Mission Month Makes Its Mark: Highlighting Our Lasallian Heritage

By RikkiLynn Shields, Editor

Mission Month at Manhattan College takes place every April, and this is when our mission as a Lasallian Catholic College comes to life.

The month of April is meant for us to reflect on and emphasize the characteristics of our Lasallian heritage that make us unique. The five Lasallian core principles highlight the most important characteristics of our Lasallian roots: concern for the poor and social justice, faith in the presence of God, quality education, respect for all persons, and inclusive community.

Along with that, Mission Month is meant to celebrate the legacy of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the man who inspires our mission–as students of Lasallian education and Lasallian educators– every single day.

Being one of the six Lasallian colleges in the United States, Mission Month is meant to encourage students, faculty, administration, alumni and staff to learn the importance of imagining, creating, and living a life of meaning and purpose.

Mission Month at Manhattan College is also meant to recognize and show appreciation to the students of our college that volunteer and serve others, not only to improve our campus but also to improve our community and the world.

This month, we celebrate the mission-inspired contributions that the students of MC have made throughout New York City and worldwide. From our many L.O.V.E. trip opportunities offered, that give students the chance to make an impact outside of NYC, to the students that helped Bronx residents file their taxes this year, the Manhattan College community works together every single day to give purpose and meaning to their lives, showcase the Lasallian values, and celebrate what is means to be a Lasallian student.

For sophomore Liam Moran, Mission Month inspires him to live a life of meaning and purpose through helping others.

“For me, Mission Month is a time for reflecting on the past year. It motivates me to look beyond my needs as an individual and look at what I can do to help the community as a whole. It is also a time of bonding with my fellow Manhattan College students as we all live our lives in the traditions of La Salle,” said Moran.

Throughout the month of April, not only are students encouraged to focus on reflecting, but also to take notice of the many discussions, lectures, performances, presentations and many other events that also highlight the hallmark of our heritage as a Lasallian school.

On Friday, Apr. 7th,  Manhattan College held its first Lasallian Women’s Conference, an all day discussion of the role of women, sexuality, and bodily autonomy in the Lasallian tradition. The event was meant to bring to light three topics that many people often shy away from discussing and bring awareness to the importance of the three topics on our campus, along with make it accessible for not only women, but everyone on campus to become familiar with and/or learn more about the three.

Junior Alannah Boyle was one of the speakers at Friday’s conference. For Boyle, Mission Month is much more than a celebration, but also a recognition and appreciation– “Mission Month allows for daily reminder of our Lasallian tradition every day in April. The amount of events that the school hosts every year during April is a testament to how much the institution values it’s Lasallian roots,” said Boyle.

Liam Moran also spoke on the importance of the many events that are happening during this month, “Mission Month emphasizes on projects that bring to mind the core principles of a Lasallian tradition. As such, many of its events go beyond the simple informational or enjoyment purposes of many events instead focusing on a reflective tone and look,” said Moran. “Of particular interest is the Mission Month Day of Service. For this event, Campus Ministry and Social Action organize an opportunity for students to participate in projects around the New York Metropolitan Area and help emphasize the need for volunteers in the community.”

Freshman Isabel Quinones is on the planning committee for the Day of Service, just another unique event that takes place during Mission Month at Manhattan College. “The Day of Service is a great opportunity to get involved with your fellow Jaspers. The Day of Service will be on Saturday, April 29th. We have various sites to do service at such as Friends of Rockaway, Part of the Solution, Henry Hudson Park cleanup, etc.”

Students interested in joining one of these sites with either a group, such as a club on campus, or as an individual, you can visit manhattan.edu/dayofservice. Quinones also said, “To me, mission month gives me the opportunity to get more involved on campus and in my local community.

“In these short few months I have gained a family through Manhattan College and being able to give back to those who have given me so much would be an honor. The Day of Service will be a great time to grow closer with your friends, faculty, and community,” Quinones said.

The Mission Month calendar is full of an abundance of informational and important events– with multiple events taking place just about everyday. The complete and official Mission Month calendar can be found on the Manhattan College website (manhattan.edu).