Br. Paco Chiva, FSC
Six months ago in Rome, we set up an international group of Lasallians to reflect on ways for deeping our Lasallian spirituality. The group comprises twelve people from the five Regions of the Institute, Brothers and Lay Lasallians, men and women, who have had some Lasallian formation and are especially interested in matters of spirituality.
Before bringing the group together, the staffs of the Secretariat for Association and of the Secretariat for Research and Resources sought information from those in charge of formation in every one of the 33 Districts in the Lasallian world. We asked them about the programmes they are running in spirituality, the materials they are using, the priorities they have, the needs they feel. In the light of their answers to those questions, we can see that Districts perceive a great need to develop more programmes for deepening Lasallian spirituality (according to 78 percent of the replies).
We also asked Districts to say what they thought would be useful for improving people’s understanding of Lasallian spirituality. The following table indicates numerically the strength of the different options:
The International group has now begun its work on the basis of the results of the enquiry. The pandemic has prevented us from meeting face to face, but we have organised our work through video-conferences, and we have identified the questions we believe need answering before attempting to work on designing programmes or creating resources. In what follows, we share with you the more important questions that we are currently dealing with.
- How can we design a spirituality based on an approach that is open and inclusive?
- How can we talk about a Christian spirituality, and at the same time maintain a dialogue with the people of other faiths who are present in our schools as pupils or educators?
- How can we adapt a spirituality which originated within the religious life but is now being made available to Lay Lasallians?
- What are the essential features and principles of a Lasallian spirituality for the 21st century?
- Why do we need to talk about spirituality as part of the mission? How do we do so?
- How can we be faithful and creative in the specific details of the spirituality that we offer?
- How can spirituality be deepened as part of the development of Lasallian Association?
- What kind of new language would help us to express Lasallian Spirituality?
Within the coming year, we hope to be able to offer to the above questions some agreed answers that are simple, inspiring and of course specific answers which will energise formation in spirituality in the Districts.