LEAD Story 373

Last October 6 and 7, the Senior Brothers gathered virtually for the annual Senior Brothers Workshop. Due to the challenges of travel, the Zoom session offered insights to the Senior Brothers as to how they can participate in the mission and tackle the different challenges in their age group. Also, the workshop presented a comparison of a survey answered by our group of Senior Brothers and a study group chosen by our facilitators. The results showed that our Brothers responded more positively to the challenges of their age compared to the study group. This result was evident during the break times because of the active conversations and laughter among our Senior Brothers, recalling their shared experiences in the mission and their encounters with one another. The Brothers composing this workshop come from different districts and sectors of the Asia-Pacific.

The sessions were divided into two days, the first was facilitated by Fr. Jordy Orbe S.J., and the second was a lay formator, Ms. Eva K. Galvey. Both sharers are from the Emmaus Center. (Text & Photos: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC & Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC)

Some comments from the participants to the following question: What is your key takeaway from this workshop? What are your main learnings?

  1. Though I am aged I am with my community of Brothers. My spiritual strength is increasing. I have to accept my present status and act accordingly.
  2. We do not leave things to date/chance, we should plan for and look forward to our senior years when we are still fit and well.
  3. Joyful life is possible for anyone going through 60+
  4. Appreciating the fact that we live in Community, where in the majority of cases ALL are accepted for who they ARE, and not for what they DO!
  5. It was wonderful to know that I am part of a diverse group of Brothers in the South East Asian region. It was the first time that I had been present with such a large, international number of Brothers of roughly the same age as myself. I am impressed with the energy, experience and wisdom that is evident in the group, especially visible in the answers that were given to the survey conducted and analyzed by the presenters. I am impressed with the group's power to reflect on the lessons of a long life of ministry.

The world was caught by surprise by the Covid-19 pandemic. Who would have ever thought that words like ‘lockdown’, ‘social distancing’, and ‘new norm’ would become part of our daily vocabulary? I was privileged to attend a webinar entitled “ Developing Resilience In Your Students” by Mr Eric Bryan Amaladas from HELP University. His talk made me realise that my duties as an educator extended beyond the classroom.

The pandemic changed the education world. As educators, we could no longer confine ourselves to the same teaching practices but had to turn to digital ways to reach out to our students. Sophisticated online teaching methods were introduced to ensure continuous education take place. Unfortunately, the digital world did not succeed in reaching out to all students. Those who did not have access to digital devices were unable to continue their studies. It was then that we realised the digital world cannot replace the quality of the human touch. Teachers and students looked forward to returning to school with much anticipation. Unfortunately, in schools too, teachers and students had to adapt themselves to the new norms. Movements were restricted and SOPs overruled the freedom students once enjoyed. The school field was just another green patch in the school premises. This deprivation can only be filled through building resilience to ensure students acclimatise to the new way of school life. Resilience is crucial as it helps students in the process of adapting well in the face of adversity and moments of stress.

We are entrusted with the mission of ensuring students adapt well to the school environment when they return to school. We need to be mindful of the importance of helping students to adjust to the new norm. Some students may have gone through traumatic emotional and social problems brought about by the pandemic. Sudden loss of family income and the death of a loved one may have taken a toll on them. Helping students to rebuild their lives seemed to be a mammoth task. Sometimes teachers bring into classrooms preconceived new norm practices which do not help the students emotionally and psychologically. We set barriers and rush students to complete their work. Very often our fixed mindsets blind us to the emotional and psychological needs of the students.

Educators are the catalyst of change. The post pandemic period challenges us to build resilience among our students. Building resilience is important to rebuild lives. Educators need to be receptive to the emotional and psychological needs of the students. Thinking that one size fits all should no longer be our focus. Students should be taught have to be resilient in times of adversity and this can only be done through constant motivation. They should be taught to look at life positively and be prepared to face challenges in their lives. Our youngsters are the leaders of tomorrow. We may think the worst is over but it may not always be the case. Teaching them to be resilient gives them hope, helps to boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. Having greater self-confidence will help them to be smart risk takers. It will help them to use their own judgement and abilities to accept unprecedented challenges and move forward in the face of setbacks. Resilient persons have the ability to garner strength in times of difficulties, overcome obstacles and become stronger individuals.


Building resilience is an on-going process. It helps to create holistic individuals. As a result of this pandemic, I have come to the realization that educators play a pivotal role in instilling resilience and optimism in students during these uncertain times. Resilience helps students to bounce-back to face the realities of life as it is the key ingredient to turn challenges into successes. (Text: Ms. Helen Paul - St. Paul’s Institution, Malaysia; Photos: Ms. Coreen Paul)

PHILIPPINES - We are now AUN-QA certified

We are proud to announce that three of our programs, BS Nursing, BS Pharmacy and BS Radiologic Technology programs of the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute have satisfactorily fulfilled the requirements and successfully passed the assessment conducted by the ASEAN University Network- Quality Assurance.

Animo La Salle (De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute Facebook Page)

JAPAN - 2021 is the third year in a row that the sector of Japan holds the Sector Assembly. The Leadership Team joined Brs. Fermin, Rodrigo, Domingo, and Nico to dialogue about the current and future issues of the future of the Lasallian Mission in Japan. Br. Armin renewed the challenge to explore a new apostolate for LEAD Lasallian Mission outside the established apostolates.

In preparation for the 90th Anniversary of Lasallian presence in Japan, which will be on 2022 October 22, the Brothers are preparing some projects to emphasize the history and future of the Lasallian Mission through the role of the Lasallian Family in Japan. One of the projects is the translation of 100 Lasallian terms into Japanese from the recent Institute documents; for example, the Declaration (2020). La Salle in Japan throughout the years is a project with teachers, alumni, and Brothers to gather information and present a timeline through pictures and short videos. The Brothers in Japan also decided to make a sustainable donation to the Brothers’ Scholarship fund for our Lasallian schools.

Next March 2022, there will be a Lasallian Formation session with all Kagoshima and Hakodate schools and dormitories. This will be the first time in many years with a joined formation session. Hopefully, this can become an annual tradition. (Text & Photo: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC)

MALAYSIA - On 23 August, I received a message from my school Principal. It read, “La Salle Centre is organising a session "Being A Lasallian Educator” on 9th October. This is for all new teachers in La Salle. I would like you to attend.” The message came with an attachment. The invitation was aimed at 3 groups of people:

LS educator

I may be a new teacher in La Salle Secondary PJ (3 months) but I am not new to Lasallian schools. I was 11 years as a Lasallian student and then was blessed to get my first posting as a teacher in La Salle Primary PJ, bringing to a grand total of 16 years in La Salle. Thus, I wanted to revisit the Lasallian story.

Is there a difference teaching in a Lasallian institute and other schools? This was the question I asked myself after signing up for this event. In the course of my 25 years as a government teacher and having taught in 5 schools, did I portray the vision and mission of St. John Baptist de La Salle? I hoped to get answers during the forthcoming programme.

LS educator 2

I was pleasantly happy to see a diverse group of educators in the room. The keynote address by Dr. Gerard Louis and the 3 panelists (school principal, school teacher, and university lecturer) were so enriching and uplifting. I got the answers that were floating in my head and heart. Yes, I have been on track these 25+ years even during the years I was not teaching in a Lasallian institute. The message and testimonies throughout the 2 hours from the panel and participants said one thing. Head level is important, but heart level supersedes it all.

I thought the session was well organised and enriching and would definitely attend future events.

SAPIENTIA ET CARITAS (Text: Mr. Eugene Morais - Teacher, La Salle Secondary PJ; Photos: Ms. Coreen Paul)

The De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines, through the Vocations Ministry Office, held the first of several sessions of the Lasallian Vocations Learning Series. The session was conducted by Mr. Neil Juntado, the National Coordinator of the Lasallian Youth Office of De La Salle Philippines. He shared about the various realities of Young Lasallians in the International Lasallian Family and the realities of those in the country. Further, he invited Young Lasallians from De La Salle University, De La Salle Lipa, and La Salle University to share their lived experiences amidst the pandemic, and to share about how Lasallian Partners and institutions can best accompany them in their Lasallian journey.

The second session of the Lasallian Vocations Learning Series is scheduled on 12 November 2021. It will be about the "Essential skills in Accompanying the Youth Today”, and will feature as our resource speaker Mr. Joel Navarez Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Counseling Psychology (cand.), the University Counselor of De La Salle University.

The Lasallian Vocations Learning Series is also open to our Lasallian Partners and Brothers in the Lasallian East Asia District. Interested participants may register through this link: http://bit.ly/lvls1 (Text & Photos: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)

THAILAND - On October 18-27, 2021, the De La Salle Brothers of Thailand were invited to teach in the Vocation Camp at Chiang Rai Province. Chiang Rai is the new diocese of the North that has been separated from Chiang Mai Diocese. About 200 children live in the Camillian Center, Chiang Rai.

The Brothers accepted the invitation and assigned the Vocations Committee to take responsibility in promoting the Lasallian Vocations. It is an opportunity to introduce the De La Salle Brothers, the Founder, the Institute and its mission to the children and the youth since they still do not know the Brothers and the Lasallian Mission.

The Brothers who went were warmly welcomed by the organization team. The children and the youth at the Camillian Center, Chiang Rai were delighted to know the Brothers as well. During the Vocation Camp, the Brothers and the 3 Juniors taught catechism in the morning, life skills in the afternoon, and prayers in the evening.

It was a good opportunity to build a new bridge for people to come in and get to know the Brothers more through the work of the Vocations Committee of Thailand. Working together with the different Religious and the Local Churches is a new dimension of promoting Lasallian Vocations. Holding a camp and spending time immersing with the young at their level is a way of touching hearts. (Text & Photos: Br. Philip Bancha Pichitpraipana FSC)

PHILIPPINES - October 29, 2021 - The Vocations Ministry Office of the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines had its first online youth camp entitled “Brothers and Beyond”. Student leaders from various La Salle schools in the Philippines and the Lasallian East Asia District gathered and engaged with Brothers Aikee, Jeano, John, Mark, Marvin, and Nico to creatively learn and share about the relevant issues that young people are encountering today specifically on productivity, self-care, and creating a good impact.

Br. Weegee’s Closing Message:

“In our Brothers and Beyond Youth Camp today, I hope you were able to see your Lasallian education in a different light. Amidst the world’s crisis today and since the beginning of our Lasallian story with Christ and the inspiration of St. John Baptist de La Salle, our schools have been fields where young people are formed to be Lasallians for God and Country.

The COVID19 pandemic has, without a doubt, sent us - with the rest of the world - to live our lives within the confines of our homes and within the cyber space. School foundations have been shaken, and our life as students has been digitized, among others. We cannot put into words the various changes that this has brought, but we know that the whole experience has not been easy, and we continue to hope that together we see the end of this pandemic soon.

However, amidst the darkness that this experience has brought us, we see a silver lining where everyone helps everyone else to shine. Amidst the darkness, we look within ourselves and see how our own little light can shine for others and with others. Amidst the darkness, we look for that one Light who guides us on our way, so that TOGETHER we may go BEYOND.

Beyond this COVID Pandemic, for sure, but also BEYOND our own limits, beyond our online classes, beyond our comfort zones, beyond our unhealthy attachments, beyond the structures of our school, and beyond what we have already been used to.

And to do that, I hope you learned today how important it is to take care of yourselves, so that you can have a good impact on others, while striking a healthy balance of productivity and rest. All these are tools for us to go beyond ourselves, and to be of service to others.

Friends, on behalf of the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines, we thank you for being with us today and we hope that you enjoyed your time with our Brothers in your camps.

We hope that you continue to recognize Christ who walks with you, the Spirit who inspires you to continue discovering your purpose, and the Father who assures you that even amidst the darkness we experience today, there will be life, love, and peace in the end. And that together, as Brothers and Sisters, we can always go BEYOND.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!”

We would like to thank all our campers and camp masters for being with us. Let us continue to respond “Yes, Bro!” to Christ’s invitation. See you at our next camp in February 2022. (Text: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC; Photos: Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC)