by John Perez
When this man started helping the French youth in need, he did not realize that he would start a change that will inspire many to do the same. This man gave up everything but he did it for the better.
Today, we celebrate the zeal, faith, and integrity of a man that will forever revolutionize education and inspire the hearts of teachers alike.
Lasallians all over the world commemorate the 70th Founder’s Day.
On May 15, 1950, Saint John Baptist de La Salle was declared the Patron Saint of all Teachers of Youth by Pope Pius XII.
During his time, St. La Salle was among the few who received a proper education since his family was rich. Around the early 1680s, the young John sacrificed a comfortable life, together with all the wealth he had, and his position as Canon.
This bold decision helped him and a few people to form the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Together with the Brothers, young John founded a school for French boys and opened their doors to the rich and the less fortunate.
The style of their classroom setting revolutionized the educational system by the professionalization of the teaching profession and the use of teaching modules to guide teachers to properly discipline their students.
St. La Salle’s school also popularized classrooms having windows or at least a part of the door which would be visible by anyone passing by to see what is happening during the class.
The tradition still lives on since the passing of the founder more than 300 years ago. More young men pursue a vocation to become a Brother and the Brothers who still live out the mission of St. La Salle continue to run more schools and produce young people who would be part of transforming society and the nation-building of a dynamic young population.
However, St. La Salle and the Brothers are not the only people that transform what La Salle schools are today.
We see them every single day from the gates of our school to our classrooms. They are witnesses of what happens to us, even during our ups and downs—our very own school personnel.
We have our “Ate and Kuya” janitors who tirelessly work to have a hospitable environment together with the Laboratory Technicians and Staff. Even if they stay on-campus past class hours, they have stories that enlighten us, students, whenever we converse with them. Their resilience can be that of St. La Salle, who despite the many challenges that arrived in his life, continued to face these and welcome the new day with blessings awaiting them.
We have our security guards who are the first people who welcome us and the last people we see every day in our school. Apart from being assigned in one post, they make sure the LSGH community is safe. They also assure us that we will never be alone. Lasallians who stayed in LSGH since Grade School would relate if one time they get lost on-campus, if their parents are not there yet, or if they lost something they own, the first people who immediately come to those children in need is them—our “Kuya” guards.
We cannot forget the friendly staff of our school. From the concessionaires of the Saint Benilde Cafeteria and Zaide to the cashiers of the Educational Exchange Center; to the nurses and doctors of our clinics and the people of the Institutional Printing Office (IPO); to the librarians and custodians of the Learning Resource Center (LRC) and the staff of the Technology Management Center (TMC). The list goes on. Even if they do not teach, they help the LSGH community in various ways. When they are in need, they are there. Our friendly staff continues to help us as we learn from them and as we help them also along the way.
Last but not least would be the faculty and administrators of our school. We are with them almost every day. They continue to help us understand lessons that matter, discussions that are important, and realities that need to be realized. They know the firsthand experience of how we grow up and students from LSGH since Grade School would relate to this. This is why our teachers remain as our second parents. That is why we salute our very teachers—Sir and Miss!
Our very own school personnel emulates St. La Salle. Somehow and someway they become teachers of their own to help the LSGH community and anyone else around them. Their selfless actions develop and spread the Culture of Helping still existing in LSGH and other La Salle schools.
This truly gives meaning to what La Salle could produce, not only through quality education.
This remains as the testament of the legacy of the Patron Saint of Teacher for 70 years and counting—a collection of stories and memories that make up the entire Lasallian family.
You may celebrate Founder’s Day with the programs prepared by De La Salle Brothers Philippines.