LEAD Story 320

Br. Armin Luistro FSC, LEAD Visitor, made a canonical visit to Sampran Community and La Salle Sangkhlaburi on 3-7 January 2020. He met with Brothers individually and called for a community meeting. He encouraged the Brothers to continue working with the poor in Sangkhlaburi. He also would like to see that the young Brothers be trained well for the next set of leaders not only for Thailand but also for LEAD and the rest of the Institute. Br. Armin will continue working closely with the Brothers in Thailand in order to strengthen the foundations of the Lasallian Mission in the sector. The visit at the two communities gave Br. Armin much joy and he prays and lifts his intentions to the Lord, that He will bless the De La Salle Brothers and Sisters in Thailand and all the teachers, students, and members of the community in the sector. (Text & Photos: Br. Joseph Klong Chaiphuak FSC)




Excerpts from the Article:

The Brothers of the Christian Schools have a network that stretches across 80 countries, which includes 4,000 Brothers, 90,000 lay colleagues, and 850,000 students.

Last December, two Lasallian schools from across the world connected, as Hakodate La Salle High School spent a week at Christian Brothers Academy for the second year in a row.

Hailing from Hokkaido, Japan, 80 Hakodate students and 10 faculty members, including Brother Fermin Martinez, immersed themselves in the CBA community. Over 40 current CBA families volunteered to serve as host families for the Hakodate boys, and additional CBA students were “day hosts” to show the Hakodate students around the Academy.

The Hakodate students spent each day with their host CBA students, attending classes, lunch and extracurriculars with them. The Academy hosted a short welcome assembly on Monday and a grand farewell ceremony on Friday, which was filled with presentations from both the CBA and Hakodate students and faculty members.

The CBA Pipes & Drums band performed for the Hakodate students, before they returned the favor by playing the CBA alma mater and Star Spangled Banner on the recorder for the CBA community.

The Hakodate students departed CBA with a commemorative “Lasallians Without Borders” shirt, as well as a special certificate to recognize the cultural achievement. 

The unity between the two schools – 6,000 plus miles apart – was impressive to say the least, all thanks to the Lasallian bonds that transcend culture. 

“This week would not be possible without our CBA families,” Brother Frank said. “We are the first Lasallian school to welcome the Hakodate students for this experience. Our parents and students did a tremendous job stepping up to support this unique and tremendous opportunity.”


What the Students Said About This Cultural Experience

“At first, I was overwhelmed by the idea [of hosting four Hakodate students]. What really made this week worthwhile was the school day. It was funny how relatable we were to each other, even though we live over 6,000 miles apart. Just because they may speak differently and look differently, does not mean that we are different. The connections and international friendships created from this event are something that will be remembered for the rest of our lives.” – senior Saverio Caruso

“I was nervous when I found out I would be hosting at my house. I thought ‘what could I have in common with someone from the other side of the world?’ As the week progressed, however, I found the answer was quite a lot. Sharing a passion for music, sports and games, I learned that we live very similar lives, and above all, live by the same principals that LaSallian education instilled in us. By the end of the week, we were no longer strangers, we were brothers.” – senior Jack Hipschman

“Welcoming two Hakodate students, Koki and Yudai, into our family for a week was an amazing experience. Our family was not only able to show Koki and Yudai American culture in our daily life, but we were able to learn about the values they upheld. This experience gave me a deeper appreciation for Japanese culture and I am grateful for spending time, sharing laughs with, and making lasting bonds with our Hakodate brothers.” – senior Aedan Moran




PETALING JAYA: The spirit of Christmas was shared by a multiracial Lasallian fraternity during a fellowship here.

“A Christmas Evening with Lasallians” was hosted by the Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Alumni Associations at La Salle Hall in Lorong 5/15B here, just opposite SMK La Salle in Seksyen 5 on Sunday.

The guests of honour were La Salle Brothers of Malaysia director Brother Andrew Loke and Brother Lucian Ng.

Present at the facility, part of the La Salle Provincialate, were association president Michael Simon, event organising chairman K. Paramjothy, activities chairman James Sia and secretary Don Darrell Augustine.

Sia said the evening was attended by youths and seniors from the 19 alumni associations nationwide.

“The youth’s role is important to keep activities like these alive to foster racial unity in our society. These are the youth who will take over the leadership from us seniors, who are an ageing lot,” said Sia of the event, which was complete with carols and a dinner.

He said they were fortunate to have La Salle Hall, which had been refurbished, complete with rooms for social functions and training seminars.

“The facility has a tennis court and 18 rooms for daily rental. La Salle Hall is also spacious for garden parties,” said Sia, who is former president of the Franciscan Club of Kuala Lumpur.



PETALING JAYA: They may have long retired but thanks to the spirit of Christmas, these “forgotten” former La Salle teachers were brought together and honoured for their past contributions.

Leading the chorus of appreciation for the nearly two dozen ex-teachers was the Malaysian Federation of La Sallian Associations and Xaverian Club of Kuala Lumpur (XCKL).

Federation president Michael Simon said that despite the changes in the education system and La Salle schools over the years, the “old boys are still working to keep the spirit of the schools alive”.

“This is the time to honour and remember each and every one of you who have dedicated your lives to the cause of education. We will never forget your grand efforts, ” he said in his welcoming remarks at an Italian restaurant here on Saturday.

XCKL past president Jason Ong, who mooted the idea for the gathering, said it was apt to honour the La Salle teachers on the occasion of Christmas.

“You are the ones who instilled in us the spirit of brotherhood and good values. We are what we are today because of your teachings.

“There can be no better time than Christmas to say a big ‘thank you’ to all of you, ” he said in his address.

Ong said he had organised past events to honour the La Salle Brothers, adding that it was time now to cherish the teachers themselves.

Among the teachers who attended was Lee Kah Chee, who at 86 was the oldest of the lot.

Despite his deteriorating health and failing memory, the gritty former teacher from St Michael’s Institution in Ipoh came with his walking stick.

“I was determined to be a part of the reunion with my ex-colleagues and students, ” said Lee, who underwent brain surgery some time ago.

Former teacher of the St Xavier’s Institution in Penang, Michael Quah, 76, shared his enthusiasm for “continuing to learn and to give back to the community by being a driven and passionate individual”.

“Teachers devoted their life for the growth of young children and the ethos of the La Salle Brothers is about nurturing life.

“I spent the later parts of my life painting and being actively engaged with everybody, including my grandchildren who may think I’m a nuisance, ” he added as the others laughed.

Another ex-teacher of the school, Antony Gomez, who taught English and literature, said: “I treasure my formative years at St Xavier’s both as a student and a teacher because the interest I developed there was maintained for the rest of my career and my life.”

He spoke fondly of his regular meet-ups with former students, whom he said visited him often at his home.

St Francis Melaka alumnus James Sia underlined the sense of belonging that has driven the La Salle brotherhood over the years.

A strong believer of La Salle’s mission of providing education to the poor, he said education was key in bringing people out of poverty.

“In school, the senior boys guide the young ones. We used a mentoring approach and hopefully, the government recognises this. Our ethos has not changed much, and the mentoring still continues, ” he said.

Despite the meagre salary of teachers in the past, Sia said they were motivated by their passion to make an impact on students’ lives.

“Back in the early days, teachers were paid very little, probably RM30 to RM40, and the schools were surviving on donations.

“It is passion that drove the educators and because of that, we still have the sense of belonging to go back to school, even today, ” he said, adding that after leaving school in 1972 he still returned every now and then.

A former student of St Michael’s Institute in Ipoh, Angeline Lazaroo, said mission schools instilled a strong sense of culture among its students.

“We often give bursary to our students and sponsorship for clubs like musical instruments or any repairs and financial assistance.

“Mission schools also believe that the heart of education is the education of the heart, ” she said, expressing her pride in being a Michaelian.

To add to the festive air, the teachers wore Santa caps and danced and clapped as a Christmas choir group entertained.


Among the many new Catholic school principals commissioned by the Archbishop of Singapore, Msgr William Goh, on January 5 at the cathedral, there were three Lasallian principals. They are Mdm Cheryl Choo De La Salle School, Mrs Roisin Paul St Joseph's Institution International and Mr Mark Minjoot St Patrick's School. Brs. Antonio Cubillas, Augustine Julian, Lawrence Humphrey, Paul Ho, Collin Wee and Nicholas Seet were present to pray and share their joy at the special Sunday Mass. (Text & Photos: Br. Nicholas Seet FSC)