Carlos Gomez Restrepo, FSC
The current reality of the world challenges the Lasallian educational mission and generates new contexts in which we must rethink the founding values of our tradition, as well as the urgency to review our educational proposals. Education is undoubtedly a fundamental pillar for humanization and for the construction of inclusive and just societies. These are times to take positions in response to current demands, which, in turn, urge us to be clear about the essentials of our mission: the development of critical thinking, the commitment to humanism, the school that is renewed and responds to actual contexts, and the care for quality, especially in the educational service of the poor.
The new horizons we see are called into permanent dialogues with a plural and diverse world, to think about the prophetic voice of our educational institutions, especially the Lasallian university, and to be aware, as participants, of the emerging realities to which to respond through education. Thus, the Lasallian mission is a vital sign that seeks to recapture our utopian vocation, which answers the present and inspires the future, which congregates in hope, and which gambles/risks for a better world.
Keywords: new contexts, emerging realities, founding values, Lasallian education, quality for all, faith, fraternity, ardent zeal, synodal Church, humanistic and humanizing, pluralistic society, secular world, new horizons, hope
Carlos Gómez-Restrepo, FSC, Ed.D.
For more than 30 years, Carlos Gabriel Gomez-Restrepo, FSC, Ed.D., has served in secular and private educational institutions. His substantial contributions of theories relating higher education and politics, and Lasallian higher education and secular ethics, were recognized by selection to the Order of Democracy by the Congress of Colombia in 2004. Brother Carlos’ leadership within the international Lasallian higher education community has included service as Vice President and now President of the International Association of Lasallian Universities; as Executive Secretary of the Region Latino Americana Lasallista (RELAL); the Mission Educative Lasallienne (MEL) commission; and as coordinator of the preparatory committee for the 44th General Chapter of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Recognizing these and his many other contributions to the international Lasallian educational mission, in 2010 Saint Mary’s College of California awarded Brother Carlos the doctorate honoris causa.