The monument called “The Encounter” has been constructed throughout the semester. Originally set to be dedicated to Saint John Baptiste De La Salle, the patron saint of educators, on April 30, the ceremony will instead take place during the Fall 2019 semester. Heavy rainfall in late April was the reason the dedication was rescheduled.
The construction of the monument, which sits across from North Hall, was made possible by benefactors Jay and Lori Bergman. “The Encounter” depicts a statue of De La Salle before a doorway, inspired by his visit to the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus in Reims, France in 1679.
“A large interpretative panel will be on display at ‘The Encounter’ site to provide some context for those who visit,” said Vice President for Mission Dr. Kurt Schackmuth. “In addition, programming is being developed for the next academic year that will introduce new students to the symbolism and purpose of the monument.”
Throughout April, a series of events honoring De La Salle and the Christian Brothers took place for Lasallian Heritage Month (LHM). LHM hosted a variety of events under the Institution of Lasallian Christian Brothers’ theme, “The Year of Lasallian Vocation.” A Mass in celebration of De La Salle on April 4 presented a relic at the commemoration. Following the mass, a presentation detailing the relic’s significance was given by history professor Dr. Dennis Cremin and theology professor Dr. Maryellen Collett.
“As a Lasallian institution, we want to remind our entire community about the work of De La Salle and the Christian Brothers,” said Associate Director of Mission and Identity Margaret Grabowski. “De La Salle’s legacy is providing quality education for the financially poor and this formation of teachers. We want people to know who he is, as well as the Christian Brothers, and honor that in this history of Lewis.”
The Office of Mission and Identity plans to celebrate LHM next academic year. A date to commemorate “The Encounter” will be announced in the Fall 2019 semester.