This is a quick overview of the Lasallian Resource Center, it’s purpose, background, and outlook. The LRC website was launched on August 1, 2016. The image to the left seemed evocative of the rich beauty and substance of the Lasallian educational heritage that lies somewhat hidden behind the daily concerns of our lives. We hope to be able to help lift the fog a little.
The purpose of the Lasallian Resource Center (LRC) is to facilitate the availability of a wide-ranging array of Lasallian resources for members of the Lasallian educational community and the general public.
The LRC creates, collects, promotes, and distributes Lasallian formation or educational resources that
- Heighten general awareness of the rich traditions of De La Salle and Lasallian institutions,
- Empower Lasallian educators and leaders to exercise responsibility for the Lasallian formation of those entrusted to their care, and
- Advance and support innovative means and methods of Lasallian formation.
The Lasallian Resource Center (LRC) came about because of a proposal made in January 2015 to the Visitor of the Lasallian District of San Francisco New Orleans. Adopted by the District Leadership Team and placed under the auspices of the Office of Education and Greg Kopra, Director of Formation for Mission, the proposal included a number of LRC initiatives and an estimated timeline of three years for bringing the LRC to maturity. Br. George Van Grieken currently serves as the coordinator.
During bi-monthly meetings between Br. George and Greg Kopra, specific projects and formation elements are proposed, considered, monitored, and reviewed. The perspective from the beginning was to evolve the LRC and its scope so as to address the real needs for Lasallian formation within the District.
One major initial project collated essential Lasallian formation resources according to different audiences (new teachers, veteran teachers, leaders, local coordinators, and scholars), bringing together current resources of various types. Regular meetings with Greg Kopra, Gery Short, and Bob Carrejo saw a variety of booklet-based iterations of categorization protocols, formats, and structures that coalesced into the www.lasallianresources.org website and its components. Brother George, in consultation with Bob Carrejo, Director of Communications for the District of San Francisco New Orleans, designed, created, and maintains the website, based on e-commerce navigation principles and a WordPress & WooCommerce backbone. Further development of the website is ongoing.
Completed projects include two books (the Pastoral Letters of Br. John Johnston and Br. Alvaro Echeverria – available on www.lulu.com), a general bibliography of Lasallian publications, a set of six prayer-based formation resources for Boards of Trustees (with six new ones planned for the current school year), several new faculty retreat workshops on the theme of Lasallian community (used at three different high schools so far), a two-page Lasallian identity statement for school handbooks, the collection of Lasallian resources at a single location, high-quality OCR PDF scans of Lasalliana articles, Lasallian themes, and other primary Lasallian print resources (in process), Lasallian formation input at meetings of the Association of Board Chairs (ABC), and resources requested by specific schools or administrators.
For the 2016-2017 school year, many of the projects listed above are ongoing (website development, scanning and uploading of resources, board formation resources, etc.) and others are being planned or in current development (e.g., two-page information sheets on specific topics or themes, regular Lasallian reflections for general use, presentations at Huether and other conferences, Catholic identity resources, a collection of Br. Luke Salm’s writings, and the development of new Lasallian formation videos).
Relevant Sections from Institute Documents
Circular 447: The Documents of the 43rd General Chapter (2000): “That Institute authorities at all levels ensure the accompaniment of Brothers and Partners in the formation process; That Partners be encouraged to assume progressively responsibility for their own formation; That competent Partners be encouraged to participate in the running of formation programs.” (Associated to Respond to the Challenges of the 21st Century: Section IV, Formation of Brothers and Partners for the Lasallian Mission, Guideline 3)
Report of the International Assembly 2013: Lasallian Educational Community, Challenge 2: “There is a need to diversify, update, develop and strengthen formation programs to enable every member of the educational community to fully live out their participation in the Lasallian Mission.” Response to Challenge 2: “To develop, strengthen and evaluate a formation program for formators with the following priorities: Share Lasallian spirituality; Ensure the updating and transmission of our living tradition; Encourage every believer to deepen their faith; Develop and strengthen the use of new technologies in communication.” (Section 7: Final Challenges and Responses; 3.2.1)
Message of Brother John Johnston to the 44th General Chapter: May 5, 2007: “We Lasallians live in unity, a unity very evident in this Chapter, but we live very different realities. A number of you represent areas that are blessed with vocations. You look at your institutions and are confident that their future is assured. Others of you have had few or even no vocations in the last decade or several decades. What is your plan? Do you intend to turn the schools over to others who will conduct them without direct reference to our Lasallian heritage? Or are you in the process of creatively, dynamically, courageously creating new structures that will assure that our institutions continue as Lasallian – with Brothers we hope, but without Brothers if necessary. To create such structures of governance and of Lasallian formation is a formidable task. We have no time to waste.” (Bulletin 251: Documents of the 44th General Chapter, p. 46)
45th General Chapter – Proposition 28
That each District will strengthen or create formation programs for the Lasallian mission for formation personnel, Brothers and Partners, for the purpose of building teams of facilitators on the local level that can effectively train and accompany all who work in the mission.
45th General Chapter – Proposition 30
That all Institute levels – Regions, Districts, Sectors, and especially at the community level – will contribute to the creation of a “culture of accompaniment” for all Lasallians throughout their entire lives.
45th General Chapter – Proposition 32
That Regions and Districts ensure the best use of resources in order to provide quality formation and accompaniment of Brothers and Partners.