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ImageNowadays, youths are strongly attracted to the world of materialism and consumerism so much so that they hardly see themselves living the life of a religious. Just how serious is this problem and how is it affecting the La Salle Order?

“So in view of that, the role of the Brothers will definitely diminish more and more and you may not be able to find many Brothers,” says Brother Paul Ho, the last Brother to hold the post of Principal of a La Salle School in Malaysia (St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang) while civil-service principals, appointed by the Ministry of Education totally took charge of the rest of the Brothers’ Schools in the country. “But it does not mean that that’s the end because even a few Brothers can influence other lay people to carry on the ideals of St. John Baptist De La Salle …. ,” he added.

The story is the same throughout the world. It is interesting to read the recent report by Bro. Denzil Perera, Formation Director and Director of Vocations for the District of Colombo in which he outlines some of the challenges facing the Lasallian Vocations Ministry in Sri Lanka.

1. Micro families
2. Less prayerful atmosphere in the families
3. Secularism, materialism
4. The question of the identity of the Brothers compared with priests
5. Priesthood is more admired and more socially accepted
6. Discouragement the students received from the parents, relatives and friends in    
    joining the Brothers rather than the priesthood.
7. The attachment some parents and students have to their schools, when it comes
    to the time for changing schools to join the Aspirancy.
8. Better benefits in joining the priesthood.

Despite this, it is encouraging to note that in 2006, positive results were achieved when the Bro. Director of Formation, along with a few other Brothers and lay teachers visited a number of Lasallian schools, both Government and Private, parishes and out-station schools to speak on different types of vocation in the Church, especially about the Lasallian Brothers’ way of life. According to Bro. Denzil, “7 new aspirants were chosen to join our live-in Aspirancy Programme in 2007. At present there are 10 Aspirants at Kandana and one at Mannar. We are happy to mention that there are 7 Pre-Postulants who will begin their Postulancy Programme in March 2007, Hopefully, they will begin their novitiate in 2008.”

Bro. David Hawke FSC

Acknowledgement:
The Xaverian 1999

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