LEAD Story 342

A Thank You note from Fondazione De La Salle Solidarietà Internazionale (ONLUS)

The explosion in Beirut caused heavy damages in three Lasallian institutions in that area. In the spirit of solidarity and support, the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) quickly gathered donations from FSC Communities, Lasallian Institutions, and other Lasallian groups from the 7 Sectors of LEAD.

In a short span of time, USD$43,400 was collected and this amount was immediately sent to Fondazione De La Salle Solidarietà Internazionale ONLUS. It will be used to restore the establishments so that the Lasallian Mission in Lebanon may continue.

To the Lasallian Family in LEAD, thank you for your generosity! Let us continue praying for the safety and security of our Lasallian brothers and sisters in Lebanon.

Visit the De La Salle Solidarietà Internazionale ONLUS Official Website to know more.


The pandemic has affected everyone and it has brought us a tremendous social change. In the midst of panic and fear caused by Covid-19, a lot of us Filipinos firmly believe that there are still opportunities to grow and that hope still awaits us.

After months of anticipation and preparation, the Postulants’ Entrance Rites to the Postulancy and Novices’ Habit-Taking and Entrance to the Novitiate have been formally celebrated virtually through a Facebook livestream that was aired in the afternoon of August 22, 2020 in the Chapel of the Divine Child, La Salle Green Hills. The Mass was presided by Fr. Louie Punzalan. Due to the current situation wherein the entire Metro Manila is still under General Community Quarantine, the celebration was attended only by a few Brothers in St. Benilde Brothers’ Community, Lasallian Formation Center, and PARC Novitiate and also with the presence of Br. Ricky Laguda FSC, PARC General Councillor.

At exactly 3:00 in the afternoon, the Mass celebration commenced. As customary, the blessing of the Bible, the holy rosary, the religious habit, and the Rule of the Brothers of the Christian Schools was conducted. Right after that, the postulants and novices were asked to come in front and make their request to be accepted into the Postulancy Program and the Reception of the Rule, Rosary and Religious Habit of the new Novices. Hence, the Brother General Councillor formally received the petition of the Postulants and Novices. He was assisted by Br. Ranier Guillergan FSC, Director of the Lasallian Formation Center in distributing the Bibles and Br. Rey Mejias FSC, Director of PARC La Salle Novitiate for the Reception of the Rule, Rosary and Religious Habit.

Though the postulants' and novices’ parents, family and friends were not able to witness personally the special event in their sons’ lives due to quarantine and travel restrictions, the celebration was still indeed intimate and special. This proved that not even this pandemic would hinder these young men from listening to God’s calling for His greater glory. (Text: Postulant Aris Guteza; Photos: DLSP CORE)

There is a new schedule for the District Council meetings. Instead of meeting once every quarter, it is now once every two (2) months for a duration of one (1) hour via Zoom Video Communications.

Quite a number of items were discussed on DC36 which was held on 2020 August 12. Special mention goes to the new Institute documents which the Council took extra attention and set action plans on how the District will apply it.

  1. Circular 475. From Hope to Commitment: Understanding Lasallian Vocations
  2. Lasallian Mission Moving Forward Plan
  3. Identity Criteria for the Vitality of Lasallian Educational Ministries
  4. Declaration on the Lasallian Educational Mission
  5. Reimagining our Life as Brothers

Truly, another productive meeting.

JAPAN - On July 28, the Hakodate La Salle Mission Club extended help to 25 foreign technical trainees who were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers and students pooled resources to buy food supplies and distributed it to those in need. The said club participates in the international immersion program by the diocese annually but has since been postponed due to the travel restrictions. (Text: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC; Photos: La Salle Japan Facebook Page)

Hakodate La Salle Mission Club Helps Out

Hakodate La Salle Mission Club Helps Out

PHILIPPINES - Committed to provide assistance to our local partners, the Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community and the administrators of La Salle Academy - Iligan zealously donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face shields to the Local Government Unit (LGU) and Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Iligan City last 2020 July 15. Mayor Celso G. Regencia received the donations that were distributed to the LGU, City Hospital, and the Isolation Facility of National Steel Corporation, while Superintendent Roy Angelo Gazo of DepEd-Iligan warmly accepted the donations for his constituents. (Text & Photos: Br. Ivan Umali FSC)

LSA-Iligan Donate PPEs

The Lasallian Family in Hong Kong may be unique in that the teachers, who attended the Asia Pacific Lasallian Educators Conferences since they began in 1994, continue to meet. They have been used to meeting face to face twice a year in plenary session, in order to renew their commitment to the Lasallian Mission and to continue their formation journey.

The social unrest earlier in the school year followed by the Covid-19 pandemic severely disrupted the usual practice. Zoom came to the rescue. On 25th of July 2020, pretty well the full complement of APLEC members participated in a meeting. There was a total of 62, including 6 Brothers. We were also joined by Brother Rey Mejias who gave a presentation on the challenges in the life of St. John Baptist de La Salle. Thank you, Brother Rey. All the participating Brothers contributed; Brother Jude for the opening prayer, Brothers Thomas, Jeffrey and Patrick for sharing, Brother Mikey for the concluding prayer. We were also delighted to welcome the participation of Brother Chris Soosai from afar, from South Sudan! For most of us, it was also the first time to take part in zoom breakout room discussions, thanks to the hosting of Brother Dennis Magbanua. Though unable to meet physically, the APLEC members were happy to see each other again….without masks! (Text & Photos: Br. Pat Tierney FSC & Mr. Paul Tam)

The Aspirancy coordinators from all the Brothers' Communities in the Philippines met online on 24 July 2020 to reflect, discuss, and plan out the directions of our Aspirancy communities as we move forward with the new normal. A big part of the discussion was about the various guiding documents for Aspirancy communities and the pastoral approach that will be continued from the past years of vocations ministry.

On 27 July 2020, the Local Vocations Coordinators from Lasallian schools in the Philippines met online to reflect, discuss, and plan for the school year ahead.

The Local Vocations Coordinator of each school animates the Local Vocations Team which is the mobilizing body of the National Vocations Ministry Office in each Lasallian school in the Philippines. It aims to minister to those entrusted to their care in the school and in the local community by providing spaces where the young are nurtured, encouraged, and accompanied in the discovery of their vocation in life.

The Local Vocations Team functions as the guarantor of Lasallian Vocations in the school and in the local community. Guided by recent Lasal l ian documents on vocation and formation (Circular 475, 2020; the Pilgrim’s Handbook, 2019), the Local Vocations Team serves as the cornerstone of the school in building a culture of formation, vocation, and accompaniment. (Text & Photos: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC)

Vocations PH

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (11 August 2020) – There were resounding cheers in the school as the students of St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) once again secured outstanding scores in the recent Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) results. Overall, the results recorded were impressive considering that the IGCSE final examinations were also canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world.

This time around, the results were derived from evidence-based decisions on the pupils’ performance in school. This data was then used to determine the grades for each candidate in the subjects they had entered for the May/June 2020 exam series. Based on this, 31% of the grades achieved were graded at A* while 59% were graded at A*- A, which is an outstanding achievement. Meanwhile, 81% of the grades achieved were graded A*- B and an unbelievable 94% were graded at A* - C. This achievement is also impressive when it was revealed that 93% of the students achieved a minimum 5A* - C grade for all their subject papers which assures them of their further education pathways.

Top IGCSE scorer for SJIIM, Tan Zhen Yi with 10A
Top IGCSE scorer for SJIIM, Tan Zhen Yi with 10A

The top scorer for SJIIM was Tan Zhen Yi who scored an amazing 10A*. Zhen Yi, who also received the Top in Malaysia Award for Cambridge IGCSE International Mathematics in 2019, was ecstatic and credited her success to the learning experience in SJIIM, “My educational journey at SJIIM has been ever so rewarding and memorable. Over the past four years, the endless support from our wonderful Lasallian school community has helped me to develop both academically and socially. Through its culture of kindness and inclusivity, the school encourages students in their pursuit of academic excellence as well as developing the Lasallian ethos of Faith, Service and Community. This is what I truly believe has allowed us as students to "Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve". I am wholeheartedly grateful towards the school, my passionate teachers, my family and our strong, united Josephian community for all that they have done for me." As for her further education plans, Zhen Yi will be heading to Brighton, UK to pursue her interest in Biochemistry or Natural Sciences.

The Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year-olds. It is recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide and is an international passport to progression and success. Developed over 30 years ago, it is tried, tested and trusted by schools worldwide and is used as the high school academic assessment by top international schools around the world including SJIIM.

Madam Mak Lai Ying Frances, the new Head of School for SJIIM, was very proud of the outcome of the results and added, “We are exceptionally proud of the achievements of this cohort of students over the last two years. Their commitment to learning, ongoing hard work and response to the teaching provided by our expert and specialist teaching staff has been rewarded with a fantastic set of outcomes. We would also like to thank all the parents for their support in this meaningful journey.”

Mr Anton Bush, the IGCSE Coordinator of SJIIM, was also pleased with the students’ performance, “We are incredibly proud of the excellent results that our students have achieved in such exceptional circumstances. I am particularly proud as well to have been the IGCSE coordinator for this cohort. The character traits and values that they have demonstrated on a daily basis have allowed them to support each other through the last two years. This year, more than any other, their grades have been based on the hard work that they have put in over the whole two-year course. Our students are characterised by their commitment to continuous learning and their work ethic and these values have been rewarded with an excellent set of results.”

SJIIM’s next academic year begins on 26 August 2020 with places still available for selected year groups. For more information about our school, please refer to www.sji-international.edu.my

Relevant Chinese name:
(八打灵再也Tropicana 院校) :
St Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (Tropicana PJ Campus)

For media inquiries:

Mr Neoh Soon Ken
Director of Business Development
Contact No: +603 86053605; +6016 4758308
Email: kenneoh@sji-international.edu.my

Congratulations to Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC for being granted admission to Loyola School of Theology (LST) for his Masters Degree in Spirituality and Retreat Directing. He is expected to finish his degree in 2023.

All the best, Br. Weegee! #TakeTheLEAD

With faith in the Resurrection, we sadly announce the passing of +Ibu Maria Debora Lia Tamaak, who joined her Divine Creator last Monday, 17 August 2020.

She is the mother of the Prof. Dr. Johanis Ohoitimur, Rector of Universitas Katolik De La Salle Manado (UKDLSM), a LASSO Supervised School in Manado, Indonesia.

Eternal rest grant unto Ibu Maria Debora, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon her.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through
the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Below is a quote from Br. David Hawke FSC, the former PARC General Councillor, from his article, “From Seven To One” found in the inaugural LEAD twentyeleven Magazine.

Read the full article: Seven to One

Br. David Hawke