Tel: 01865 311 332
De La Salle Provincialate,
140 Banbury Road,
Oxford OX2 7BP
De La Salle's most explicit statement of his vision of Christian education is found in the reflections he wrote for teachers, entitled Meditations for the Time of Retreat. The second meditation bears the heading: "What teachers must do to procure the sanctification of their students". In it he writes:-
"Consider that it is only too common for the working class and the poor to allow their children to live on their own, roaming all over as if they had no home, until they are able to be put to some work. These parents have no concern to send their children to school because they are too poor to pay teachers, or else they have to go out to look for work and leave their children to fend for themselves. The results of this condition are regrettable.
These unfortunate children, accustomed to an idle life for many years, have great difficulty when it comes time for them to go to work. In addition, thorough association with bad companions, they learn to commit many sins which later on are very difficult to stop, the bad habits having been contracted over so long a period of time.
God has had the goodness to remedy so great a misfortune by the establishment of the Christian Schools, where teaching is offered free of charge and entirely for the glory of God and where children are kept all day and learn reading, writing and their religion. In these schools the children are always kept busy, so that when their parents want them to go to work, they are prepared for employment.
However, it is not enough that children be kept in school for most of the day and be kept busy. Those who are called to teach them must devote themselves especially to bringing them up in the Christian spirit. This spirit gives children the wisdom of God, which none of the princes of this world have known. It is completely opposed to the spirit and wisdom of the world."
"God's word is powerful in touching hearts."