LEAD Story 368

“Yes! Let it be done according to Your will” - Blessed Mother Mary

On the Feast of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools welcomed with profound happiness and joy 7 young men who further answered the call to discover the life of a De La Salle Brother. Brothers Joshua, Mark, Matthew, and Myron from the Lasallian East Asia District and Brothers Anthony, JB, and Joseph from the District of Vietnam wholeheartedly and willingly professed their first vows as consecrated persons.

Br. Victor Franco FSC in his reflection shared that, like Mary’s Fiat, the newly professed Brothers speak a fuller, more resonant, and confident YES to God. A YES that allows them to be more accepting and open in announcing the Gospel to others. Br. Vic added that the need for the Institute is great and challenges each one of them on how “To Brother” especially to the young, poor, and the Church that still need the ministry of the Brothers. He further expressed that “To Brother” is to join hands with the larger Lasallian family in offering human and Christian Education, love and guide young people entrusted to their care with tenderness, and to be living witnesses of God’s unconditional love towards the last, the lost, and the poor. He ended his shared reflection by inviting the newly professed Brothers to always respond with a determined OUI to a call heard from a faithful and loving God which leads them to a life filled with mystery of love and adventure of faith.

Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Brother Visitor of the Lasallian East Asia District, gave the scrutiny for the first profession and granted the permission for vows to the newly professed Brothers. Assisted by Br. Edgar Esparagoza FSC, Scholasticate Director, the professional cross was given to each Scholastic Brother as a sign of keeping their commitment to the vows faithfully for one year.

The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Fr. Louie Punzalan SVD at The Chapel of Divine Child in La Salle Green Hills on August 15, 2021. Together with various Brothers of the Institute and Lasallian Partners, the solemn ceremony was also attended through live online streaming by parents, relatives, and friends of the newly professed Brothers. (Text: Br. Myron Duque FSC; Photos: DLSP-CORE)

For the second straight year, the annual DLSBI Corporation Meeting and the Philippine Sector Assembly were held virtually through Zoom last 13 August 2021. Brothers from the different communities across the Philippines and LEAD were gathered in that single Zoom room to hear the different updates around the sector and the district.

The DLSBI Annual Corporation, chaired by Br. Dodo Fernandez FSC and with a quorum confirmed, began with the presentation of the minutes of t h e p r e v i o u s m i n u t e s a n d t h e ratification of the acts and resolutions of the Board of Trustees and Officers. With copies of these documents circulated months and days before the meeting, these were approved swiftly. Following these, came the report from the president of DLSBI, Br. Felipe Belleza FSC. Br. Felipe detailed the reports from the different social action programs of DLSBI and how it continues to respond to the call to action, especially during this time of the pandemic. He noted that advances were made in the feeding and livelihood programs through the Paghilom Project, Zero Extreme Poverty, and the Kada-Uno. The corporation meeting ended with the approval of the appointment of KPMG as the auditor of the corporation.

Soon after the corporation meeting was the Philippine Sector Assembly, which was chaired by Br. Felipe. The gathering was divided into seven major parts, which include the Visitor’s Report, the Directors Association Report, Vocations Ministry Report, DLSP Report, Bursar’s Report, Plenary, and the Honoring Rites.

Br. Armin Luistro FSC, LEAD Visitor, presented the district statistics including the number of vocations in the past three years from the aspirancy until first vows, and a general overview of assignments of the Filipino Brothers. Br. Armin showcased the different projects of the district, including Brothers who have finished their graduate and postgraduate studies, and those who are taking further studies, numerous online engagements, such as the LS Visions, LEAD Online Community, and many more, which connected the Lasallian community in East Asia. Also in the spotlight is the establishment of La Salle Mae Hong Son, which will serve as the LEAD 10th Anniversary Project and will cater to refugees, especially those coming from Myanmar. Furthermore, Br. Armin shared some financial data including the total contribution of LEAD to the COVID-19 response, amounting to USD 1,000,000.00, and the balances and expenses of the different sectors of LEAD.

Afterward, Br. Butch Alcudia FSC, chair of the Community Directors’ Association (CDA), shared the ongoing projects of the CDA, which includes the updating of the sector operation manual, and the creation of a fund to assist the families of the Brothers in terms of emergency and medical needs. Other projects include the orientation of directors and bursars on concerns about finance and the establishment of a committee that will handle matters on the integrity and safeguarding of minors.

Next, Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC introduced “Yes, Bro!” as the campaign for this year, which is a response to Christ’s invitation to all, highlighting the office’s initiative in promoting Lasallian vocations. He also shared updates and the plans of the Vocations Ministry Office (VMO) for this academic year. As of writing, there are about 97 contacts, aspirants, and discerners throughout the entire country. Moreover, he shared the Culture of Vocations Plan which contained strategic directions and goals of the office for this year, as well as two sector documents that will guide schools in promoting the Lasallian vocation, namely: Lasallian Vocations Team Operations Manual and Brothers Vocation Ministry Guide. Lastly, he urged the communities to actively participate in the different activities of the VMO.

Meanwhile, Br. Normandy Dujunco FSC presented the initiatives and activities from the different offices under De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), a number of which were gatherings and engagements that focused on social awareness and national issues. Moreover, as part of the ongoing COVID-19 response, the Central House initiated Technical Working Groups for the Reopening of Schools and Vaccination. Other projects presented were the Animo SMART Online Store and Project 2022: Reimagining Lasallian Education.

The last of the reports was the Bursar’s Report by Mr. Ferdie Fernandez. He reported on the budget performance reports (BPRs) of the Brothers’ Communities and the Central House, Statement of Activities by Classification to the Central House, the Brothers’ Pooling Account BPR, and the Balances of the Brothers’ Endowment Fund. Apart from these, he also shared information about the contributions of the district schools to the Institute.

The gathering ended with the plenary, where Brothers raised their concerns and questions about the different reports, and the annual honoring rites for Brothers who celebrate their anniversaries, in the multiples of 5 years.

Despite the online-only gathering, it was an opportunity for the Brothers to gather, listen and learn about the state of both the sector and the district, and join their thoughts and prayers for the betterment of the mission. (Text: Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC; Photos: Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC)

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MALAYSIA - On 14th August 2021, due to growing concerns about the current pandemic, the Board of Governors of St Xavier’s Institution, Penang distributed Sunshine Food Vouchers to our needy students from all 3 SXI Schools namely, St. Xavier’s Institution, SXI Primary and SXI Branch School.

The purpose of this programme was to do a little something for some of our students from low-income families. It was the Board’s Lasallian response to COVID and its impact on the poor.

The programme was held in St. Xavier’s Institution with a very simple reception counter set up following the necessary SOPs of the new norm. 50 well-disciplined, well-time drecipients presented themselves at different times in a staggered manner between 10am-4pm. In that way, a gathering was avoided.

The distribution of the Food Vouchers was spearheaded by Mr. Bala, Chairman of the Student and Staff Welfare Committee, Mr. Victor Tan, Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Goh Hong Peng, New Principal of St. Xavier’s Institution, Mr. Ian Howell, Senior Assistant and Mr. James Koay, School Counsellor.

Touching Hearts, Changing Lives! (Text: Ms. Sharon Lim; Photos: Br. Jason Blaikie FSC)

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PHILIPPINES - DLSU is the lone PHL private university in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for four straight years.

De La Salle University maintains its standing as one of the leading universities in the world with its inclusion in the 2022 edition of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The lone private university in the country to be ranked for four straight years, DLSU stays within the expanded final bracket of 1,200+. THE ranks more than 1,500 institutions or roughly six percent of over 26,000 HEIs in the world.

These rankings list only research-intensive universities, with research-based input and output metrics accounting for 65% of the overall institutional scores.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Dr. Raymond Girard Tan said that DLSU’s consistent inclusion in the rankings shows the University’s resolve to remain as a leading resource for research and development in the country.

“We focus on our research priorities, continuously collaborating with our local and international partners to develop innovative and sustainable ways to mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” he said.

DLSU President Br. Bernard Oca FSC expressed his message of gratitude and support to the faculty, students, and personnel for this achievement. “Thank you for a job well done. May you remain steadfast in the face of enormous challenges, as we pursue our Lasallian mission to transform lives and our nation through education.”

Animo LaSalle! (De La Salle University-Manila Facebook Page)

Meditations for the Time of Retreat: A Lasallian Home Retreat, by Brothe Vincent Pelletier, FSC , is now available for purchase and offers a home-based retreat to deepen one’s relationship with God and grow spiritually in one’s educational ministry. The book features Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s Meditations for the Time of Retreat coupled with Scripture passages to deepen the reflection of each meditation. Brother Vincent relies on his many years as a spiritual director and retreat leader to offer the retreatant guidance in the spiritual process and dialogue with the Lord before, during and following the retreat. While the book can be used for individual re flection, it also offers the opportunity for sharing the retreat as a community or group.

Visit the official website for more information on how to purchase the book: https://lasallianresources.org/product/meditations-for-the-time-of- retreat-a-lasallian-home-retreat/

Register here: https://tinyurl.com/LEADMINDS3
Deadline: 25th September 2021
For more information, visit the LEAD website: https://www.lasalle-lead.org/leadminds