The Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies is an intensive Lasallian education and formation program that studies the life, work and spirituality of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and the origins of the Lasallian educational mission. Through an examination of the writings of De La Salle and an analysis of some modern educators, participants develop a deeper understanding of the Lasallian heritage and its influence on contemporary education and spirituality.
The Buttimer Institute is designed to inspire participants to delve more thoroughly into the Lasallian founding story and discover the basis of their vocation as educators. The program also seeks to deepen the participants’ association for the Lasallian mission and provide skills to become catalysts in their own ministries. The Buttimer Institute is a three-year program. Courses are conducted for three consecutive summers, in two-week durations.
Started in 1986, the Buttimer Institute is named in honor of Brother Charles Henry Buttimer, FSC (1909-1982), the first American—and the first non-French Brother—Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (1966-1976).
Course of Study
- Year One: The Founding Story: Participants are introduced to a detailed study of the life and person of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the historical and ecclesial context of the time in which he lived. The story of the origins of the Institute is presented through readings and discussions of original biographical and autobiographical texts, and The Letters. The course also takes up the theme of the vocational journey of the educator through an examination of the writings of contemporary scholars.
- Year Two: De La Salle’s Educational Vision: Participants can expect to examine the educational vision of St. John Baptist de La Salle through a reading of The Conduct of the Christian Schools and other primary texts. Participants study the pedagogical and catechetical writings of De La Salle and analyze these writings in terms of the contemporary Lasallian educational mission.
- Year Three: De La Salle’s Spiritual Vision: In the final year participants are immersed in the spiritual writings of De La Salle, particularly through an examination of Meditations and Explanation of the Method of Interior Prayer. This session integrates Lasallian spirituality with the themes of the previous two years, and invites participants to allow Lasallian spirituality to influence and enhance their own personal spirituality.
- Practicum: Participants are asked to enroll in a co-curricular activity that addresses the needs of the Lasallian Educational Community. The practicum will provide skills and ideas for strengthening the Lasallian mission in one’s own ministry. Participants will select one of the following practicums and remain in the practicum they select for each of the three years of Buttimer:
- Lasallian Mission Coordinators/Animators
- Lasallian Presentation Resources
- Lasallian Research
- Young Lasallians
- Lasallian Association
“Words cannot describe the experience you receive at Buttimer. It’s more than a learning experience. It is a joyful feeling, a spark of passion, and a family-forming community. You leave feeling on fire to return to your ministry.”
— Shannon Denton, teacher, Christian Brothers School in New Orleans, Louisiana