LEAD Story 370

MALAYSIA - On the last day of September, 30th, Malaysia’s sector online assembly started with 6 Lasallian Partners and 18 Brothers, including Brothers Armin, Visitor, Patrick, and Antonio from the leadership team.

Brother Visitor thanked the excellent, committed, and passionate engagement of many Lasallian Partners and Alumni in the rich history of the sector while stressing the importance of Lasallian Partners in their role as collaborators with the Brothers and supporting them in their leadership roles in the future of the Lasallian Mission in Malaysia and LEAD.

On the threshold of the 170th Anniversary of the Lasallian presence in Malaysia, March 2022, our Lasallian partners presented initiatives that contribute to the meaning, purpose, and joy of the Lasallian Mission, past, present, and future. In the context of this Anniversary and to emphasize the Lasallian Heritage in the 39 Lasallian Schools in Malaysia, three main objectives were identified: 1) put forward and emphasize the Lasallian ethos in each of the schools’ celebrations; 2) Organize Lasallian formation sessions for all students and teachers, and 3) prepare action plans by answering the question of how the Lasallian Mission can build new paths to transform lives after 170 years.

La Salle Center in Ipoh, at the heart of the Lasallian formation, especially for the young, presented the main areas of their mission of building and developing programs, communications, collaboration, and partnership with external organizations. One of the key concerns is how to respond to the challenges of sustainability, viability, and succession planning towards their future in the context of the Lasallian Mission.

The Malaysia Lasallian Educational Council, in its journey of renewal, presented the new organizational chart that will prioritize the collaboration of the five local Lasallian Educational councils with the other local and sector organizations. To foster the Lasallian Ethos in the schools, they will implement the adapted Lasallian Identity Criteria in the fourth quarter.

The Revitalization Project involves the Brothers, Lasallian Partners, and selected external partners to revitalize Lasallian Schools under the Ministry of Education after the changes in the 1970s and ’80s. Working together with the Education Ministry, this project is a concrete response to emphasize our Lasallian charism by taking direct leadership in the school which would become private, without government funds. Two Lasallian schools have been earmarked for the pilot project.

In the last part of the Assembly, the Brothers shared their mission and life. Finally, they were invited to contribute to the reflection of the 46th General Chapter as a sector of LEAD.

Special thanks to Br. Edmon Viroomal FSC, who took the minutes of the Assembly. (Text & Photos: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC)

PHILIPPINES - De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) received the internationally-renowned STARS Silver Rating for its continuous efforts in practicing sustainability on many fronts, the first academic institution in the Philippines to earn this accolade.

STARS means Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. It is a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), which measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

Read more: https://bit.ly/DLSLSilverSTARS (De La Salle Lipa Facebook Page)

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MALAYSIA - St Xavier's has this long tradition of practising "concern for the poor and social justice" in its own way. In the early days it was, 'bring some rice and canned food for the poor'. It then morphed into 'let's all cook something and sell it to others for a profit and then donate the money to the poor [usually St Joseph's Orphanage and Little Sisters of the Poor home for the aged]. Then it morphed again to do the same and more [game stalls, etc] for one week. This year 2021, it had to take on another form because of the pandemic - online sales of merchandise and sale of food for one month. I would say it was the most successful Charity Drive in the history of the programme as we managed to collect RM 78,000 [about USD 18,000]. The Board has decided that the funds will be disbursed to the usual recipients and also to the poor students within the school community. (Text: Br. Jason Blaikie FSC; Photo: St Xavier's Boards of Governors Facebook Page)

Ever wonder how many La Salle Brothers lived and taught in SXI since 1852?

In line with the 170th Anniversary of SXI, Br. Jason and company went to research for it. They checked the old and new registers and compiled the list. To know the answer, click on the image below to view the short video on YouTube.

PHILIPPINES - The Vocations Ministry Office of the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines organized the first Brother Mentors’ Gathering for vocations year 2021-2022. The session focused on the essential skills in accompanying Aspirants as they discern their vocation in life. It was facilitated by Br. Rey Mejias FSC, the Institute’s current Secretary for Formation. In attendance were Brothers from the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan. The session is the first of a three-part series, with the second session scheduled in January 2022, open to all Brothers in LEAD. (Text & Photo: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC; Design & Layout: Ms. Thea Santiago)

PHILIPPINES - The contacts and aspirants of Iligan had their gathering on August 21-22, 2021 at the Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community (HIBC) in La Salle Academy. The event was filled with activities, including the aspirants’ commitment to the Aspirancy Program and their Community Annual Planning

Day 1 On the 21st of August upon arrival, the contacts and aspirants were greeted by the heat during their head-on game of frisbee and football facilitated by Br. Henry. The first game of frisbee was already intense with a score of 4-3 in favor of team A (Franky Alejo, Geoffrey Baloloy, and Martin Padilla). In the second game of football, the team of Br. Henry along with Franky and Martin won with a score of 5-4. It was undoubtedly a tight game between both teams nevertheless, the spirit of kinship and camaraderie prevailed.

After the strenuous yet exciting games, the contacts and aspirants, together with the Brothers, gathered and joined in a solemn virtual mass, which was followed by the Renewal of Aspirancy. They had the time to contemplate on the gospel reading that was taken from the Gospel of John 6: 60-69 which says “… no one can come to me unless it is granted by the father… many of his disciples turned back and no longer went with him. Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God”.

The Gospel was indeed very timely, as the Renewal of Aspirancy symbolized the aspirants’ response to God’s calling. They said “Yes” once more and continued the journey towards following and learning God’s words and works through the Brothers. Among all the aspirants of Iligan, Franky Alejo, Jian Escanilla, Neil Suarez, and Pafsy Mejia had the opportunity to have the renewal face-to-face in the chapel of HIBC, while Louie Edrozo and Omer Pacilan joined them virtually via video conferencing. A welcome dinner was prepared after, followed by a night of laughter as the Brothers and aspirants bonded by means of exciting games, stories, and extra gimmicks throughout the night.

Day 2 The second day started with an early breakfast to prepare for the activities of the day. The aspirants were gathered for their first session of prayer service and Personal Annual Planning. They took the time to reflect as they made their Personal Pilgrimage Plan; this allowed the aspirants to ponder on their journey towards the discovery of one’s innermost meaning and purpose as an aspirant. Moreover, this also helped the aspirants determine and evaluate themselves in terms of Faith, Service, and Communion.

In the second session, the Community Annual Planning began, guided by Br, Ivan Umali FSC as the Brother Vocations Coordinator in Iligan. The aspirants were tasked to come up with a statement that constitutes their Vision and Mission as Aspirants. They also planned and prepared for this years’ upcoming programs and activities as an aspirants and contacts community. The event ended with a closing prayer and a quote “Light has dawned” as this marks the start of new beginnings filled with God’s guidance and His bountiful graces. (Text: Neil Michael Suarez, aspirant of Iligan; Photos: Br. Dan Sanding FSC)

USA - During the Welcome Liturgy for first year SMC students, Br. Iñigo Riola FSC was asked by the Mission and Ministry Office to share about one of the Lasallian Core Principles, Concern for the Poor and Marginalized. Below is an excerpt from his sharing:

What is the Lasallian core principle, ‘Concern for the Poor and Social Justice?’ The definition given by Saint Mary’s College about this core principle is: “We are in solidarity with the poor and advocate for those who are suffering from injustices.” Solidarity. Poor. Advocate. Injustice. These are important but broad constructs. What do mean by being in solidarity with the poor? Who are the poor? How do we advocate for the marginalized? What are the different forms of injustices?

In order for us to answer these important questions, I would like to offer three steps that may guide us in our pursuit to live out this Lasallian core principle. These three steps are based on the ‘Lasallian Reflection Framework’ that is used by the Lasallian Family in the Philippines. These are: conscious experience, critical reflection, and committed action.

Click on the link for the full article: https://cumminsinstitute.com/2021/09/28/experience-reflection-and-action/?fbclid=IwAR3UoIU2-E3IPw510- P2Jdqdbe-p0cjZX1wR-XMPPgTyWs3NmIxzDIHy9kw

PHILIPPINES - My Other Persona. Ongoing at Finale Art File until October 20 is an exhibition of works mostly done in two artist residencies in Onishi, Japan and Caylus, France in August - September and October 2019 respectively. There are 18 works on show mostly in Pen, except with the "Flies" series done in Caylus where I experimented with mixed media - charcoal, graphite, graphite dust, black pastel (and playing with image transfer). Come and visit if you have time. The gallery is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday except Sunday. With gratitude to my Onishi friends, Berenika Kowalska, Teri Dryden, Kjell Hahn, Margaret Flatley, Gabi, Yasmin Bawa; my hosts in Caylus: John McNorton and Grete McNorton. Missing all of you. My thanks, too, to Evita Sarenas and Sylvia Gascon of Finale for allowing me time in their lovely space; Zoe Policarpio and David Leaño who designed the e invites; to Con Cabrera who did the write up and who captured pretty much the process and experience of the residencies. (Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC’s Facebook Page)

The Brother Visitor of the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) appoints Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC as the Brother Director of the St. Benilde Brothers’ Community beginning 2021 October 1 until 2022 May 14 The Brother Visitor of the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) appoints Br. Joseph Dat Hoang FSC as the Brother Director of the Chanthaburi Community beginning 2021 October 1 until 2022 May 14