More than 100 participants in this summer’s Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies are returning to their ministries invigorated for the Lasallian Mission. Eleven participants were from outside of the United States-Toronto Region.
“It had to be the best two weeks professionally and personally that I’ve had in years,” said Buttimer I participant Jeffery Hazel, the new principal at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, NY. “It was a wonderful opportunity and experience. I got to meet folks from all over the world who shared similar, not just values, but a belief in the education of children, young people, particularly…the poor.”
Dr. Margaret McCarty, Executive Director of Regional Council of Lasallian Association for Mission (RCLAM), started her first week as a Buttimer participant. “It was an incredible introduction to the Lasallian Mission,” she said. “I found it very inspiring to learn the history of De La Salle and the early Brothers. It was wonderful to meet Brothers and Partners who are so committed to moving this Mission forward. I left Buttimer with a sense of conviction to our Mission as I join the Lasallian family.”
Karen Hebert, Buttimer III participant and English teacher/director of public relations at Saint Paul’s School in Covington, LA, plans to bring lessons she learned to her classes and colleagues. “Because of Buttimer and becoming more aware of the faith De La Salle had in God’s plan, I will be more patient,” she said. “I will make certain that I can bring the message of faith and reliance on God into the classroom at every opportunity.”
Buttimer III participant Dr. Laura Sloan, special education professor at Lewis University, said she will take back the concept of association. Buttimer also reinforced her belief in the crucial teacher-student relationship. “I believe very strongly that if you don’t have mutual trust, then you’ll have no relationship,” she said. “You need to trust your students and they need to trust you, and I think De La Salle really pointed that out.”
Sloan, who has worked at Lewis since 1994, said her Lasallian experience has changed her life. After Buttimer, Sloan wants to continue her involvement in the Mission and make a difference as she looks ahead to retirement. “I see there is so much of a need out there that I can’t give up. I can’t just say, okay, I’m done and walk away from it,” she said. “This is a life journey, not a career journey.”
This was the final Buttimer experience for Director of Mission Formation Brother Thomas Lackey, who is taking over as president of De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, MI this summer. “What I’ll miss most is interacting with each of the participants and becoming so energized by their commitment to the Lasallian Mission,” said Bro. Tom. “The future of the Lasallian Mission is absolutely guaranteed because of their dedication.”
The feeling that the future of the Mission is strong is something shared by Buttimer I participant Lawrence Gorrell, Master of Arts in Human Development program director and Graduate Lasallian Studies coordinator at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. “I observed the 20- and 30-somethings and realized that if they are representative of their age group, we, and our Ministries, are in such good hands for our future,” he said. “I think they truly represent what being a member of the Lasallian Family means. For me, this was an awesome revelation.”