Pope Francis welcomed Brothers, Partners and students to an audience on May 16, 2019, where he called De La Salle “a pioneer in the field of education, who created an innovative education system for his time” and said De La Salle’s legacy is “still remarkable today for its vision of the school, the concept of the teacher, and innovative teaching methods.”
“I was struck with Pope Francis’s call to cultivate a ‘culture of resurrection’ through our Lasallian educational work,” said Brother Timothy Coldwell, FSC, General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of North America, who attended the audience. “This is precisely what Saint La Salle introduced as our starting and end point: that ‘the glory of God is a human being fully alive!’”
The audience happened as part of the Lasallian Jubilee Year, which the Holy See declared in honor of the 300th anniversary of Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s entry into eternal life. The Jubilee Year started November 17, 2018, and will end December 31, 2019.
In his greeting to the pope, Brother Superior General Robert Schieler, FSC, thanked Pope Francis for declaring the jubilee year and for joining in the celebration. He said that the pope’s witness “inspires all of us to create a culture of encounter and to bring the Good News to those who are different, despised and ignored.”
Brother Robert also addressed the forward-looking spirit of the milestone, saying, “During this anniversary year, we are not simply recalling the past; inspired by De La Salle, the universal Patron Saint of Teachers, and guided by the Holy Spirit, we are also reigniting in our hearts an ardent zeal for the Reign of God and striking out on new paths.”