The inaugural Midwest gathering of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice, a new Regional formation program, took place March 13 – 16, at Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL. The new program kicked off with the West Coast gathering March 6 – 9, and the East Coast gathering is taking place March 20 – 23.
Peter Watkins, Religion Teacher at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, MN, and one of the 28 participants in the Midwest session, enjoyed being reminded of the story of De La Salle and spending time with a community of Lasallians, leaving the gathering with a sense of hope and inspiration.
“Certainly one of the highlights for me was the deepening realization that I am part of a continuing mission with heroic and inspiring beginnings,” said Watkins, who has been a teacher for 25 years. “We were given time and space to journal and ask the big questions, exploring why we do what we do. I also met people with connections in Ethiopia and Bethlehem and in a very real way we began to wonder together how we might deepen our relationships as Lasallians.”
The Johnston Institute is a formation program that focuses on the Lasallian heritage in light of contemporary realities, engaging participants in reflection and discussion on areas of the Lasallian mission, including Lasallian Story and Vision; Lasallian Educational Service to the Poor and the Promotion of Justice; and Lasallian Spirituality, Vocation, and Association.