Motivated to continue to build community, Lasallians gathered Saturday, November 21 for the final day of the Huether Lasallian Conference.
The morning started with keynote speaker, Brother Armin A. Luistro, FSC, secretary of the Department of Education, Philippines, who highlighted his experience building educational communities, especially his work in higher education in multi-religious and multi-ethnic communities and as secretary of education. Brother Armin’s talk was entitled “Proclaiming the Reign of God through Educational Justice,” and touched upon finding hope in the face of current global crises, such as natural disasters, campus violence, terrorism, poverty and inequality. Participants left the keynote address with a sense of wonder and desire to do even more within their communities.
“Brother Armin’s keynote address was the most impactful I’ve witnessed in my fourteen years as a Lasallian educator,” remarked Matthew Scalzo, Religion teacher and Lasallian Animator from Saint John’s College High School, Chevy Chase, D.C. “His challenge to offer our true presence and action as sources of solidarity with those yet to receive the Christian and human education they deserve has relaunched and renewed my vocation to inspire my students to become the hands, eyes, and hearts of Christ to those most in need!”
Following Brother Armin’s address, Lasallians gathered for the final time in their casa meetings, the small groups that were established on opening night to help participants experience community and provide them with opportunities to discuss what they learned at the conference. This final meeting gave participants a chance to discuss their reaction to Brother Armin’s keynote address, and gave them a chance to share how they speak to their students about current events, such as violence and social justice.
Rita Niblack, Theology teacher at Mullen High School in Denver, Colorado, talked about what she gained from Brother Armin’s talk, and the following casa meeting she attended. “I cannot fully express all the ideas I have heard, but some of the things that come to mind, are the ideas of visitation and accompaniment. How do I accompany my students, but also how do I accompany the suffering of the larger world? Or the educationally poor who need support? Today’s talk and (casa) meeting helps me place my mission in Denver, Colorado, with the larger mission of the Lasallian world.”
The conference wrapped up Saturday night with Mass and a dinner honoring Distinguished Lasallian Educators in the Region.
The 42nd annual Huether Lasallian Conference was held November 19-21 at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North with the theme Lasallian Educational Community: Hands and Hearts Associated for Mission. Hosted by Christian Brothers Conference, Huether is an opportunity for educators to not only learn new techniques and find inspiration, it also allows them to interact, share best practices, and grow more deeply committed to their vocation of providing students with transformative, holistic experiences.