to differentiate this new type of school from the charity schools on the one hand and the Little Schools on the other. Central to the success of the Lasallian enterprise was the community of teachers who called themselves by the name Brother. The community provided an element of stability and continuity, as well as a process of growth that came from shared experience and experimentation with new educational methods. Under the guidance of De La Salle these men adopted a lifestyle that was disciplined and even austere, prayerful and highly motivated. Great importance was attached to competence and confidence in the classroom, the religious spirit overflowing into a sense of mission and an ardent zeal to accomplish it. From the beginning the Brothers conducted their schools as a communal effort: "together and by association" was the phrase they chose to express this essential characteristic. The method of instruction in the Christian Schools was entirely practical. Religious formation aimed at developing good Christians, that is to say, in the context of the time and place) practicing Roman Catholics. Instruction was given in French rather than Latin, a policy that De La Salle defended by advancing the most practical reasons. The emphasis was on useful subjects-reading, writing, mathematics, and other skills that would be helpful in gaining a livelihood. The simultaneous method was employed, although modified to provide for individual differences by dividing the large classes into homogeneous sections presided over by student monitors.

Association

Part One

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. (Acts 2:42)

After the reading proceed to step 2.

 Discipline and good order soon became one of the outstanding characteristics of the Christian Schools. Silence reigned to the point where even the teachers spoke as little as possible. Detailed instruction was given on habits of cleanliness and the rules of politeness so that even the poorest pupils could associate with their peers without fear of offending them.

 

Regular attendance was insisted upon, and truancy was dealt with severely. The pupils themselves were often given the opportunity to assist in maintaining good order. Punishments were kept to a minimum, graded to meet the offense, and always administered with dignity, calm, and without any show of anger or resentment.

 

The original motive for the development of the Christian schools was the urgent and evident need to provide for the education of poor boys. This primary purpose was never lost sight of. However, as the schools began to prosper, more and more of the children of families who were somewhat better off began to seek admission to the Lasallian schools. The parents whose children were not destined for the university were attracted by the practical curriculum and the good order. Boys from bourgeois families learned that they could mingle easily with poor boys who were well behaved and well groomed; the children of the poor began to see new opportunities in life through the contacts they made with their better-situated classmates.

 

For De La Salle and the Brothers, gratuity of instruction was a fundamental principle. This not only provided a quality education for the poor, but also guaranteed that no distinction would be made in the school between those who could afford to pay and those who could not. The expenses of running the school and the living expenses of the Brothers were met through contracts arranged with either the pastor or those who endowed the school. This policy left the Brothers free from any kind of external financial pressure in the running of the school. It also led to a great deal of legal trouble, as will be seen in the narrative to follow

 

In retrospect, De La Salle regarded these developments as the outcome neither of his own organizational genius nor of the initiative taken by the educational pioneers who had preceded him. In his view of faith the entire enterprise was due to the working of God's Providence that enabled him to hear God's voice in the cry of the poor. He was deeply conscious that in his lifetime, and in his schools, at least one sign of the Kingdom of God was being realized: the poor had the Gospel preached to them.

 

(Luke Salm, "This Work is Yours"  p 52-53

Association: let us state the obvious...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After watching the video, continue to step 3.

Association

Part One

Since the origins of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, "association," more than a structure, has been a force that has 'united" us in the process of sustaining and realizing the mission together, the mission for which God has "called, consecrated, and sent" us.

 

Miguel Campos p.3 Bulletin 250

Association

Part One

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. (Acts 4:32)

The challenge of mission is not in the technical or material order. It is

something much more remote. It does not refer to our work but to its

meaning. Our problem is not how to work but rather what is our work. Responding to this challenge requires us to look for the very roots of our identity.

 

It is wonderful to discover that the renewal of mission leads us as it were by the hand to the theme of Association.

 

Brother Pedro Gil, fsc

 

PDF

Audio

Association

Part One

You must not think of giving up until we have decided together what we will have to do. If you cannot make any headway in the near future, we must turn only to God and leave to God the care direction, and the arrangements.

 

Letter 21 to Gabriel Drolin

De La Salle soon discovered that if the schools were to be effectively

Christian, there would have to be a change in the approach of the

teachers to their work. At the outset, the teachers quite naturally looked

upon their work as simply a means of gaining a livelihood, nothing more.

In De La Salle’s view, their way of life outside of school needed to reinforce

their teaching in the classroom. He therefore took measures to remove

the gap that existed between the aims of the schools and the

behavior of the teachers by arranging that the teachers would stay with

him in his own house, have their meals together, pray together, and study

together. This was something the teachers had not bargained for; before

long they withdrew, but others who looked on the work of the schools

as an opportunity to do something for God soon joined De La Salle.

 

Augustine Loes, FSC, Introduction to the Letters

 

 

Association

Part One

The Place Where We Are Right

by Yehuda Amichai

 

From the place where we are right

Flowers will never grow

In the spring.

 

The place where we are right

Is hard and trampled

Like a yard.

 

But doubts and loves

Dig up the world

Like a mole, a plow.

And a whisper will be heard in the place

Where the ruined

House once stood.

Association

Part One

Association is built intentionally. When we don't attend to it, it can be fractured--dividing us

The energy of association....

Association

Part One

Personal Reflection: Padlet, Flipgrid and Badgelist

For your continuing personal reflection and sharing

 

De La Salle realized that this mission cannot be accomplished by any one person alone and so formed a community.

 

1. When have I realized that this mission requires a communal response and when have I felt part of this educational community?

 

2. What do these reading and videos tell us about association and why it might be  an important element in our mission?

Association

Part One

For communal discussion:

 

  1. What elements of association began to emerge in the early formation of the society of the Brothers of the Christian Schools?
  2. As we understand association, what is it telling us about ourselves?

 

 

Community values and includes the diverse voices of its members. As we read, reflect, and discuss hopefully the values that both bind and direct us will be made apparent.

Association                                                                                                                  
Semester 2

Association is a fundamental characteristic of the Lasallian Mission.  Through more than three centuries it has been the foundation of our ministry.  Association was the primary vow of the brothers and held the society together.  Numerous Institute Bulletins and Circular 461 have articulated the importance of Association.  It is together and by association that we live our vision and purpose.  And so, we continue to explore our individual and corporate understanding of and commitment to association.

The Institute took a deep dive into our collective understanding of Association and in circular 461, Associated for Lasallian Mission...an act of HOPE. In this module we will look at chapter three, Lasallian Association: Common Characteristics Experienced in Different Ways. The content of this chapter is examined in two sections separated by a video.

After reading the selection from the document proceed to step 2.

Association

Part Two

Together

After watching the video proceed to step 3.

Association

Part Two

[Verse 1]

Diamonds in the dust

That is all we are

Some of us give up

Some dream of the stars

 

[Pre-Chorus]

There's a change in the wind that's blowing

And I've still got blood in my heart

Though we might not know where we're going

I promise we'll never be apart

 

[Chorus]

Just pick me up

And never let me go

We don't need much

As long as we're together, together, together

(Together, together, together)

(Together, together, together)

We don't need much

As long as we're together, together, together

 

[Post-Chorus]

As long as we're together, together, together

As long as we're together, together, together

 

 

[Verse 2]

Heads under the sun

Wait for night to fall

Some get what they want

Some they lose it all

 

[Pre-Chorus]

There's a change in the wind that's blowing

And we've still got blood in our hearts

Though we might not know where we're going

I promise we'll never be apart

 

[Chorus]

Just pick me up

And never let me go

We don't need much

As long as we're together, together, together

(Together, together, together)

(Together, together, together)

(Together, together, together)

(Together, together, together)

(Together, together, together)

(Together, together, together)

We don't need much

As long as we're together, together, together

 

 

"The centuries-old story of Lasallian association follows a well-traveled and meaningful road. More recently new horizons of understanding are emerging that enable Lasallians to revisit our founding story. The Spirit of the Lord is inviting all to discover new powers in the Lasallian charism so as to be able to respond to the educational needs of the children, young people, and adults whom God has entrusted to the Lasallian Educational Mission."

After reading the second part of chapter 3 from Circular 461 proceed to step 4.

Association

Part Two

 

“John Baptist de La Salle revealed that faith enabled him to know that God had united him to the Brothers. (Rule and Foundational Documents, p.205) I believe that our Founder would not hesitate to declare today that God is uniting him not only to the Brothers, but also to partners and associates. He would agree that the charism or spiritual gift that he received for the salvation of youth goes “beyond the confines of the Institute that he founded.” (Rule, art. 146) He would readily recognize that God is leading Brothers, partners, and associates into association for mission.

 

De La Salle shared with us his conviction that Providence had established the first Christian Schools and the association of Brothers that made them a reality. (MR 193) I believe that we can affirm with confidence that Providence in our day – that is to say, God, in loving concern for the education of children and youth, especially those “poor, abandoned, and far from salvation” – calls Brothers, partners, and associates to live today, together and by association, our founding story, to live today Lasallian Association for Mission.”

After reading Brother John's reflection proceed to step 5.

Association

Part Two

Brother John Johnston, FSC (1933-2007), became known and highly respected for his great competence and influential leadership style. Time and again, he was asked to address special religious conferences, and in many groups he joined, he assumed leadership responsibilities, including Vice President of the Union of Superiors General in Rome, Auditor for the Synod of Priestly Formation and Consultant for the Vatican Congregation for Consecrated Life.

 

His special passion was the evolving Lasallian Mission, the transformation from Brothers’ schools to Lasallian schools. Brother John made it clear as he spoke to his listeners “that lay partners and the Brothers collaborate as members of an educational community that has responsibility for the life and mission of the school.” He was instrumental in developing leadership programs for the laity who were active in Lasallian schools. In addition, Brother John was a strong proponent of children’s rights. In January of 1999 Brother John published one of many pastoral letters entitled “The Defense of Children, the Reign of God, and the Lasallian Mission.” In it he called Lasallians to contribute to the construction of an “international communion of persons in which all children can live as the children they have a right to be.”

Lasallian Volunteers

mission statement

 

The Lasallian Volunteers — a program of the De La Salle Christian Brothers of the Lasallian Region of North America — provides dedicated, well-trained volunteers for one or more years of service to schools and agencies of the Brothers whose mission is to serve the poor. Acting out of faith, rooted in the Gospel, and sharing community with the Brothers and other Lasallians, the volunteers empower the poor by personalized service primarily through education. Lasallian Volunteers change the world for the better and discover themselves transformed in the process.

 

vision statement

 

We will be an ever-expanding movement of volunteers, alumni and friends serving the poor in association with the De La Salle Christian Brothers and sharing community and faith in the tradition of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.

 

LVs will transform the lives of impoverished children and families in all Lasallian ministries to the poor nationwide that request our help. To be effective in their outreach, current volunteers will benefit from the most appropriate training and support network possible. Formed spiritually during their service years, alumni will continue in the Lasallian mission to the poor.

 

We will continually develop appropriate structures for cultivating among all our members service to the poor, community and faith. The Lasallian Volunteers movement will accompany the Brothers as they return to their Founder’s mission to the poor and form effective communities that make this possible.

After reading about the various ways people have chosen to associate themselves to the Lasallian mission, proceed to step 6.

Association

Part Two

Who are Young Lasallians? Young Lasallians are traditionally individuals involved with Lasallian ministries between the ages of 16 and 35 – including young Brothers, Lasallian school alumni, lay men and women, and Lasallian Volunteers. Young Lasallian groups in secondary schools and colleges/universities are known as Lasallian Youth and Lasallian Collegians, respectively. The International Council of Young Lasallians unites these young people worldwide and promotes activities to engage them in living the Lasallian mission.

 

Following in the footsteps of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, himself an innovator in his time, Young Lasallians display a bold creativity in the world of today. They commit themselves to a multitude of service projects, whether in favor of the poor, children and young people, education, the environment or any need inspired by the Lasallian mission and spirit. Furthermore, they operate at local, national and international levels.

 

 

Through a process of discovery, sharing and integration, Young Lasallians live, in varying degrees, the following five characteristics:

 

  • A vocation to be lived in reference to the charism of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and his values
  • A life of faith which discovers God in everyday reality in the light of Scripture and, for persons of other religions, according to their own sacred texts
  • A community experience lived in diverse ways and according to the identity of each one
  • A mission associated with the educational service of the poor and which implies a certain duration of time
  • A universal openness which transcends the person and the local reality

Lasallian Companions

Lasallian Youth

Lasallian Formation

The vow eventually expressed what they had first of all lived:

the association to keep free schools, a life of obedience, and stability.

 

Bro. Michel Sauvage, "The Vows of the Brothers in the History of the Institute"

Link to structures page

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE PRESENT MOMENT IN LASALLIAN ASSOCIATION

 

In response to the keynote address that Brother Bob Schieler, Superior General, delivered to LASSCA (Lasallian Association of Secondary School Chief Administrators) on March 1, 2017, Charlie Legendre, Chair of the LEC (Lasallian Education Council of RELAN) followed up with Brother Bob regarding the new forms of association that he spoke about in his speech.

 

 

 

 

After reading the Superior Generals follow up to his keynote proceed to step 7

Association

Part Two

PDF

Audio

How association looks on a day-to-day basis often comes down to belonging. This next video reflection "intentional community" prompting the question, "How do I belong" as a Lasallian.

After watching the video proceed to step 8.

Association

Part Two

Lasallians from around the world gathering at the Generalate in Rome were asked to reflect on association -- ONE LASALLE. Many international voices are included as we hear some of their responses.

Association

Part Two

 

Association

Part Two

For personal reflection:

  1. What is my own understanding of association?
  2. When have I felt most par of this associated community?
  3. Have there been times when I've felt left out from the Lasallian Association?
  4. We know we are associated for mission. How do we sustain this association into the future?

 

 

On Padlet or Flipgrid, post what you are comfortable sharing with our formation community.

 

Record your evidence on Badgelist and submit your work for the year after you finish the communal dialoge.

For community dialogue:

  1. Do we have a common understanding of "together and by association?" To what end is this important?
  2. What are the challenges and opportunities involved in creating the "One Lasalle?"
  3. What are some of the  specific ways that our ministry is associated with the larger Lasallian community?

 

Remember to submit your work on Badgelist.

Association

Part Two

 

 In every Community where the members share all their goods and live a common life, as in that of the Christian Schools, the habit either is distinctive from its foundation or becomes so eventually.


. It seems more suitable for the welfare of a Community that the habit be distinctive from its foundation rather than become so later. It will then be more difficult to change it, and a permanently distinctive habit will remove every chance of adopting the worldly fashions of ordinary people.

 

 Nothing is more effective in achieving these ends than a distinctive habit, which can be the hallmark of a Community whose custom it may be to wear one.

De La Salle, Memoir on the Habit, 1690

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