Deputy Director at De La Salle College, Thessaloniki
Greece is part of the RELEM (Lasallian Region of Europe and Mediterranean) and it is included in the District of France together with Switzerland and Reunion Island.
In this Country there are two communities of Brothers with four members in all (Hermoupolis Syros and Asvestochory) and four works in Alimos, Hermoupolis Syros, Pirea and Pefka Thesalonique. There are two other establishments of the Ursuline Sisters in Athen (a Primary School and a College).
On the occasion of the celebration of the tercentenary from the death of the Founder, John Baptist de La Salle, in the past days the theatrical production of “The Life and Mission of Jean Baptiste De La Salle, 300 years” was presented in the packed Events Hall at De La Salle College.
The production brought to life the story of the boy born in 1651 in Reims, France, who assisted in people’s salvation, was ordained, bravely and selflessly gave all his wealth to the indigent and, in true form of an innovative educator, devoted his life to teaching.
The audience followed the journey of a role model through the past, present and future, via deconstructed facts and commentary that allowed for a more experimental setting into an everlasting journey. Within the play, alternating episodes directed in a cinematic fashion took the audience through the birth and coming of age of Jean Baptiste De La Salle in a society rife with conflict, such as the one in France at that time, to the foundation and establishment of his schools, the attacks on him at the hands of his opponents, up to the evaluation of his life just before his death.
Some 500 guests, parents and alumni enthusiastically applauded over 100 students, teachers and graduates who were part of the play and helped commemorate the 300th anniversary of Jean Baptiste De La Salle’s death, thus completing the 2019 festivities in all Lasallian schools in Greece. Brothers Nicolas and Marios, the President of the Lasallian mission in Greece, Stavroula Kanellopoulou, the General Director of Saint-Paul in Piraeus and De La Salle, Alimos Mr Antonis Rigoutsos, the presidents of the Parents and Guardian Associations, as well as alumni members, all graced us with their presence.
In his welcoming speech, the General Director of De La Salle College in Thessaloniki, Mr. Ioannis Papadopoulos, greeted the entire Lasallian family and congratulated all those who contributed in the production. All attendees were given a book of stories in French about the life of Jean Baptiste De La Salle, as well as 300-year commemorative t-shirts bearing the logo “One Heart, One Commitment, One Life.”
300 years and on, love, solidarity, acceptance and respect for diversity, along with caring for those who are vulnerable, remain as the fundamental tenets of Lasallian schooling and education, touching the hearts of children and adults and giving meaning to their lives.