In order to deepen their understanding, faith, and commitment to the Lasallian mission, 43 Young Lasallians, ranging from 22 to 35 years of age, gathered August 1-4, 2013, at Niagara University in New York for the bi-annual Young Lasallian VEGA Workshop, conducted by the District of Eastern North America (DENA).
Methods of discussion, reflection, and collaboration were used in order to teach participants the founding story of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, expand on important principles of Catholic and Lasallian education, create a larger sense of the worldwide Lasallian educational mission, and engage in faith-based service in the surrounding community. Participants were invited to take a deeper look at their vocations and formulate plans to keep Lasallian education of the 21st century vital and vibrant.
“The importance of the VEGA formation program is that it was developed by Young Lasallians for Young Lasallians and that Young Lasallians are actively engaged in the planning and implementation of VEGA,” said Maryann Donohue-Lynch, DENA Associate Executive Director for Mission and Ministry. “We were reminded several times during the recent International Assembly in Rome that young people are the best evangelizers of their peers. The DENA VEGA was a dynamic experience of that reality.”
The group consisted of teachers, counselors, presenters, employees, and Brothers from different Lasallian ministries and offices, mostly from DENA but with participants representing other Districts and the Region.
Patrick Goodwin, Business Office Manager at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, NY, said VEGA helped him realize that it is truly a shared mission. “Whether you are a Brother, teacher, or an accountant, we all play an important role in carrying out the mission and legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle. The things I learned at VEGA have helped me grow as a Lasallian and as a role model,” said Goodwin.
Third grade teacher Bridget Grady of La Salle Academy in Philadelphia, PA, said, “I left VEGA feeling fulfilled and empowered to start a new school year with ideas to help my students understand the vast impact of the Lasallian mission both locally and worldwide.”
VEGA, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, is an Italian acronym for the words: Vedere, Giudicare, Agire – which means to see, to judge, and to act.