The 2021 Brother Charles Kitson Institute for Formation of Lasallian Volunteers was held as two in-person events that aligned more closely with the start of the service year for the LVs. This year’s group of 16 LVs is split with eight returning LVs and eight first-year LVs.
The first gathering brought together the LVs serving in the Midwest District and in Albany, New York, and was held from Tuesday, July 26 through Saturday, July 31 at La Salle Manor in Plano, Illinois. The second gathering brought together the LVs serving in the District of Eastern North America (DENA) from Thursday, September 2 through Monday, September 6 at Christian Brothers Center in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Kitson Institute sessions focused on the Founder, community and ministry. Maria Capitelli, LV 98-00, facilitated a conversation with the LVs on the various ways of experiencing grief from their students and clients losing a loved one or pet. Prerna Abbi, who has partnered with the program since August 2020, continues to serve as our anti-racism facilitator. She met with the white identifying LVs during the DENA gathering. LVs will continue to gather monthly to honor the program and staff’s commitment to working toward a more just society.
Emma Mockler, a returning LV serving at La Salle Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shared, “Being able to have Kitson in person this year was amazing! I had a lot of fun building community with the cohort and staff. Kitson was filled with a lot of laughter and meaningful conversations. Having the opportunity to build relationships in-person this year is something I will not take for granted because we missed out on that last year.”
“It was nice being able to see volunteers in person. There was so much to learn not only about the upcoming year but also about ourselves. The staff did a tremendous job running Kitson Institute, and I felt that it prepared me well for my upcoming year of service,” shared first-year LV Daniel Nguyen, who is serving at De La Salle Blackfeet in Browning, Montana.
Throughout the course of the service year, LVs will gather monthly for anti-racism Zooms and bi-monthly for professional development Zooms. Our next gathering, which we intend to hold in person, will be the Midyear Retreat over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend outside of Baltimore, Maryland.