“Be not troubled about the present or disquieted about the future but be concerned only about the moment you must know live.” –Saint John Baptist De La Salle
These words, which are so eloquently spoken by our founder, reflect part of what it means to be Lasallian. Before my sister Clare joined the Lasallian Volunteers in 2004 I had little idea what being Lasallian meant. Clare’s decision would affect those she lived with in community in the Bronx and those she tutored at La Salle Academy in Manhattan and perhaps someone she would not think it would directly affect turned out to be me.
Clare showed me what it meant to serve a need as well as answer the call to serve. Her experience jump started my discernment to find my way to the Lasallian Volunteers. It becomes very obvious when someone is doing meaningful service because it shows through them. When my cousin, Kevin, joined in 2008 it only furthered my desire to become a Lasallian Volunteer. Through their experiences, I saw what being Lasallian meant and it stuck.
Now in 2013, I have answered this same call. This call is to serve those who are in need through the Lasallian Volunteer’s three pillars of faith, service, and community. As divine providence would have it, I will be starting in a few weeks in New York City just like my sister. I will be living in community in Brooklyn and serving as an assistant campus minister at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School also in Brooklyn.
After just recently finishing Lasallian Volunteers Orientation at Lewis University, I could not be more excited to start at my service site. My site visit introduced me to the amazing students I will be ministering to and the faculty and staff I’ll be serving alongside. The students love to spend time in the Campus Ministry office and are always more than excited to volunteer for service opportunities. The faculty and staff are incredibly helpful in every aspect of my job in campus ministry, whether that be helping to plan assemblies or chaperoning a service trip. God has blessed me to be in a fantastic service site that will challenge me to go both further professionally and spiritually. This is because at Bishop Loughlin, I will be pushed beyond my comfort level while still having the support available to succeed. Orientation has given me the tools to be a prepared and professional campus minister as well as the tools to grow in my faith through numerous intensive sessions covering the wide range of needs that a Lasallian Volunteer has. Now that I am a Lasallian Volunteer, my discernment does not stop, but rather gets pushed into high gear in such a spiritually rich environment through faith, service, and community.
I am firmly aware that there will be days that I will come home from work exhausted, frustrated, or perhaps a combination. Given this reality, I should be much more scared than I am. Why am I and other fellow volunteers so calm? Because we have 53 total volunteers serving all across the United States this year and we stand together. Because we have the support of a Lasallian Volunteers staff that works tirelessly to deepen our experience in any way they can. Because we have 25 years of LV Alumni who know firsthand what it is like to serve and can help directly. And finally, because we have the support of the Christian Brothers that provide for us absolutely anything we need to succeed. With all of this support, how can we fail in our mission?
This is what I have learned already in my short time being called Lasallian. We will continue to succeed because we are a community grounded in both faith and service to God and our mission.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for us.
Jeff Petroski, 13-14, Bishop Loughlin High School