The Great Hall (Aula Magna) was silent and the Brothers were in prayer. “I swear before Jesus Christ, eternal Wisdom, who is my witness, that I, Brother ________, vote for Superior General of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the Brother whom I consider, before God, should be elected.” This is the oath each of us took in the in preparation for the election of Brother Superior General.
After the election was final at 10:20, Brother Robert Schieler approached Brother Armin Luistro and asked if he would accept the will of the Body of the Institute and serve as the 28th successor of John Baptist de La Salle. Armin’s simple response: “In faith and humility . . . and obedience, I accept.” The gates opened and a rushing river of emotion began to flow as the applause swelled and the church bells shared their joyful message.
We are blessed. We have in Brother Armin a man of talent and a Brother with passion who will take us to the next level in our never-ending story. In yesterday’s presentation Fr. José Cristo Rey linked Simon Sinek’s The Infinite Game with our Institute in a way that captured our imagination: “Those who play with the infinite gaze rejoice in surprises, welcome them with joy, discover in them forces of transformation in order to act differently and not according to established plans. Your institute was founded to be resilient, flexible and sustainable, without time limits. You are an institution ready to take risks, prepared for the unpredictable.”
And Armin echoed that in his remarks to us this morning. “In prayer this morning I was very much comforted by the Gospel reading, I am the vine and you are the branches, remain in me and abide in me. All these years as a Brother, I have worked to prepare a nice place for him there. Inside me was the invitation to abide in me first before you prepare your heart for me. That was comforting for me—for the problems and challenges we face we can simply stay with Jesus. We don’t have to beat ourselves up and do what other people expect of us. We don’t have to solve all the world’s problems. We don’t have to come up with a perfect list of resolutions at this Chapter. We can dedicate ourselves to our work and follow Cardinal Tagle’s reminder during his homily: I will make all things new—not you. That brought me comfort this morning. Thank you for the trust—I will take your mandate as the voice of the Spirit urging me on. We cannot do this alone, we will have to do this together.”
Brother Timothy Coldwell, FSC, is General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of North America. He is providing reflections throughout the 46th General Chapter, which are being shared on Lasallian.info and on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about the General Chapter here and from the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Search #FSC46GC on social media for more highlights. Visit the General Councilor’s page for more reflections from Brother Tim >
Photo courtesy Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools Communications Service