The 2020-2021 service year for Lasallian Volunteers (LVs) began with a virtual Brother Charles Kitson Institute for Formation of Lasallian Volunteers (Kitson Institute) from July 19 through July 26, 2020.
This year’s cohort is made up of 32 LVs, which includes two third-year LVs, 10 second-year LVs, and 20 first-year LVs, who will serve in 18 ministries and 12 communities across the Region. They represent each of our colleges and universities in the United States and eight Lasallian high schools.
Under the leadership of LV Associate Director Maggie Naughton, the LVs dug deep into the Lasallian charism, LV support networks, professionalism, service sites, community experience, relationships and pulling it all together. Returning LVs created space for LVs to connect socially as an opportunity to gather with one another and create community amongst one another.
First-year LV Racheal Bailey, who will serve at West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and who is a graduate of San Miguel High School in Tucson, Arizona, shared, “Kitson was an experience that was essential to starting off my first year as a Lasallian Volunteer. It’s given me such an abundance of support, and I feel more confident going into this new journey. The time with LV staff and my cohort has been wonderful, and I’m definitely looking forward to this service year!”
Maeve Hughes, a second-year LV who will return to De La Salle Blackfeet School in Browning, Montana, shared, “Kitson Institute is very important for professional development, but also to get to know our fellow volunteers in the cohort. Even with it being virtual this year, we were still able to really get to know each other. Whether it was through various small groups during professional development or through the variety of socials led by returning volunteers, it was a welcoming atmosphere for everyone.”
“The virtual Kitson Institute was an outstanding experience for me entering the LV program,” shared first-year LV Calvin Gill, who will serve at LaSalle School in Albany, New York, and is a graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee. “The support from the LV staff and returning LVs empowers me to do all I can for my community. As I enter my new beginning, I understand that I have embarked upon a great journey with the support of a family of amazing people. I am so thankful for it all!”
The virtual Kitson Institute closed with a Call to Mission and commissioning ceremony, which was held on Sunday, July 26. The LVs, staff and facilitators were joined by over 50 Brothers, site and community directors, LV alums, family and friends.
Throughout the month of August, Lasallian Volunteers will continue to offer formation and professional development on prayer, online accompaniment and programmatic items surrounding recruitment efforts, among other items. The program has signed on an anti-racism facilitator, Prerna Abbi, for all LVs to gather monthly to honor the program and staff’s commitment to working toward a more just society. Abbi is founding member of Moxie Consultancy Collective, where she provides consulting services, retreat planning and facilitation, and 1:1 coaching relating to diversity, equity and inclusion. Abbi has previously presented at Kitson Institute.