The Lasallian mission is an expression of God’s loving concern, particularly oriented towards the wellbeing of the young and the poor and lived out in association by an educational community. This community becomes a visible sign of the presence of God and gives expression to a variety of vocations in the church. The model of living religious Brotherhood created by John Baptist de La Salle and his first companions has inspired lay partners to understand and appreciate the idea of a Lasallian vocation lived out in diverse ways. These diverse vocations complement one another and bring a fullness and dynamism to the mission that it might otherwise lack.
Lasallian formation for mission promotes the unity present in this diversity; it emphasizes what unites Brothers and other Lasallians in the mission. Although some aspects of formation are particular to Brothers or to lay partners, many can be shared. Experiences of shared formation have proven beneficial for all participants. Therefore, an understanding of formation shared among the entire Lasallian Family is appropriate at this time in history.
Source: Lasallian Formation for Mission: The Pilgrim’s Handbook by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools
Formation as Pilgrimage
“Indeed, if I had ever thought that the care I was taking of the schoolmasters our of pure charity would ever have made it my duty to live with them, I would have dropped the whole project. It was undoubtedly for this reason that God, who guides all things with wisdom and serenity, whose way it is not to force the inclinations of persons, willed to commit me entirely to the development of the schools. God did this in an imperceptible way and over a long period of time, so that one commitment led to another in away that I did not foresee in the beginning."
- St. John Baptist de La Salle, Memoirs of the Beginning
As we proceed to the different stages of our Lasallian Formation Journey, we take up the imagery of a pilgrimage to show how our experiences in our institutions contribute to our development as persons called to the Lasallian educational mission.
These three words will often be used to describe formation:
- Journey - One’s whole life seen as a continuing process of attaining personal, moral and spiritual maturity
- Pilgrimage - A structured process of formation realized through planned experiences and programs
- Lasallian Pilgrimage - A combination of programs and experiences designed to promote personal, spiritual, and vocational maturity over the course of one’s life
Source: Br. Michael Valenzuela’s presentation on Formation: The Journey of One becomes the Pilgrimage of Many
Lasallian Formation Journey
As we come to a greater awareness of our mission, we strive to live more authentically as Lasallians guided by the principles and values that we uphold. Formation helps us move from one commitment to another; it sustains the relevance and vitality of our mission. Just as St. La Salle and the Brothers witnessed God’s lovingly revealed himself in their lives, so too are we challenged to discover how God reveals himself in ours.
- Induction from having no contact to being a participant in a Lasallian ministry.
- Belonging from being a participant to identifying oneself as Lasallian.
- Commitment from a professional commitment to discovering.
- Co-Responsibility from being carried by the community to carrying the community.
- Wisdom from institutional authority to authority of wisdom.