No doubt by now you have heard and probably even discussed the decision by Canada’s largest school board to “loosen” up its uniform requirements and policies for students. Teachers abandoned business attire in this system a long time ago. The reaction has been predicable insofar as there are clearly two polarized camps and points of view.
In the name of the entire De La Salle College ”Oaklands” community: students, parents, staff, alums and benefactors, I extend my greetings. Established in 1851, De La Salle College “Oaklands” is part of a world-wide movement inspired by the life and work of St. John Baptist de La Salle who responded to the needs of his time in 17th Century France by founding a religious community of teaching Brothers and providing a Christian education mostly for the sons of artisans and the poor. What he accomplished, however, was more than just open schools, he created a vision of educating youth.
Throughout its long history Brothers and many other dedicated persons have worked tirelessly to continue this vision at the College. A Lasallian school is centred on a life of faith. In such a school, God's presence is a lived reality. It is a Christian school in the Roman Catholic tradition which proclaims the message of the Gospel to today’s youth.
The Christian action and community service programs are an essential part of the education of young people attending the College and assist in the fostering of charity, tolerance and a concern for the poor. De La Salle College “Oaklands” has an outstanding tradition of academic excellence and, like all Lasallian schools, it continues to foster excellence in all areas of school life. Community service and other Christian action initiatives make up an essential component of the educational experience of young people attending the College. These programs assist students in fostering the virtues of charity, compassion and concern for the poor.
Education in the Lasallian tradition is about how to make a life and not simply how to make a living. Such a view is not always easy to pursue since our culture is generally indifferent to this vision. A sound, Christian education based on good example, charity, and excellence is arguably the greatest gift that can be bestowed on the young. I invite you to become part of this vision in whatever way possible. May the Patron of All Christian Teachers, St. John Baptist de La Salle bless you and those dear to you.
Live, Jesus in our hearts. Forever.
Brother Domenic Viggiani, FSC
President, De La Salle College "Oaklands"
"It is essential that we enable young people to see themselves as participants in one of the most exciting eras in history, and to have a sense of purpose in relation to it." -Nelson Rockefeller
This quote from one of the best presidents the United States never had probably speaks to each generation; it is especially relevant though to our times. Arts Week allows us to see on display the extraordinary talents of our young people. I marvel at how well our student actors, artists and musicians can perform. True, we have put the means and resources before them, but they constantly respond and surprise us with their talents. We should all be grateful that here we continue to expose our young people to the best in art, literature and music.
Since the Second Vatican Council which ended over fifty years ago now until our own days, a great deal has changed in the life of the Church. The shortage of priests and Religious Sisters and Brothers, the introduction of a new liturgy, and the disappearance of many Catholic customs and practices have been much in evidence during these years. Attendance at Sunday Mass is at a historic low and the sexual abuse scandals continue to plague the Church in many parts of the world.