Friday 24 April 2020

John Baptist de la Salle - J.B. Midgley - CTS Great Saints

John Baptist de la Salle
CTS Great Saints
J.B. Midgley
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 781860825477
CTS Booklet B714

This book was a little harder to track down but it was well worth the effort. It is an excellent read. I have become a huge fan of the Catholic Truth Society and also the writings of J.B. Midgley. I have been working on tracking down and reading all 28 books by J.B. Midgley. Twenty-six of those books were for the Catholic Truth Society.  And 8 of those were from the CTS Great Saints Series. And this is the seventh I have read. I have also read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series. And have loved almost all of them. I have been focusing on this series of late, and a couple of others, almost alternating books in each series, and still have a dozen in this series I want to read.  On top of finishing all the books written by Midgley. This volume was published in 2009 and as of the date of this review there is no eBook edition. I can state that this is a great book, by an excellent author in a wonderful series! 

The description on the back of the book is:

“At a time when St Vincent de Paul and others were changing the face of France, John Baptist renounced career and wealth to dedicate his life to educating the young. His achievements were great and lasting and have influenced educational practice and theory for over three centuries. Above all his spirituality and method reveal an enlightened educator ahead of his time. John Baptist often faced failure, opposition, difficulties and even persecution through all of which his great love for Christ carried him – as did his great respect and love for children and their inalienable right to education and true freedom.”

And the chapters in the volume are:

Early Years and Priesthood
Enlightened Educator
His Spirituality and Method
Progress at a Price
The Final Years
Devotion to John Baptist De La Salle

I was fascinated reading about this saint and his continual innovations in the area of education. In the foreword we are told:

“In the seventeenth century, John Baptist De la Salle renounced wealth, and the probability of an eminent ecclesiastical career, to devote himself to the education of youth. He recognised that children must be equipped with skills for life so that they can play their important role in the Church’s continuing mission, and receive the education of mind and spirit to enjoy the fruits of salvation in the kingdom of heaven.”

And also:

“John’s creative response to needs and conditions has contemporary relevance. He recognised that the underprivileged were deprived of social mobility, and valued education as the means of release from poverty and moral despair.” 

And this saint did this all while often facing opposition. Local priests often tried to gain control of the schools and brothers of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He founded the organization, he innovated new forms of education including elementary schools, technical schools, special training schools. He also founded training colleges for teachers both secular and religious. And he focused on Teaching teachers that their role was of upmost importance and value. He appears to have spent as much time to developing the teachers, as teaching the students and overseeing the organization. 

In 1050 John Baptist De la Salle was named Patron of all teachers. Some believed he would be named a doctor of the church but that has yet to happen. At the time the book was written. Of the brothers of the institute 4 had been named saints, three martyred, and 16 beatified. We are also informed that:

“Today, the De la Salle Brothers remain one of the largest teaching Orders in the church. They continue their mission in eighty countries of the world, in primary and secondary schools, teacher training colleges, universities and in their extended apostolate of evangelisation and proclamation of the Faith, educational renewal, supporting the rights of children, and exercising a beneficent presence in multi-religious societies.”

And much, much more. I have many friends who are teachers. I have known some amazing teachers in my life. And much of my academic experience was based on De La Salle’s changes to how school was done. 

Another excellent read from the pen of J.B. Midgley and the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by J.B. Midgley:

Advent & Christmastide with the Saints
Antonio Rosmini
Benedict - Patron of Europe
Bernard of Clairvaux – CTS Great Saints
Charles Borromeo  - CTS Great Saints
Companion to St. Joseph
Companion to the Feasts of Mary
Companion to Saint Peter
Companion to Saint Paul
Companion to the Angels
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord
Dominic - CTS Great Saints
George: Patron of England - CTS Great Saints
Dewi Sant: St David Patron of Wales
Francis de Sales – CTS Great Saints
John Baptist de La Salle – CTS Great Saints
John Vianney – CTS Great Saints
Lent with the Saints
Nurturing the Young
Robert Bellarmine
Saint John the Baptist 
Stations of the Cross and Resurrection with the Saints
The Eucharist with the Saints
The Four Evangelists
Thomas Becket – CTS Saints of the Isles
Vincent de Paul – CTS Great Saints
Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic

Contributed to:
First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained 

Books in the CTS Great Saints Series:
Antonio Rosmini - J.B. Midgley
Bernard of Clairvaux - J.B. Midgley
Benedict Patron of Europe - J.B. Midgley
Charles Borromeo - J.B. Midgley
Dominic - J.B. Midgley
Elizabeth of the Trinity The Great Carmelite Saint - Jennifer Moorcroft
Francis de Sales - J.B. Midgley
Gemma Galgani Gem of Christ John Paul Kirkham
George: Patron of England - J.B. Midgley
John Baptist de La Salle - J.B. Midgley
John of the Cross - Jennifer Moorcroft
John Vianney - J.B. Midgley
Louis Marie de Montfort His Life, Message and Teaching - Paul Allerton SMM
Martin de Porres - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Patrick Missionary to the Irish - Thomas O’Loughlin 

No comments: