As part of Buttimer, participants took part in three classroom sessions per day, morning and evening prayer sessions in the Chapel of de La Salle and His Brothers, and numerous social activities that helped them get to know each other. They also visited the Manhattan College archives in O’Malley Library and had a guided tour of the Chapel with archivist Amy Surak, who spoke about the 12 newly-restored stained glass windows that showcase the Life and Work of John Baptist de La Salle. Prior to their installation at the College in early 2016, the collection had undergone a lengthy restoration and reacquisition process with the District Council of the District of Eastern North America (DENA).
Sarah Scott, Ph.D, associate professor of philosophy at Manhattan College, and Jack McClure, Ph.D., the program director for the Education Doctoral Degree in Leadership program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, were among those who participated in Buttimer III this year. In their final year, Scott, McClure and their cohort focused on De La Salle’s spiritual vision, and immersed themselves in the founder’s spiritual writings and works.
“The Buttimer Institute is a powerful bonding experience with people of so many different places. It’s rewarding and sad that it’s coming to an end," McClure said.
Included in his graduating class was Manhattan College philosophy professor Sarah Scott, Ph.D., who presented her research project, “Education as Spiritual Resistance: Hannah Arendt, Martin Buber and the Lasallian Charism,” as part of her completion of the program.
The effects of delving deeper into the origins of their Lasallian heritage proved to be profound for College faculty and administrators who participated, as well as for those from other institutions, according to Br. Jack.
“Watching the presentations of the 25 graduates of Buttimer III, and seeing them receive their certificates, it was enlightening to see Lasallians from all over the world share their insight on the life and work of our patron saint, John Baptist de La Salle. It was an honor to host an event equally significant to our heritage as it is to our future as disciples of the Lasallian mission, to touch hearts, to teach minds, and transform lives,” he said.
“As President O'Donnell wrote in his welcome letter to Lasallian educators from around the globe, their time as participants in the Buttimer Institute here at Manhattan College is an encouragement to all of us in ‘making Lasallian education a beacon of hope, a project of faith, and an expression of love.’”
This year was the first time Manhattan played host to the Buttimer Institute in 25 years. Following its launch in 1986, when the first cohort meeting was held on Manhattan’s campus, the conference has been held at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga.