The following resources have been compiled for everyone in the Lasallian Family who would like to deepen their knowledge on the life of the Founder and the depth and breadth of the mission and legacy he left behind some three hundred years ago.
Many of these resources are updated and refined as much as these materials are used. Your feedback is most welcome through the following channels: [e-mail]
- Works of Our Founder
- Life of Our Founder
- Lasallian Core Values and Principles
- Cahiers Lasalliens and MEL Bulletins
- Lasallian Holiness
- Lasallian Heritage and History by Br. Gregory Wright FSC (+)
- Lasallian Leadership
- Lasallian Research
“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)
Association for the mission has been a vital component of our institute since 1680 when the initial group of teachers formed a community and called themselves Brothers. This principle was concretized when the Founder together with Br. Gabriel Drolin and Br. Nicholas Vuyart took the heroic vow I which they to continue the mission even if they shall beg for alms and live on bread alone. This served as an impetus for the Brothers to take their perpetual vows in 1694. As such, this has formed the basis of the way we work in the Lasallian family – together and by association. The Lasallian Community and mission have evolved so much since the time of the Founder, as it evolves and expands to various countries with different realities.
As the number of vocations to the Brotherhood have decreased, many women and men have chosen to commit themselves to the Lasallian ministry of education. This also includes those belonging to other faiths but recognize the centrality of the Founding story of our institute in their professional and personal lives.
There are five fundamental elements of association
- Association exists for the mission
- Association implies being a member of a community for the mission
- Association results from experience and is a dynamic journey, not an acquired status
- Association stems from faith, vocation, and state of life
- Association presupposes a freely made commitment
Reference: Associated for the Lasallian Mission...an Act of Hope [PDF]. (2010, September). Rome: Casa Generalizia.
Lasallian Spirituality is inextricably linked to the life of St. La Salle.
In the Memoir of the Beginnings, the Founder recognizes how God’s will unfolded in his own life:
“God, who guides all things with wisdom and serenity and whose way it is not to force the inclinations of persons, willed to commit me entirely to the development of the schools. He did this in an imperceptible manner and over a long period of time, so that one commitment led to another in a way that I did not foresee in the beginning.”
Lasallian spirituality is like all spiritual movements in that it is based on a profound interiority, a relationship of trust and confidence in a loving God who, in De La Salle’s words, “wishes everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (No.193.1). But this spirituality is lived out in an educational relationship that is earthed in all the difficulties and contradictions of life that can make relationships conflictual and difficult. This tension in itself becomes creative when true Lasallians find strength and solace in trying to see as God sees and being prepared to be zealous in acting without self-interest in doing whatever is judged best for the good of those whom they see as “confided to their care.”
When John Baptist de La Salle and the first Brothers of the Christian Schools embarked upon their ministry to provide a human and Christian education to the young people of France over three centuries ago, they did so without the benefit of empirical studies of pedagogical methodologies or so-called “scientific” elements of effective teaching. Rather, they lived these pedagogical experiences in classrooms, honed them by continual reflection about what worked best, and, over time collaborated to preserve their insights in such valuable tools as The Conduct of the Christian Schools and The Duties of a Christian Before God. The fundamental insight that De La Salle and his Brothers gleaned from their experiences understood that the person of the teacher was the most important element of pedagogy. Who they were as persons in Christian service to the young people entrusted to them became their principal methodology. Lasallian pedagogy cannot be understood apart from Lasallian charism. Who the first Lasallians were became the embodiment of what they taught. To understand a contemporary Lasallian pedagogy, it is necessary to align the person of the teacher to the task of teaching. A genuine Lasallian educator engages in the educational ministry to the young as a genuine and conscientious attempt to exemplify and embody the charismatic core values of De La Salle and the first Brothers. This commitment to become what we teach remains the key component of Lasallian pedagogy.
Reference: Crawford, John M. “Lasallian Pedagogy: Who We Are Is What We Teach.” AXIS: Journal of Lasallian Higher Education 6, no. 2 (Institute for Lasallian Studies at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota: 2015).