The Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) marked a milestone with the 175th anniversary of the arrival and permanent establishment of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in North America.
Mass The District of Francophone Canada hosted a celebration for approximately 300 people September 14 in Montréal with a ceremony, Mass, and banquet. The Vicar General of the Diocese of Montréal, four bishops, and several other priests celebrated the Mass, which was held in the Parish Church of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. The church, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, houses the tomb of the Venerable Brother Adolphe Chatillon.
Highlights of the ceremony included three, 10-minute video presentations on topics including the first years of the mission in Montréal, Venerable Brother Adolphe, and prominent Brothers throughout the years in Francophone Canada. The District also honored guests from the United States, including Brother Robert Schieler (General Councilor), Brother Dennis Malloy (District of Eastern North America Visitor), Brother Edward Phelan (District of Eastern North America Auxiliary Visitor), Brother Timothy Coldwell (District of New Orleans-Santa Fe Visitor), Brother David Sinitiere (District of New Orleans-Santa Fe Auxiliary Visitor), Brother Donald Johanson (District of San Francisco Visitor), and Dr. Margaret McCarty (Office of Lasallian Education Executive Director).
DisplayBefore and after Mass, guests toured display tables highlighting the Lasallian Mission in the District from those early days 175 years ago to the present. The interactive display contained a timeline comparing what was happening in the world in general with the arrival and the expansion of the Brothers in North America. The display also featured classroom items and books used in schools, many written by the Brothers, as well as items Brothers invented, many still in use today.
“The exhibitions, liturgy, videos, and banquet prepared and created collaboratively by the Brothers and their Associates, reflected the vitality of Lasallian association that is the reality in the District of Francophone Canada,” said Bro. Robert Schieler. “The day was one of great joy, joy on the faces of all present, joy in the shared experience of remembering what was accomplished in the past, what is being accomplished today in the District, and the confident hope that good things will be accomplished in the years to come for the young and the poor.”
The display stayed in the church for a week after the ceremony. To commemorate the occasion, each guest took home a 50-page souvenir album.