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Dear Lasallians.

On Monday I arrived in Hong Kong for a Pastoral Visit after attending meetings of the General Council with the Brother Visitors of RELAL, USA/TOR and Francophone Canada.

Such meetings and accompanying visits coupled with the Heuther Conference, gives one a privileged panorama of the international Institute. Hence this edition of PARCVIEW offers some information and reflections gathered over the past three weeks.

RELAL: Prior to the RELAL meeting in Costa Rica, along with Br Claude Reinhardt, General Councillor I visited the Districts of Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre in Brazil. We visited schools, an adult education programme, universities, houses of formation, communities and one house designated for Brothers in retirement. Both Districts have very good candidates at various stages of initial formation. At Scholasticate level the young Brothers are appointed to communities where they follow tertiary studies and are engaged in ministry. It is interesting that a number of candidates apply having read catechetical magazines published by the Brothers or watching a television programme on catechetics run by a Brother in the Sao Paulo District. There is a very proactive vocations ministry in the country which is bearing fruit.

The RELAL meeting held over five days in Costa Rica included in its agenda; the impact of the economy, political, cultural and religious realities effecting Districts; the life of the Brothers with specific reference to the spiritual life and the Vow of Association; Young Brothers; the educational mission; structures for the educational mission and sessions presented by each of the General Councillors for the Region. It is interesting to note that all Districts/Delegation in RELAL have Mission Councils and Mission Assemblies. I was impressed by the organization of the meeting and how the Visitors came very well prepared and contributed fully.

USA/TORONTO and FRANCOPHONE CANADA: The two Regions combined for the meeting which included for the first time Auxiliary Visitors. Lay staff from the regional office attended also and participated fully in the meeting convened in Cincinnati, Ohio with almost three hundred participants in the annual Heuther conference arriving on the third day. Agenda items included overviews of both Regions; the Life of the Brothers; Vocations; the Lasallian Educational Mission; Experiences of Association and contributions of the General Councillors for the Regions. A select group of Lasallian Partners spent an afternoon with the General Council discussing areas of Mission and Association. At the meeting with the Visitors various challenges facing the Regions were presented also. Like RELAL, all Districts in both Regions have Mission Councils and Mission Assemblies.

PARC and USA/TORONTO/ FRANCOPHONE CANADA:  While addressing the Visitors of both Regions I expressed PARC’s appreciation for the contribution past and present made by sending personnel to PARC, offering scholarships to Sangre and Buttimer and the various twinning relationships. In the next year in addition to personnel currently working in PARC from both Regions, the District of DENA will send a Brother to work in Vietnam and the District of San Francisco, a Brother to Thailand.

PASTORAL VISIT HONG KONG: Given previous visits to Hong Kong I focused on two primary schools including St Joseph’s kindergarten. On cannot help but be impressed by the Lasallian character of the schools, the use of modern technologies in education, the professionalism of the staff and the fact that the Brothers in their senior years continue to be involved in the Lasallian Educational Mission as School Supervisors. A meeting with all the Brothers of the Sector including Brothers Michael and Joseph of the District of Vietnam who are members of the La Salle, Kowloon community took place on Thursday morning. The occasion of the Annual Speech Night at La Salle enabled me to meet many students, staff, parents and old boys.

ONLINE MEETINGS: If you are considering planning online meetings visit: www.gotomeetings.com  Some interesting ideas.

FUTURE DATES:  Please inform me of the dates of District Chapters/ Assemblies planned in 2010 or beyond if available.

SCHEDULES: Mark in Myanmar until 5 December then Thailand. David: 28 November-7 December, Canonical Visits Thailand (includes visit with all the Brothers to the Bamboo School);
8-14 December: Pastoral Visit, Vietnam; 15-22 December: Canonical Visits, India. 23 December-5 January Leave.

Best wishes as the Season of Advent begins.

David Hawke FSC

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