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Saint John Baptist de La Salle: Founder, Educator, Saint

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A comprehensive introduction to the life of John Baptist de La Salle, his unique pedagogical approach towards students, and his enduring spirituality. A brief survey of his personal life story leads to a description of the innovative educational elements he and the early Brothers introduced, followed by a concise summary of the elements of his education-based spirituality.

This resource may be used by itself or with the study guides that are available for its use within Lasallian institutions. It makes for a very accessible overview for both new and veteran teachers and administrators.

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Physical copies are available upon request from Katie Batt (kbatt@dlsi.org).

Publisher: District of San Francisco New Orleans

A Little More Information

From the Introduction:

A Catholic, Lasallian school has characteristics by which it can be recognized. It offers an education of the highest quality that answers to the genuine needs of its students; it displays a firm faith in God and proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ; it exhibits respect for all persons and an inclusive spirit of community; it demonstrates solidarity with the poor and a concern for justice; it inculcates habits of service to others and a zealous commitment to the common good. But there is one more characteristic, a truly distinctive one, that every Lasallian school displays: the school community is formed in reference to the story of John Baptist de La Salle.

The fascinating story of John Baptist de La Salle — the story of a talented, devout, and unassuming Frenchman who answered an unexpected call from God to address the educational needs of the poor — is one that all Lasallians should know. For in that story we can see the origin of all the principles and practices which in their integration make up Lasallian educational communities today. The more deeply we know and understand this founding story, the more clearly we see that, though it took place three centuries ago, that story is not old but is ever new. De La Salle and the early Brothers and their supporters created an apostolate that continues to engage people all over the world who see the profundity and urgency of the mission that Lasallians associate to carry out — the mission of providing a human and Christian to the young, especially the poor.

This booklet is based on a special issue of the Signs of Faith magazine, Fall 2000, produced by the then District of San Francisco in the Fall of 2000 (Guest editor, Br. George Van Grieken, FSC; Articles written by J. A. Gray; Graphic design and layout by Cathy Locke of Studio North – www. studionorthnet.com). In 2009, J.A. Gray added Pgs. 40-41 and new cover pages for this version of that issue, intended for a wider Lasallian audience.