Why De La Salle?
Around the World
As part of one of the largest educational networks in the world, Lasallian education can be found in 109 schools and ministries throughout the United States and Canada.
Since 1680 educational institutions in more than 80 countries have been influenced by the vision and innovative spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the patron saint of teachers. De La Salle transformed education by forming a community of educators with whom he developed a spirituality of teaching and learning, to give a human and Christian education to young people, especially the poor.
Lasallian education centers on Catholic values and personal relationships, emphasizing academic excellence, faith formation, inclusion, respect for the individual, service and social justice. A Lasallian education strives to enrich each student’s cultural, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual development.
The Five Goals of Lasallian education give expression and focus to the Lasallian character of our educational ministries. Each of these five goals reflects an essential aspect of the vision and heritage of St. John Baptist de La Salle, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and the Lasallian mission. They serve as the basis for reflection and discussion in each school, guiding the assessment of the many ways the school embodies the vision of St. John Baptist de La Salle in its practices today through curricular and co-curricular activities.
- We Instill Gospel Values. Ask for the grace to bring about the conversion of the hearts of those in your care. – Meditation 196
- We Are Animated By and Foster a Spirit of Faith and Zeal. You will contribute in your ministry only in so far as you have the fullness of faith and are guided by the spirit of faith. – Meditation 139
- We Develop and Maintain Diverse Programs Meeting Recognized Standards of Excellence. The Institute establishes, renews, and diversifies its works according to what the kingdom of God requires. – The Brothers Rule, Article 11
- We Create and Sustain Respectful Human Relationships in Community. As the only object of those who form a community should be to encourage each other in the service of God, they should strive earnestly to do so, and to live united in heart and mind. – Meditation 113
- We Exercise a Preferential Option for the Poor. For how long has Jesus been presenting himself to you and knocking at the door of your heart and you have not wanted to receive him. Why? Because he only presents himself under the form of a poor person. – Meditation for the Principal Feast 85
De La Salle Collegiate is dedicated to the Lasallian Catholic education of its diverse students, including the poor and disadvantaged. We are a college-preparatory school inspired by the spirit and tradition of St. John Baptist de La Salle, where learning takes place in the presence of God. Each student is encouraged to develop his faith, character, intellect, and morality.
This mission is embodied in the school's motto: Builders of Boys. Makers of Men.
Derived from the Five Core Principles of Lasallian Schools (Quality Education, Inclusive Community, Concern for the Poor/Social Justice, Respect, Faith), these four terms, when used together, make up our DNA that is specifically us.
RESPECTRespect is powerful. At De La Salle Collegiate, it is an expectation as soon as you walk through the door. Respect is earned. Respect is developed. Respect is fueled by unwavering and trusting relationships. With an uncommon level of accountability flooding our hallways day in and day out, we are bound by commitment to do right and thrive, together.
FAITH Faith is plentiful here. Our faith extends far beyond religion, seeping into every aspect of our experience at De La Salle Collegiate. We have faith in one another, in our systems and processes, in our mission, in our values, and in our purpose. We have faith in our excellence and our determination.
INCLUSIVITYInclusivity is in our fabric. We believe in dynamic groups of students, staff, families, and perspectives. We believe in equality and equity. We believe there is opportunity for all students to not only be here, but to thrive here. There is a place for you at De La Salle. Come and claim it.
QUALITY EDUCATIONQuality education is who we are. We are redefining academic rigor every single day. We take the prestige of a highly academic institution and apply it to every aspect of the De La Salle experience.
Today, the De La Salle Christian Brothers and their Lasallian partners continue to respond to students through advancements in teaching, technology and scholarship. In Lasallian communities, educators touch hearts, stimulate minds and cultivate leadership to prepare students for life, work, and service to society and the Church.
De La Salle Collegiate was founded on the religious tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and animated by the educational vision of St. John Baptist de La Salle. De La Salle Collegiate provides a quality education in an atmosphere that incorporates Gospel values. Our De La Salle community places special emphasis on those school activities that proclaim Christ’s message of salvation and provide opportunities to practice that message. The preeminence of Lasallian mission and the centrality of Christ in daily life at De La Salle is illustrated by the call and response from teacher to students at the beginning of classes:
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle,
Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts,
St. John Baptist de La Salle was canonized as a saint in 1900 and declared the patron saint of teachers in 1950. He lived in 17th-18th century France and founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Reims in 1680. The culture of France at the time was hierarchical, with a small upper class and a large under class. De La Salle was a priest, who founded the Brothers as a non-clerical religious community, with the purpose of providing a Christian and human education to the young, especially the poor.
His genius lay in organizing the schools, training and supervising teachers, and adapting various educational methodologies, thereby elevating the lay ministry of teaching within the Church. -Touching The Hearts of Students; Characteristics of Lasallian Schools, Van Grieken, FSC, 1999.
The relationship between the teacher and student was most important to de La Salle. The Brothers were to know their students, in order to help them individually. They chose the name “Brothers” as opposed to “Masters,” which is what teachers were called at the time. Thus, the Brothers were older brothers to their students.
De La Salle and his Brothers believed that the education they provided was to be practical, providing the students with skills needed to find work in French society. This education was also to be free, since most students could not afford to pay anything. At the same time, the Brothers stressed Christian morality and values, in order to bring these “badly brought up children” to salvation.
The end of this Institute is to give a Christian education to children; it is for this purpose the Brothers keep schools, that they may teach them to lead good lives, by instructing them in the mysteries of our holy religion, and by inspiring them with Christian maxims, and thus giving them a suitable education. -Chapter 1, 3; Common Rules of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, 1718
The educational philosophy enunciated by de La Salle over 300 years ago has borne fruit around the world. Today, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, assisted by more than 85,000 Lasallian partners, teach over 940,000 students in 82 countries. John Baptist de La Salle’s emphasis on a close, caring and personal relationship with students, the centrality of Christ, and the focus on serving a wide-range of students, are characteristics of Lasallian schools around the world.
Likewise, this educational philosophy is central to the life of De La Salle Collegiate.
VISITS FROM THE VOCATION DIRECTOR
The Vocation Director for the Christian Brothers, visits each of the province’s Lasallian high schools at least twice a year, speaking to senior students in the fall and to junior students in the spring. These visits are to highlight the vocation of the Brothers to our students and to invite the young men to consider the possibility that God is calling them to a religious vocation, particularly to the Brothers.
Entering religious life is a process that takes several years. While some religious communities still accept candidates right after high school graduation, the Brothers do not.
For the Brothers, no young man is accepted without at least two years of college completed and at least one year in its Contact Program. This is to give young men time to mature and learn more about the life of the Brothers before making the second stage of discernment called postulancy.
As a college contact, the student attends the college of his choice and pursues the major of his choice, while participating in a variety of activities with the Brothers. These activities include regular meetings with a Contact Brother specifically assigned for these meetings, annual retreats, visiting Brother’s schools and communities when possible, attending gatherings with other Contacts, and possible summer employment at a work of the Brothers.
Many young men join the program and find that there is a greater level of engagement than the degree of their interest and decide to withdraw from the program. For others, the program allows for an incremental search for a vocation that can lead to an application to formally join the Brothers, or the choice of a priestly or other lay vocation. This period can last from two to four years, depending on the Contact.