From July 14-19, Manhattan College hosted more than 100 high school students and educators participating in the Brothers of the Christian Schools District of Eastern North America (DENA) annual Lasallian Youth Assembly. This weeklong gathering focused on the Lasallian core concepts of faith, service and community.
In accordance with this year’s theme of “Caring for God's Creation,” students volunteered with several Hurricane Sandy recovery organizations including Occupy Sandy (Staten Island), Long Island Volunteer Recovery Center, Sandy Help (Long Beach) and All Hands (Atlantic Beach). Participants also watched the documentary film presentation New York Says Thank You and engaged in the Stars of Hope project, a unique art project designed to bring hope and inspiration to the children of disaster-stricken communities.
Throughout the week, students cultivated a close-knit community by participating in prayer services as well as several discussion and reflection opportunities centered on service and the promotion of environmental justice.
“When I think about our Lasallian belief of faith, service, and community, I see faith as the love and trust we have in God; community as the love in the people of God; and service as how you express that love,” said Robert, a student of St. John’s College High School, Washington D.C., during a moment of group reflection. “In my opinion, this assembly we were part of, the service really embodied those three parts of the Lasallian heritage. It was a great experience.”
In addition to St. John’s College High School, students and educators traveled from more than a dozen Lasallian schools all over the northeastern corridor including: Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Central Catholic High School, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, N.J.; La Salle Academy, New York, N.Y.; La Salle Academy, Providence, R.I.; St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Buffalo, N.Y.; St. Peter's Boys High School, Staten Island, N.Y.; St. Raphael Academy, Pawtucket, R.I.; and West Catholic Preparatory High School, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Martin de Porres Group Home, Springfield Gardens, N.Y.
Other ministries also associated with DENA that will be in attendance include St. Mary Magdalene Parish and Trinity High School, N.H.
DENA is a community of more than 325 Brothers of the Christian Schools and its Lasallian partners and associates, which sponsor and operate more than 30 ministries in the northeast.
“We are delighted to host student participants and adult leaders from the Lasallian Youth Assembly on our campus,” says Richard Satterlee, Ph.D., vice president for student life at Manhattan College. “I was so impressed with their demonstration of Lasallian core values, especially the expression of their faith through acts of kindness toward their world and their fellow human beings. I hope the students take away a growing sense of their place in our Lasallian family.”