PHILIPPINES - An Aspirant of the De La Salle Brothers is someone who is considering that the life of the Brothers is a possible option in their lives. They aspire to mature as a human, as a spiritual person, and as a Christian.
On May 26-29, 2022, La Salle Academy, Iligan City, held the Visayas-Mindanao Aspirants’ Conference: A Nyel Experience. This was the first time in 2 years since the pandemic, that the Vocations Ministry Office organized the first in-person gathering of Aspirants. The conference invited the young Aspirants from La Salle Academy, La Salle University - Ozamiz, and University of Saint La Salle - Bacolod to ignite the flame within their journey to discernment. The conference was named after Adrian Nyel, a French Educator, who played a big role for our founder, Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s first step into being an educator. Adrian recruited the young priest to assist him in opening a parish school for the poverty-stricken boys.
The conference focused around this idea with different sessions and prayer services that guided the Aspirants. Taking a look back at their small yesses that led them to where they currently are, how Adrian Nyel’s invitation to our founder, reflects those invitations that the Aspirants experienced, and how they responded to those invitations. There were also sessions about the gifts each aspirant has and how they can use these gifts to help others. Just as Saint John Baptist De La Salle did when he used his gift which is teaching to help others.
The Aspirants from the different La Salle schools came together in La Salle Academy, Iligan City to settle down and prepare themselves for the conference. This is marked as the Day Zero of the program where the participants had an orientation for the rules, assigned rooms, responsibilities and duties, followed by a dinner at the Retreat House. They also had their community gathering that night where they got to know each other and to create that relationship that they currently have.
The conference officially started on May 27. During that day, aside from the prayers and sessions, the Brothers and Aspirants took the official photo of the conference. They did sports after, such as Frisbee and Volleyball where the Aspirants got into their competitive side and did friendly banter with each other. After the games, they were almost as if they had been together for years. On May 28, they celebrated God’s gifts in creation. The participants went to a beach where they could appreciate God’s creation and continue to establish the relationship that they had. Finally, on May 29, the participants both renewed or signed their Aspirancy contracts. The mass was held in the Holy Infancy Chapel in La Salle Academy.
Not only did the Aspirants learn more about their discernment, they also learned about how they can be helpful to others just as St. La Salle was. That the ultimate goal in each and everybody's life is to be a loving person as what Jesus had also taught. Nothing is more important than to love what we love and do everything that we do out of love.
Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever! (Text: Jeff Aldrin Tabita - LSA-Iligan Aspirant; Photos: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)