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Lasallian Webinars

Professional development has gone virtual! Throughout this past year, Lasallian educators have explored timely topics through free professional development opportunities. Dynamic speakers have addressed issues complicated by coronavirus, including relationships, legal considerations, trauma-informed care and restorative practices. All sessions are applicable for all educational ministries, from higher education to youth and family services. 

Dr. Josh Packard

August 5, 4:00 p.m. Eastern
“The State of Religion and Young People: Relational Authority.”

Dr. Josh Packard will present “The State of Religion and Young People: Relational Authority.” He will reveal why relational authority is the only kind of authority that matters in the lives of young people and what kind of mentorship has the biggest impact on the youth.

Dr. Josh Packard, executive director of Springtide Research Institute, is an accomplished speaker, writer, teacher and researcher who specializes in sociology of religion and new forms of religious expression. Dr. Packard received his doctorate in sociology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Packard shares his skills, talents and expertise in education and research through speaking engagements, podcasts, radio shows, professional development and workshops.

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Dr. Robert Wicks, Psy.D.

July 29, 4:00 p.m. Eastern
“Dragon Riding Lessons: Strengthening Your Inner Life in Challenging Times.”

Dr. Robert Wicks, Psy.D., will present “Dragon Riding Lessons: Strengthening Your Inner Life in Challenging Times.” He will dive deep into a discussion on the psychological and classic spiritual approaches to staying resilient and maintaining a healthy perspective during challenging times.

Dr. Robert Wicks, Psy.D., is an author, professor and public speaker who has presented on resilience, self-care and the prevention of secondary stress at countless universities, health and government organizations. Dr. Wicks received his doctorate in psychology from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a professor emeritus at Loyola University Maryland, along with having taught at other universities in their schools of psychology, medicine, nursing, theology, education, business and social work. Dr. Wicks has authored over 50 books including best seller, Riding the Dragon.

Jolleen Wagner

February 11, 6:00 p.m. Eastern
Restorative Practices: The Basics

The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) outlines the following articulation of restorative practices: All humans are hardwired to connect. Just as we need food, shelter and clothing, human beings also need strong and meaningful relationships to thrive. “Restorative Practices” is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities. Though new to the social sciences, restorative practices has deep roots within indigenous communities throughout the world” ( Knowledge and use of restorative practices is in line with a prioritization of dignity. During this webinar, participants will learn more about what Restorative Practices are, whom Restorative Practices are for and the “why” behind Restorative Practices.

February 25, 6:00 p.m. Eastern and March 8, 6:00 p.m. Eastern
Restorative Practices Listening Circle: Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Educators and Educations

With roots in indigenous cultures around the world, listening circles provide people an opportunity to speak and listen to each other in an atmosphere of safety, decorum and equality. Listening circles emphasize storytelling for cultivating empathy. To help people gain a shared sense of understanding and emotional connection, these circles can be used in communities, workplaces, schools, organizations, neighborhoods, universities and families ( During this listening circle, Jolleen Wagner will facilitate a conversation on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on educators and education. Come ready to engage with colleagues in this listening circle experience.

Jolleen Wagner, is a chief character initiatives officer of the Brilla Schools Network. Jolleen shares her skills, talents and expertise in education and service through speaking engagements, professional development and workshops. In addition, Jolleen is a restorative practices IIRP licensed trainer. After serving for three years as a Lasallian Volunteer and teacher at the San Miguel School – Gary Comer Campus in Chicago, Jolleen became the Lasallian Volunteers’ associate director in 2007 and served as director from 2011-2015. She was responsible for the vision and guidance of a faith-based, long-term volunteer program focused on service to at-risk populations through education and social services. In addition to her work for Lasallian Volunteers, Jolleen has been called upon by the De La Salle Christian Brothers to help evaluate existing and develop new formation programs, lead and design immersion trips, and present at and facilitate various events focused on faith, service and community internationally. When she was a member of the International Council of Young Lasallians and the chair of the Regional Young Lasallian Committee, she led at the international and Regional levels to illuminate and invigorate the Young Lasallian voice for the future of the mission of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. A native of Green Island, New York, Jolleen graduated with a bachelor of arts in English from Siena College in 2004, where she was honored in 2014 with the Franciscan Spirit Award, a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Roy Petitfils, MS

July 28, 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Beyond PTSD: How the New Science of Trauma Will Help Us Better Understand, Reach and Influence those Entrusted to our Care

There have been no greater advances in psychotherapy in the past 10 years than those that have been made in the field of trauma. In this session, Roy Petitfils will discuss how various forms of traumatic stress, such as events, cultural trauma, chronic stress and even generational trauma, affect the mind, heart body and soul. Participants will learn to recognize previously undetected symptoms of trauma and learn the critical elements of building a traumainformed faith community. 

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Powerpoint Slides

September 15, 7:00 p.m. Eastern
Strong in the Broken Places: Helping Students, Clients and Families Who Have and Are Experiencing Trauma Heal and Grow in Resilience

When we see our students as part of a family system, we can better understand how trauma in the family can affect each individual. Participants will learn about tools to offer parents to help them recognize trauma in themselves and in their children and empower them to develop the skillset to shape a resilient child and family. 

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Powerpoint Slides

September 22, 7:00 p.m. Eastern
From Wounds to Wisdom: How to Carry our Own Wounds While Helping to Heal Those of Others

In addition to your own trauma, the vast majority of educators and helpers experience vicarious trauma as we become present to the pain of others. This is no small thing, and it exacts a toll on our bodies and spirits. In this session, participants will learn how to bracket and use their own wounds to offer wisdom to others. Participants will also learn to recognize the often subtle drain of vicarious trauma and spiritual and physical practices to address it in their lives and ministries.

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Powerpoint Slides

Roy Petitfils, MS, is a licensed counselor at Pax Renewal Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Petitfils studied ministry and spirituality at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas and holds a master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Louisiana. He has worked with youth and young adults for more than 20 years as a minister, teacher, school administrator, school counselor and now as a counselor in private practice. He specializes in counseling teens and young adults. Petitfils regularly consults with churches, publishers and organizations to help them more effectively reach and minister to youth and young adults. He is an expert at raising and understanding teenagers.Petitfils has published four books, including his most recent What Teens Want You to Know (But Don’t Tell You). Petitfils’ blue-collar roots, natural humor, contagious enthusiasm and diverse personal and professional background have made him an internationally sought after presenter and trainer. Petitfils lives with his wife of 13 years, Mindi, and their two sons, Max and Benjamin, in Youngsville, Louisiana.

Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN, JD, Ph.D.

July 21, 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Navigating the Legal Landscape in a Coronavirus World

Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy will bring her wit and wisdom to the Lasallian family as our ministries begin to move beyond the initial crises caused by COVID-19 and subsequent shutdowns. A recognized scholar, teacher and leader in the field of Catholic school law, Sister Mary Angela will look at some of the complex issues facing schools, teachers and staff as many schools plan for some type of physical opening for the 2020-2021 academic year. While of interest to all Lasallian educators, this session may be of particular interest to those serving in our K-12 ministries.

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Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN, JD, Ph.D., is a Sister of Charity of Nazareth who has taught at all levels of Catholic education from elementary through graduate school. For the past 30 years, she has served in a number of administrative roles in Catholic higher education, as well as teaching. Sister Mary Angela is considered to be an expert on Catholic education and the law in the United States. She has been named one of the 25 most influential persons in Catholic education, and in April 2016, she received the National Catholic Educational Association’s J. Albert Koob Merit Award, which is given to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to Catholic education. Sister Mary Angela currently serves at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, as a senior distinguished fellow.

Ann Garrido, D.Min.

July 14, 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Tending to the Relationships that Matter Most During COVID-19

The first half of 2020 has been a time we will never forget. COVID-19. Racial violence and protests. Political chaos. As many of us work from home in close quarters with others also trying to work, study and live in those same homes, it is easy for the discord of the wider world to find its way into our living spaces, creating tension with the very people we value most. In this time, we can turn to Saint John Baptist de La Salle—recalling that he, too, once struggled with the challenge of helping a diverse group of people live and work in close quarters with one another. Drawing on the wisdom of our founder, Ann Garrido will talk about simple ways in which we can best tend to the relationships that matter most to us during a very stressful time.

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Ann Garrido, D.Min., is a theologian, conflict mediator and author of several award-winning books, including Redeeming Administration and Redeeming Conflict. Her newest book, Let’s Talk about Truth: A Guide for Preachers, Teachers, and Other Catholic Leaders in a World of Doubt and Discord was released just in time for the pandemic. She will be speaking to us from her closet in Miami, Florida, because it is less likely that her husband will wander by shirtless in there.