More than 110 students and educators will gather at NU for community service and spirituality
Brothers of the Christian Schools, District of Eastern North America (DENA), will hold its annual Lasallian Youth Assembly at Niagara University July 15-19, with more than 110 secondary school students and educators expected to gather for a week focused on the Lasallian core concepts of faith, service, community and justice.
Over the course of the week-long gathering, co-sponsored by La Salle University (Philadelphia), with a theme of "Faith and Action through Civic Engagement," students will volunteer at ministry sites in the Niagara area, participate in and lead prayer services, take part in discussions about service and the promotion of social justice - all leading to a newly cultivated communal bond with one another through social gatherings and reflection opportunities.
Students will devote volunteer hours to the following Niagara- and Buffalo-based organizations and ministries, many of which parallel the Lasallian mission of Christian education to the young, especially the poor: Heart, Love and Soul food pantry, Community Missions of the Niagara, Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier, Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence, Sustainable Sandals Project, St. Luke's Mission, St. Luke's Kids of the Kingdom Program, Nativity Miguel Middle School and the Food Bank of Western New York.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome this group of young people, who have demonstrated a commitment to serving the disadvantaged, to Western New York," said Michael Jeswald, adjunct professor and training manager of Niagara University's Hospitality Training and Research Center. "Hosting this assembly allows us to showcase the Niagara-Buffalo area to high school students from across the northeast and, more importantly, adds to our university's community service efforts at a time when most of our students are home for summer break."
Students and educators will travel far and wide to take part in the assembly hosted by Niagara, from Lasallian schools including: Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School (Brooklyn), Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh), Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft, N.J.), La Salle Academy (New York City), La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.), St. John's College High School (Washington, D.C.), St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute (Buffalo), St. Peter's High School for Boys (Staten Island), St. Raphael Academy (Pawtucket, R.I.), and West Philadelphia Catholic High School (Philadelphia). Other ministries also associated with the District of Eastern North America that will be in attendance include St. Mary Magdalene Parish Lasallian Youth Group (Queens), and Trinity High School (Manchester, N.H.).
The District of Eastern North America is a community of more than 340 Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers), and their Lasallian partners and associates, who together sponsor and operate more than 30 ministries in the northeast. Schools and ministries reach from Toronto to Washington D.C., and from Warren, Mich., to Providence, R.I. Locally, St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Buffalo is a ministry of the district.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded by John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of teachers of youth, is an international Roman Catholic order of lay religious brothers, who — together and in association with their partners in mission — strive to provide "a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor, according to the ministry entrusted to them by the church."