I hope you and your family are having a great start to the school year. Our Founder and Patron Saint of Teachers, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, wrote in his lifetime a series of meditations for the Brothers during their times of retreat. The beauty of his writings is that they provide us with some historical insight into the life and times of 17th century France when De La Salle founded his order, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, while at the same time remaining astonishingly relevant to our modern situations. In one of his meditations, he says:
One of the main duties of fathers and mothers is to bring up their children in a Christian manner and to teach them their religion. But most parents are not sufficiently enlightened in these matters. Some are taken up with their daily concerns and the care of their family; others, under the constant anxiety of earning the necessities of life for themselves and their children, cannot take the time to teach their children their duties as Christians.
Well, that’s not a very uplifting message for parents! As I prepared breakfast at 5:30 this morning for my children and considered how incredibly more hectic it will become in the next few days as the three older ones head off each morning to the St. Anthony campus, I remembered this passage. De La Salle is right: The daily pressures of parenthood are enough to get to even the most diligent of us. In his wisdom, De La Salle continues with some words of comfort:
It is characteristic of the providence of God and of his vigilance over human conduct to substitute for fathers and mothers people who have enough knowledge and zeal to bring children to the knowledge of God and of his mysteries. According to the grace of Jesus Christ that God has given to them, they [teachers] are like good architects, who give all possible care and attention to lay the foundation of religion and Christian piety in the hearts of these children….
Wow, what a relief! I am so glad my children are going to a Lasallian school that subscribes to this philosophy! All I have to do after breakfast is make lunch (or maybe not even that)…CBS will take care of the rest of it.
Of course, I write with a certain facetiousness. Obviously, your role as the primary educators, in particular in the Christian faith, cannot be brushed aside. And, of course, De La Salle’s words are influenced by his societal context, which, in many cases, is different than our own. However, I offer to you the following: All of us at CBS are committed to being “good architects.” We are committed to giving “all possible care and attention” to teaching minds and touching hearts. We are grateful for the grace that God has given to us to aid us in this endeavor, and we feel blessed that you have given us the opportunity to partner with you in your son’s faith journey. Take comfort in knowing that your son goes off each day to a place that cares for him and his salvation.
May you and your family have a great week!
Michael J. Prat, Principal
Christian Brothers School, City Park Campus
P.S.-As we continue to refine the email database, please forward this message to those you know would like it but are not receiving it. I apologize for the inconvenience. Thanks for your understanding.