Brothers in various stages of initial formation across the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) reconnected in Napa, CA March 16-19, 2017. The twice-annual gathering brought together Brothers from the three United States Districts (Provinces) of the Brothers of the Christian Schools who currently are/will be postulants, novices, or in temporary profession, as well as the Brothers who accompany them in their formation.
The gatherings focus on different aspects of the Brothers’ vocation and provide formative opportunities for the Brothers to deepen their vocational call and do so in community with their Brothers from across the country. This gathering focused on the topic of apostolic spirituality, asking the question, “how do we as Brothers bring a sense and practice of spirituality to our students and the colleagues we partner with, as well as learn from them?”.
Brother Dan Fenton, FSC who currently lives and serves the various needs of the boys at Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center in the Philippines, and Brother Dat Hoang, FSC who currently serves on the staff of the Pacific-Asia Regional Novitiate, facilitated the retreat.
“I appreciated Brother Dan using the analogy of the wholly organic farm to talk about apostolic spirituality”, said Brother Javier Hansen, FSC from the District of San Francisco New Orleans, who currently lives and ministers in El Paso, Texas. “With my background, it gave me a deeper appreciation of where I am from and how I can incorporate that into my spirituality and ministry”.
“Brothers Dan and Dat provided a really helpful way to live out an active spirituality that not only compliments but feeds ministry”, said Brother Dylan Perry, a postulant of the Midwest District, who currently lives and ministers in Tulsa, OK. “Using personal examples and insights they facilitated an understanding of apostolic spirituality that inspired me to live out my call as a Brother”.
In addition to the formative workshop time, the Brothers had opportunities to be together in community, prayer, and enjoy the nature surrounding them in Napa.
“Napa is a beautiful place and I enjoyed sharing time with the Brothers”, said Brother Martin Montoya, who is currently living, studying, and ministering at Lewis University in the Midwest District. “Being with my Brothers was the best part … we prayed, we spoke, we made fun”.
Some of the Brothers in initial formation will transition over the summer and begin their Novitiate in Chicago, IL during August.
“The highlight for me was meeting with the group of soon to be novices that will be my community next year. To discuss the details of my novitiate year and meet with the Brothers that I will be on that journey with has made me even more excited about the next stage in my formation,” said Brother Dylan.