The 2019 Huether Lasallian Conference kicked off with a celebration of zeal as more than 200 Lasallians returned to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the 46th annual gathering. Themed “Living the Lasallian Mission: Celebrating with Zeal,” Huether is taking place at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center November 21-23, 2019.
Participation of local Lasallian students highlighted the opening session with performances by students from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis and Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Minnesota. Students from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota shared reflections on the impact of their educational experience through the First Generation Initiative Program and advanced degree programs. Students from La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island, sent videos sharing their thoughts on what defines zeal.
“I loved it,” said Mike Foley, campus minister at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, New York. “I loved the energy from the students. The steppers were awesome. The singers were great. The spoken word, that really was beautiful. I loved it. Lots of energy. Lots of zeal.”
Brother Superior General Robert Schieler, FSC, Brother General Councilor Timothy Coldwell, FSC, and Brother Gerard Rummery, FSC, Lasallian scholar from the District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea (ANZPPNG) also attended the opening celebration, along with participants of the 7th World Congress of the Association of Lasallian Alumni (UMAEL). The UMAEL Congress is taking place in Minneapolis across the street from Huether. This year marks the 25th anniversary of UMAEL and the first time the international gathering will be held in the United States.
“It was a great experience, a new experience,” Alejandro Galván Illanes, vice president of the executive committee of UMAEL. “It’s always wonderful to get to know new things about La Salle that we had no idea that existed, things that are very different from what we are accustomed. They do things very differently from us but we have one thing in common. We are all members of the Lasallian family.”
Before the celebratory opening session, first-time attendees gathered at an orientation social to welcome them to the Huether experience and begin to build community among them.
“I’m looking to meet others that are in the same work that we’re doing,” Raul Cardenas, Jr. Ph.D., president and CEO of Mullen High School in Denver, Colorado. “I’m looking to get ideas about what I can be doing at our school. Mostly I’m just really trying to network with others. Since we have such a unique mission and being around others who understand that and buy into it is really pretty powerful.”
Over the next few days, Lasallians will reinvigorate their zeal for the mission by attending addresses and breakout sessions and taking time to build community with fellow educators in casa discussions and social time. They will explore how the transformative power of the Lasallian mission calls them to touch the heart of those entrusted to their care.
Keynote speakers over the next two days will focus on the zeal that inspires Lasallians. On Friday, John Donahue-Grossman, inspirational storyteller will present a keynote address, “The Fire Within.” Donahue-Grossman will speak of zeal being the fire that burns in Lasallians. On Saturday, with the keynote topic “Burning with Zeal for the Reign of God,” Brother Robert will focus on how being a “lifetime Lasallian” is to see how one’s zeal for creating a more compassionate and just world is not limited to active participation in the scholastic dynamic.
The conference will conclude Saturday evening with Mass followed by a banquet honoring Distinguished Lasallian Educators from each District. The banquet will also honor the late Brother Jeffrey Calligan, FSC with the Brother Johnson, FSC Award, presented by Brother Gerard.
Photo at top: Performers from Totino-Grace High School