LEAD Story 394

PHILIPPINES - Every first Sunday of October, the De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines and the families of those whom we remember gather in the La Salle Novitiate to celebrate the life and ministry of our Brothers and fellow Lasallians who have gone ahead of us.

Join us in thanksgiving for their generous gift of themselves through the Lasallian Mission, and in praying for more faithful Lasallians who will continue contributing to God’s reign on earth through education. (De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines Official Facebook Page; Photos: DLSP-CORE)

THAILAND - The season of giving started early in La Salle Bamboo school as three generous donors visited the students to share some presents.

Mr. Carl Oppenborn, former chair of La Salle Bangkok Alumni Association, with Mr. Mike Kuntz from Billings, Montana, and Mr. Paul Beaudoin from St. Louis, Missouri, visited the facilities and checked the conditions of the students in the Bamboo School.

Mr. Oppenborn, known to the students as Mr. Magnum as he always gives Magnum ice cream to the students, has supported La Salle Bamboo School for ten years. His generous contribution helped the Brothers to build a futsal court and provided televisions and computers for the students ‘new learning experiences.

On their special visit, they provided happiness to the students as they shared simple meals like noodles and ice cream with everyone. Before they left, the donors donated money to the school administrators headed by Br. Benilde Preecha Traikeaw FSC for school facilities and student improvement.

Indeed every day is a season of sharing if we continue to practice generosity to one another! If you are also interested in sharing some blessings with our students in La Salle Bamboo School, just email us at joe_klong@yahoo.com . (Text: Br. Eugene de Luna FSC; Photos: Br. Stephen Pichit FSC)

PHILIPPINES - The Holy Infancy Brother’s Community (HIBC), located inside La Salle Academy, Iligan City, spearheaded a program called the Brother’s Live-in Program (BLIP) for the school year 2022-2023, which aims to share the life of the Brothers to young men. The first batch of the Brother’s Live-in Program started on September 21 until 25. The program promotes the Lasallian core values - the spirit of faith, zeal for service, and communion in mission. It is a rare experience that would allows for building fruitful bonds with the De La Salle Brothers in the community, exposure to the Lasallian mission, and facilitating meaning in the 5-day stay inside the Brother’s house.

I can remember myself back then, curious and invited by Br. Eugene into the program, and able to appreciate the life of the Brothers. It is then I found a door toward opportunities for self-discovery and fruitful experiences. Nourished by these involvements, I am then motivated to become the facilitator in the program, welcoming young men to the Holy Infancy Brother’s Community - Iligan. Last September 9, I volunteered to become the BLIP facilitator and grabbed the opportunity to take part in this program. I was tasked by Br. Ivan to help the Brothers in assisting and supervising the live-inners - Marcus Cuaton, Ralph Espanio, Raphael Soriano and Rojh Balag. They are students from Grade 12 STEM of La Salle Academy and are curious about the life of the Brothers. I was accompanied by the Brothers in doing my responsibilities and was able to create shared moments with the community, as the live-inners walk through a step of knowing a purpose and meaning.

Congregated as one in faith, the live-inners and I were able to participate in morning and evening prayer services with the use of the Breviary where I was able to encounter again the regular prayer routines of the Brothers. The essence of silence and reflection were continuously observed and, praying not just for the self but also for other people as well. The community attended Thursday and Saturday masses in the Redemptorist Church of Iligan. These provide the opportunity to contemplate and communicate with God through solemnity and prayer – both said and unsaid. In expressing one’s spirit of faith, a session on faith took place facilitated by Br. Dan, where each one of the live-inners holistically participated. I was able to see myself in them, curious and interested to take part in getting to know oneself in listening and communicating to God.

Congregated as one in service, together with the community, the live-inners participated in a Confrére session together with the student organizations in the school, promoting the zeal for service through acts of love. I was able to reflect on Br. Henry’s closing remarks statement, “fall in love. Stay in love. And it will decide everything”, that in everything we do, do it with love which I can relate to the acts of service to people. To appreciate the Lasallian mission through service, a session headed by Br. Ivan took place where the liveinners participated and contemplated, as well. Together with the Aspirants and Contacts of the Iligan, the live-inners from the Holy Infancy Brother’s Community – Ozamiz, Saint Brother Miguel Academy (SBMA), we attended the session for emotional wellbeing which enabled us to revisit our emotions and self-awareness. The program involved group sharing, interactive activities, and gathering, promoting inclusivity and openness in working as one in mission.

Congregated as one in communion, the Brother’s community gave us the opportunity of building friendships with other people inside and outside the community. I, together with the live-inners and the Brothers had meals where we were able to have enjoyable interactions, listening to vocational stories of the Brothers, and sharing common interests, where most of their curiosity unlocks. This prompts my reflection on the essence of eating and praying together as a means of promoting close ties and understanding. As the BLIP facilitator, I was able to reflect on the importance of taking responsibility and nourishing camaraderie with the live-inners and the Brothers where I was able to laugh, learn, reflect and interrelate with them. To appreciate the essence of communion, they had their session on communion headed by Br. Henry and had dyads with the Brothers. I was able to appreciate companionship and brotherhood in this activity which inspires me to become a listener and companion, as well. Additionally, the community from Iligan, and Ozamiz – who also had their BLIP, were joined together. The activity involves sports, games, and going to onw of Iligan’s majestic waterfalls, Tinago Falls. It is where the fraternal celebration took place as we gathered as one.

The BLIP not only unfolds what is the life of the Brothers but also shares vocation and journey – the journey with God, with others, and with yourself. It encourages self-reflection, awareness, and hope that in life, you just have to take one step and that step moves you to many opportunities, leading you to different paths that you might take. Journeying with these young men allowed me to contemplate life and see where a “Yes, Bro!” could lead. As I continuously reflect on the experiences that I had during the BLIP as the facilitator, I come to appreciate the importance of unity, companionship, openness, and understanding. Congregated as one in faith, service, and communion, all shares one goal – to carry forward the Lasallian mission.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever! (Text: Louie Edrozo - Iligan Aspirant; Photos: Br. Jeanoel Andaya FSC and Michael Joshua Aban - Iligan Aspirant)

JAPAN - October 1st of 2022 will be a date that will stay in the memory of many Hakodate La Salle rugby players for years to come. On that day their playground was blessed after fulfilling the decades-long- dream of putting artificial grass on the turf.

This was a dream that players and coaches had for 55 years. The rugby varsity began in the school in 1967. One zealous teacher managed to put natural grass around 1975 but players using the ground for practice every day, the “living” grass did not resist and soon it faded away.

Mr. Jumpei Usami, an alumnus of the 37 graduation and now an English teacher here, for 11 years he has been teaching during the day and after lessons coaching the clubs for both sections: junior and senior rugby players. The varsity senior boys have been already three times to the National Rugby Tournament and four times to The New Teams National Tournament. “Noblesse oblige”: Mr. Usami has been a key coach and mentor to his players. The “Usami Way” works!

This year Mr. Usami “heard” of a businessman who had said he would make a donation that could cover more than half of the cost of making the playground green. The potential donor has no Lasallian relation. Mr. Usami met the man and promised to raise the remaining cost through donations from among former players, parents and friends. Mr. Usami was convinced that he will find generous “small” donors. He believed the project was worthy to fully engage in, not just for the sake of the sport but also for the benefit and educational process of teenagers. Despite the disbelief of the viability of such endeavor even among people related to the Hakodate La Salle rugby community, he went bowing his head down before many people asking for financial support.

The work began and day by day for a month; the scenery began to change. Finally October 1st arrived. The ceremony began with the benediction rite presided by the parish priest (Father Sukegawa) followed by words of thanksgiving and congratulatory messages. Finally: picture taking.

Schools with rugby teams in the District will be welcome to come and play rugby in the most northern community of LEAD. One for all, all for one! (Text: Br. Fermin Martinez FSC; Photos: La Salle Japan Official Facebook Page)

DLSZ courtesy call to Atty. Robredo.

PHILIPPINES - De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ), one of the 16 district schools in the Philippines, partners with Angat Pinas, Inc., more commonly known as Angat Buhay NGO.

Angat Buhay is a non-profit, non-governmental organization headed by the former Vice President of the Philippines, Atty. Maria Leonor Gerona-Robredo. Angat Buhay anchors its programs on four pillars. They are: (1) Public Education; (2) Nutrition, Food Security, and Healthcare; (3) Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation; and (4) Community Engagement.

Through DLSZ’s Social Action Office and Lasallian Formation and Mission Department, this partnership has been officially established during the Ugnayan: Thanksgiving for Partners and Terms of Engagement Signing on 23 September 2022. Representing Angat Buhay in this milestone is its Executive Director Mr. Raffy Magno and Program Officer for Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Mr. Robin Waban.

The Ugnayan is an institutional event of the school which engages community partners that uphold the same social action advocacies of DLSZ and De La Salle Philippines. These Lasallian advocacies encompass: promoting good governance, justice and peace, environmental and disaster response, poverty reduction, and most importantly protecting children and youth at risk.

Together with Angat Buhay, DLSZ has signed with a total of 19 partners involving: 6 education sectors, 4 non-governmental organizations, 7 government organizations, and 2 local communities.

This collaboration between DLSZ and Angat Buhay aims for the holistic growth of the Lasallian students through social formation programs and the socio-civic involvement of the Lasallian adult partners and stakeholders. Both parties envision to spark and develop a great sense of volunteerism in the DLSZ community in order to reach out to the marginalized sectors of the country. (Text & Photos: Mr. Jayjay Jacinto - DLSZ Lasallian Formation and Mission Department Director)

MALAYSIA - The September Happenings video in SXI is now live on YouTube! Click on the image to view the video.

Watch, comment, like and subscribe to our channel for updates and happenings at SXI. (St. Xavier’s Board of Governors Official Facebook Page)