Page 1


the Magazine of the Christian Brothers of the Midwest

S P R I NG 2 0 1 9


Q&A with the Visitor-Designate 8

Creating Together 12

Rooted in Story 16

The 2019 KabarA Challenge 18

Christian Brothers of the Midwest

7650 S. County Line Rd, Burr Ridge, IL 60527 (630) 323 - 3725

Brother Larry Schatz, FSC Visitor/Provincial Brother Bede Baldry, FSC Auxiliary Visitor Brother Michael Kadow, FSC Auxiliary Visitor Brother Joseph Saurbier, FSC Director of Administration and Operations Dr. Scott Kier, Ed.D. Superintendent of Lasallian Education

Anthony C. Chimera, M.B.A. Director of Development Brother Thomas Dominic Vance, FSC Development Associate Alexander Vasiliades, M.B.A. Communications Manager Samantha VenHuizen Manager of Development Services Joanna Wagner Assistant Director of Development

Conversation with the Visitors 24

The Presence of a Brother 24

Around the District 2

On the Front

Mural designed and painted by Joe Duffy, a DeLaSalle alumnus. Duffy worked in partnership with students to identify images for the mural and paint it inside the school’s building lobby.

Provincial Notes D ear Lasallians---Brothers and Partners,

This is my last formal greeting to all of you as Visitor of our great Midwest District. What a blessing it has been to serve you and to get to know you, my fellow Lasallians, as we strive together to carry out our sacred mission of “touching the hearts of our students and inspiring them with the Christian Spirit.” It is very true, the theme of this issue, that the work is ours. It is of course God’s work---entrusted to us---which is both a daunting challenge and a wonderful opportunity! In my continuous travels around our District, I have witnessed time and time again the work of salvation being done---in classrooms, offices, chapels, meeting rooms, hallways, etc. Young people---and not so young---experience salvation in a myriad of ways. We help lift those we serve from lives of mediocrity and distraction to enter more fully into the transcendent realm of possibility and grace and love. I encounter so many alums whose hearts are filled with gratitude for their experiences with our Brothers and Lasallian Partners. They are convinced that their lives have been forever changed for the better, and it so gratifying to listen as they share their stories of transformation. This is the holy work we are doing every day and every year. And as another school year winds down and we look forward to a change of pace, we also look forward to the next opportunity to encounter Christ in the faces of those we are called to serve. Our Founder passed to eternal life 300 years ago, but his amazing legacy lives on in all of us as we carry out our Lasallian work--accompanied by faith, zeal, and a healthy dose of prayer! Thank you for these eight years and for all that you do. Live Jesus in Our Hearts – Forever!

Brother Larry Schatz, FSC Provincial/Brother Visitor



with the Visitor-Designate



rother Michael Fehrenbach, FSC, was appointed Visitor by Superior General Brother Robert Schieler following a balloting process of Brothers in the District. Brother Michael’s four-year term will begin on July 1, 2019. He will replace Brother Larry Schatz, who has served as Visitor since 2011. Brother Michael has been a De La Salle Christian Brother for 53 years. He has served the Church and the Brothers in a range of roles including serving as an Auxiliary Visitor for the Midwest District from 1995-2001. He also helped to design and implement the Catalyst Schools, three charter public schools in Chicago established in the Lasallian tradition. Currently, he serves as Director of Lasallian Formation for the Midwest District.


What does being Visitor mean to you? How do you view the role?

The role of Visitor is a position of service to the larger Lasallian community and in a special way to the Brothers of the Midwest District. One of the primary functions, as I understand it, is to be present to the Brothers, to hear their story, to build relationship with them and to enjoy the spirit of association that has bound the community together for more than 300 years. Beyond that, our Lasallian partners also participate in the charism that was given to the world in the life and vision of St. John Baptist de La Salle. The Visitor is also present in our local ministries and is an iconic symbol of the bigger Lasallian world. I think the Visitor attempts, as best he can, to understand the concerns of individuals and our institutional commitments and presents those to the larger community of Brothers and partners for their consideration. The Visitor exercises a ministry of leadership in which he calls Brothers and Lasallian partners to deeper association, inspired and innovative approaches as we respond to the signs of the times, and to be the legacy – his spirit as the future unfolds. We are called to be in our time what De La Salle was in his.

Q: Did you ever picture yourself becoming Visitor? I never expected being appointed to this position. My history and missional trajectory has not been typical of most Brothers. I taught in a high school classroom for 4 years then became vocation recruiter for the next four. After that I worked with court adjudicated youth, directed the refugee resettlement office as well as the peace and justice and family life offices for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Then I worked for the Center for Pastoral Life and Ministry through which we trained all lay ministers for our 27 county rural diocese. It was in my 5th year at that office that I was called to Chicago to be one of Brother Tom Johnson’s Auxiliary Visitors as we initiated the new Midwest District (to be 25 years old in 2020). After doing that for 6 years I became part of the San Miguel Schools-Chicago team until we began the Catalyst Schools where I worked for 10 years. Since that time I have been helping direct (along with Brothers Chuck Gregor and Dennis Galvin) our efforts at formation of all of our colleagues through the online formation program. I was getting ready to retire when I was asked to take on this service to the District. 5

your service, what has Q: Throughout been your favorite ministry? That is like asking which of your children you love most. Without seeming to avoid the question, I truly loved everything I’ve been involved with. For most of my life as a Brother, I have lived in neighborhoods that were economically impoverished and in which the majority of the residents had been victims of discrimination and disenfranchisement. I worked with youth who had been incarcerated, economically poor, or special needs. In my living situations and in my ministry, neighbors and students have taught me something about abandonment, trust, a deep spirituality and the power of loving relationships. These lessons have been my favorite things.


In terms of Mission, one of my primary goals is to bring our various ministries, spread over a wide geographic region, into a deeper sense of communion and association.




What is one thing you would like to accomplish during your term?

In terms of Mission, one of my primary goals is to bring our various ministries, spread over a wide geographic region, into a deeper sense of communion and association. I would love the Lasallians in Minnesota to be in relationship with the Lasallians in Tennessee and that all of us become more aware of the lived ministry throughout the District. Formation of all of our Boards, administrators, teachers and staff is also a significant goal because if the mission is to continue they will be the Lasallians upon whom it rests as the Brothers gradually retire. In terms of the Brothers, my goal is to make sure I see each of them regularly. I hope they will continue to understand the power they have and that the purpose of our lives does not cease once we leave the classroom or ministry. And, we have young men who have joined us in recent years and contacts who are expressing interest in our life. I want to encourage them, to involve them deeply in the life of the District, to help them prepare for leadership roles whether that is as classroom teachers, administrators, board members or in whatever way their particular interests, skills and talents lead them. I would love for them to participate intimately in creating a future we have not yet envisioned.


What I want to share is that belief and the hope that we all come to a deeper understanding of the power of our faith. Let’s live it.



If you could share one thing with the Lasallian family, what would it be?

My message is going to be consistent, I think. It’s something I believe with all my heart. We recall we are in the presence of God every day. St. John, in his epistle, says without hesitation or condition – God is love. Whenever we are in the presence of love, we are in the presence of God. St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans is equally clear. Nothing can separate us from God’s compassionate and unconditional love. When we grasp this reality, we live in a way that mirrors it. What I want to share is that belief and the hope that we all come to a deeper understanding of the power of our faith. Let’s live it.

next for the Midwest District? Q: What’s What can we look forward to? We are in a period of transition. When one thing ends, another begins. The period between is a kind of “limbo” in which some people feel nervous about the future. I don’t see any radical departure from the present moment. We will continue to be the presence of God’s love in the lives of those entrusted to our care. I hope we will continue to read the signs of the times. We know, from the research done by Saint Mary’s Press as well as the PEW Foundation and other multiple researchers, that the church is in transition. Young millennials and the generation following in their footsteps are not connected to the church. Our vocation as evangelizers and catechists gives us a privileged role as we engage elementary and middle school children, adolescents and young adults. We don’t attempt to convert and lay an agenda on them but rather we walk as their Brothers and sisters (or maybe pseudo parents) along with them. Like Jesus, we love them, hear them, challenge them, invite them into relationship and let them know God loves them unconditionally. If we can do this with fidelity, we can look forward to a better world. I know this might sound like pie in the sky. But read the Gospel and see what’s happened.



Renowned Artist Partners with Students to Create School Mural By: Matt Lehman, Director of Communications, DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota


De La Salle Alumnus, Joe Duffy (right), with students and Brother Michael Lee Anderson painting the mural inside campus. Photos courtesy of De La Salle High School. When Joe Duffy looked at a blank brick wall inside his alma mater this fall, he envisioned a colorful mural full of images that reflect significant moments in the history of DeLaSalle High School and its heritage as a Lasallian institution. Two months later, DeLaSalle art students helped Duffy achieve his dream as they collaborated to create the two-story mural. “I’m very proud of what we did together,” Duffy said. Next to a depiction of the Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, a portrait of Brother Michael Collins stands out as one of the mural’s larger images. Collins, who served as DeLaSalle president from 1991 until his death in 2012, had, as a young Brother in the 1960s, taught Duffy when he was a student at the school. Duffy knew he wanted to be an artist, but many teachers tried to steer him away from such a career. Not Brother Michael Collins. A talented singer and fearless advocate for the arts, Collins inspired many, like Duffy, to pursue their artistic talents. Collins left such an impression on Duffy that the two became lifelong friends.


Duffy launched his own branding and graphic design firm, Duffy Design, in 1984. Over more than three decades, the firm has designed brands for such popular brands as Diet Coke, Sony, and Minute Maid. Duffy has earned multiple accolades, including a Legacy Medal in 2004 and a Fellow Award in 2007, both from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and being named a “Design Icon” by Computer Arts magazine in 2011. The totality of Duffy’s work led DeLaSalle to induct the 1967 graduate into its Hall of Fame as the first recipient of the Brother Michael Collins Award, which recognizes significant contributions to the arts. At the awards ceremony, Duffy saw Brother Michael Lee Anderson, another Christian Brother who had taught him at DeLaSalle.


Anderson knew that Duffy had partnered with students to create and design a mural for the trailhead building at a Minneapolis park and suggested he do the same at DeLaSalle. Collaboration has been the key to Duffy’s success as an artist - and the DeLaSalle mural followed the same pattern. Art teacher Megan Longman welcomed Duffy into her classes, where the artist worked with students to identify key images in the school’s history and lay out the mural’s design. Duffy traced an outline on the wall and oversaw students as they worked on a scaffold to paint it. DeLaSalle dedicated and blessed the mural at a February 12 ceremony that recognized the growth of the arts at the school.

F I N D U S. F O L L O W U S.




ROOTED IN STORY: Lasallian Women's Retreat By: P.J. Thompson, Sales and Marketing Manager, Saint Mary's Press, Winona, Minnesota Driving the ribbons of asphalt between the broad fields beneath the Plano sky, I watched as the sun flickered through the oaks, maples, ash and pine. Massive branches reached to the sky, awaiting the promise of spring and buds to open; trunks rooted firmly in the Illinois soil, anticipating the generosity of spring rain. As Mary Oliver once said, “When I am among the trees . . . they give off such hints of gladness.” The tree-lined drive approached LaSalle Manor Retreat Center, where on the last weekend in March, women from the Midwest District and beyond gathered for the first Midwest Lasallian Women’s Retreat. We delighted in sharing hints of gladness, stories to deepen our Lasallian roots, and birthing collaborative ways to foster the budding of this allimportant charism. Even though twenty-two women gathered for our “Rooted in Story” Retreat, so many more were there with us in our hearts. We shared our stories; we shared their stories. We spoke of the women who are part of our roots – our influencers, those who formed a foundation in our souls and taught us life-long lessons. We also learned more about the women who influenced John Baptist de la Salle and shaped the founder’s life. We embraced the history of these important women from the researched and written stories by Roxanne Eubank. Others have carried these stories to gatherings in other parts of the world—Trish Carroll, Maryann DonohueLynch, Marianne Stich, and our retreat facilitator this weekend, Heather Malia Ruple Gilson. Sharing our individuality and mutual passion, we found community as we connected our stories one with the other. This formation and association as Lasallian women wrote new chapters to the stories that feed our charism and encourage us to continue to carry on the mission in community with Brothers and partners throughout the world.


Like Nicole Moët and Perette Lespagnol, some of us are mothers and grandmothers. Like Madeleine Lamy, some are caregivers and courageously stand up for the rights of others. Like Marie de la Salle, some are married with children, setting an example for our children. Some have lost parents at an early age in our lives like De La Salle. Like De La Salle’s niece, some have followed the call to religious life, and like Sr. Louise, we listen to the stories of others with care and compassion, encouraging those we encounter with our faith, experience, and wisdom. On the second evening of our gathering, our Brothers – Michael Fehrenbach, Michael French, and Armand Alcazar joined us for prayer, storytelling, and hospitality. We spent time in dialogue, heard pieces of their stories, and shared what we learned throughout our day together. We grew in understanding about their roots and what they were taught when they first became Christian Brothers. They see we are at a new time in our history and invited us to continue to find ways to share our gifts. Br. Michael Fehrenbach recognized, “As women, you root yourselves in relationship and we want to continue to find ways to develop stronger relationships with you and include your voices as we journey together.” This weekend gave us each an opportunity to journey together – to be seen and listened to, to embrace new ideas and connect. Our hope is that others will join us again for future retreats. We are teachers, students, ministry directors, managers, musicians, dancers, daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends. We are of different faith traditions, varied ethnicity, and multi-generational. We are Lasallians together and by association and part of this rich Lasallian family. Our roots run deep, our vision is to grow and serve where our voices are shared and heard, and our desire is to branch out as active participants and leaders in this Lasallian family across the world.

Women representing ministries all over the Midwest District gathered at La Salle Manor Retreat Center in Plano, IL. Photos courtesy of La Salle Manor Retreat Center.


"There is a constant need to be attentive to, and present with, the poor in the struggle for justice."

Dear Lasallian Friends and Colleagues, Since rejoining the Lasallian community back in July, I have spent a significant amount of time during my first year visiting with our District ministries, our Christian Brother Communities, our ministry leaders, lay partners, and benefactors. I want to thank everyone for their warm, gracious welcome and acceptance. My first experience with the Brothers was 40 years ago as a student at De La Salle Institute in Chicago. Since then, I have remained connected through many friendships with former classmates, colleagues, Brothers, and fellow alumni. I have also devoted a career of 30 years in resource development supporting missions in education and human services aimed at improving life for the disadvantaged and marginalized. So when I say that I feel right at home back with the Christian Brothers who continue to focus attention on humanity in distress, you understand. There is a constant need to be attentive to, and present with, the poor in the struggle for justice. Fortunately, there is hope and encouragement in a Lasallian mission that chooses to love unconditionally and offers the skills needed for life in the 21st century; a mission that shows conscientious care of human beings and calls us to demonstrate and teach respect for every person no matter what their station in life, their academic ability, or any other measure by which they are judged by society. Today, this Lasallian mission is run by 4,000 De La Salle Brothers and more than 90,000 Lay Partners who minister in about 1,000 schools and training centers serving approximately 1 million children, youth, and adults in 80 countries. This makes the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools one of the largest education networks in the world. I could not feel more comfortable and proud to be associated with such a compassionate and dedicated group of individuals who have made this mission their life’s work. I hope you feel the same. We reflect often on that special occasion when our holy Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, answered our Lord’s call to help the poor through education. That was more than 300 years ago and today as we celebrate our tercentenary of St. John Baptist De La Salle’s passing into eternal life, that mission is stronger than ever. It is stronger because of faithful generous supporters, like you, who continue to see the value of our work with today’s youth and so choose to answer the call. In philanthropy, I’ve heard it said that none of us are heroes without all of us. How true! A calling of this magnitude requires the association and inclusion of wonderfully dedicated friends. Whatever role you can play, play it. Whatever gift level you are able to make, make it. Whatever time you can devote, devote it. Whatever wisdom you can impart, please impart it. It all matters. Thank you for answering the call. Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever.


Anthony C. Chimera, M.B.A. Director of Development


2019 Challenge

rs e h t o r B r it to ou






Dear Reader, Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed all that the KabarA Challenge has done to help our Senior Brothers. Each day we work diligently to be present with our Brothers; to be with them at these new and sometimes difficult stages of life. It’s hard to explain the work we do because we sometimes wear a lot of hats. Some days we talk with a doctor after a surgery. Other days we play the role of advocate for the Brother. And, sometimes we simply need to be there to hold their hand and say a prayer together. We don’t do this alone. In total, there are 6 healthcare professionals working throughout our District, visiting and ensuring that our Senior Brothers are well cared for. The money raised by the KabarA Challenge allows for several of our Brothers to live in assisted care facilities or receive in-home healthcare. It helps with the costs of surgeries and visits from physical therapists. It also helps our Brothers live meaningful and fulfilling lives. Just the other day one of our Brothers, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, asked to go to a cemetery in Chicago where his parents are buried. He is unable to walk but because of the KabarA Challenge he can be transported by Medi-van with a lift for his wheelchair. What an incredible gift! This year’s KabarA Challenge begins June 1 and runs through August 31. Every gift counts. Every gift will be matched, dollar for dollar. Help us hit our $150,000 goal and double your impact! Will you help us reach our goal and support the Senior Brothers, who have given so much of their lives to others?

Sheila Cusack, RN

to August 31

Brother Bede Baldry, FSC

128 Total Brothers

71 = 55

Retired Brothers

June 1


Cared For By


Healthcare Professionals

Live in Assisted Living or Receive In-Home Healthcare


Average Annual Cost of Care for 1 Brother 17

Conversation with the Visitors A series of table conversations that reflect on the past eight years and provide a glimpse into what’s next.


Brother Larry Schatz addresses guests at the Memphis Conversation with the Visitors.

Join The Dialogue The Midwest District Development Office recently launched a series of “Conversations with the Visitors.” These gatherings provide an opportunity for close alumni and friends to deepen their knowledge of the Christian Brothers, the Lasallian Mission, and Midwest ministries by engaging in dialogue with Brother Larry Schatz, Visitor, Brother Michael Fehrenbach, Visitor-Designate, ministry leaders, and peers across the District. With 27 ministries across 7 states, the objective is to achieve a common articulation and understanding of our Lasallian brand and bring greater awareness of how our ministries, friends and benefactors are united across geography by one mission. The first events were held in Bonita Springs, FL on February 28th, Phoenix, AZ on March 12th & 15th, and most recently, Memphis, TN on April 25th. More than 50 Lasallians have since engaged in these conversations bringing collaborative thought and a spirit of co-responsibility for the Lasallian mission and the ministries of the Christian Brothers. The first summer “Conversation” was held on Friday, May 24th in Burr Ridge, IL at the Dr. Jon and Betty Kabara Provincialate Center. Future conversation dates and locations are being planned. If you are interested in joining the dialogue, please contact Director of Development, Anthony Chimera at 630.323.3725 Ext. 211 or at achimera@cbmidwest.org. 19

The majority of Lasallian high schools in the United Sates have a staff that includes the presences of a De La Salle Christian Brother. It is not uncommon for students to have a Brother as a teacher or principal but as the number of retired Brothers increases, there are fewer opportunities for students to experience a faculty of several Brothers. That, however, is not the case at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tennessee (CBHS). Of all 51 Lasallian high schools in the United States, CBHS is the only ministry where students can experience the teachings of three Brothers during the course of a day. This unique experience belongs to 12 students at CBHS. These students have a combination of Br. Mark Engelmeyer (Religion), Br. Matthew Kotek (Spanish & Directed Studies), Br. Michael Fugger (English), and Br. Phil Jones (Math).


One student, Connor Billingsley is part of a CBHS family legacy with both his father and grandfather being “Brothers’ Boys.” Connor notes, “While the Brothers teach various subjects, they always make it a point to relate the subject to God.” It is not unusual for Connor to hear Br. Phil make references to Jesus and religion as they learn the differences between equilateral and isosceles triangles.

Another student, Eric Yates, appreciates having three Brothers throughout the day because there is a “peace knowing that I have people to support me.” He shares how Br. Mark will say “Hey, Eric!” each day in the hallway during passing period, helping him realize that he is “not just another student in the halls.” This support is not only experienced during the school day. Eric recalls, “I was feeling disappointed because of some errors I made in a baseball game but when I looked up in the stands, I saw Br. Matthew cheering for me like he was my family.” Learning from multiple Brothers throughout the day has helped these students grasp a better understanding of the Lasallian charism. Lawson McKee says, “I watch the Brothers practice Lasallian values and this shows me how to be a better person.” Many students echo Lawson in that they learn primarily Catholic values, not from what the Brothers say, but from the way the Brothers conduct themselves daily, both in and out the classroom. Jo Benitez-Castillo and Michael Kranz finish their final three periods of the day with Brothers. They note how “the Brothers bring a special character to the school.”

THE PRESENCE OF BROTHERS By: Brother Mark Engelmeyer Christian Brothers High School, Memphis, Tennessee

Brothers Mark Engelmeyer (left) and Matthew Kotek (right) working with students during class. Photos courtesy of Christian Brothers High School.


There is something unique about having a Brother as a teacher.


While students’ schedules are filled with wonderful lay teachers, they recognize that there is something unique about having a Brother as a teacher, and they enjoy spending the last two and a half hours of the day with Brothers. Jo, Michael, and their ten classmates share something extremely special and somewhat rare. These 12 young men experience first-hand the benefit of having three actively teaching Brothers who are living out their vocation as “Brother” in this shared mission of Lasallian Education.


Abby Michels, Young Lasallian Coordinator


Young Lasallians Corner Abby Michels, Young Lasallian Coordinator for the Midwest District, completed her second round of visits to eleven of the thirteen Lasallian high schools this spring. At each school she met with a group of senior student leaders who wanted to take a deeper look into the Lasallian mission. The three-hour Formation Retreat included a review of St. John Baptist de La Salle's life, reflection on the students' Lasallian vocation and a video creation segment where the students filmed people and places around their school showcasing how their ministry practices Faith, Service and Community. It is with hope that these students continue to cherish and practice the Lasallian values they have learned since arriving at their Lasallian high school and that by going through this formation experience, they will see their life as a series of events where "one commitment leads to another..." At the end of their retreat experience, students received a Tiny Saint keychain of St. John Baptist de La Salle to remind them of the holy presence of God and their Lasallian education as they move onto the next chapter of their life. To receive a copy of the Formation Retreat packet that the students were given, email Abby Michels at amichels@cbmidwest.org. Watch the student-made videos on our Facebook page, "Young Lasallians-Midwest" or under the Young Lasallians tab on the District website, www.cbmidwest.org.


Around the District Nine Jubilarians Honored this Year

This year the Midwest District will honor nine Brothers for their years of service in Christian education. The celebration will take place on July 20th at Lewis University. Those honored include: 70 Years – Brothers Louis Althaus, Arnold McMullen, Edwin Dupre; 60 Years – Brothers William Clarey, Michael Flaherty, Bernard Brungardt, Michael Lee Anderson; 50 Years – Brothers Raymond Bonderer, David Kuebler.

CBU Announces New President

The CBU Board of Trustees announced that Jack Shannon has been selected as the 23rd President of Christian Brothers University. He is a distinguished higher education leader with many years of experience directing not only academic and student-centered initiatives but also public/private partnerships focused on economic development in some of the most economically-challenged communities in the country. Jack comes to CBU from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey.

David Hotek Affiliated to the Institute

On May 1st, David Hotek of St. Joseph High School in Westchester, IL, was affiliated to the Institute during an all school ceremony. He received Letters of Affiliation from Brother Robert Schieler, Superior General, presented by Brother Larry Schatz. The honor acknowledges David’s association with the Institute of the Brothers for over 50 years. That service includes 36 years at St. Joseph H.S. as teacher, assistant principal, principal, campus minister and currently the Lasallian Animator.

24 24

Around the District

Robert Schwendau Affiliated to the Institute

On May 15th, Robert Schwendau was affiliated to the Institute during a private ceremony at the Benilde/De La Salle Community in Chicago. Brother Larry Schatz presented the Letters of Affiliation on behalf of Brother Robert Schieler, Superior General. Bob’s association with the Christian Brothers dates back to 1951 when he left St. George High School as a sophomore to join the Glencoe juniorate and then the novitiate, and the scholasticate at Saint Mary’s College where he graduated in 1958. While he was a Brother, he taught and counseled students at various schools sponsored by the Brothers in the legacy Saint Louis District and served as secretary to the Visitor. In 2003, Bob was invited to become a resident Partner in the De La Salle Community of Chicago and has been an active community member since that time.

Michael Jordan Affiliated to the Institute

On January 23rd, Michael Jordan, President of Christian Brothers College H.S. in St. Louis was affiliated to the Institute. The CBC faculty and students attended a mass in his honor. A member of the CBC community for more than 40 years, he has been committed to Lasallian education and has supported the development of generations of CBC students. Brother Visitor Larry Schatz presided at the affiliation ceremony, Michael served at the Clayton Road facility for sixteen years as Assistant Principal and Principal, and at the current location as VP for Advancement and most recently as President.

25 25


Brother James Miller to be officially

beatified in December 2019. On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints announced the official date of Beatification of Br. James Miller. The celebration will occur on December 7 in Guatemala. In November of 2018, Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing that Brother James Miller died as a martyr Feb. 13, 1982, in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. The process for declaring him a martyr began in 2009 and received this important ‘green light’ from the theological commission, which means we will soon be able to celebrate his beatification. Br. James will be the first De La Salle Christian Brother from the United States to be beatified.


Fourteen Brothers

in Initial Formation across the Lasallian Region of North America gathered together at the Ocean Rest retreat facility in Ocean City, NJ, on February 15-18. The theme of the retreat was “Practical Ways of Accompanying Youth as They Journey in Faith,” and it was guided by Father Frank Berna, OFM, from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. Brothers spent the weekend learning and in prayer through use of the scriptures and Lasallian pedagogy, while also continuing the process of vocation discernment, with time for reflection, group discussion and support from one another.

New monument and statue of Saint John Baptist de La Salle

constructed at Lewis University takes part in the global 300th anniversary celebration of the death of the Founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The monument project, made possible through the generous support of benefactors, has been in the planning and development stages for nearly four years. Named “The Encounter,” the monument and sculpture are located near North Hall –positioned for maximum exposure along the sidewalk and easily accessible to all. “The Encounter” re-creates the moment in March 1679 when young John Baptist de La Salle visited the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus in Rheims, France. As he approached the doorway, De La Salle encountered Adrian Nyel, a layman from Rouen who was seeking advice about opening schools for poor boys in the city. This chance encounter led De La Salle to a period of great discernment about his vocation and purpose in life, and it resulted in a partnership with Nyel that later inspired De La Salle to open more schools and found the Brothers of the Christian Schools. “The Encounter” features a 16-foot tall re-creation of the entrance to the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus and a one of a kind, life-sized statue of De La Salle created by Minneapolis-based sculptor Alec Smith, who is known for his work displayed at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.


The World Congress

of Lasallian Education took place March 14- 16 at Universidad La Salle in Mexico City. Themed “Lasallian Education for the 21st Century,” the international program was aimed at Lasallian educators from all levels and provided a space for presentations and discussions around the future of education and to share reflections and best practices. The discussions and reflections will help inform the development of the Declaration of Lasallian Pedagogy. Participants sent by the Midwest District were Brother Mike Fehrenbach, Brother Matt Kotek, Dr. Sue Skinner, Ann Merchlewitz and Dr. Scott Kier. Others from the Midwest District who attended included Brother Robert Smith, Brother Larry Humphrey, Dr. David Livingston, Brad Casey, Martha Coughlan and Marta Vazquez.

New Biography of the Founder Now Available

The Teacher’s Saint tells the story of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Patron Saint of Teachers and Founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Led by his faith, De La Salle developed new ways of educating the poor in 17th century France. Today, De La Salle continues to shape the world of education and serves as an inspiration for educators worldwide. The Teacher’s Saint is now available from Saint Mary’s Press.


The 2018-2019 Lasallian Volunteers

(LV) gathered together for their annual midyear retreat outside of Baltimore in Reisterstown, MD, on January 18-20. The weekend retreat, facilitated by LV Alums Katie Delaney, LV 12-14, and Steven Patzke, LV 14-15, centered around the LVs discerning their individual gifts and calls, as well as reflecting on the first half of their service year through the lens of faith, service and community. The facilitators wove the idea of a vocational call being what brings joy, builds a more just world, and clarifies what gifts one possesses for the benefit of others. Through individual reflection and small and large group sharing, the LVs were able to consider where they’ve been and where they’re headed for the next part of their service year and beyond. Also accompanying the LVs and LV staff were Brother Ed Phelan, Brother Michael Reis, and Brother Brian Henderson, as well as Chris Swain, LV 04-06, Director of the Office of Lasallian Vocation Ministry at Christian Brothers Conference.

Brother Joseph Martin, will retire from the Midwest District office after completing 18 years of service. He will complete his time as Executive Assistant to the Visitor on June 30th. Over the years Brother Joseph has provided services to the Brothers and has been the editor of the District News Notes. He was also the District contact with Praesidium and coordinated the meetings, reviews, online courses and visits that were involved. During those years he also served in the President’s Office at Lewis University.

Young Lasallians Met in Panama for the International Encounter

of Young Lasallians, held on January 22nd at the De La Salle School in the El Cangrejo neighborhood. The goal was to come together as a Lasallian family to celebrate fraternity and share the joy of vocation as part of the year of Lasallian vocations. Around 600 young people participated between companions and volunteers from different Districts - 100 from México North, 44 from Antilles-México South, 8 from Lasallian Association of Spain and Portugal (ARLEP), 330 from Central America-Panama, 87 from France, 14 from the USA Midwest and 20 from other Districts such as Norandino, Brazil-Chile, Peru – Bolivia and Argentina –Paraguay. The Encounter was hosted by the District of Central America-Panama.



Photo Courtesy of the District of Eastern North America.


Christian Brothers of the Midwest 7650 S. County Line Road Burr Ridge, IL 60527



De La Salle Christian Brothers of the Midwest

Remember & Honor Those Special to You Remember your relatives and friends, both living and deceased with the St. La Salle Auxiliary and Memorial. Those enrolled share in the daily prayers & good works of the Christian Brothers and their lay partners. Auxiliary & Memorial products are available at no initial cost to you. At the time of use, there is a suggested offering to help cover the cost of shipping/handling. Offerings can be ordered online at www.cbmidwest.org, by mail, or over the phone. To request a brochure detailing all of our offerings, please call (630) 323-3725.

Profile for Christian Brothers

Faith & Zeal Spring 2019  

Faith & Zeal Spring 2019