99 Brothers and Lasallian partners from the 7 sectors of LEAD gathered together in Manila, Philippines from 18-22 December for the 4th District Assembly. They came together as a District to pray and bond fraternally after more than two years of “lockdown”, discuss pertinent District matters, and share dreams and hopes for the future of LEAD.
December 19. Monday. LEAD Assembly Day 1
Sessions opened with an opening prayer prepared by members of the Liturgy Committee. This was followed by Br. Sockie starting the day and warmly welcoming everyone. Our Visitor, Br. Patrick, gave his remarks and shared messages of gratitude and recognition to all who have actively taken part in the preparations for the Assembly.
Br. Ricky explained that the reflection and discussion for the Assembly will follow the Appreciative Inquiry Process. He added that this was the same process followed in the General Chapter. At 10:00 AM, the first round of conversations and sharing had begun.
Group facilitators led our participants into meaningful discussions as they were asked to identify (1) what they were most proud of as a Brother/ Partner in LEAD and (2) something that they are excited about. These conversations were documented by the group secretaries that worked under the guidance of the Writing Committee.
Before the morning ended, Br. Martin, in gratitude and celebration of his years of ministry and mission in the Philippines, presented his beautiful, cross-stitched piece of the LEAD Logo. This was handed over to Br. Patrick.
In the afternoon, another round of conversations transpired. The afternoon session allowed the Brothers and Partners to identify two values that are most important to them and that they believe best describe who and what they are about. Their answers to the question “why are they doing what they are doing?” was also another talking point.
In the afternoon, some committees spent this time to meet. A few Brothers and Partners went to De La Salle Zobel school and engaged in sports.
At 6:30 in the evening, the group gathered for prayers. This was immediately followed by dinner at The Nest restaurant. The dinner flowed into socials. Brothers who finished their graduate and post graduate degrees in the recent years were also recognized. (Text: Br. Paolo Mata FSC)
December 20. Tuesday. LEAD Assembly Day 2
On the morning of the second day of the District Assembly, lay partners and Brothers gathered to listen and reflect further on the synthesis, crafted by the Writing Committee headed by Br. John Ong FSC, that was a product of the discussions that happened on the first day. The synthesis included what the Brothers and the lay partners were proud of in the District and what they were excited about. Furthermore, the challenges we face as we reimagine our District and the values that will guide us were also shared.
Moving forward, the second day saw the continuation of the Appreciative Inquiry Methodology presented by Br. Ricky Laguda FSC for the questions on what the lay partners and the Brothers dream for the District in the coming years, what needs to change at the community and District levels, and finally, how we will see the District at the end of four years. All these discussions began at ten in the morning and were done in six groups.
In the afternoon, some Brothers gathered to build community through sports.
To cap the day and later in the evening, Brothers were recognised for their years of perseverance in their vocation as religious and service as De La Salle Brothers. (Text: Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC)
December 21. Wednesday. LEAD Assembly Day 3
The Brothers and lay partners gathered together for the last day of the District Assembly and opening of the 4th District Chapter. They witnessed the brotherhood among themselves by sharing their thoughts and ideas to move their dream as one district forward.
Reflecting and discussing by groups encouraged them to be more grounded, connected and united. The dreams and exciting challenges that they identified led them to reflect and suggest ways on how the district might improve over the next 4 years.
The closing ceremony of the assembly reminded all the attendees of what being a Brother to another is. The event also recognized the efforts and the success of the 4th District Assembly by awarding certificates and simple tokens to the facilitators, committees and organizers.
In the afternoon, everyone witnessed the opening rite of the 4th District Chapter and the final sondage for the next Brother Visitor. Our Brother Armin, Superior General, was invited to give the closing remarks and gave us a challenging and inspiring speech.
The Assembly is not complete without the official picture taking. The Brothers, together with the Lasallian lay partners, posed to show their readiness and excitement for the new chapter of LEAD. (Text: Br. Matthew Thawatchai Chumkhamta FSC)
(Photos: DLSP CORE; 4thDA Media & Technology Committee)