RELAN – Lasallian Volunteers Celebrates 30 Years!
This year, we celebrate 30 years of Lasallian Volunteers (LV) in the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN). During the course of the 30 years, Lasallian Volunteers have made an impact at ministries in 19 states throughout the United States, as well as internationally in Kenya, Palestine and Jamaica. More than 775 individuals have experienced and been formed in the program’s three core values of faith, service and community. Over the past three decades, the impact Lasallian Volunteers have provided to ministries and communities has far outlasted their one or two years of service. Lasallian Volunteers have lived in intentional communities with De La Salle Christian Brothers, fellow volunteers and Lasallian Partners as part of this unique experience.
During their year of service LVs serve in a variety of roles as teachers, tutors, mentors, campus ministers in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and social service agencies. During their service year(s), many LVs find their vocation as educators while others deepen their commitment to helping those in need while pursuing other vocations as doctors, engineers, pharmacists, human resources staff members and more.
To date, 85 former volunteers are currently serving in the Lasallian mission. Many of them are in leadership positions in schools as teachers and principals. They also serve in leadership positions at the District, Regional and international levels. Since the start of Lasallian Volunteers, a dozen men have entered the Brothers’ formation program following their service, including two Brothers who pronounced their first vows in August 2018.
Kerry Conroy, LV 99-01, who served at La Salle Academy in New York, New York, and is the current principal there, reflected on saying “yes” to serving as an LV. “Joining Lasallian Volunteers changed the entire course of my adult life. Living in community with the Brothers at 2nd Street and working with the young men at La Salle Academy made me fall in love with another way of life. The LV program expanded my horizons and taught me what social justice in action actually looks like. I thank God, and the LV program, for laying the foundation for my future.”
In July 2019, Lasallian Volunteers kicked off the anniversary with a champagne toast at the end of the Brother Charles Kitson Institute for Formation for Lasallian Volunteers, which is the orientation program held each summer for the volunteers. During the November 2019 Huether Lasallian Conference, Lasallian Volunteers hosted an alumni panel and conversation. The panel, facilitated by Abby Michels, LV 15-17, was focused around the recently published “Lasallian Formation for Mission: The Pilgrim’s Handbook.” Brother Dylan Perry, FSC, LV 10-11, Becca Hulick, LV 14-16, Kerry Conroy, LV 99-01, and David Devine, LV 00-02, served as panelists. They shared reflections from their volunteer experience, especially how they have most profoundly been impacted by having served as LVs and living the three core values of faith, service and community.
The final anniversary celebration, a mass and gala, scheduled for April 25, 2020, at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, has been postponed due to concerns surrounding coronavirus.
Throughout the anniversary year, Lasallian Volunteers has been highlighting reflections from alums and hearing from them how their experience has impacted them personally, professionally and spiritually.