LEAD Story 371

PHILIPPINES - Each year, on the first Sunday of October, the Brothers in the Philippines celebrate the life and legacy of our Brothers and Lasallians who have gone before us. This year, due to the pandemic, only a limited number of Brothers and Partners were physically together at the La Salle Novitiate in Lipa, Batangas. Br. Armin Luistro FSC, our Visitor, was in attendance together with our Brothers in Lipa and some Brothers from the Residencia and 1911 communities. The rest were in attendance through Zoom.

The celebration began with the Holy Eucharist with Fr. Nonie Dolor as presider. After the homily, the names of our deceased Lasallians were shown through a video presentation. After the Eucharist, the congregation proceeded with the Rite of Blessing in the Memorial Cloister where our Brothers have been laid to rest.

Many thanks to our Partners from De La Salle Philippines and De La Salle Lipa for organizing the celebration and maintaining proper health and safety protocols throughout the gathering. (Text: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC; Photos: Br. Carlo Rementilla & Mr. Marc Gepaya)

During the 8th LEAD Mission Council meeting h e l d o n l i n e o n 2 4 September 2021, Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC and Br. Antonio Cubillas F S C p r e s e n t e d t h e L a s a l l i a n V i r t u a l Educational Apostolate or ELEVATE / LVE8 p r o j e c t , w h i c h w a s endorsed by the LEAD District Council to the LMC for approval.

Br. Dennis shared the World Bank figures report that "COVID-19 to add as many as 150 million extreme poor by 2021". And from the United Nations Policy Brief entitled "Education during COVID-19 and beyond" (August 2020) reported that "COVID-19 has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents". The UN report added that "The crisis is exacerbating pre-existing education disparities by reducing opportunities for many of the most vulnerable children, youth and adults, those living in poor or rural areas, girls, refugees, persons with disabilities and forcibly displaced persons - to continue their learning". The UN Policy Brief recommended the need to build resilient education systems for equitable and sustainable development.

Arising from this prevailing situation, a call for all Lasallians to reimagine its educational mission and response to the pandemic is made.

LEAD had formed an Ideation Group composed of Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC (Co-Convenor), Ms. Coreen Paul (Co-Convenor), Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC, Br. Vincent Fernandez FSC, Br. Emong Viroomal FSC, Mr. Paul Tam and Mr. Louis Kyaw Koko, who brain-stormed and formulated the following proposal for the LMC to consider: How should the Lasallian educational ministry respond to the prevailing and emerging realities in the District brought about by the pandemic? With particular focus on the poor and those who live in the peripheries, how should Lasallian Mission respond? Considering the technological resources and advancements now available, how should Lasallians use and harness them to address the disparities exacerbated by COVID-19?

The LEAD Mission Council responded positively to the challenge and committed to carefully study the matter and formulate recommendations to be presented to the District Council. (Text: Mr. Jay Gervasio; Photo: Ms. Coreen Paul)

MALAYSIA - “Lasallians In Action” is the theme of the 2021 Lasallian Encounter, which was held on 10-12 September.

There were nine Lasallian Schools present: St. Joseph's Sarawak, St. Martin's Sabah, St. Francis' Malacca, St. Paul's Seremban, St. John's Kuala Lumpur, La Salle Petaling Jaya, La Salle Sentul, St. Michael's Ipoh, St. George's Taiping with a total of 39 participants.

B r o t h e r s M a r v i n a n d E d g a r f a c i l i t a t e d t h e L a s a l l i a n E n c o u n t e r together with Brothers Mark, Matthew, Joshua and Myron.

There were 3 main parts of the program - Self Encounter, Encounter with De La Salle and World Encounter. The sessions were all interactive.

Our thanks to the Brothers once again for making the Lasallian Encounter a meaningful one. We thank our tech support team, Justin Royan and Clifford Miranda. (Text: Mr. Isaac Stephen Anthonysamy; Photos: La Salle Centre Facebook Page)

Click on the link to view the sharing of two participants about their Lasallian Encounter experience: https://www.lasalle-lead.org/news/2021-10-17-lasallian-encounter-2021

M A L AY S I A - T h i s t a l k w a s c o n d u c t e d b y M r. R a y m o n d Miranda who is a story expert, narrative researcher, and global speaker who spent 14 years s t u d y i n g , r e s e a r c h i n g , a n d teaching storytelling in the US. He returned to Malaysia to be CEO of Enfiniti Vision Media. His passion for exploring the intersection between story, innovation and future thinking has taken him all over the world.

An old boy of La Salle Sentul himself, he was more than happy to be able to share his knowledge and experience with fellow Lasallians.

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Here is a reflection from one of the participants, Michael Xavier Woon.

Why do we need to be mindful of ‘Stories’ in our lives? We are called to be whole by creating meaning out of the randomness of chaos and daily chunking of noise - often robbing us of our peace. Stories rejuvenate us to move directions, bridge fragmented worlds by gathering happy points towards self actualisation.

The Story of De La Salle as our inspiration is beautifully illustrated in the “7 Stages of Storytelling”.

  1. Breaking of Ritual
  2. Loop of Fear
  3. “What If” moment into Inspiration
  4. Innovation Momentum
  5. The Battle
  6. The Leap
  7. The Leader

The Hero's journey is your own story. A collective of shared s t o r i e s t h u s b e c o m e s a community’s shared journey. What is your story? (Text & Photos: Ms. Coreen Paul)

THAILAND - Br. Francisco Teerayut Chadang FSC, Br. John Worawut Chinsee FSC, and school administrators of La Salle Nakhonsawan visited and donated relief goods to the teachers and workers who were seriously affected by the storm and flood. (La Salle Chotiravi Nakhonsawan Facebook Page)

PHILIPPINES - Once again, our aspirants and contacts had another meaningful weekend as they had two engagements last Saturday.

First, our AspCon together with their fellow aspirants in Iligan (BACOD) had a fruitful session in the morning with Br. John Ong FSC as they learned how to create and give recollection. This is in preparation for t h e i r u p c o m i n g o n l i n e a p o s t o l a t e engagements that will serve the residents of Kuya Center, a center that helps street children of Metro Manila.

Lastly, our AspCon enjoyed the evening as they had their faith sharing and fun games t o g e t h e r w i t h s o m e B r o t h e r s f r o m Residencia, De La Salle Lipa, and La Salle Greenhills. (FSC Vocations - Lipa Facebook Page)

#YesBro #FSCVocations #MoreFSC #DeLaSalleBrothers #AspCon #BACOD

Congratulations to Br. Felipe C. Belleza Jr., FSC on being chosen to be the
chairman of the CEAP (Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines)
Retirement Fund, Inc. Executive Committee for 2021-2022!

Source: CEAP Retirement Fund, Inc. Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/100438001850801/photos/a.123370339557567/312780077283258/

Lasallian Catechetical Center director and Department of Theology and Religious Education OIC Chair Dr. Lysander P. Rivera has been appointed to the Vatican's International Council for Catechesis.

The appointment was recently approved by Pope Francis and Dr. Rivera is the first Filipino and the only current lay member from Asia. The International Council for Catechesis (COINCAT) was established during the pontificate of Saint Paul VI in 1973 whose aim is to promote the exchange of experiences, study the most important catechetical topics at the service of the Holy See and the Episcopal Conferences all over the world. COINCAT is under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

The Council’s renewal under Pope Francis comes in the wake of the publication of both the new Directory for Catechesis (June 25, 2020) and the recent Motu Proprio “Antiquum Ministerium” (May 11, 2021) instituting the lay ministry of the Catechist. These documents demonstrate Pope Francis’ attention to the vital function of catechesis in the life of the Church, as well as for its development along the lines of mission and New Evangelization. (Lasallian Mission at DLSU Facebook Page)

JAPAN - Before coming to Japan as a lay person or as a Brother, I liked flowers as most people do. I lived in a culture where there were flowers in the house only for certain occasions or in churches or chapels. To have flowers meant to go to the market and buy them or the easiest way, to order them through a shop. People around me at home or in our communities didn’t grow flowers for inside decoration. In other words, to have flowers or not was the way to live ordinary life.

I arrived in Japan on August 26 of 1987 and soon I began to see the role of flowers in different ways even in ordinary life. One of the new words I learned was “生け花” (ikebana) which literally means - living flower(s). This is one of the arts people have cultivated for years in this country. I became interested to appreciate the role of flowers in daily life. I must confess that I have never taken any class or course on putting and arranging cut flowers in a vase. After four months in Japan, I gave it a try and put together my first and “original” arrangement. From the very first time I did not follow orthodoxy; I did not use flowers but two branches of Japanese maple and one of ginko. You can see me in that old picture of 34 years ago. That was the beginning of something new to me.

I have come to discover that putting flowers together in “my way” have helped me contemplate the beauty of each blossom or the combination of different shapes, dimensions and colors, even if I don’t follow the rules of the traditional Japanese delicate art of ikebana. I play with what I get my hands on from the flowers in our garden. Now, I know this is not just cutting flowers and bringing them inside. I actually grow most of the raw materials for the arrangements I do. In other words, gardening and flower arrangement have become part of my daily life.

I have reached the point that, in doing these two things, I consider them to be the integral part of a therapeutic technique that pays well for my health. The more I get involved working with plants, the more I discover that it is a way to keep connected with mother nature. I cannot help it but I came to understand how the person becomes someone that bridges nature, humans, and the Creator. I am immensely grateful to discover and practise this down-to-earth and simple theological journey. Most probably if the Lord had not have brought me to this land, I would have continued to see flowers just as flowers.

Putting flowers inside the house, I make an environment that pleases my own eyes and perhaps the eyesight of people living together with me. When I put flowers in the chapel, I feel that I am not alone; nature is also praising the same God.

Here in the northern part of Japan we enjoy the four seasons. Each season produces different flowers (except winter) that help me become more imaginative in how I can put the flowers together. Any arrangement even using the same type of flowers will look different depending on the vase I use. Vase and flower combination produces a unique sense of harmony. One of the Japanese ikebana secrets is the use of “kenzan” that holds the flowers vertically and allows you to bend the position of flowers. The kenzan is a piece of metal that has many nails inserted, allowing you to play with flowers and the vase to produce something original.

Finally, I insist that what I do with the flowers has no right to be called “ikebana”. But if you insist, you can call them “unorthodox” ikebana. I hope you will be able to see flowers in a different way. And what is more, buy a kenzan and give it a try! (Text & Photos: Br. Fermin Martinez FSC)

Part of saying "Yes, Bro!" to Christ is to listen, learn, and love His Word. Join us every Sunday for our Brothers' reflections, and may Christ, our Brother, be the Bread that continues to nourish us in the Lasallian Mission. (De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines)