Following an inspiring opening to the Huether Lasallian Conference on Thursday, Dr. Carole Eipers wowed participants with her address Friday, November 21. Intertwining humor and powerful messages, Eipers brought participants to their feet at the end of her presentation.
Eipers, who is vice president and executive director of catechetics of William H. Sadlier, Inc., served in parish ministries for more than 20 years as a teacher, director of religious education, youth minister and pastoral associate.
Eipers took the stage dressed in camouflage for her address titled “Lasallian Educators: Reign Makers,” which was sponsored by William H. Sadlier, Inc. Eipers’ camouflage symbolized the importance of educators being embedded with students or those whom they serve. She used a variety of props as she tied her speech into the Lasallian core principles and invited attendees to open the door of faith to others and find Jesus in new ways.
“What I appreciated was the invitation to stand. What we stand for, what we don’t stand for and, really, the implications on our work that we do each and every day,” said Dr. Beverly A. Echols, director of culture and disciple at Catalyst Schools, Howland Campus in Chicago. “She inspired me go back and really reflect on myself, reflect on the teachers that I work with, as well as give some inspirational and motivational speeches to students to let them know that they are more worthy than what they may feel.”
Following Dr. Eipers’ address, Lasallians attended three rounds of breakout sessions designed to promote excellent catechetical, evangelization and pastoral ministry practices in the Lasallian tradition.
Brother Getachew Nadew, FSC, who is from the Lwanga District in Africa and currently studying at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, called one of the breakout sessions he attended a good experience. “It was so practical to us that we need to meet whoever we serve, especially our kids, where they are, and becoming good role models to them so that we give them the message, which is God’s love, in a very simple and practical manner,” he said.
New this year, Catholic Relief Services is sponsoring a prayer walk with pictures and written reflections throughout the conference. The Solidarity Prayer Walk features self-guided meditation for an experience of prayer, solidarity and kinship.
Sean York, music director and theology teacher at Mullen High School in Denver, Colorado, has been impressed by his experiences so far at his first Huether Lasallian Conference. “It’s been pretty fun. I think it’s cool to see how everything in kind of intertwined,” said York. “It’s pretty exciting to see all of these young people here trying to make a difference.”
Participants ended the day by gathering by District for dinner. The conference will continue Saturday and feature a wrap up session with John Donahue-Grossman, director of retreat at La Salle Manor Retreat Center in Plano, Illinois. Huether will conclude in the evening with a banquet honoring Distinguished Lasallian Educators.