Approximately 35 Young Lasallians in the United States and Toronto Region gathered at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee for a unique formation experience. The event, from June 20 to 26, was the first assembly of Lasallians in the Region between the ages of 21-35.
The gathering was initiated at the Institute level with the theme VEGA (the brightest star). It is an acronym for the Italian words Vedere, Giudicare, Agire, which means to see, to judge, to act. The event aims to foster the growth of the Young Lasallian movement in the Region and in the world, provide formation, and strengthen networking.
Margaret Naughton, Campus Minister and Coach at La Salle Academy in Providence, RI, said the experience made her more aware of the vastness of the Lasallian world and how her work fits. “The thing that struck me the most about the week was how concrete it made the idea of association. When I looked around the room during our sessions, I was amazed at how diverse our ministries are.”
“There is something very moving about gathering with a group of people who share your passion for the work you are involved in and a work that gives you great joy,” said Brandon Birr, Teacher at La Salle High School in Pasadena, CA. “I left the gathering with a sense of renewed hope, purpose, and conviction.”
Brother Bob Schieler, General Councilor, who helped plan the event and delivered opening remarks, called the gathering energizing and powerful. He said the gathering provided a chance to find future leaders for the Mission faced with the dwindling number of Brothers. “In order to have the kinds of leadership we want, they need the kind of depth of formation that the Brothers traditionally may have received, and Brothers still do, in the Novitiate,” he said.
At the end of the gathering, Young Lasallians were given a “tool kit” of information to help them develop formation experiences for Young Lasallians, Lasallian Collegians, and Lasallian Youth in their District or ministry.
The first Young Lasallian Regional gathering was held in the European Region (Région Lasallienne Européenne-Méditerranéenne) in 2009. The PARC Region (Pacific-Asia Regional Conference) will be the next Region to host a similar gathering.