News & Events

Lewis University students explore Lasallian roots

Lewis University students explore Lasallian roots and meet with current leaders of De La Salle Christian Brothers in Italy

Published: June 11, 2012.


Lewis University 1969 Alumnus Brother Thomas
Johnson, FSC, talks with Lewis students and faculty
in the chapel of the Generalate for the De La Salle
Christian Brothers in Rome, Italy.

During a recent Travel Study Abroad trip to Italy, 12 Lewis University students and faculty visited the Generalate for the De La Salle Christian Brothers in Rome, Italy. For more than 50 years, the Christians Brothers have sponsored Lewis University. They stayed at the Casa la Salle and met with Lewis University 1969 Alumnus Brother Thomas Johnson, FSC, Vicar General of the Christian Brothers.

Dr. Dominic Colonna, Chair of Theology and co-coordinator of trip, was ecstatic about the opportunity to have the students meet a leader of the community, who happens to be a Lewis University alumnus. The students had stopped at the Generalate at the beginning of their Travel Study Abroad trip to Rome, Assisi and Florence, where they visited churches, museums and sites of historical or cultural significance. He said, “What a great opportunity for our students to see the potential of a Lewis University education. When I realized the opportunity, I shifted the focus of our lesson from a study of the chapel to a conversation about Brother Thomas’ call to be a Brother. His discussion of the life of St. John Baptist de la Salle, told through a review of the stained-glass windows in the chapel, was inspiring and prepared us for our study of St. Francis of Assisi in Assisi. Brother Thomas’ gift of his time and energy was extraordinarily generous.”

Dr. Dennis Cremin, Associate Professor of History and co-coordinator of the trip, added, “One of the highlights was the tour of the Generalate, the headquarters of the Christian Brothers in Rome. The students were surprised by the close connection that Brother Thomas had with them. He spent nearly two hours touring and conversing with the students.”

Lemont resident Alyssa Taffe, Nursing student, said, “Brother Thomas was a fountain of knowledge that flowed with information. I enjoyed the tour and learning about the Christian Brothers. I am proud of the foundation that Lewis University has because of the Brothers.”

Other students participating in trip included: Raul Chavez, Caleigh Clemens, Stephanie Daley, Bria May, Brittney May, Jessica McKenzie, Sarah Palya, Crystal Reveles and Mateusz Wlos.

The Study Abroad office provides students at Lewis University the unique chance to complement and enhance their academic careers with a variety of international academic opportunities. Programs run anywhere from a few weeks to an academic year and offer Lewis courses that can fit into general education, elective, minor, and/or major credits depending on the program. More information about study abroad experiences is available by contacting Chris Swanson, director of Study Abroad at 815-836-5993 or studyabroad@lewisu.edu.

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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