DeLaSalle High School is proud of its association with the Brothers of the Christian Schools (informally known as the Christian Brothers). From the very first school day in 1900, Christian Brothers have guided DeLaSalle students in their academic studies and the development of their relationship with Jesus Christ. Currently, Brothers serve DeLaSalle in the classroom, administration, maintenance, facilities, and transportation. The community of Brothers live in the three-story residence “behind” the school building on Grove Street. For the 2014 – 2015 school year, DeLaSalle’s resident Brothers are joined by three Lasallian Volunteers – young men and women who choose to provide a year or two of service to a Lasallian institution such as DeLaSalle.
John Baptist de La Salle was deeply moved by the way in which the children of the artisans and the poor were abandoned and left to themselves. As a practical response to his prayerful consideration of this fact in relation to God’s plan of salvation, he came to discern, in faith, what God wanted the mission of a Lasallian institute to be.
The Lasallian work has considerably increased throughout the world. Today we are 80,000 educators and more than 5,000 Brothers, and together we animate the Lasallian mission which reaches more than one million children, young people, and adults.
We give thanks to God for those Brothers and Lasallians who, wherever they are working, put their whole heart into the option for the poor, attempting, through their educational action, to build a world with greater solidarity and justice.
Educational service of the poor continues to be relevant for our time and essential for the Brothers and Lasallians. The effort required of each one of us is one of conversion of the heart and of the mind.
Therefore, We, a diverse community of teachers, learners, alumni, parents and volunteers, comprise DeLaSalle High School. Our mission is to serve students from Minneapolis and surrounding communities who seek a high-quality, values-based, academic preparation for life. We at DeLaSalle High School fulfill this mission, in part, by respecting and affirming our heritage as a Catholic high school in the Lasallian tradition.
John Baptist de La Salle was the first son of wealthy parents living in France over 300 years ago. Born at Reims, John Baptist de La Salle received the tonsure at age eleven and named Canon of the Reims Cathedral at sixteen. Though he had to assume the administration of family affairs after his parents died, he completed his theological studies and was ordained a priest on April 9, 1678. Two years later he received a doctorate in theology. Meanwhile he became tentatively involved with a group of rough and barely literate young men in order to establish schools for poor boys.
Moved by the plight of the poor who seemed so “far from salvation”, he abandoned his family home, moved in with the teachers, renounced his position as Canon and his wealth, and so formed the community that became known as the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
His enterprise met opposition who resisted the creation of a new form of religious life, a community of consecrated laymen to conduct gratuitous schools “together and by association.” The educational establishment resented his innovative methods and his insistence on gratuity for all, regardless of whether they could afford to pay.
John Baptist de La Salle was a pioneer in founding training colleges for teachers, reform schools for delinquents, technical schools, and secondary schools for modern languages, arts, and sciences. His work quickly spread and, after his death, continued to spread across the globe.
In 1900 John Baptist de La Salle was declared a Saint. In 1950 he was made Patron Saint of all those who work in the field of education. John Baptist de La Salle inspired others how to teach and care for young people, how to meet failure and frailty with compassion, how to affirm, strengthen and heal. Now there are De La Salle schools in 82 different countries around the globe serving over 1 million students.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools is a Roman Catholic congregation of lay religious men. It is the largest such group in the world today. Begun in 1680 by St. John Baptist de La Salle to serve the needs of the children of the poor and marginalized of France, the Brothers grew in numbers and now, aided by thousands of Lasallian Partners, carry the vision of their Founder to hundreds of education-related works in 82 countries throughout the world. This world-wide community of Brothers, numbering about 6600 today, is headquartered in Rome, Italy. The United States of America/Toronto Region is home to more than 950 Brothers who serve in six Districts and the Delegation of Toronto.
These Brothers serve in 30 states in the U.S., in Toronto, and in the international missions of Africa and the University of Bethlehem in the Mideast. They are assisted by more than 5,000 Lasallian Partners in 121 institutions where they work with nearly 80,000 students.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools, by their own choice and vocation, are lay religious (not ordained priests). They vow to associate for the education of the poor through a consecrated life of poverty, chastity and obedience.
The Brothers approach their educational work as more than a job or a profession; it is the essence of their calling to, as St. John Baptist de La Salle instructed, “touch the hearts” of the young entrusted to their care and to “inspire them with the Christian spirit.”