Br. Michael French, FSC
Ninth of ten children of Agnes and Lorenzo French, he learned his spirituality from them on the farm where he grew up in Northern Minnesota. He joined the Brothers when he got to know his older brother, Brother L. Paul, who became a De La Salle Christian Brother when Michael was still very young. It was Br. Paul who helped him discern his vocational choice. Brother Michael French holds a Masters degree in Spanish from St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN, another Masters degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago, and his Doctorate in Cross-Cultural Ministry from Catholic Theological Union, also in Chicago.
His 38 years as a Brother of the Christian Schools have moved him from his novitiate training in Windsor Ontario, Canada, to his first teaching assignment at Montini Catholic in Lombard, IL, then to teach and help form young Brothers in Guatemala.
After he concluded his studies back in Chicago, Br. Michael was “invited” to go to the Brothers’ Generalate in Rome, Italy, for the next 16 years, during which he served as the Director of Formation for our world-wide Institute for a seven-year term, followed by nine years as the Director of the International Center for Lasallian Studies (C.I.L.).
He is fluent in Spanish, French, and Italian, and his linguistic and pedagogical abilities have served him and our Institute very well as a high school teacher, an instructor in adult literacy programs, an international translator, and a liturgical organizer and an adult mentor and coordinator for various formation groups.
Besides his formation responsibilities in Guatemala and Italy, Br. Michael has also had the opportunity to do workshops, facilitations, liturgical training and retreats in England, Spain, as well as in several African, Asian and Latina American countries.
Earlier in his career, he also worked in Loyola’s Hispanic Institute for several years while residing in Chicago. He loves music, film and reading, and spending time with his family, other Brothers, and friends.