UPDATED MARCH 31, 2020
Lasallians throughout the world are responding to COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019. In the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN), schools have been following local and national advice and most have proactively closed their doors to promote the health and well-being of students, faculty and staff. A number have shifted to online learning. The Districts are supporting ministries in their efforts, and they are closely monitoring and caring for the health and needs of Brothers in their communities.
Brother Superior General Robert Schieler, FSC, invited Lasallians to join him in praying this prayer, released on March 20. He shared a letter with Brothers on March 17, encouraging prayer and action, writing, “As we hold one another in prayer let us pray for all those suffering from this virus, those families who have lost loved ones and for the many doctors, nurses and first-responders putting their own health at risk. May Our Lord protect them as they protect us. Let us take concrete actions to ensure that no one is forgotten or overlooked within our own community, extending into the educational community and then into the District and Delegation. There are many proactive decisions we can take to contain and mitigate the virus; let us do everything in our power to prepare for its impact.”
As the number of cancellations and changes mount, Lasallian schools are sharing plans, resources and reassuring messages to support the young people entrusted to their care, along with their families, faculty and staff.
“La Salle is uniquely positioned to offer this high-quality continuing education to our students,” wrote Andrew Kuffner, president/principal of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory in Milwaukie, Oregon, in a March 16 message announcing the school’s shift to digital learning. “Our teachers are practiced and trained do deliver it, and we have ensured that all of our students have the access and chance to continue learning uninterrupted.”
“I want you to know that we will get through this,” Dr. Colleen M. Hanycz, president of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, wrote in a March 16 message to the university community. La Salle has suspended face-to-face activities, implemented remote work for employees and will start online learning in late March. “This is a fluid situation, and I recognize that the pace of new information and decisions can feel overwhelming. It’s incredibly important that you continue to take care of yourselves and one another during this difficult time.”
Brother Timothy Coldwell, FSC, General Councilor for RELAN, offers encouragement for our shared efforts to remain healthy for ourselves and for one another in community and ministry.
In addition to schools, a number of events, gatherings and meetings throughout the Region have been postponed, canceled or moved online. Changes include:
- Pastoral visit of the Superior General to the District of San Francisco New Orleans and the Midwest District (March 2-29) – postponed
- District gatherings of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice (March 12-14, March 19-21) – canceled
- Meeting of Superior General, General Councilors and the Regional Conference of Christian Brothers (April 1-3) – postponed
- Lasallian Volunteers 30th Anniversary Mass and Gala (April 25) – postponed
- International Mission Assembly (May 4-15) – rescheduled to September 21 – October 2
- Lasallian University Leadership Program sponsored by the International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU) (May 31 – June 13) – rescheduled to January 10-23, 2021
- Lasallian Higher Education Colloquy on Racial Justice sponsored by the Lasallian Association of Colleges and Universities (LACU) (June 2-4) – postponed
- Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies (June 28 – July 11) – canceled
- Regional gathering of the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice (July 13-17) – postponed
- Lasallian Student Leadership and Global Understanding sponsored by IALU (July 5-18) – canceled
- Lasallian Social Justice Institute (July 19-15) – canceled, will be rescheduled for summer 2021
Visit the Districts’ website to learn more about responses, scheduling changes and resources:
- District of San Francisco New Orleans
- District of Eastern North America
- Midwest District
- District of Francophone Canada: Ministries in the District are closed until the end of the month in order to comply with the social distancing directive. The infirmary community in Laval, Québec, and the Brothers’ communities have been quarantined due to the vulnerability of the elderly. In order to help the health care staff, a daycare center has been set up for their children to enable them to carry out their work.
For more information on COVID-19 and resources on staying healthy, visit: