Today marks the end of our first week, though we still have a couple of days in this phase of “discovery,” where we identify what gives life and better appreciate who we are. Fr. Eric de Clermont-Tonnerre, OP (Dominican) took up the topic of fraternity. He made a point not commonly referenced: Jesus’ family. In short, that Jesus did not grow up alone (Mark 6.1-6) implies that the way he related to his disciples emerges out of family experience. He pointed to Saint Paul’s “We are joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8.17), as implying that “we are jointly responsible for the extension of that Kingdom.”
From there he took on the daunting question of “How do we structure fraternity as a living thing?” In addition to what he proposed, I think three subsequent sessions responded in a very concrete way. First, by the Association Secretariat, urging the Chapter capitulants to design ways for broader and deeper inclusion of Lasallian Partners in the educational and evangelizing mission. Second, by the International Strategy Committee, urging capitulants to support a governance model that makes stewardship and solidarity a central concern. Third, by the Young Lasallians and young Brothers, encouraging full support for the strategic directions they are recommending to the Lasallian family and Institute.
The concept of fraternity, a term commonly used in the Romance languages, and a central teaching for Pope Francis, isn’t easily captured in American English. Still, it is clear that the Lasallian movement has its roots and future in a friendship and a family that transcends borders. Perhaps that is a core discovery for this week: we can be both local and global in our relations, “glocal” if you will, and that we have a treasure chest full of what we need for making our Lasallian contribution to “the extension of the Kingdom.”
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 >