In the last week of April, Saint Mary's College will celebrate the work and heritage of St. John Baptist De La Salle, the founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. De La Salle, the patron saint of education, founded the Brothers and launched a ministry of education in the late 1600s that today serves more than 900,000 students in more than 80 countries around the world.
"We're doing this as a way of celebrating our identity as a Lasallian institution and raising awareness about our identity on campus both viably and identifiably," said Brother Michael Sanderl, FSC, assistant dean for student life for mission and leadership and one of the event's planners.
De La Salle Week will consist of a range of activities taking place from Monday, April 25 through Friday, April 29. The week as a whole will have the theme "Let Us Remember," and each day will have its own theme that relates to the College's Lasallian mission: Monday, inclusive community; Tuesday, faith in the presence of God; Wednesday, quality education; Thursday, respect for all persons; and Friday, concern for the poor and social justice.
"Our goal is to raise awareness of our living tradition among the campus community," said Carole Swain, dean for mission and faculty development. "These ideas are familiar to a lot of the students because many student groups on campus use or incorporate them when doing training in the beginning of the school year."
The week's activities will include: a special Mass, hikes to the cross, an organ concert and choral concert, stories of De La Salle's life, each Brothers community will hold an open house, and a film. The week will conclude with Carnival 4 Kids, a day of fun and games for more than 300 children from nearby communities.
Swain sees today's Saint Mary's College as vitally linked to the work and vision of De La Salle, and making that connection clear is one reason why she looks forward to De La Salle Week.
"In De La Salle's eyes, service to the poor was part of offering a quality education," she said. "We are all part of this legacy, and we continue to live it on the campus and extend it into the wider community."
-- Joseph Wakelee-Lynch
Office of College Communications