George Van Grieken, FSC
The identity of a Lasallian school deals with such “deep simplicities,” more acquired through experience than through description. They have to be brought to the surface with some complexity to ensure they won’t simply be slogans instead of genuine invitations into an engagement with a truthful reality. This brief essay will survey some of the history of attempts to do just that – describe the identity of Lasallian schools – along with the emergence of the most popular set of identity markers, commonly called the “Five Core Principles of Lasallian Schools.” These five core principles will then be viewed in relationship with similar Catholic school identity markers that come from relatively recent Catholic Church documents. We will then see that the five core principles have also come to articulate an accessible set of pathways for Lasallian students to recognize, appreciate, and promote their personal experiences in a Lasallian Catholic school. Finally, some questions and concerns will be raised for future consideration by both students and scholars.
Keywords: Catholic; Lasallian; Lasallian mission; Vocations; Lasallian leadership; Catholic social teaching
Brother George Van Grieken, FSC, Ph.D.
Brother George Van Grieken is a frequent presenter and facilitator at the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies and the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice. He holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Education from Boston College and has given board and staff workshops on Lasallian themes in the Philippines, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Brother George currently serves as the director of the Lasallian Resource Center in Napa, CA.