There is a new book out by Brother Mario Chiarapini (Roma). It is published by Editrice Serena under the title La collina racconta – Cronaca ordinaria di una vita straordinaria [The Hill Tells its Story – An ordinary account of an extraordinary life]. It brings to life some of the salient moments in the life of De La Salle, and reveals his rich and charismatic personality which, while standing out clearly against the society of the time, cannot be separated from it.
The presentation avoids being too academic, as it sets out to place the figure of the Founder in a precise historical and political context, while showing at the same time the uncomfortable and prophetic nature of his presence.
It imagines that a modern reporter has landed in the 17th century in order to follow the tracks of De La Salle and review his life. “He lines up interviews with personalities of the day and statements by improbable witnesses, including one made by a hill, which was a symbolic place in our hero’s life and a crucial moment for the future of the young Institute he was to found. From the travel notes of the reporter a fascinating story unfolds, which is as spellbinding as a novel and full of surprises in the setting of France in the age of the Roi Soleil”.
The book is designed for an audience of adults and young people who want to deepen their knowledge of De La Salle and of the socio-cultural and historical context in which he lived.
Brother Mario Chiarapini FSC, born 22/11/1948, is a professor of literature and a school director, widely known in Italy as an expert in problems relating to young people and families. He is also recognised as a musician. He taught in various Lasallian schools and for more than twenty years has been teaching in the Urbaniana Pontifical University.
He has around twenty books to his name, a dozen being published by the Edizioni Paoline and the rest by various other publishers, plus hundreds of articles in assorted periodicals. He has written on catechetics, young people, parents and teachers, problems relating to schools and social issues. Brother Mario Chiarapini is also known for his musical output, with more than 25 CD’s to his name and a great number of songs printed in different collections. He is currently the editor of the Rivista Lasalliana in Italy (since 2011) and director of the La Salle school in Rome (since 2013).
In this his latest book, he turns his attention to the life of De La Salle and his historical and social importance. In a style that is both popular and rigorously scientific, he endeavours to make De La Salle better known as a man, as a founder and as a great innovator.
His published works include the following.
I giovani in dialogo con gli adulti, Paoline 1998
E loro se ne vanno, Paoline 2001
Aspettando la domenica, Paoline 2004
Suggestioni di parole, Paoline 2007
Il paese che sorride, Azzali editore 2009
Sacramenti della fede, EDB 2010
Non date le dimissioni. Genitori alle prese con l’educazione dei figli, Paoline 2011 (2 ediz.)
Dove sono gli adulti? Assenti ingiustificati, Paoline 2013
Storie gradolesi, Casa Editrice Serena 2015
Scuola, lavoro di squadra. Fiducia tra alunni, genitori e insegnanti, Paoline 2017
His CD’s include:
È l’Amico che ti chiama
La Salle urrà
Come le stelle
Ha giocato con Dio
Amici con Lui
Brother Mario also has his own YouTube channel, where it is possible to hear lots of of his songs, many of them illustrated with pictures to stimulate reflection.