The Huether Lasallian Conference officially kicked off the evening of Thursday, November 15 with a prayer service organized by the District of Eastern North America in which students from St. John’s College High School and San Miguel School in Washington, D.C. participated. Alisa Macksey, Programs Director for the Office of Lasallian Education; Dr. Maggie McCarty, Executive Director of the Office of Lasallian Education; and the Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, Auxiliary Bishop-Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., offered welcoming remarks.
Following the prayer, Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor for Bethlehem University in Palestine, delivered an inspirational keynote address during which he described the University as an oasis of peace and a beacon of hope. He captivated the crowd with stories of the students’ struggle to get their education—including unpredictable checkpoints, occupation, and oppression—and their determination through it all to access education to better their lives. He said Bethlehem University is an example of “faith in action.”
“I think the thing that moved me the most was when he talked about being in a situation where you perceive or feel no hope, and yet you need the belief of the possibility of hope to continue,” said Peter Drake from St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe, NM.
Brother Peter encouraged the crowd to support Bethlehem through prayer, by standing in solidarity with the university, and financially. He related his experiences with students at Bethlehem to teachers and their students here in the fact that they all are part of Lasallian education and they all work to teach the minds, touch the hearts and transform the lives of students.