This weekend we will celebrate the 300th anniversary of St. John Baptist De La Salle’s death on Sunday, April 7. That day in 1719 was Good Friday. At our Founder’s Day Mass on Thursday the Brothers from CBHS and CBU and three visiting Brothers from Chicago, including Brother Auxiliary Visitor Bede Baldry and Brother Thomas Johnson, Novice Master for Brothers Mark and Matthew last year, all renewed their vows. Being a witness to their recommitment to the education of the young is always an inspiring moment for all in attendance. I encourage you to ask your son about the ceremony and discuss his perceptions and observations of this occasion.
It is my hope and prayer that the boys understand, and are inspired by, the commitment that is made by these men. Brothers Mark and Matthew professed their annual vows as young Brothers as they continue their journey toward making final vows in a few years. As I watched the vow renewal ceremony unfold, the word “commitment” was at the forefront of my thoughts. Seeing Br. Joel, Br. Mike, Br. Roman, Br. Phil, Br. Henry, Br. William, Br. Ignatius, and several others renew their vows just as thousands of Brothers have done for 300 years is a humbling and inspiring experience.
After Mass Thursday, Br. Robert Werle, the former archivist for the Midwest District, said over 550 men have come through Memphis and served as Brothers of the Christian Schools since 1871. We have so much to celebrate and for which to be grateful this April week as part of our Lasallian mission, especially the Brothers who have impacted the lives of generations of young men in our great city. It is my hope that some of our students will feel and accept the call of God to become Christian Brothers and carry on the great life and work of St. John Baptist De La Salle 300 years after his departure to heaven.