What is Lasallian Education
Saint John Baptist de La Salle founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools in the late 17th century. In the almost 300 years since his death in 1719, Lasallian schools have been founded in over 80 countries around the world and presently educate over one million students. These schools include elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, schools for troubled youth, universities, graduate schools, and alternative education centers.
What are the essential elements of that vision? Though they can find different articulations, the following five principles are at the core of SJPII and of all Lasallian schools:
- Faith in the Presence of God
The Lasallian school nurtures belief in the living presence of God in our world. Faith in the presence of God calls all students into a deeper awareness of their saving relationship with a caring and loving God and to see the world through the “eyes of faith”. At SJPII, this core principle is reflected each day through the Lasallian expression of faith: “Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God.”
- Concern for the Poor and Social Justice
The Lasallian school calls its members to an awareness of the poor and victims of injustice and responds to their needs through programs of community service, advocacy, and justice education. At SJPII, this core principle is reflected each day through an active service program and the Lasallian vision of Gospel life: “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.”
- Respect for All Persons
The Lasallian school engages in a concerted effort to respect the dignity of all persons. Respect-filled relationships are at the heart of Lasallian education and are a key expression of the acknowledgement of each other’s identity as children of God. At SJPII, this core principle is reflected each day through the Lasallian recollection: “Live Jesus in our hearts...Forever."
- Quality Education
The Lasallian school provides an education that prepares students not only for college and career but also for life. This education advances the students’ abilities to use their talents to critically examine the world in light of the message of the Gospels and to take greater responsibility for their own education. At SJPII, this core principle is reflected each day through the Lasallian ideal:“Teaching Minds and Touching Hearts.”
- Inclusive Community
The Lasallian school is a united community where diversity is respected, where no one is left out, and where everyone finds a place. Individuals within the school community recognize and accept another's strengths and limitations. At SJPII, this core principle is reflected each day through this Lasallian ideal: "The John Paul II Family."
In the Rule of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the Institute states its ultimate Mission as follows:
"The purpose of this Institute is to give a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor, according to the ministry which the Church has entrusted to it."
Saint Lasalle’s original vision was that an outstanding secular education was not subordinate to or separate from religious education. Rather, practical learning and skills were to be seen as essential to forming the person of faith. An education leading to meaningful employment, then as now, allows students to choose a virtuous life opening the door to eternal life.
To learn more about the life of the founder, visit In The Footsteps Of De La Salle.
Ultimately, the Lasallian school participates in God’s saving work in the world. Saint John Paul II Academy is privileged to be one of 42 Lasallian ministries in the District of Eastern North America. To better understand our connection to educational network, please click HERE.