Guided by the Spirit in Daily Living: A Commentary on De La Salle's "Decorum and Civility"

Jean Pungier, FSC


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The Rules for Christian Decorum and Civility (1703) is a text written by John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, as an instructional resource in the brothers' schools for children of the artisans and the poor in seventeenth-century France. In this richly detailed reflective analysis, a Christian Brother of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries illuminates the value of the text as a guide to practices essential for building a spiritual life in the context of lay Christians' daily circumstances - e.g., the parents of students in the schools, and the students - as well as for  the Brother teachers with whom the Institute was established. The essay offers a compelling reminder that in twenty-first-century educational enterprises, the value of codes of conduct related to classroom management, collegial relations, manners, and politeness, can be judged by the standard to which De La Salle's original text aspired. Such codes, and the means by which community members encounter them, must invite members to constant recollection of the dignity of each person.


Lasallian Spirituality; De La Salle; Lasallian Pedagogy;

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ISSN: 2151-2515                                                   (C) Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. 2009 - 2016.