Christian Brothers

Who was John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools?

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He was a French priest in the 17th century who came from a well-to-do family and was on the fast-track of a priestly career when he became involved with a group of men who were teaching poor children in parish charity schools. Within about five years he became completely devoted to the education of these children and to the training of these men, forming them into a dedicated, competent, committed, and holy group of educators whose whole lives were dedicated to the ministry of teaching, to the students entrusted to their care, to each other, and through all of these … to God.

The Patron Saint of Teachers in the Catholic Church

John Baptist de La Salle was canonized as a saint on May 15, 1900, and his statue stands inthe middle of nave of St. Peter’s in Rome (right side, top level). Exactly fifty years later, in 1950, Pope Pius XII declared him to be the “Special Patron of All Teachers of Youth” in the Catholic Church. Today, throughout the Lasallian world, May 15th is the day when his legacy, his heritage, and his charism are celebrated.

Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, 1651-1719

Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, 1651-1719

The secret of Saint La Salle’s success as founder of what is now a world wide system of schools was his strong prayer life, and the teaching he passed down to his Christian Brothers, and their students. For an explanation of this effective method, see the text of Brother Brian Dybowski’s talk describing Saint La Salle’s prayer method, called “How to Pray More Perfectly: A Method for Growth in Christ”, available on the following page.

One Response to Christian Brothers

  1. Having attended as a resident and graduating from St. Paul’s High School in Covington, Louisiana in 1972, I want to say my St. Paul’s experience for 2 academic years changed the path of my life … in fact, I attribute the experience as having saved my life. Perhaps that seems a reach… that is certainly possible and perhaps likely response… Allow me briefly elaborate. I struggled in my education as I bounced between Primary school with the Marianites of the Holy Cross, the Christian Brothers at Hanson Memorial and the public school system. Every day of my education with the religious Sisters and Brothers helped form me in ways I live today. Always having the call to be a father, Holy Matrimony (41 graced years), 3 sons, their wives and a total of 5 grandkids would not have happened, without the example of the Brothers. As you know, God is quite the miracle worker… in 2000 A. D. I was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate, serving in the Austin, Texas Diocese. Yes… isn’t our Lord a fun guy! There are no words.. but know you and those brave men, Brothers, who answered God’s call and turned at least one guy’s life around. I will be 63 in May, 2017, serving God’s folks of St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption in West, Texas.

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