Leader of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools to tour the District of Eastern North America Nov. 1-15
Superior General Brother Álvaro Rodriguez Echeverria, FSC, leader of the largest Roman Catholic religious order of men devoted to the mission of education, will make a pastoral visit to Manhattan College on Nov. 9 as part of a two-week tour to the United States. Br. Álvaro holds the highest office of the Christian Brothers, whose 6,000 Brothers and 100,000 associates teach nearly one million students in schools, colleges and universities in 82 countries worldwide.
The day trip to Manhattan College will consist of: a celebration of Mass; meetings with Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College and senior administration; the Lasallian Education Committee and the education department; a campus tour led by students; and an informational session provided by the campus ministry and social action department (including the Lasallian Collegians and the Lasallian Leaders) on the various service options available at the College.
Departing on Nov. 1 from Rome, Br. Álvaro will have the opportunity to tour the entire District of Eastern Northern America (DENA), which was created in 2009, and spans from Toronto to Washington, D.C., and Warren, Mich., to Providence, R.I. With more than 350 Christian Brothers, more than 3,500 Lasallian teachers and partners, and more than 75 Brothers’ communities and ministries, Br. Álvaro will have a busy itinerary during his two-week visit.
As part of his official pastoral visit, he will encourage Lasallians to live Lasallian values with more authenticity, particularly in this unique time of association with partners in pursuing the Lasallian Mission of educational service to the young, especially the poor.
Br. Álvaro was named Superior General of the Christian Brothers in 2000, and became the 26th leader of the order founded in the 17th century by St. John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of teachers. He was re-elected in 2007 for another seven years. Throughout Br. Álvaro’s visit, Brothers Robert Schieler, General Councilor — the United States and Toronto Region, Dennis Malloy — Visitor (Provincial) of DENA, and Auxiliary Visitors Dennis Lee, Jerome Sullivan and Thomas Scanlan will accompany him.
Born in Costa Rica, Br. Álvaro graduated from Universidad La Salle Mexico. He then joined the Central American District of the Christian Brothers in 1959 and later professed his perpetual vows. He began his career in education as a teacher and mentor in Mexico and Guatemala for eight years. In the 1970s and 1980s, Br. Álvaro worked in Guatemala and Nicaragua during a period when there was an undeclared war between the notorious Death Squads and the ordinary people of those countries, which resulted in thousands of deaths. As a teacher, he personally experienced the violence and underlying tensions of these difficult years for the Brothers, their students and families. In addition to serving as a teacher and administrator, Br. Álvaro is a former Auxiliary Visitor for the District of Central America and Vicar General. In 1992, he was elected Vicar General for the order, based in the generalate in Rome.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded by John Baptist de La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers of Youth, is an international Roman Catholic order of lay Religious Brothers, who — together and in association with their partners in mission — strive to provide a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor, according to the ministry entrusted to them by the church.