A deeper understanding of the Founder, a sense of community, and a unified zeal for the Lasallian Mission. These are just a few things participants in this summer’s Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies are taking back to their home ministries.
“I got so much from the course – I’m still buzzing with it,” said Brother Laurence Hughes, Auxiliary Provincial of the District of Great Britain and Malta and Buttimer 2 participant. “It changed my view of De La Salle – he became a real person during the course of the two weeks.”
Buttimer, which started in 1984, is an intensive Lasallian formation and education program that studies the origins of the Lasallian educational mission and the life and work of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Participants meet for three, two-week sessions over the course of three summers with each year focused on a different aspect: the founding story, De La Salle’s educational vision, and De La Salle’s spiritual vision. The goal is to provide a deeper understanding of the Lasallian heritage and its influence on contemporary education. It also seeks to deepen the participants’ association for the Lasallian mission and provide skills to become catalysts in their own ministries.
“My Buttimer experience was formative and personally gratifying,” said Dr. Margaret McCarty, Executive Director of the Office of Lasallian Education, who completed the program this year. “I had basic knowledge of the Founder prior to attending Buttimer but now I have a deep appreciation of how St. John Baptist de La Salle changed the approach to education of young people and how his innovations continue to be relevant today. When you look at all of his achievements, it’s no wonder he was declared the patron saint of teachers.”
Dr. Scott Sorvaag, Dean of Education at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, started Buttimer this year with the desire to explore the Lasallian mission more deeply. “The power of the mission that drew me to this Lasallian work in the world, the vibrant call of mission that first attracted me, was enlivened,” said Sorvaag. “Deep learning results in renewed commitment – that is what I bring back – renewed commitment.”
This year, Buttimer welcomed 105 participants with 42 people in Buttimer 1, 28 people in Buttimer 2, and 35 people in Buttimer 3. While most participants were from the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN), the program included international participants from Singapore, New Zealand, the Philippines, Eritrea, the United Kingdom, Italy, and India. The program was held on the campus of Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga June 23 – July 5.
• More pictures from Buttimer >
• Want to learn more about formation programs and gatherings sponsored by the Office of Lasallian Education? Visit our programs and events page!
• Save the Date for the 2013 Huether Lasallian Conference >