As a reflection of DLSU’s continuing commitment to accommodate the needs of the students, faculty, and other staff, the Center for Lasallian Formation was inaugurated last August 10. Located at 12th floor of the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall, the facility was constructed with the intent of it becoming a place of rest, prayer, and reflection in campus.
A kick-off for the construction held the previous year revealed the center was slated to replace the Retreat House located in Agno Street. However, Vice President for Lasallian Mission Br. Michael Broughton FSC insisted that it may be used for other activities focusing on formation. “This won’t just replace the retreat center we had [at the building] in Agno. It’s a new concept altogether. It incorporates what was there before and so much more”, he explained. Although Lasallian formation may be developed in every area in the campus such as classrooms, he claimed the 12th floor will be known as the center of formation.
The center was constructed with the vision of a healthy, wholesome, and inclusive place where each sector in the University is welcome. Broughton asserted, “This is our place. This does not belong to some elite group in school. This belongs to all of us. It’s our formation center”. Sessions with parties from outside the school, including other La Salle schools, such as a meeting for sharing of best practices may likewise be conducted at the center.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Development Josemari S. Calleja, thanked the Brothers and teams who worked on the project tirelessly and the fact that the project had been finished on time. Calleja emphasized that the design of the session halls aimed to be as clutter free as possible. In an interview with The LaSallian, he added that the inspiration for the design of the facility was drawn from the natural elements and biblical sources. “Because it’s a place for Lasallian formation, we thought it would be appropriate to also relate it to biblical places and biblical stories. Part of our inspiration is [the] garden of Gethsemane, [the] river Jordan, and Jerusalem.” Only minor touches are to be made further but Calleja asserts the facility is finished.
There are five session halls at the left side of the 12th floor while a facilitators’ area, a prayer room and a dining room take up the right side. The center is slated to be available for use by the beginning of the next term.