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Leaving To Serve and Living The Lasallian Mission

The signs at the entrance and exit of our campus stand as a constant reminder of La Salle College High School’s mantra. "Enter to Learn" establishes the belief that learning is a lasting endeavor. "Leave to Serve" inspires a lifelong commitment to service, especially to those in need. Together, they guide young men on a path that brings creative and generous responses to the world.   

Over the last three years, the pandemic forced some changes to how we could deliver on this mantra – while we were able to return to in-person schooling quickly, our ability to leave to serve, especially in the summer – was greatly affected by Covid restrictions that were out of our control.  But this summer, our Office of Mission and Ministry was able to get back to normal – and provide our students with various opportunities to “Leave To Serve” this summer. 

In his Meditations for the Time of Retreat, Saint John Baptist de La Salle reminded the early Brothers that “example makes a much greater impression than words.”  This summer, over 200 rising juniors and seniors did exactly that. 

Whether it be in cities like Chicago, Memphis, or Philadelphia, on the Blackfeet Nation or the Navajo Nation reservations, in rural Mississippi or West Virginia, in the Coachella Valley, or Puerto Rico, our young men lived out the graduate profile’s call to be men of service and justice.  These trips were not just about service.   They were also opportunities to learn about local communities, to grow in faith and to build bonds with their classmates. 

“The work was hard and exhausting, but I think that was what made it so rewarding. It felt good to put your full effort, with your heart and soul, into helping someone else who is not as fortunate as you or I.  I got to learn that there are so many people that live very difficult lives and the little things that we take for granted can be life-changing for them.  I will never forget the people we helped and the fun we had doing it!” 

  • Robert (Bobby) Barth ‘23 

“This Urban Immersion trip has given me many perspectives to take into account before judging people and that I should always understand that others go through things that I couldn’t even imagine and that they may be struggling.” 

  • Mark Reilly ‘24 

“The bond with my Lasallian brothers was another very important part of the experience.  Service bonds all people - but working with my brothers made it especially valuable.” 

  • Liam Strain ‘23 

“Matt’s experience in Mississippi really opened his eyes at the depths of poverty and inequality in this country. He told us that he couldn’t believe he was in America based on some of what saw. And that he was proud to have been able to improve it in some way. He’ll have that memory with him his entire life.  It’s not an exaggeration to say his service trip was life changing.” 

  • Mr. Thomas Dalfo, father of Matthew Dalfo ‘23 

The good news is that our Commitment to Service does not stop once the school year ramps back up – our students have daily opportunities to leave to serve – beginning with Freshmen Branchout Day in October and continuing throughout the year through many voluntary service opportunities for our students during the school year throughout the Philadelphia area.    

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