The District of Eastern North America (DENA) hosted its first VEGA Workshop July 24-28 at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD with 39 Young Lasallians in attendance, including two from the San Francisco District and one from the New Orleans-Santa Fe District.
The workshop’s goal was to foster association for mission and give younger Lasallian educators an idea of what it will take to keep Lasallian education strong in the future. VEGA, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, is an Italian acronym for the words Vedere, Guiudicare, Agire: see, judge, act. The workshop is a continuing response to the call of the Institute to provide a particular space for educative and formative experiences for Lasallians between 22-35 years old. The gathering included engaging presentations on St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Institute’s origins, Lasallian association, spirituality and mission; service learning; prayer and reflection; and social opportunities.
“Formation programs like this give me that energy to keep doing what I’m doing,” said Sophia Cartagena, a Behavioral Assistant at Tides Family Services in Rhode Island and former Lasallian Volunteer.
“I came to this gathering for the fellowship,” said Matthew Gill, a Mental Health Worker at St. Gabriel’s Hall in Audubon, PA. “I am passionate about doing what we do for the boys for the right reasons.”
Lydia Vincent, an Administrative Assistant at Martin de Porres Springfield Gardens Elementary Middle School, helped plan this event and was excited about what she would take away. “The ability to gain a greater understanding of who we are as Lasallians and as Lasallian schools, what makes us different, what sets us apart,” she said. “Just understanding and identifying my purpose and role going forward and working for a school like I do.”
DENA Visitor Brother Dennis Malloy said the inaugural workshop exceeded the District’s expectations because it was initially planned for 20 participants and drew 39. “It really speaks to their sense of belonging to something larger than themselves,” Bro. Dennis said. “It also speaks to their wanting to be a part of the Church in a very charismatic way and not just in a traditional way of understanding what church is.”
“The gathering is about faith and hope, and helps Young Lasallians deepen their sense of faith and Lasallian journey,” Bro. Dennis explained.
He looks forward to future gatherings. “The possibilities for connections to grow out of this gathering—and any other Lasallian gathering—are the connections that people make with one another, and all of the different forms of association that begin to blossom and to have life as a result of people coming together.”
The Young Lasallians left the VEGA Workshop highly inspired and excited about connecting with other Lasallians.