Luke Salm, FSC, STD
De La Salle’s vision has survived for over 300 years and has spread to more than eighty countries. The United States is one of those countries and Manhattan College is one of the many Lasallian institutions claiming to live in the twenty-first century by the vision of De La Salle. We are accustomed to cite at least four elements in that vision that are still relevant today: 1) a quality education through excellence in teaching; 2) concern for the individual student in an atmosphere of association and non-clerical brotherhood; 3) service of the poor either directly or indirectly by sensitivity to social issues; 4) providing for the religious development of the students through an integration of religion with secular education.
As we reflect on how these four elements have functioned at Manhattan College, we can discern a certain continuity and viability in the first three: quality teaching, concern for the individual student, and sensitivity to social issues. But it seems to me that religion is the area where the continuity with the Lasallian vision is less apparent and where the change has been most startling. I have listed religion as the fourth Lasallian element, although De La Salle would probably have put it first.
De La Salle; American Catholic Higher Education; Lasallian pedagogy
About the Author
Luke Salm, FSC, S.T.D.
Brother Luke Salm (1921-2009) was a professor of religious studies at Manhattan College for more than half a century. He was the first religious Brother and non-cleric to earn a doctorate in theology (S.T.D.) at The Catholic University of America (1955). He was an elected delegate of the District of New York to the 39th, 40th, 41st, and 42nd General Chapters of the Brothers of the Christian Schools; and he was a noted historian of the life of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.