Superior General Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, FSC, inspired Huether participants with his opening remarks.
This year’s Huether Lasallian Conference gave Lasallian educators a powerful surge of the Lasallian mission as hundreds gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, from November 20-22, to discuss “Global Learning and Social Responsibility through Lasallian Education.” In his opening remarks, Superior General Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, FSC, set the stage for the three-day dialogue with his powerful message on . “Globalization is not only a phenomenon of integration into markets but also of knowledge,” he said. “The dilemma of tomorrow will not be so much between the haves and the have-nots, but rather between those who know and those who do not know. The key to the future is education…we have an enormous potential in our hands.” The participation of members of the global Lasallian family in Kenya, Mexico, Palestine, and the Philippines who joined the assembly in prayer via live synchronous video conferencing was a significant highlight of the event.
In his keynote address, Rev. Drew Christiansen, SJ, editor-in-chief of America magazine, spoke about the four lessons of justice education: 1) conative formation–stimulates the students’ striving in excellence, potential for self-giving and their disposition for risk-taking; 2) organizational skills–encourages students to develop their organizational capacities; 3) networking–reinforces students’ networking skills; and 4) close knowledge of the original texts–develops teachers’ command of the primary documents of Catholic social teaching.
Dr. Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core, addressed religious diversity and the need to develop interfaith leadership among our students as a means to building religious pluralism which is essential to peace. He spoke of faith formation in a world of diversity, citing service as the best way to start interfaith work.
Rev. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, MM, current president of the UN General Assembly, underscored the role of Lasallian educators as natural and strategic partners in millenieum goals. “You must concentrate your efforts to move students from the logic of ‘you and I’ to ‘we and ours’,” he said. “Solidarity and social responsibility must be the guiding principles of all human activity.” Christian education plays a significant role in the process of enlarging the hearts of the young to give all the love needed to save the world.
Break-out Session presenters shared their invaluable experience on a wide-range of topics about global learning and social justice which participants could bring back to the classroom.
Now on its 35th year, the Huether Lasallian Conference has become the cornerstone of Lasallian educational formation, bringing together the largest gathering of educators from 100 Lasallian institutions in the United States to explore emerging educational issues and themes related to formation for mission and Lasallian spirituality. This annual gathering is sponsored by the Regional Office of the Brothers of the Christian Schools which is based in Washington, DC.