LEAD Story 378

MYANMAR - Fr. Peter Yan Naung, the newly assigned parish priest of Sacred Heart parish in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, held his first Parish Youth gathering on December 19, 2021. The sole aim of this gathering was to reunite the youths scattered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and political turmoil and to give them a sense of belongingness and a purpose in their young lives. The priest, needing the help of the religious, invited the Brothers to be involved in organizing and conducting the event. Br. Lucas Ah Do FSC, being a friend and sports-buddy, was requested to head the Parish Youth. During the gathering, they were able to reorganize the structure and named some E.C. members. They also discussed and identified some future plans for the parish development. The parish priest is very pleased with the participation of Br. Lucas Ah Do and our “Come & See” candidates in his parish. He requested Br. Lucas to work closely with him for the future youth activities in his parish. (Text & Photos: Br. Justine Nge Bo FSC)

HONG KONG - The Brothers of Hong Kong held their Assembly on 23rd December 2021. Brothers Armin, Visitor, and Br David Liao are members of the Sector and were able to attend via Zoom. We were also happy that Br Antonio joined us.

We kicked off with an inspirational address by Br Armin. Besides encouraging us in our various endeavours, he challenged us to think outside the box, not to be content with maintaining the status quo, to look towards the peripheries. He stressed that the Lasallian mission is expanding all the time and we can be part of it.

All attending Brothers then had their say. The latest arrivals shared their first impressions of Hong Kong and of their mission here. They are spread over a number of schools and thus have the opportunity of broadening their vision. The older heads much appreciated the advent of younger Brothers, a sign of hope for the future. All agreed there was much work to be done both inside and outside our schools.

Br David Liao brought us up to speed with developments in Malaysia and with his own mission views, while Br Antonio shared some views which give food for thought.

The Assembly forms part of our sector conversation as we prepare for our General Chapter in 2022 and District Chapter in 2023. We continue to have dreams and hopes, for the needs are great. (Text: Br. Patrick Tierney FSC; Photos : Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC)

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On the occasion of Teachers’ Day in Thailand, the De La Salle Brothers, teachers and staff offered wreaths and flowers to honor the Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. (Photos: La Salle Chanthaburi & La Salle Chotiravi Nakhonsawan School Official Facebook Pages)

SINGAPORE - Brothers Carlo, Collin, Kino, Miggy, and Nicholas visited the four Lasallian primary schools and shared with the new staff the spirituality and the life of St La Salle. Some of the new teachers asked questions about teaching in a Catholic school as most of them are not Catholics. The sharing emphasized the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity, that the Lasallian school is a Catholic school and is also respectful of other faith traditions. Many of the teachers expressed that they felt welcomed and looked forward to the new year with their colleagues and students. (Text & Photos: Br. Nicholas Seet FSC)

MALAYSIA - Before the year 2021 ended, a YouTube video came out featuring a De La Salle Brother from LEAD. He is singing a Tagalog song, but he is not a Filipino. Who can pull this off? Well, he’s none other than Br. Egbertus (Jaikul Severinus Tating) FSC, a Malaysian Brother currently assigned in Sabah, Malaysia. Let’s find out more about him and his original composition.

LEAD Story (LS): May I know how the song came about? What's the story behind it? Br. Egbertus (E): The song comes from my reflection during the pandemic and I thought of putting that experience in a song. In the time of the pandemic schools in Malaysia were closed and our hostel at De La Salle Butitin was also closed and that left me in a one-man-community most of the time. The pandemic brought a feeling of anguish, desolation, fragility, discouragement and all kinds of experiences of ups and downs. In spite of all these, I still see a light which becomes a source of inspiration, hope and encouragement to continue to live even being alone. In my personal prayer and reflection, I experience God as the light.

LS: Why compose this song in Tagalog? E: It was composed in English and I thought of singing it in other languages and what came to my mind was Tagalog. I have asked Brother Butch and his friends to have it translated into Tagalog. I have some other recorded songs in different languages such as Malay, Kadazan, Dusun, Murut and English.

LS: What message would you like to share with the listeners? E: When we experience sadness or emotional pain associated with feeling of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow, we can turn it into prayer. In prayer we will be able to see a light. We experience God’s love.

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Tagalog Version

English Version

THAILAND - The 2nd Senior Brothers and Sisters Recollection was held on January 15, 2022. It was facilitated by Fr. Roch Pairat Sriprasert M.I., the provincial of the Camillians in Thailand, who is also the Chair of Catholic Elder Network Committee. His sharing was about holistic health for aging, sacred people in old age, and St. Pope John Paul II’s letter to the elderly 1999. He ended with Harvard's 20 characteristics of a happy person. Big thanks to the 2 young Brothers, Br. Matthew and Br. Benedict, who accompanied the Seniors in leading the morning praise and taking photos during the recollection. (Text & Photos: Br. Pichit Wecharak FSC)

PHILIPPINES - Prayers are requested for the eternal repose of Ms. Cecilia Dalsen Valera, a native of the town of Pasil in Kalinga Province in the Philippines, who joined her Creator last December 2021. Her family was instrumental in the construction of a small chapel in the remote village of Magsilay in 1993. Mother Cecilia, as she is fondly called in the community, eventually took a more active role in maintaining the oratory and animating the faith life of the Catholics in the village. Upon her urging and without having any direct link to the Institute, the community chose St. John Baptist de La Salle as their village patron. Devotion to our Founder was initiated through her untiring efforts to establish and care for the simple Chapel of St John Baptist de La Salle. In God’s providence, a Lasallian scholar eventually connected the Philippine Lasallian Family with the Magsilay village. These encounters became the spark that led to a reconstruction project of the already dilapidated and termite-infested chapel. Mother Cecilia worked with zeal to bring this to fruition and called it “The Perfect Dream.” She perfected the donation of the family lot to be the permanent site of the chapel dedicated to our Founder. She championed together with Fr. Jeorge Manisem, then parish priest of Sts. Philip and James Parish in Pasil, the fundraising and reconstruction of the chapel. As a former teacher and active parishioner, she penned the village hymn dedicated to St. La Salle. Since 2007, the Philippine Lasallian Family has strengthened linkages not just with the Magsilay village but also with the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk. In June 2021, the new chapel of St. John Baptist de La Salle was blessed and inaugurated by Bishop Prudencio Andaya Jr., CICM, DD. (Text & Photos: Mr. Ian Saulog & Mr. Jyron Raz)

Congratulations, Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC, for having successfully completed the academic requirements for the degree of Graduate Certificate in ASEAN Studies from the University of the Philippines- Open University.