Mission Makers: Recast, A Campus Tradition Highlights Community’s Faithful Practice

In April, Manhattan College celebrates Mission Month, an affirmation of events and activities that highlight ways that Jaspers bring to life the hallmarks of our Lasallian heritage.

Every April, the Manhattan College community joins thousands of Lasallians in more than 80 countries of the world to reflect on and celebrate the legacy of Saint John Baptist de La Salle that inspires our mission. This year, the ever-evolving campus tradition is being recast as Mission Month to include a broad range of lectures, presentations, performances, discussions and other events that focus on the College’s core values.

“The events are sponsored by a wide range of departments, programs and individuals, and reflect the diversity and dynamism of our community,” says President Brennan O’Donnell. “Their richness reminds us of the pervasive and multifaceted distinctiveness of our tradition as expressed in our day-to-day work.”

Brother Jack Curran, vice president of mission, assembled more than 50 pre-existing events from the College calendar that highlight one or more of College’s five core Lasallian principles: excellence in teaching; respect for human dignity; reflection on faith and its relation to reason; ethical conduct; and commitment to social justice.

“The mission — not only the Lasallian mission — the mission of the College is vibrant and alive,” Br. Jack says. “People are working hard to make it real in the lives of our students and for the betterment of our society.  The people doing this are the faculty and the staff in their day-to-day interactions. Mission Month is a tremendous opportunity to affirm that significant reality.”

Part of Mission Month celebration is also to recognize students who volunteer and serve others, contributing in many, many ways to building up the human family – as well as faculty, staff, and administrators who live the mission according to their talents and interests, taking leadership roles throughout Greater New York City and beyond.

For example, William Clyde, Ph.D., provost, serves on the board of the Union Community Health Center in the Bronx; Kirk Barrett, Ph.D., associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, serves on the Lower Passaic River Community Advisory Group; Christoph Lienert, Ph.D., associate professor of kinesiology, together with students volunteer to teach ESOL at the in the Bronx at the Community Association of Progressive Dominicans (ACDP); Lois Harr, director of Campus Ministry and Social Action, serves on the board of the Methodist Home; and Richard Satterlee, Ph.D., vice president for student life, was recently elected to the board of the Association For Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges & Universities (ASACCU).

With this in mind, Mission Month will culminate with the Mass of the Feast of Saint John Baptist de La Salle on April 27 at noon in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers to recognize and celebrate all who volunteer and serve others.

“The Mission Month events are contemporary expressions of our rich Lasallian heritage,” Br. Jack says, noting that the April calendar “is not exhaustive, but illustrative of the sacred encounters our faculty, staff, administrators and students have each and every day.”

For a full list, visit the Mission Month Calendar.