Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Debriefing Retreat Explores the LV Adventure

Jeff Lucia reflecting on his experience as an LV

Jeff Lucia reflecting on his experience as an LV

The Lasallian Volunteers (LVs) recently came together for their annual Debriefing Retreat at La Salle Manor from May 26-29, 2016. For more than 10 years, LVs have gathered at the secluded retreat center in Plano, Illinois, to reflect on their year of service and look ahead toward their futures.

“This year’s Debriefing Retreat provided great opportunities for us to sit back and reflect on how far we have come over the past year,” said Julia Turner, a first-year LV serving in Rhode Island. “Some of us lead such demanding lives that often times we don’t take the time to sit and process all that we have been through; the retreat gives us that opportunity.”

Forty-five volunteers gathered to discern this year’s theme: “Your LV Adventure.” The theme was inspired by “A Gospel Adventure,” the Lasallian theme for the 2015-2016 liturgical year.

Group reflection

Group reflection

Scott and Alina Baietti, both LV alums who served from 2008-2010, facilitated the retreat. Other alums, as well as several Christian Brothers, spent the weekend with the volunteers participating in both group and individual activities such as journaling, skits, prayer and socials. Volunteers shared struggles, successes and affirmations during these sessions.

This year also marked a special occasion that took place on the final night of the retreat when the LVs celebrated Brother Dylan Perry, who has served as associate director of the Lasallian Volunteers for the past three years and will step down to continue his journey as a Christian Brother in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

2015-2016 LVs

2015-2016 LVs

Brother Dylan later reflected, “I was so touched by the great outpouring of support from colleagues, LVs, alumni and more. It was truly humbling and energizing to receive letters of encouragement from so many and to hear stories of the impact that I was blessed to be a part of in my three years as associate director. This program has and will continue to mean so much to me, and I am so proud to be a part of shaping and guiding it.”

On the final day of the retreat, the 2015-2016 cohort came together to commission new LV alums and recognize those who will serve a second year in the program.

“I have never admired a group of people more in my life,” said Dan O’Connell, a second-year volunteer, looking back on his experience. “Personally, having the opportunity to attend LV retreats like Debriefing means being given the chance to spend time with dozens of people working courageously in pursuit of social justice for communities across the country.”

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Written by Jeff Lucia a 1st year LV serving at John XXIII Educational Center in Racine, WI and a 2015 graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. 

By |June 9th, 2016|Categories: news + events|Comments Off on Debriefing Retreat Explores the LV Adventure

Antwa’nae Briars: I Am Complete

Briars,-Antwa'naeI still can remember the very moment I received an email stating that I was officially a part of the LV program. I was sitting with friends and screamed when I read the word, “Congratulations!” That was the only word that I needed to see to assure me that God had, yet again, opened another door for me. Around that time, I was still trying to figure out who I was and how I would continue to be the difference and not just make one. I was still trying to figure that out with commencement only two months away. Great time to try to figure that out, right?  Then I had to remember that nothing ever worked on my time. It always worked on His time. All that I can do now is reflect on my faith, service, and community that I experienced for the last two years.

Antwa'nae 1I had enough faith to trust God and let Him lead me to where He needed me to be. I served in Minnesnowta for two whole years and had the opportunity to mentor and coach some amazing and unique students. Within those two years, I communed with over ten different strangers under one roof. The Real World had nothing on us! And now as I think about our Debriefing theme relating to adventures, I think about how that journey was not easy. This year, I found it even harder to complete my mission. There were so many times when I thought about packing it in and moving back home because I felt that I could no longer endure what possibly could have been the biggest struggles I have ever experienced in my life. But as I once stated earlier, I grew from it all. The struggle was not difficult. Growing from it was the hardest part.

It took me to get away from what I was so comfortable in doing. I had to move thousands of miles away from home to actually find myself. People might find it cliché for others to always say that they had to move away to find out who they were as a person, but I can back that statement. It takes moving away from people and things that you are familiar with to actually discover who you are in the world. It is like you have to reintroduce yourself all over again. Whether you decide to change yourself or stay the same, just know that you have the opportunity to do things differently just by saying yes to something new. Antwa'nae 2

Because of that, I finally found Antwa’nae Briars. And what I found was that I truly am in love with the person I am today, and I owe this new found love to the Lasallian Volunteers. No one ever said that this job would be easy, but no one said that it was impossible to complete it either. Faith taught me to never let go of it. Service taught me to never give up. Community taught me to never leave my food in the refrigerator without labeling it. I thank the program for renewing me, and I thank everyone that has come into my life to help make that change. I especially thank my 14-15 and 15-16 LV cohorts. Each and every one of you are my heroes. And even though I am complete with this particular journey, I know that I am nowhere finished.

Antwa’nae Briars is a 2nd year LV serving at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a 2014 graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee.

By |June 8th, 2016|Categories: blog, news + events|Comments Off on Antwa’nae Briars: I Am Complete

LV Alum Named Principal of La Salle Academy, NY

060216-Principal-at-LSA-NYC

Kerry Conroy, LV 99-01, will lead La Salle Academy in New York, New York, as its new principal effective July 1, 2016. Conroy currently serves as the assistant principal for academic affairs.

Conroy came to La Salle Academy in 1999 as a Lasallian Volunteer (LV). During her time as an LV, religion teacher and campus minister. Following two years of service, she rejoined La Salle in 2002 as a guidance counselor and went on to serve as the director of the guidance department until she took on her current role in 2013. Conroy also participated in two formation programs of Christian Brothers Conference: the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies and the former Lasallian Leadership Institute.

Read more from the District of Eastern North America >

By |June 2nd, 2016|Categories: news + events|Comments Off on LV Alum Named Principal of La Salle Academy, NY