Leo Burkhard, FSC, Ph.D.
John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, departed from Paris during 1712 – 1714, a critical period in the early years of the Institute. The founder’s motives for and activities during this time have been the subjects of significant study among scholars of Lasallian heritage. In this careful textual analysis, the author reviews how De La Salle’s early biographers account for this period; traces lines of interpretation through the work of contemporary scholars; and presents additional texts which should be referenced in interpreting this period. In light of all these sources, the author makes the case that the only correct conclusion about the role of De La Salle in the Institute during the 1712 – 1714 period is that he remained present to the action of Providence in his life, to his charism, and to the Brothers then in various communities throughout France.
De La Salle; Lasallian heritage;
About the Author
Leo Burkhard, FSC
Brother Leo Burkhard, FSC, Ph.D. (1922 – 2007) is a well-known researcher and writer on the life of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. His doctoral thesis on Parménie was presented to the University of Grenoble in 1964. Brother Leo died in Denver in 2007, and his ashes are now interred in the chapel at Parménie. Brother Donald Mouton and Brother Paul Walsh translated, edited, and prepared this material for publication after the death of Brother Leo.