May 1 is a holiday in Italy and throughout Europe. However, Chapter delegates held a plenary session throughout the morning. There were three reports: one on the 3rdInternational Symposium of Young Lasallians, a report from the Bursar General (Chief Finance Officer for the Institute), and a report on Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS).
Mr. Joseph Gilson, Institute Coordinator for the Young Lasallian Movement, was the first to report. With its theme of Building Hope Together, the International Symposium met last February 9 – 14 at the Generalate in Rome. There were 41 participants, including 11 young Lasallians from RELAN. He called on the Chapter delegates to continue the International Council of Young Lasallians, integrate new projects into current and successful Young Lasallian projects like the International Days for Peace, to promote and implement at the District level the outcomes of the 3rd International Symposium, and to ensure Young Lasallian representation in District and Regional structures.
Brother Francisco Lopez, Bursar General, gave an account of his and the Institute’s International Economic Council’s stewardship of our financial resources for the benefit of the Institute, particularly those areas of the Institute that are financially stressed.
Brother Michael O’Hern, who is from the Midwest District and is President of Christian Brothers Investment Services, highlighted CBIS’s history, future development plans, and its socially responsible investment policy. CBIS engages companies on issues of concern for Catholic investors such as human trafficking, child labor, environmental responsibility, and objectionable media.
I close this communication with Mr. Gilson’s concluding remarks to the General Chapter delegates, which are remarks that the International Council of Young Lasallians first made to the young Brothers as they gathered for their assembly:
“Brothers, especially for those of you who come from Districts or Regions with seemingly challenging prospects or dwindling numbers within our religious communities, allow me, on behalf of other teachers, volunteers, alumni, students, and Brothers who identify themselves as Young Lasallians, to invite you to be convinced:
- That you shall never be alone,
- That your life witness and commitment will always be a reason for celebration and unity within the Lasallian Family,
- That God will not abandon this Institute because ‘the need for this Institute is very great.’
In this spirit, we believe that it is essential to continue to nourish each other’s vocation, as people of faith, as Christians, as Catholics, as Lasallians.
May we never cease to support one another as we continue to build hope together.”
By Brother Robert Schieler, FSC, General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN)