Once you work or study in a Lasallian school long enough to feel and live its Charism, you become so amazed by it that you wish others to feel the same. At least, that was what happened to me.
I’m Carina Falcão Matteu, I’m 29 years old now and I’ve been a Lasallian for about 19 years. The Lasallian philosophy is within me so deeply that in 2017 I started my Master’s Degree Course and decided to share my experience with others around our community.
I live in the south of Brazil, in a place called Rio Grande do Sul. Here we have a great La Salle University Campus which is connected to a La Salle School Campus, where I teach. That means we are in a large area in which parents and their children from Elementary School walk around, as well as teenagers from Secondary School, but also young adults starting their Undergraduate Courses. This means that our Campus is full of young people, most of them from 5 to 20 years old. And how can we really engage these people in our Community? How can they really feel they belong in here? How can they feel the Lasallian Charism?
Thinking about those questions I’ve noticed that all around our Campus we have images and paintings of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. However, those images are the witness of the 17th century society, representing an old style of education that doesn’t mean anything to the young people today.
From this background I came up with the idea of creating a new painting. A kind of art that could talk to the younger generation, a kind of art that could be meaningful and touching for them in a way that both made them really feel our Charism, and also made them proud of being Lasallians. That was how the painting called CHARISM was born. I deeply studied the Lasallian Philosophy and pointed out some of its most important aspects: the diversity among our communities, the respect to others, the joy shared among us… Also, I pointed out that all of that came from our founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle and those aspects, when turned into actions, became what we call Charism – the one thing that should be present in every community and in the hearts of all Lasallians.
Eventually, all things that I pointed out were captured by Jackson Brum, a graffiti artist who painted the CHARISM for us, here in Brazil. The CHARISM is a large moving pannel which is traveling around our Campus to make sure everybody will see it and somehow connect even more to our Lassalian Philosophy, spreading love, respect and joy around our Campus.
Furthermore, the CHARISM celebrates the Jubilee of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, so it is also our way to honor our founder and make him even more present in our Community, through this painting that shows our loyalty to our past and our history, but also shows our minds in the present and our eyes in the future engaging youngsters to join our endless mission.
Carina Falcão Matteu, English Language teacher at La Salle Canoas and a Master’s Degree student at La Salle University Brazil.