Meditations by John Baptist de La Salle
Frontispiece: An engraving by Joffroy of a portrait made of De La Salle in his coffin. See Iconographie, by Joseph Cornet, FSC, and Emile Rousset, FSC, Cahiers lasalliens 49, 1989, Presses de Gedit, Belgium.
This is the frontispiece of the original edition of both volumes of De La Salle’s meditations.
Meditations by Cornet John Baptist de La Salle
Translated by Richard Arnandez, FSC, and Augustine Loes, FSC
Edited by Augustine Loes, FSC, and Francis Huether, FSC 1994, reprinted 2007
This volume is a translation of two works by John Baptist de La Salle, Méditations pour les Dimanches et les principales Fêtes de l’année (Meditations for the Sundays and the Principal Feasts of the Year) [1731?] and Méditations pour le Temps de la Retraite (Meditations for the Time of Retreat) [1730?].
Sponsored by the Regional Conference of the Christian Brothers of the United States and Toronto
Luke Salm, FSC Chairman
William Quaintance, FSC
Francis Huether, FSC
Director of Publications Copy Editor
Daniel Burke, FSC William Mann, FSC
Miguel Campos, FSC Donald Mouton, FSC
Ronald Isetti, FSC Joseph Schmidt, FSC
Augustine Loes, FSC Nicholas Schumer, FSC
Meditations by John Baptist de La Salle is volume 4 of Lasallian Sources: The Complete Works of Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Copyright © 1994 by Christian Brothers Conference
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
Library Congress catalog card number 94-070440
ISBN 0-944808-11-5 (hardbound)
ISBN 0-944808-12-3 (paperback)
Cover: Church of Saint Remigius in Reims, where De La Salle often spent nights in prayer when he was beginning the work of the Christian Schools.
Brother Richard Arnandez, FSC, was born in New Iberia, Louisiana. From 1933 to 1936, he taught in the boarding school of the Christian Brothers in Passy-Froyennes, Belgium. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and a Licence ès Lettres from the University of Lille, France. After a number of years as teacher and administrator, Brother Richard was appointed Provincial of the New Orleans–Santa Fe Province. From 1969 to 1972 he served in Rome as the Secretary General and the Vice-Procurator General of the Congregation. He is the author of several books and journal articles and a professional translator.
Brother Augustine Loes, FSC, did his undergraduate studies at the Catholic University of America and holds a Master’s degree in classics from Fordham University and in clinical psychology from Catholic University. He has taught in several secondary schools of the New York District and administered schools, child care institutions, a training college for young Brothers, and a retirement home for aged and infirm Brothers. He served for several years as Provincial of his New York Province. Currently he works as editor and translator for Lasallian Publications.
Brother Francis Huether, FSC, is a native of New York City, although for many years he has worked in the Chicago area. In his sixty-plus years as a Christian Brother, he has been teacher, administrator, comptroller, and supervisor of schools. In 1972 he helped establish the national (later regional) education office of the Christian Brothers Conference, and he served as its first secretary for over fifteen years. The Huether Workshop of Lasallian educators is named in his honor. Bother Francis holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in German from The Catholic University of America and has studied at Fordham, Columbia,
Canisius, and Rhode Island College. Presently he is copy editor for Lasallian Publications.
Sponsored by the Regional Conference of Christian Brothers of the United States and Toronto, Lasallian Publications will produce 30 volumes on the life, writings, and work of John Baptist de La Salle (1651–1719), founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and on the early history of the Brothers. These volumes will be presented in two series.
✦ Lasallian Sources, in 9 volumes, consists of new English translations and editions of all the writings of John Baptist de La Salle.
✦ Lasallian Resources consists of the three early biographies of John Baptist de La Salle, four thematic studies based on documents contemporary with the foundation of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and translations and editions of current Lasallian studies.
Volumes Already Published in This Series
The Letters of John Baptist de La Salle. Translated and edited by Colman Molloy, FSC, and Augustine Loes, FSC (1988).
Collection of Various Short Treatises. Translated by W. J. Battersby, FSC, and edited by Daniel Burke, FSC (1993).
The Rules of Christian Decorum and Civility. Translated by Richard Arnandez, FSC, and edited by Gregory Wright, FSC
The Life of John Baptist de La Salle. Canon John Baptist Blain. Translated by Richard Arnandez, FSC (1985).
John Baptist de La Salle: The Formative Years. Luke Salm, FSC (1989).
Current Lasallian Studies
John Baptist de La Salle and Special Education: A Study of Saint Yon. Othmar Würth, FSC. Translated by Augustine Loes, FSC.
Adapted by Francis Huether, FSC. Edited by Bonaventure Miner, FSC (1988).
So Favored by Grace: Education in the Time of John Baptist de La Salle. Edited by Lawrence J. Colhocker, FSC (1991).
Saint John Baptist de la Salle was an innovative educator. Teacher training began with him. Recognizing the value of cooperative learning. Believing that every child deserved a high-quality education. Tailoring the pedagogy to suit the needs of the learner. All of these were innovations designed to improve the lives of the poor children of his day.
But this had the further result of improving education for centuries afterward, even today. At the time of his death, one could be forgiven for thinking that his endeavor was a failure. But today his legacy is something miraculous.
There are schools all over the world carrying out his vision. The educational mission extends into retreats and other ministries. The schools are designed to foster connections that last a lifetime. It is nothing short of miraculous. And of course, it was. Saint John Baptist de la Salle was a saint that strove for holiness throughout his life.
This is a translation of his meditations that was the result of hard work by the brothers we acknowledge in this podcast. Over the course of the Season of Lent, we will continue to read a mediation, provide reflection questions, and seek to see how the wisdom of Saint John Baptist de la Salle is still relevant today.
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