I love getting to know new saints, and as a priest, you have to meet them as you work through the church year–observing the different feasts and memorials.

I had known of St John Baptist de la Salle and the Christian brothers, but didn’t know the details. It seems in every age God raises up a saint to renew Catholic education and open the minds of a new generation to the mysteries of God’s love. St John Baptist de la Salle’s sacrifice of his comfortable church position and his family fortune in order to start schools to educate the poor is a beautiful reminder of our work in Catholic education.
The gospel for today’s memoria was Our Lord reminding us that unless we become like little children we can never enter the kingdom. Every Catholic philosophy of education should be grounded in the gospel realization that each child is an icon of what all of us must become. The teacher should regard his students with wonder, curiosity, humor, love and the intrinsic respect due to another human being. From this Christ-like love the rest of education can flow. Without it all we are doing is cramming heads full of facts.
St John Baptist de la Salle, patron of teachers, pray for us.