Three Novices from the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) professed their first vows in July 2023. Brother Matthew Chiantella, FSC, and Brother Halen Gamino, FSC, from the District of San Francisco New Orleans (SFNO) made first vows in a Liturgy of First Profession celebrated on July 23 at Mont La Salle in Napa, California. Brother Michael Phipps, FSC, from the Midwest District, professed his first vows in a ceremony on July 26 at the National Shrine of St. Therese in Darien, Illinois.
Brother Matthew previously taught at De La Salle High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as Saint Mary’s College High School, where he lived in community throughout his aspirancy and postulancy in Berkeley, California. Moving forward, Brother Matthew is assigned to the San Miguel Brothers’ Community in Tucson, Arizona, and will serve as the director of student life at San Miguel High School.
Brother Matthew offered in gratitude to those in attendance at the profession, “I am surrounded by family and friends and Brothers who put love and care first. To everyone here who has been with me on this journey, from De La Salle New Orleans to Saint Mary’s College High School, you have been and continue to be a gift for me on this incredible faith journey. I truly believe we are reflecting God’s generous love to one another.”
Brother Halen is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California. Throughout his aspirancy and postulancy, he lived in the Cathedral High School community in El Paso, Texas. Brother Halen is assigned to the Brothers’ Community at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, California, where he will serve as a math teacher.
“When I got to Saint Mary’s College,” Brother Halen recalled during a luncheon following the ceremony, “you (Brothers) invited me to share a meal with you. You became my Brothers. You’ve accompanied me ever since. Through prayer and invitation, God asked me if I could be a Brother like you. From that yes to another and to many more in the future, I know that you will accompany me and be Brother with me.”
Brother Michael is a graduate of both La Salle High School in Yakima, Washington, and Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. He served as a Lasallian Volunteer (LV) at the San Miguel School of Providence in Rhode Island and later served on the LV staff. Brother Michael will continue to serve the Cretin-Derham Hall community in St. Paul, Minnesota, as a school counselor.
Brother Michael shared, “The experience of making first vows borders on the indescribable, a single event that embodies years of small steps and subtle choices. Sitting between two fellow Brothers in initial formation with a host of perpetually vowed Brothers at my back, I felt at peace, like I was home. In our world, peace can be difficult to find, an elusive goal often just out of reach. And yet, standing before my Brothers, family and friends proclaiming consecration to the Trinity and commitment to the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a calm humility washed over me, an acquiescence to God’s will for my life.”
Please pray for these Brothers as they continue their vocational journeys.