A Lasallian Valentine

Bouquets of red roses and heart-shaped boxes of assorted candies are sure signs that Valentine’s Day is here. Those traditions aside, some couples can celebrate their love in a uniquely Lasallian way. For them, being a Lasallian Volunteer was more than a transformative time of serving youth. Read on to see how these Lasallian Volunteer alumni found love and how being Lasallian has shaped their relationships.

Kristin and Chris Giangregorio

Chris and Kristen with Matteo

Chris:
Now—Principal, De Marillac Academy, San Francisco, CA
Then—LV, De La Salle Middle School at St. Matthew’s, St. Louis, MO; and Resurrection School, New York, NY, 2001-2003

Kristen:
Then—LV, Resurrection School, New York, NY, 2003-2004
Now—Teacher, Little Bridges Preschool, San Ramon, CA

Kristen and Chris met when Kristen went to New York for a site visit and Chris picked her up at the airport. She later ended up moving in to Chris’ community to serve as an LV. Their June 2008 wedding had a Lasallian touch with Brothers and LV alumni on hand to celebrate. The late Brother Michael Farrell, their mentor and community director, gave a blessing at the reception. The happy couple also made a donation to Lasallian Volunteers in the name of their guests in lieu of favors. Their strong commitment to serving the underserved has shaped their decisions as a couple, and now, as parents to three-year-old Matteo. “We tend to live Lasallian values in our everyday lives and Matteo is learning from us what it means to have compassion for others, or to share with those less fortunate,” they said. “Matteo is very intuitive and he often picks up on something that he has seen us do or say with regards to our work or helping others and then we take that opportunity to talk to him about being a good person, living like Jesus, and thinking about others not just ourselves.”

“The LV experience shaped our relationship by virtue of giving us a person in our lives who ‘gets it.’” –Joe and Claire Kolar

Joe and Claire Kolar

Joe:
Then—LV, St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, MD, 2007-2009
Now—Teacher, Totino Grace High School, Fridley, MN

Claire:
Then—LV, St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, MD, 2007-2009
Now—Fourth year pharmacy student, University of Minnesota

Brothers and LV alumni surprise the Kolars with a nerf gun salute at their wedding.

After exchanging a few e-mails, Joe and Claire met while checking in at LV orientation. From there, volunteering at the same site and living in community built their trust in each other, and the experience sustains them today. Their July 2012 wedding had LV alumni and Brothers in attendance, with alumni serving as bridesmaids and a lector. Their transformative experience as LVs has had a significant impact on their relationship. “We think being Lasallian gives our relationship a rootedness, something to fall back on when life throws us curveballs,” they said. “It shapes our prayer life, and we are comforted and strengthened by the knowledge that we are praying with our former community members and the whole the Lasallian family whenever we end our prayer ‘Live Jesus in our hearts.’ Being Lasallian also gives us great joy. We smile when we remember our time in community, the laughs shared had around the dinner table, and the fun of living with Brothers Ed, Greg, Joe, and Don.”

Daniel and Ashley Salvaggio

(L-R) Bro. Ed Phelan, Daniel, Ashley, and Bro. Michael Reis

Daniel:
Then—LV, La Salle School, Albany, NY, 2006-2008
Now—Principal, De La Salle Elementary at Blessed Sacrament, Memphis, TN

Ashley:
Then—LV, Lasallian Educational Opportunities (LEO) Center, Oakland, CA, 2007-2009
Now—Second year medical student, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN

Daniel and Ashley met while attending Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN, and began dating just a few months before Daniel left for New York to serve as a Lasallian Volunteer which started a three-year long distance relationship. Their June 2011 wedding featured a strong Lasallian presence with LV alumni in the bridal party and as guests, along with Brothers in attendance as well. Ashley’s director at the LEO Center, Deacon Noé González, even performed their marriage. Being LVs helped set a strong foundation for their life together. “It is neat for us both to have had this powerful experience because we have a common understanding of the Lasallian mission which has helped to form our values,” they said. “Living in community taught us both patience and understanding, and spending three years apart gave us a greater appreciation for each other.”

Lucy is Lasallian! Daniel and Ashley’s dog loves the third grade classroom at De La Salle.

By | 2017-06-06T23:23:50+00:00 February 14th, 2013|News, People, Regional|Comments Off on A Lasallian Valentine