Edgard Hengemüle, FSC
Translated by Rose M. Beal, PhD
Foreward by Edgar Genuíno Nicodem, FSC
Edited by William Mann, FSC
Today, spread across all the continents of the world, approximately 80,000 educators take inspiration from the
practices lived and above all the principles defended during the early years of the Lasallian work. It is normal
that, amongst them, the most spontaneous inclination would be to give John Baptist de La Salle an eminently
positive reading and to attribute to him ideas and, above all, practices which could only have developed and
become a reality later, even much later.
The most important thing in this is that these men and women educators want, with greater or lesser intensity,
to carry out appropriately in today’s world the original intuitions of De La Salle. But to do that authentically one
cannot begin with what one thinks De La Salle thought or did or what one would like him to have thought or
have done. It is necessary to try to know, to the extent that history allows, what his creative intuitions were and
how he instantiated them in the conditions of his time. It is necessary to know, as precisely as possible, what he
truly understood education to mean, with what end he practiced it, to whom he directed it, how he characterized
it, and with what measures he brought it about.
Responding to all these questions is a task that exceeds the aspirations of the present text. In it, obviously, elements
that help to clarify these various points will be touched upon. But what it intends to do is to respond with
a certain breadth to the question referring to what effectively characterized the education thought and practiced
by De La Salle more than three hundred years ago.
De La Salle; Pedagogy; Lasallian; Education
About the Author
Edgard Hengemüle, FSC
Edgard Hengemüle, FSC, served as a member of the Rule Commission of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (2009-2012). As such, he contributed to the formulation of what is now referred to as the Revised Rule of 2015. He is a former Visitor Provincial of the District of Porto Alegre, who worked for several years at the FSC Generalate in Rome as a member of the Lasallian Research and Resource team.
Rose M. Beal, PhD
Rose M. Beal, who holds a PhD in theology from The Catholic University of America (2009), is an Associate Professor of Theology at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. She is the author of Mystery of the Church, People of God: Yves Congar's Total Ecclesiology as a Path to Vatican II (2014). She is a graduate of the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies.
Edgar Genuíno Nicodem, FSC
Edgar Genuíno Nicodem, FSC, currently serves as the Provincial Visitor of the District of Brazil-Chile. He is a former General Councilor of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (2007-2014).
William Mann, FSC, D.Min.
Brother William Mann, FSC, who holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School (1990), is president emeritus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He is a former vicar general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (2000-2007), who served as president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from 2008 to 2018 and as president of the International Association of La Salle Universities from 2015 to 2018.