Mini-Buttimer Formation Returns to In-Person

With a modified version that allowed for the participants to be in-person and follow safety protocols due to the pandemic, the Office of Mission held its annual Mini-Buttimer Formation program June 8 - 9.  Eight colleagues across staff and faculty attended the program, including Andrea Brown, Corey Cook, Carol Ann Gittens, Veronica Hefner, Jennifer Kulbeck, Lila Leath, Christine Oh, and Dai To. 

Facilitated by Dr. Greg Kopra of the De La Salle Institute in Napa, Dr. Monica Fitzgerald, Director or Faculty Development and Professor of Justice, Community, and Leadership, and Frances Sweeney, Vice President for Mission, the two days consisted of an overview of the life of the founder, readings and discussions about Lasallian pedagogy and spirituality, meditation and yoga, a panel with the Christian Brothers, a tour of the two Brothers’ communities, overview of different Lasallian development and initiatives in the United States and internationally, and resources for integration of Lasallian principles in their work.  Sessions were held in the Chapel, the Soda Center, and the Redwood Grove.  

Mini-Buttimer was created by retired Associate Registrar, Leslie Welty. Leslie attended the three year, three-week Buttimer program in Manhattan College, New York. Her project was to create a Lasallian formation program here for our own faculty and staff. Like the Buttimer program, in Mini-Buttimer attendees get an overview of the life of the founder, Saint John Baptist De la Salle, and key moments in the 350 year history of Lasallian education. They then explore key tenets of Lasallian pedagogy and Lasallian spirituality.  This year the emphasis was on “living Lasallian,” and how each participant could consider their own work at Saint Mary’s and how the Lasallian charism is alive today in their work with each other and on behalf of students.   

Participants shared their views on the experience. Dr. Veronica Hefner, “ Mini-Buttimer is a deep dive into all things Lasallian and I learned so much about the life trajectory of de La Salle, the brothers, and the history that inspired the pedagogy.. I also loved the opportunity to meet and engage with people across the campus with whom I wouldn't otherwise interact.  Great event -- I highly recommend!  Dr. Dai To, Director of Wellness of the Counseling and Psychological Services, “Mini-Buttimer was helpful to me because it gives meaning and purpose to my work.  Thinking about mission reminds me that I do what I do because I want to, not because I have to." Andrea Brown, Lead Coach for the Macken Speech and Debate Team, “I was a deeply meaningful and meditative experience.Attending the Mini-Buttermer helped me see how De La Salle's focus on relationships echoes throughout SMC. As someone relatively new to SMC, the Mini-Buttimer made me more connected to my colleagues and to the history that shaped this campus.”