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Superior General Visits SRA – Updated
On November 3, 2011
On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, Saint Raphael Academy had the great privilege of welcoming the Superior General of the Christian Brothers, Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, FSC, to our campus.
Accompanied by Brothers Robert Schieler, General Councilor – The United States and Toronto Region, and Auxiliary Visitor, Jerome Sullivan, Brother Álvaro was able to spend the day at Saint Raphael Academy touring our campus, praying and meeting with our students, faculty, staff, and administrators, and confirming that Saint Raphael Academy is indeed a place of faith, service, and community. (Photos from Brother Álvaro’s visit appear below.)
As Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Brother Álvaro holds the highest office in the largest Roman Catholic religious order of men devoted to the mission of education.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded by John Baptist de La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers of Youth, is an international Roman Catholic order of lay Religious Brothers, who — together and in association with their Partners in mission — strive to provide “a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor, according to the ministry entrusted to them by the Church.” Today, 6,000 Christian Brothers and 100,000 lay people teach nearly 1 million students in schools, colleges, and universities in 82 countries worldwide.( For more information about the Brothers of the Christian Schools, please visit, lasalle.org.)
Brother Álvaro’s visit to Saint Raphael Academy was part of a greater tour of the District of Eastern North America (DENA), allowing Brother Álvaro to travel from Rome, Italy to meet with Brothers of the Christian Schools, along with Lasallian Partners and students, from Toronto to Washington, D.C., to Warren, Michigan, and even, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. This is the first opportunity for Brother Álvaro to tour the entire District of Eastern North America since its creation in 2009.
The District of Eastern North America is the result of the merger of three previously established Districts: New York – Toronto, Long Island – New England, and Baltimore, and brings together over 350 Christian Brothers, over 3,500 Lasallian teachers and partners, and more than 75 Brothers’ communities and ministries. (For more information about DENA, please visit fscdena.org.)
As part of his official Pastoral Visit, Brother Álvaro encouraged the Lasallians at Saint Raphael Academy to “live Lasallian values with even greater authenticity,” particularly in this unique time of association with Partners in pursuing the Lasallian Mission of educational service to the young, especially the poor.
Brother Álvaro was named Superior General of the Christian Brothers in 2000, becoming the 26th leader of the Order founded in the 17th century by St. John Baptist de La Salle. Brother Álvaro was re-elected in 2007 for another seven years.
Born in Costa Rica, Brother Álvaro graduated from Universidad La Salle Mexico. He then joined the Central American District of the Christian Brothers in 1959 and later professed his perpetual vows. He began his career in education as a teacher and mentor in Mexico and Guatemala for eight years. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brother Álvaro worked in Guatemala and Nicaragua during a period when there was an undeclared war between the notorious Death Squads and the ordinary people of those countries, resulting in thousands of deaths. As a teacher, he personally experienced the violence and underlying tensions of these difficult years for the Brothers, their students and families. In addition to serving as a teacher and administrator, Brother Álvaro is a former Auxiliary Visitor for the District of Central America and Vicar General. In 1992, he was elected Vicar General for the Order, based in the generalate in Rome.