LEAD Story 374

We are happy that the organising team has representatives from all 7 sectors to plan out the 3rd mission assembly for the district of LEAD.

The team has been meeting virtually over the last few months and are looking forward to starting off with their respective country conversations, which will mark the start of the journey towards the mission assembly in 2022.

Look out for updates in our district social media pages. (Text & Photo: Ms. Coreen Paul)

SINGAPORE - Thirteen Brothers gathered for the Brothers Assembly on 2021 November 6 at 3pm till 4.45pm. Brother Visitor opened the assembly with the question, “Where do I go from here?” and the invitation to engage and collaborate in a deeper manner with our lay partners. One way of doing this is to energize our Lasallian formation programmes for all Lasallians in Singapore, Brothers and partners. Then Br Paul Ho gave a detailed presentation on the state of the sector’s finances after which the Brothers discussed the questions taken from the 2nd Mission Lead Assembly document. Developments for the renovations to the La Salle St Patrick’s House was presented clearly by Br Antonio with regard to v i s i o n , m i s s i o n a n d objectives of the future Lasallian apostolate. The Alumni associations are taking the leading role in the commemoration of the 170th anniversary of the Brothers’ arrival in Asia next year. (Text: Br. Nicholas Seet FSC; Photo: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC)

The International Symposium of Young Lasallians (ISYL) had its first phase from the 18th to the 22nd of October 2021. The first phase of ISYL was done throughout the third quarter of the year (July-October), with different online (via ZOOM Conference) and offline activities. Sixty (60) delegates coming from PARC, RELAF, RELAN, RELEM, RELAL, and IALU attended the symposium. For LEAD, the participants were Mr. Louis Kyaw KoKo, Youth Coordinator of Myanmar and I, Neil Juntado, Youth Coordinator of the Philippines.

The agenda of the first phase is putting together proposals for 4 priority areas - Culture of Vocation, Service with the Poor , Communications and Networking, and Sustainable Organization Growth. We, the delegates, conducted focus group discussions within our respective districts inviting active Young Lasallians to participate in the discussion. The International Council then presented a summarized version of the data collected from different focus group discussions as a guide to the next steps of the proposal process. The summary helped us brainstorm possible solutions in addressing the different challenges in each priority area.

The delegates were grouped together according to the priority area assigned to them so in one group we have different delegates coming from different regions. It was a great opportunity for us delegates to meet other Lasallians from different regions and hear their different stories. In my group we were a mix of students, lay partners, and volunteers doing different work with young Lasallians.

Hearing different realities from Lasallians helped me to see the diversity in our Lasallian community; Despite the diversity, we are still able to come together and commune and that is because of our eagerness to help in the mission our Founder started. To be able to join this program helped me to deepen my knowledge and understanding of the work Young Lasallians and Brothers are doing to share more the mission to all Lasallians and also to other communities. I hope that the proposals we passed during the first phase can be considered and applied later in our respective communities.

The first phase ended with a closing reflection activity where we were invited to find a doorway. The organizers then asked us to step towards the doorway and into the other side. It was a symbol for us to move forward to the next phase of our Lasallian Journey bringing with us the lessons and experiences we had over the past months . It was a solemn and new experience and I am looking forward to the 2nd phase of the International Symposium of Young Lasallians. (Text: Mr. Neil Renan Juntado; Photo: ICYL via Mr. Louis Kyaw KoKo)

HONG KONG - A special Mass of thanksgiving commemorating the centenary of the establishment of the legal entity of the De La Salle Brothers in Hong Kong was held on the 6th November 2021 in the school chapel of St. Joseph’s College. A large gathering of the Hong Kong Lasallian Family attended.

Although the Brothers arrived in 1875, it took 46 years for them to become a separate legal entity. Up to that time, we were a Catholic Mission school, under the auspices of the Bishop.

As of 4th November 1921, the Brothers became a legal entity under the title ‘The Director in Hong Kong of St. Joseph’s College.’ In this way, we had to stand on our own feet as it were. It also indicated that the Brothers were fully committed to educational development in Hong Kong. The legal title was also given as a ‘Corporation Sole’ and our legal advisers assure us that today it is a rare and privileged status.

The man who brought this all about was none other than Brother Aimar Sauron, who played a significant role in the development o f Lasallian education in Hong Kong.

Brother Patrick has officially handed over the legal status to Brother Dennis Magbanua and we wish him well in his new role.

At the end of the Mass, there was a special ceremony awarding medallions of the Founder to three of the early members of the Hong Kong Lasallian Education Council (LEC). They are Mr. Nicholas Ng, Mr. Lester Huang and Mr. Chris Lau.

Finally, the celebrant priest, Father Carlos Cheung, had a pleasant surprise for his school day Primary Principal Mr. YC Yung. Since Father Carlos had just returned from Rome, he brought along a special blessing from the Pope to Mr. Yung and his family. (Text: Br. Pat Tierney FSC; Photo: Mr. Paul Tam)

PHILIPPINES - To continue the Lasallian formation of the aspirants of the Brothers in the Philippines, the Vocations Ministry Office launched Çerve, an online apostolate that would be facilitated primarily by the aspirants for a chosen beneficiary. This online apostolate will remain to be educational in nature. The different aspirancy communities are grouped into two clusters for more efficient operations of the program, with each cluster having its own beneficiary of the apostolate. Last November 3, 2021, our Aspirants from Lipa and Iligan had their Çerve engagement that catered to 7 residents of Kuya Center, an institution in Quezon City that provides different programs and services to meet the various needs of street children. The first engagement was a recollection with the theme "Ang Ating Paglago sa Sarili" that focuses on knowing oneself to be a better person as we recognize God's love in us and in other people.

The first part was an ice breaker led by Omer, one of the aspirants from Iligan. Through this activity, our Brothers, aspirants, and the Kuya Center residents got the chance to know each other while having fun. The second part of the engagement was the recollection proper. It started with an opening prayer led by Pafsy (Iligan). It was a quiet moment for the residents to reflect on God's words. It was then processed by Dale (Lipa) by asking reflection questions. The third part was the main meat of the recollection as Louie (Iligan) introduced an art activity. With this, the residents were able to express a much deeper re flection as they shared the different aspects about themselves and the areas of growth for them to experience God's love even more which Ed (Lipa) handled. To process the whole engagement, Jian and Franky (Iligan), gave inputs on self-growth grounding on God's loving presence. Afterwards, Karl (Lipa) capped it off with a closing prayer.

“You can perform miracles by touching the hearts of those entrusted to your care.” (Med 180.3 - St. John Baptist De La Salle) (Text & Photos: Br. Chuck Magno FSC & Br. Ivan Umali FSC)

SINGAPORE - “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve" are the words our Junior Josephians see when they enter through the main gates of SJI Junior every morning when they enter school each day.

These are not mere words inscribed on the walls of our school facade but they are enacted each year by our graduating classes after the PSLE. Simply entitled the 'Leave to Serve Programme', our boys partner our teachers and administrative staff members in "paying back" to the school by contributing in a myriad of ways - from polishing and sanitising band instruments, harvesting vegetables in our hydroponics shed for distribution to old folks, to sorting out spare uniforms and shelving books in the school library.

In this way, each batch of SJI Junior students truly embodies the school's tagline 'Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve’. (St. Joseph’s Institution Junior Facebook Page)

JAPAN - On October 16-17, the Hakodate La Salle Mission Club held a two-day agricultural volunteer program at Lola Farm, an organic farm, to deepen their interest in "food" through food loss. Every year, the theme of the training session remains the same: "What is the purpose of human life?” We think about it through food in this time. Rather than throwing away the vegetables harvested here at Lola Farm because they were out of specification and could not be sold, we thought that we could change something by cooking them. After dinner, each of us reconsidered, "What people are living for," as Ms. Han introduced her one-year experience at an AIDS hospice in South Africa. We hope that the program will give each student the courage to feel something and start moving.


Live Jesus in our hearts, forever! (Text & Photos: Mr. Deok Bosco Han)

HONG KONG - As part of their Life Education Program, twenty-six Form 4 students visited St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Happy Valley on the 9th of November 2021 together with Br. Mikey Cua, Ms. Ivy Choy and Mr. KY Kiang. Three volunteer cemetery receptionists for the day - Joseph, Thomas, and Teresa – shared with the boys the history of the Cemetery, the life stories of some notable people buried there, and some personal experiences. The students were impressed when they visited the graves of the late De La Salle Brothers. After the short tour, they were then led to reflect upon the meaning of life. Br. Mikey led the closing prayer in the Cemetery Chapel to end the program. (Text & Photos: Mr. KY Kiang - CSKLSC RS Panel Head)

PHILIPPINES - As a student of La Salle Academy for 12 years, it has always been a mystery to me who those men dressed in black and white are. Like most of us, we have come across these men once or twice, or maybe a few times in our school life. They were maybe our teachers, advisers, or just people we pass by at school. These men go by different names depending on who you ask but most of us call and address them as “Ber,” a nickname short for Brother.

One may draw comparisons to a priest or a nun on who these men are, which is somewhat true in a sense that they live a sacred life, devoted to God. But what makes them different from the former is that they promote and spread awareness of the teachings of our founder, Saint John Baptist De La Salle. Yet they still live a life similar to ours in many ways. They wake up in the morning like all of us do, they go to class like us students do, but they serve as teachers in subjects such as Christian living or other subjects they specialize in.

I knew all of these things because I lived with them for 5 days when I was still a student back in my senior high school days. This program is called the “Brothers Live-In Program” or BLIP, which is an opportunity for young men to live in the Brothers’ community with the Brothers for four to five days. I was shocked at how simple their lives are unbeknownst to students. In my 5 days of staying at the Brother’s house, it prompted me to join the Aspirancy program to discover more about who the Brothers are and how they answered the vocation.

Last October 21-24, 2021, I volunteered, upon the request of Brother Ivan, to supervise the Brothers’ Live-in program (BLIP) as an Aspirant facilitator. I was tasked to help the Brothers in handling the programs and supervise Michael Piansay, Joshua Aban, and Neil Suarez, who were curious, just like myself back then, about the life of the Brothers. This BLIP was the first for this year. I was accompanied by my fellow Aspirants who later caught up and also shared experiences with the live-inners on how and why we chose to be in this program.

During the BLIP, the Grade 11 live-inners experienced various activities such as sessions about the core values of Faith, Service, and Communion, playing sports, community Mass, community meals with aspirants and contacts, games, and faith sharing.

The BLIP not only focuses on the life of the Brothers but also the vocation in which they were called upon, the reason why they choose to be Brothers. It opens oneself to different opportunities and enlightens one’s heart and mind to the different paths they may take. For myself, it forged new friendships in a very fun and exciting community filled with young people, it helped me understand myself and in which paths I may take in the future, and most importantly, it helped me realize that the heart of all of this, is Jesus.

Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever! (Text: Omer Pacilan - Aspirant; Photos: Br. Ivan Umali FSC)

PHILIPPINES - On October 31, Young Brothers (YBs) from communities in the Philippines, and even Filipino Brothers assigned in Singapore and the United States, gathered to pray and to dialogue about the needs of the YBs at this time. It was a meaningful and fruitful way of listening and sharing their unique experiences in the mission.

The general assembly was the avenue for all YBs to know the results of the needs assessment survey and the proposed plans of actions. Moving forward together, the YBs look to have more formal and informal engagements throughout the rest of the school year. (Text: Br. Weegee Enriquez FSC & Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC; Photo: Br. Carlo Rementilla FSC)

SINGAPORE - The two young Brothers, Miggy Crisostomo and Carlo Rementilla, scheduled to arrive in Singapore in November 23, had a pre-departure meet-up with Brothers Nicholas, Larry, & Antonio. Together, they discussed any last-minute concerns, planning not only for their future assignments in Singapore but also their continued involvement in the Philippines, if required. The Brothers in Singapore expressed their craving for “Ensaymada” f rom Mary Grace. (Text: Br. Michael Broughton FSC & Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC; Photo: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC)