Participants of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice came together July 12-17 at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, for the program’s summer session. While the spring and autumn sessions take place locally and online, respectively, the summer session is a chance for all participants from the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) to gather together as one.
The Johnston Institute focuses on the Lasallian heritage in light of contemporary realities. Utilizing contemporary texts to address the signs and issues of our times, the Johnston Institute engages participants in reflection and discussion on several critical areas of the Lasallian mission.
The topic of this summer session was “Lasallian Spirituality, Vocation and Association.” Presenters included Brother Michael French, FSC, special projects, Midwest District; Brother Charles Kitson, FSC, Auxiliary Visitor, District of Eastern North America; Heather Ruple, Young Lasallians director, District of San Francisco New Orleans; and Joseph Gilson, international coordinator for Young Lasallians.
Dr. Elizabeth Berkes, vice principal for faculty development at De La Salle High School in Concord, California, remarked that the session was a time for reflection. “We spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on what it means to be ‘together and by association.’ I was inspired and challenged to consider that Lasallian Partners must see the mission as their own – not the Brothers’ mission that lay partners simply ‘help with.’”
To further build on the theme of Association, one of the group activities was a net building project. Each group built its own yarn net, and then all groups put the nets together to create an even larger one.
Johnston participants will gather in person one final time in their local groups in March 2016, following online sessions in the autumn. The Johnston Institute is a program of Christian Brothers Conference.