LEAD Story 361

SINGAPORE - The solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is woven into the fabric of Lasallian spirituality as an occasion where the Brothers all over the world renew their religious consecration to the Trinity. This tradition affirms the continuous flow of the Trinitarian love to our mission and consecration as Brothers of the Christian Schools. An additional testament to this love is the promise of forever made by Br. Mark Salvan FSC as he professed his perpetual vows on the occasion of the solemnity, 29 May 2021 at 6 PM. The intimate celebration was held at the Sanctuary of Divine Love Chapel, St. Joseph’s Institution International, Singapore. It was presided by Friar Clifford Augustine OFM and attended by the De La Salle Brothers assigned in Singapore, Br. Mark’s friends, and some family members.

Br. Dodo Fernandez FSC, his religious sponsor, delivered the shared reflection for this solemn occasion in a recorded video clip. He shared in an anecdote Br. Mark’s desire to grow and be more effective in his ministry. It was a story of how his formative years helped him appropriate his values to the vitality and values of religious life. From an energetic young man whose initial attraction to the Brothers’ life is the energy and enthusiasm he saw from Br. Rey Mejias FSC, the formation process has helped him develop a deeper relationship with God. This relationship gave him the courage and strength to bear witness to a faithful and steadfast God through a life-long commitment to responding to God’s call and be of service to the young through education.

Br. Mark, in his response, shared how things that are important to him seemed not to fall into place. One of them is celebrating this milestone in his life away from his loved ones. But despite the situation, this special day has become a celebration of a heart abounding in thanksgiving and self-giving. With the eyes of faith, he was able to see things through. In faith, things that seemed to fall apart are actually things falling into place.

At the height of the pandemic, the perpetual profession of Br. Mark is a sign of hope. He mentioned in his message that everything happens for a reason. Thus, this profession serves as a light manifesting how God works no matter how challenging our circumstances are. The organizers had to cut the number of people physically present at the event and restrict the movement of guests to comply with the safety measures imposed by the government. The celebration still stood out as a testament to God’s faithfulness as the sector of Singapore once again witnessed a Brother’s perpetual profession after nearly a decade.

Br. Mark teaches Religious Education and is a member of the Faith Formation Team at St. Joseph's Institution International. Let us continue to pray for him as he begins his ‘forever’ serving the people of God as a Brother of the Christian Schools. (Text: Br. Kino Escolano FSC; Photos: SJII)



Br. Edmundo L. Fernandez FSC, President of La Salle Green Hills, is elected as the next president of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU)!

Much like the institution known for collaboration to attain academic accreditation, Br. Dodo faces the challenge to ‘surpass requirements’ and ‘achieve unprecedented performance levels.’ He brings with him a wealth of knowledge as a teacher, administrator and organization leader — always with clear goals and vision to create new, relevant paths with a sincere commitment to serve.

In pursuit of quality education and living out the teachings of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Patron Saint of Teachers, we congratulate and pray for our beloved Br. President!

https://paascu.org.ph/.../06/01/congratulations-br-dodo (La Salle Green Hills Facebook Page)

The La Salle Sampran Community in Thailand formally welcomes Peter Niyomtham, Lawrence Paldsri, Peter Keurkul, and Romeo Sanyaluck, the congregation's four new candidates, on Trinity Sunday. The event began with a prayer service that emphasized the importance of healthy relationships in a community. The community director, Br. Joseph Klong FSC, then offered a poignant perspective on the value of companionship during these challenging times. As a De La Salle Brothers’ tradition every Trinity Sunday, Br. Eugene de Luna FSC, Br. Joseph Klong, Br. Stephen Khan, and Br. Stephen Pitchit FSC renewed their vows before the end of the prayer service. In addition, the candidates signed and vowed to contribute to making their Pre-Postulancy journey as fruitful and meaningful as possible as they begin the new academic year in June.

This year, the LaSalle Sampran community has four De La Salle Brothers, four new first-year candidates, and four second-year candidates. (Text & Photos: Br. Eugene de Luna FSC)

In 2005, the Lasallian Community in the Philippines was made aware of a humble chapel in honor of St. John Baptist de La Salle located in the mountain rice fields of Kalinga province, north of Manila. Through Br. Mawel Pajarillo FSC and Mr. Hector Gloria, a more formal relationship was further established and a plan to build a formal chapel was set in the works. As part of this renewed effort to reconnect, four Brothers traversed the mountains of Cordillera in April 2018 to participate in the simple commemoration of the Founder’s feast and to gift the community with the Founder’s statue that was donated by De La Salle Lipa. In March 2019, Br. Armin Luistro FSC visited the community and formalized the partnership with the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk through Bp. Prudencio “Jun” Andaya CICM. A new proposed design for the reconstruction of the Chapel of St. John Baptist de La Salle in Pasil was submitted by the Parish Priest, Fr. Jeorge Manisem with inputs from Bp. Jun. Since then, the call for donations for the chapel spread like wildfire and the Philippine Lasallian Family was able to raise the target amount of Php5.1 million.

On the blessing of the chapel, the Brother Visitor thought it would be appropriate to join the community and its partners on that very special day. We will always be reminded of this historic event when we welcomed new members of the Lasallian Family from Pasil, Kalinga. (Text & Photos: Mr. Jyron Raz)

Service and communion, the spirit of La Salle, is being practiced here in Hakodate, Japan. Currently, the country is under the state of emergency, and there is no work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, the vulnerable people are those affected the most. Some of these belong to the families of our Youth Exchange program.

So, on May 30, volunteers of our Catholic Youth Group from La Salle Hakodate, Hokkaido University of Education, and Vietnamese members, provided food assistance good for two weeks to 36 people. Br. Rodrigo Treviño FSC, principal of La Salle Hakodate, also helped with the food aid.

We are currently providing food aid through donations. So far we have received rice and cup noodles from the food bank, disaster crackers, 20 loaves of bread from King Bake Corp., and sanitary products from Ms. Sasaki. Thank you very much! If there is anyone who can help us with donations, please contact us.

You are part of the miracleOur Vision, Our Passion, Our FutureLive Jesus in our hearts. Forever! (Text & Photos: Mr. Deok Bosco Han)

Excerpts from the Article:

PHILIPPINES - It all started with a meme in the “Big Four Trashtalkan” Facebook group. In the photo, a community pantry was superimposed in front of De La Salle University (DLSU) and the caption imagined that products like Kirkland strawberries and Ritz were being given away.

After 3,000 reactions and over 400 affirmative comments, we got the ball rolling. We pitched the idea to our social arm Center for Social Concern and Action (Cosca) and the DLSU administration. We—alumni reps, students, Cosca, DLSU-University Student Government and the school administration—did a Zoom call and launched the pantry Friday of that same week.

“Dude, Pantry, Chong”—The Taft Times Community Pantry was born three days after I lifted the meme. The name shows just how organic everything is. It came from the Lasallian community, showing that we keep things tongue-in-cheek and that we can laugh at ourselves. Even in “Taft times,” we don’t lose our sense of humor. Not only that, we step into action, too.

“Dude, Pantry, Chong” is the work of a real community that knows how to embrace something as trivial as a typical stereotype and transforms that into unconditional kindness.

Full Article: https://lifestyle.inquirer.net/382361/dude-pantry-chong-how-a-meme-sparked-the-lasallian-community-pantry/

PAPUA NEW GUINEA - One Filipino De La Salle Brother has a fascinating history in serving poorer, or disadvantaged people. Raffy Reyes, in the 1980's, was a member of a De La Salle community that was established for the face-to-face service of poorer people. "We lived in a small fishing village and the work of the Brothers involved providing a non-formal education to farmers and fishermen which was based on the Paulo Freire model. Basically, we taught them how to read and write". Today, he is establishing a professional counseling service for teacher trainees at Mt. Hagen Teachers College.

Arriving this year in the Highland province, in his second stint as a Brother partnering in the PNG Sector Mission, he noticed a difference. The bigger crowds, and also somewhat alarmingly- that people did not seem to follow strictly the COVID-19 protocols of face masks and social distancing. Br. Raffy had worked previously in PNG for 13 years ten at Rosary Secondary School in Kondiu in Simbu, and three more years at Mt. Hagen. He was one of several Filipino Brothers who have served in PNG. In 2004, he was recalled to needful work back home in various schools, but always harboured a desire to return to the Land of the Unexpected.

"When I first arrived in PNG in 1991 as a missionary, I told myself that this is what I would like to do for the rest of my life. I used to spend time to talk to the old SVD missionaries in Kondiu, about their experiences in the mission, and their stories inspired me a lot.”

Br. Raffy lives in the small community on-site, with Indian Brother Britto, who also works in the College. Brothers ran the Teachers College in Hagen for many years: it is seen today as an associated ministry, with a Lasallian Facilitator, Mr. Lambert Lapkit, with some teachers and the lay Principal keen on the Lasallian ethos. Although not having some of the conveniences of life back home, Raffy knows the lifestyle in PNG, and, as he says, "I have always wanted to come back". His postings in the Philippines, like Kondiu and Mt. Hagen, had been in smaller provincial towns and cities Iligan, Ozamiz, Bacolod and Lipa, and so he was accustomed to his 2021 volunteering post.

The returning Brother is quite open about his deeper motivations: "God continues to call me to serve Him and his people to go (as the Lasallian Brothers' vow says) wherever I may be sent, and to do what I will be asked to do by the Body of this Institute or by its Superiors". Seeing clarity in life-direction, and a heart for God and his people's welfare, speaks volumes in today's razzle-dazzle world of options.

Mt. Hagen Teachers College is a lush campus for a mission! (Text: Br. Gary Wilson FSC)

Source: https://www.delasalle.org.au/blog/br--raffy-reyes--apostolate-from-fishing-village-to-mt--hagen-highlands