LEAD Story 364

Dear Lasallians in East Asia:

Greetings of peace and well-being! Like most of you, I am most concerned about the current situation in Myanmar and would like to propose that, as a District, we remember our Brothers and Lasallian Partners in prayer and stand with them in solidarity especially at this time.

I wish to share with you a proposed prayer for Myanmar by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. I would request that our communities dedicate Friday of every week as our LEAD Day o f Solidarity with Myanmar. Beginning this Friday, July 23 and every Friday in 2021 henceforth until the end of the year, you may use the proposed prayer below, offer little acts of charity and sacrifice for their intentions and in their favor.

Many thanks for your support of the suffering members of the Body of Christ.

Fraternally yours,

Armin

Day of Solidarity With Myanmar

 

The Emotionally Healthy Woman formation program for the women of L.E.A.D began on July 7th and will end on August 25th 2021. This is a pilot project and an initiative of the L.E.A.D Mission Council. It is a series of 8 sessions, each focusing on one Quit! These 8 quits are from the Emotionally Healthy Woman book by Geri Scazzero. It is for every woman who wants to live free, authentic lives rooted in Christs’ love.

The program is about understanding that there is a time and season for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1) – and that includes quitting; but it must be done for the right reasons, the right time and in the right way. The kind of quitting that the program talks about is not about weakness or giving up in despair. It is about strength and choosing to live in the truth which requires the death of illusions. Biblical quitting goes hand in hand with choosing. When we quit those things that are damaging to our soul or the souls of others, we are freed up to choose other ways of being and relating that are rooted in love and lead to life.

For example... When we quit fear of what others think we choose freedom.
When we quit lies, we choose truth.
When we quit blaming, we choose to take responsibility.
When we quit faulty thinking, we choose to live in reality.

The other quits are:
Quit Dying to the wrong things.
Quit Denying Anger, Sadness and Fear
Quit Over functioning
Quit Living Someone Else's Life

These are the 8 quits that the group will be challenged with, one every week.

The sessions are made up of input and FAQ videos, group discussions and bible reflections. Participants are given time to share in depth in their small groups of 3-4. Guide questions are used in all discussions and reflections. Amidst the sharing and discussions there is also time for personal reflection and journaling. Scenarios and reflection questions based on the life of our founder will be used each week.

We have 22 women who were present at the first session from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Hong Kong. 8 of them are facilitators who are there to learn with the participants. We pray for these Lasallian women journeying together towards emotional well-being.

Live Jesus in our hearts forever! (Text & Photo: Ms. Coreen Paul)

With the intent to provide on-going formation, personal and professional development among Lasallian educators, to discover and learn the prevailing realities in the district, and to share learning experiences and best practices in the educational ministries, the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) Mission Council launched its first of a series webinar dubbed as LEAD MINDS on June 19.

LEAD MINDS, an online gathering of school administrators and teachers across the seven sector countries namely: Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, is one of the initiatives of the LEAD Mission Council that provides opportunities for Lasallians to gather online to further strengthen the sense of community by building a wider network and to reimagine doing Lasallian educational mission in the district.

The online gathering was graced by the presence of three distinguished educators in the district. The first speaker, Ms. Brenda Wu, shared her expertise on 21st Century Lasallian Education. She is the Principal of Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) School in Hong Kong. She has been working in the education sector for 36 years. She took up the Headmistress position after she had served as a teacher for 10 years in a primary school and 1 year in a secondary school. Up to date, she had 24 years of experience in principalship from 3 different primary schools.

The second resource speaker, Mr. Dominic Lai, who shared the urgency of character formation, is an alumnus of St. Michael’s School (now known as St. Joseph’s Institution Junior) Singapore. He has taught in several schools across different curricula and education systems, including the Junior Colleges, (which is a vocational training institute leading to Diploma) and even Specialized Independent School – the School of the Arts. This provided him with opportunities to interact with youth across different age groups and different socio-economic backgrounds, spanning a spectrum of talents and academic abilities.

The third resource speaker, Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC, shared with the participants his visions on Borderless Education among LEAD schools. Br. Dennis is from the Philippines. He had held many leadership roles in Lasallian schools when he was based in the Philippines. In these schools, he pushed for the use of technology in instruction through teacher training and provided related infrastructure to support such moves. He became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2011. He was also instrumental in having two Lasallian institutions to be recognized internationally as Apple Distinguished Schools. He is experienced in teaching fully online university-level classes in the Philippines while based in Hong Kong. He has also partnered with a professor in Mexico to run a short online course on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL Program). He facilitated collaborative learning activities for university students from De La Salle University Manila and Universidad La Salle Mexico.

After the sharing of the resource speakers and the question and answer, the participants were sent to their breakout rooms to share on the following questions: 1). What are some points that I appreciate and can relate with? 2. What ideas shared can be applied in my own reality? 3). Are there any best practices in my own country that I could share, about teaching in the new norm?

The participants were unanimous in their post conference evaluation in recognizing the importance of meeting and interacting with other Lasallian Leaders in the district to share best practices, challenges and hopes in the conduct of the Lasallian educational mission especially this time of the global pandemic.

Watch out for the upcoming LEAD MINDS webinars on July 24 – Developing Resilience and October 9 – Developing Resilience in Students. (Text: Br. John David M. Ong FSC; Photos: Mr. Migz Ortega)

LEAD MINDS

LEAD MINDS

The LEAD Formation Board met on July 21. Despite the many challenges posed by the current pandemic, we have witnessed dynamic online vocation initiatives in some sectors. These initiatives have been organized by vocations teams and individual Lasallians.

The current pandemic has disrupted the discernment process of many young people considering the religious life. They find themselves unable to make life-changing decisions like entering the postulancy during a time of crisis.

Since we are being called by God to live our personal vocation, we can share the treasure of a Lasallian vocation with all those seeking God through service in education (C475). We are reminded in our Institute documents to take responsibility and work together promoting Lasallian vocations. Do you believe that every Brother and Lasallian Partner is a vocation promoter? (Text & Photo: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC)

HONG KONG - As of 1st July 2021, Brother Dennis Magbanua replaced Brother Patrick Tierney as the legal head of the Brothers in Hong Kong. As such, he will oversee all our 8 schools as well as looking after the interests of the Brothers. The official government notice of this transfer of directorship is as follows: (Text & Photo: Br. Patrick Tierney FSC)

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HONG KONG - With so many school activities postponed or cancelled, it was refreshing to attend a regular Speech Day on 17th July at De La Salle Secondary School. Brother Dennis Magbanua was the Guest of Honour and reminded us of the virtues of faith and love. Since this is a Chinese-medium school, the Brothers appreciated the provision of simultaneous translation. One highlight of the ceremony was the vote of thanks at the end. The F6 boy gave a rousing speech, first in Chinese and then in excellent English. After the ceremony, Brothers Dennis, Thomas and Patrick visited our recently renovated country house and grounds and had a look at the Stations of the Cross which will be erected shortly. (Text & Photo: Br. Patrick Tierney FSC)

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SINGAPORE - In SJI Junior, we believe that every child is capable of being a leader. In celebration of our annual Leadership Day, the teachers and boys had a rich discussion on the theme on leadership today. Using an inquiry-based approach in the vein of Philosophy for Children (P4C), the teachers facilitated a discussion on all aspects of leadership such as character traits of leaders and examples and non-examples of leadership. From the discussion and activities, we at SJI are confident that our Junior Josephians realise that each and every one of them can be leaders. (SJI Junior Facebook Page)

Excerpts from the Article:

Principal Brenda Wu has foresight. She accepted the invitation of the "CoolThink@JC Project" of The Hong Kong Jockey Club five years ago and the School became one of the 32 network primary schools in the first phase of the project. Since then, the School has actively promoted coding education and was invited to become a resource school in the second phase of the project and take one step further to nurture future digital pioneers.

Principal Wu said, "We need to arm children in the 21st Century with generic skills, including communication and collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving skills. When students master all these skills, they will be more able to face challenges in their future life and work."

The assistance gave teaching resources, classroom support, and teacher training, to name a few.

Principal Wu upholds St. John Baptist de La Salle’s philosophy of school education - Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve. She emphasized, "Our teachers shoulder the mission of advancing computational thinking education, sharing their experiences to the academia, and becoming mentors for other newly participating schools."

Click on the link to view the article: https://tinyurl.com/CSKPSHKEJ

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The IFB 8 met online last July 17. The PARC Novitiate ended on July 19. The new reality of having some novices on-site and off-site due to travel restrictions related to the current pandemic required adapting and having online accompaniment of the novices doing their formation in Pakistan. Formators and formands adapted to the new reality by maintaining regularity in their community exercises.

The Scholasticate program will reinforce the virtual teaching-learning skills to better prepare the Scholastics for their future mission.

For your information

  • August 5 - Official Opening of the LEAD Scholasticate
  • August 15 - First Vows of Brothers Joshua, Matthew, Mark & Myron.

LEAD, First Vows Ceremony - 2021 August 15 4:00 PM (PH) - Live Stream

(Text & Photo: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC)

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The De La Salle Brothers and the whole Lasallian family in the Philippines congratulate Hidilyn Diaz, a Business Management student of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, for garnering the Philippines’ first ever Olympic Gold medal by winning the 55KG category of the weightlifting tournament at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Animo La Salle! Animo Benilde!

Live Jesus in our hearts, Forever!

(The De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines Facebook Page)

Dear Brothers and Lasallian partners,

Greetings in St. La Salle

With faith in Christ and with a heart filled with joy I share my experiences here in the Philippines.

My deepest gratitude goes first to Almighty God for the health and blessing that I have enjoyed during my four years in Philippines.

Indeed, it is with profound happiness that I express my deepest gratitude to LEAD most especially to Br Edmundo Fernandez FSC and Br. Armin Luistro FSC, who had given me the opportunity to study my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology in De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, and to Br. Gus Boquer, who has been a source of guidance and encouragement throughout the three years for my studies. In addition, I would also like to extend my gratitude to General Councilor Br. Ricardo Laguda FSC, who has given me the opportunity to be a Staff Formator and to Br. Rey Mejias FSC, who had given me the chance to learn from and be trained as a future formator of the young for the mission.

My role as assistant Director is to help Brother Director in accompanying the novices and teaching some classes. All the time spent in this formation’s house has also enabled me to re-evaluate or re-examine the values of the Religious life of a De La Salle Brother. These values are taught to the novices.

This year was very difficult for all of us, because the novitiate was not as it should be following this Covid pandemic. The novitiate using a framework of cloistered life by its nature, is in sense living doubly confined, strictly following the preventive measures by the local government and respecting the rule of hygiene, physical distancing in the chapel, in the refectory , in the classrooms although the courses are given online. The limiting of the movements in and out of the novitiate was overwhelming. We lived sometimes in moments of stress but by the compassion of God we were able to end our novitiate in kindness. God be praised.

Like Christ, I am also called to go elsewhere for a new mission. Leaving is not always easy. To leave is to feel the sadness of moving away from those I have grown to love. However, in the Lord, despite the sadness, I find comfort in knowing that I will boldly go “wherever I am sent and do whatever is assigned to me”.

Truly, I had a good experience in the Philippines and my heart rejoices to have lived in true fellowship with active Brothers who are filled with ardent zeal to serve others like Christ's compassionate affection towards the poor. In addition, I am inspired by their serious concern to proclaim and live the Word of God while addressing societal issues on social injustices. With these thoughts and sentiments, I am convinced that the learning I have received here will give me the opportunity to improve the way we live the Lasallian Mission in my next community.

My time as a Brother in the Philippines has allowed me to grow spiritually and professionally. With this and with all the fraternal support that I have received, I am always open to future invitations to work for PARC and LEAD since I already consider the Philippines as my second country and the Brothers of the district as my second family. It will also be with great pleasure and happiness in my part, if I will be given the chance to come back and resume face-to-face classes as I finish my PhD program.

As I return to Congo ( DRC) and continue my ministry, my wish for the Lasallian East Asia District, and the Pacific Asia Regional Conference Novitiate is to be able to continue the Mission that our Founder St. John Baptist De La Salle has given us with sustained development and endless service especially to the last, the lost and the least. Rest assured of my prayers for you.

Live Jesus in our hearts! Forever.

Fraternally yours in St. La Salle

Brother Sébastien Sebi Matundu
District of Congo

From Br. Enrico Muller FSC:

In 2019, the year of the tricentenary, I gave a painter friend, who has been attending CasArcobaleno in Scampia during the International Symposium of Art, Delphine Manet, the book of Meditations for the Time of Retreat to introduce her, from the inside, to our Founder De La Salle. This year she returned to Scampia and gave me a new painting she created inspired by the words of the Founder. I wish to share it with all you Lasallians.

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John Baptist de La Salle

Pedagogy is a science. The one who walks with, alongside, accompanies the child on the path of knowledge. He escapes into the deep and moving night to become one with the sky. The luminous face of JB de La Salle attracts attention with its warm colour and gentle gaze. To his left, an angel. Woman, man.... It does not matter. He only belongs to another time. He is the one who carries the book, the Word. His hands are in a human temporality because they seem to be flesh, as if animated by life, attached to the Word that teaches. A warm glow runs over his body reflecting the light cast by De La Salle... Like little nuggets of gold, the content of the book flies away to carry far the Word of the One who transmits. No letters, for it does not matter what language is used by men. Only exchanges matter…

I worked so that the angel is, for its colour, between heaven and earth, between reality and imagination. I remember a Virgin I bought in Lourdes, which was placed on my grandmother's bedside table. She fascinated me. I looked at it as if hypnotized at night when it was lit. It shone like a magical, comforting object. It's a little bit this impression that I wanted to convey. A childlike wonder. A poetic delight. While her light is reflected on the angel.... It can be all at once that emanating from the master, the simple glow of the stars or the intensity of the words.

Children do not make mistakes. They look in the direction of the angel. He is the guide. Perhaps the representation of teachers or of God... everyone will form the image they wish to. For young people, the intertwining symbolises the link between the brothers, the pupils and the teachings. One, two, three leaves... and the words fly away. A corner of a page is slightly raised because life is never flat or insignificant. The leaf, like the words, lives and traces the different possible paths. Our gaze once again turns to the sky. The golden sparks pass in front of the five-pointed star of the Lasallians. A nod to Leonardo da Vinci, who puts Man at its centre.

I wanted this painting to represent unity as well as diversity. A diagonal composition presents a gentle but regular dynamics. It protects the children, who have to look up to the sky and thus capture the verticality. A perception that can be found in rhythms regulated by the number 3 (the Trinity): The angel, De La Salle and the words that fly away. It all forms an exchange between what is visible and the sky. I chose the night because each glow is a real sun in the darkness. The stars are either stars or souls .... Creating hence a vast community. We are not alone even in the darkness. - Delphine Manet