Message of the Superior General to the Pope

Buongiorno, Santo Padre.  We are delighted that you receive us this morning in a spirit of fraternity and joy as our pastor who walks with us and knows the smell of his flock.  We have been especially blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit these past three weeks—Brothers and Lasallian Partners, capitulants and support staff gathered for the 46th General Chapter of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

We were scheduled to hold our Chapter a year ago and in a venue closer to the peripheries, where we could hear better the world’s anguish and embrace the pain especially of poor youth.  While the ongoing pandemic has disrupted our plans, we are determined to walk together with all communities who share our Lasallian charism. We commit to make ourselves radically available to build new pathways to accomplish God’s dream of a more fraternal world here and now.

On a personal note, I am still deeply moved as I remember the power of your presence in the Philippines when you visited the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in January 2015. Despite the inclement weather, you were emboldened to travel to Tacloban where you wore a thin rain poncho over your papal garb.  You were drenched in heavy rain but also with the tears that freely flowed.  Still, my people’s undiminished spirit resounded with the endearing greeting, this time with tears of joy:  “Viva, Lolo Kiko!”

The Lasallian Family joins you today filled with the same audacity as we leave the comfort of safe harbors. Deeply moved by the example of St. John Baptist de La Salle, we overcome our fears so we can encounter God among those who are poor and far from salvation.  Following your encouragement, we journey in synodality with the Church, the rest of humanity and the whole of creation to that place where we are Fratelli Tutti.

We are grateful for you initiative on the Global Compact in Education as this is at the heart of who we are as Lasallian educators and provides us with an avenue to collaborate with you and the global village in addressing the education crisis.  On this happy occasion, we are pleased to present to you a new biography of our Founder which sheds new light on his legacy as “Patron Saint of All Teachers”, drawn to contemplation but choosing to make his mark in active ministry as educator, catechist and evangelizer.  Pray with us and for us so that the Lasallian Family will rediscover our interiority and the legacy of our Founder as a mystic in action.

Your Holiness, thank you again for receiving us. The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools is at your disposal for we are fratelli tutti. — Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC