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Johnston Institute Reflection from Sera Maraka, Bethlehem University Student

Sera Maraka, a Bethlehem University senior who is interning at Christian Brothers Conference this summer, attended the District of Eastern North America’s session of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice 

The time I’ve spent at the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice was an eye opener and inspiring. One of the things that drew me to Bethlehem University was its Lasallian mission and values that I identify with. At this event, I gained a deeper meaning and understanding of the Lasallian mission, how it started, why it exists, and how we can make educators more involved in it. Also, it has strengthened my Lasallian belonging, and I truly believe that educators in a Lasallian setting care about the whole person, not just their academics, but their social and emotional well-being as well.  

During the time spent there, we went over many Lasallian related topics, but one of the things that spoke to me was awakening the awareness of the vocational journey under the Lasallian vision, both generally and on a personal level, since in this chaotic world we sometimes get tangled in life and we lose our calling and path, it’s so important to reflect and follow God’s calling. Moreover, we dived deeper into the mission’s history, and the influence of the Lasallian educational institutions, their goals and how we can involve the mission deeper into the educational system. I believe teaching takes heart and soul and through faith we can achieve our goals and reach our full potential.  

These four days made me come to the realization, around campus as students, we don’t really discuss the mission and values, and I think is pretty empowering to get involved and embrace the mission. Soit has motivated and inspired me to create a Lasallian club in campus once I get back home, since I want to continue being part of a group of people who value faith, service, and community and want to make a difference in the lives of others. 

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