The final gatherings for the second cohort of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice took place across three weekends in March, grouped by District. Each gathering featured a capstone presentation by participants and time to reflect on the program, which took place over the course of two years during which participants gathered at five in-person District sessions and one Regional session. There were also opportunities throughout the program to learn online through three Schoology discussions.
Heath Barker, who serves in the community, mission and ministry department at Christian Brothers School (Canal Street campus) in New Orleans, Louisiana, said the Johnston Institute helped him develop lifelong friendships and gave him a different view of the Lasallian world. “I really can’t envision my life without having attended Cohort II and meeting the fine people I did. Of all the formative experiences I have had the pleasure of attending, this one was, without question, the most beneficial.”
The three goals set forth for the Capstone session, were to present each participant’s capstone project or paper, reflect on and articulate what they have experienced in the program, and discern where God is leading them in their Lasallian vocation and in the future.
Omar Alegria, residential manager at St. Francis-St. Vincent’s Home for Children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, left the Johnston Institute with a sense of hope for the future of his ministry. “I felt that our youth and family services identity was represented well in this cohort. I felt a sense of support from other ministries and a willingness to do collaborative work in the future with them.”
Michlyn Walsh, an advancement associate at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota, described her favorite part of the Capstone experience as working with students, faculty and staff to make her project a reality. “My Capstone project was on the twinning program. We have accomplished so much over the year and it is very exciting for Cretin-Derham Hall and Bisrate Gabriel [a twinned school in Ethiopia].”
Each Capstone presentation was facilitated by Brother Armand Alcazar, FSC, former theology professor at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, and Dr. Jeanette (Jan) Mines, AFSC, dean emeritus of the College of Education at Lewis University.
Cohort III of the Johnston Institute will begin this summer. Registration is open until May 15.