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Thursday, 11 December 2014
Author: De La Salle

Until recently, Br David Hawke was based in Singapore where he oversaw the Lasallian mission across the Pacific Asia region.

“I finished on the General Council in April this year and at that stage my future ministry back in the District was still undetermined. I honestly didn’t know what was in store for me, but I suppose things happen for a reason because soon after I returned to Australia, the Brothers nominated me for the position of Visitor and I was appointed by Br Robert Schieler, Superior General,” Br David said.

Br David was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1950. The son of a Kiwi Mother and an Australian Dad who worked as an accountant, David, along with his brother Kevin and sister Anne-Marie, had a typical Catholic upbringing.

“Our family lived in the developing Auckland suburb of Mangere East in the 50’s and 60’s. We had the usual quarter acre section and we were the only family in the street with children at a Catholic school,” Br David recalled.

According to Br David, his association with the De La Salle Brothers started at an early age, as his parents had strong community connections to the Brothers.
“The Brothers who pioneered the Lasallian mission in New Zealand were all Australians and my Mum and Dad knew them well. I first met the Brothers when I was 3-years-old. They often drove our family home from Mass in the VW combi van. Some of the Brothers who lived in the Auckland community at the time, I still now visit in various communities in Australia.

“At school, I admired the relationship the Brothers had with me and with the other students and this is what prompted my initial inspiration to think about being a Brother. There were a quite a few of us who were so inspired by the Brothers who taught us that we went on to become Brothers” Br David said.

Br David completed the novitiate in 1969 in NSW. After taking his first vows in 1970, he worked at De La Salle Colleges in New
Zealand, namely New Plymouth and Mangere East before moving to Australia to work at St. Bede’s College Mentone in Victoria. After some 25 years as a Brother in various leadership positions, Br David Hawke was elected Visitor of the Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea District in 1996. At the conclusion of his term as Visitor, he was then appointed as General Councillor for the Asia Pacific region, which saw him as one of the advisors to the Superior General.

“Even though I’ve been Visitor of our District before, to lead our mission now is vastly different. In some ways, things are a little easier because of the set up of the organisation – we now have a Lasallian Mission Council, a Professional Standards Office, an excellent Provincial office facility and staff at Bankstown and well-established programs like the youth ministry program. When you add all those things together, it makes for a fairly sophisticated administration.

“On the other hand, the Lasallian Mission stretches across even more areas now that Pakistan has merged with our District. It means I need to get my head around the sheer volume of projects and activities taking place – no easy feat. Keeping up with what is happening across the four countries and embracing those involved in our works is a big part of my job as Visitor. It will be a challenge but thanks to modern technology and communication, it will be manageable,” Br David said.

When discussing plans for the future of the District, Br David says, “It’s about building on what is already in place and I look forward to
the next four years with hope and confidence.”

In considering his life as a De La Salle Brother, Br David says, “I know it’s right for me. And of course I believe it is good for young men to consider being Brothers.
“I am often asked whether we have guys participating in the Brothers’ formation programs and the answer is, yes, we do. We have Brothers in temporary vows from Papua New Guinea, Australia and Pakistan and younger Brothers with Perpetual Vows in Pakistan and PNG.

“In the words of our founder, St John Baptist de La Salle, ‘The need for this Institute is very great. The young, the poor, the world and the Church still need the ministry of the Brothers’. I firmly believe this and I say to all our young men out there to give it a go.

“And don’t forget that other vocations are encouraged in our Lasallian family with new forms of Lasallian community evolving. Countless people have participated in formation programs conducted both within the District and beyond. The Lasallian Mission in the schools and other enterprises is thriving. I am really encouraged that vocations ministry is a priority in the District.

“There are many ways for people to get involved in our mission to educate and care for young people in need. Our mission is not one that the world can afford to go without. The more people that get involved and support our work, the more we will be able to reach out to the last, the lost and the least in our society,” Br David commented.

LYG 2014
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Description: LYG 2014
Author: Philippe Dulawan

The theme of the conference was “Be an act of hope” and attendees were challenged to think about how they will be acts of hope, both now and in the future.

Joining the Australians were Lasallians from America, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea who all made the trip to the city of Brisbane and finally to Southern Cross Catholic College, the host school for the gathering.

Attendees were inspired by stories from those who have worked in disadvantaged areas, in places like Cambodia and Papua New Guinea
by participating in programs such as Share The Mission, Volunteer La Salle and others.

The Superior General of the De La Salle Brothers, Br Robert Schieler, who was in the country visiting from Rome, attended the last few days of the event.

In his address on the last day, Brother Robert encouraged all young people to have zeal in being an act of hope and to explore how we are already living out this mission every day.

Thursday, 11 December 2014
Author: De La Salle

La Salle Connect, Sydney

How did your community begin?

La Salle Connect was founded to give post-school students the opportunity to continue playing active parts in the Lasallian community. La Salle Connect now welcomes post-school and current Year 12 students. We gather on a regular basis, participate in faith activities, hear and learn about what is going on in the District and think about ways we can put our faith into action.

In what way(s) does your community express the Lasallian values of Faith, Service and Community?

We bring young people together to help develop their faith and give them the opportunity to continue their participation in the Lasallian tradition, which can sometimes be lost once a student finishes school. We allow the participants to express their faith and provide them with a safe place to interact with others who have had similar experiences. We organise and run Camp La Salle, which focuses on Year 7 and 8 students who are having a hard time during the beginning years of high school. Our participants also help facilitate reflection days and retreats at various times throughout the year.

How does your community attract new members?

La Salle Connect is constantly growing. Youth ministers invite students finishing Year 12, who then invite friends, creating a great flow on effect. We continue to expand not only through word of mouth but also through social media.

What is the value in being part of your community?

La Salle Connect not only helps to serve those in the Lasallian school community but it is also a great way to develop leadership skills in young adults. Community is a strong component of our Lasallian tradition and by giving young people the chance to gather with others, we are continuing to embrace our Lasallian charism.

Jordan Bottalico

John Paul College: Signum Fidei, New Zealand

How did your community begin?

This community was established in 2009. The De La Salle Brothers encouraged us to formalise our commitment to the Lasallian heritage by learning more about the Lasallian values.

How many people are involved?

We have a group of 12 staff members who meet regularly for prayer and reflection, and over the years we have been ably supported by a variety of Brothers who have assumed the role of Mentor to us all. We extend an open invitation to staff and the wider John Paul College community, which includes people from all backgrounds and faith beliefs.

In what way(s) does your community express the Lasallian values of Faith, Service and Community?

Over the past five years, many of our members have participated in formation programs, which have assisted their faith journey. Through our teaching as Lasallian educators, we also see ourselves as role models for our students, our colleagues and the people in the parish and wider community. We endeavour to teach through example; in our teaching, our prayer-life and leadership.

What is the value in being part of your community?

Service is an important aspect of being Lasallian and our Signum Fidei members have an outreach project with the Pasifika students and families of John Paul College. Showing our aroha (a Maori word which means ‘love’ in an holistic sense) to others in the community which is an important part of our Signum Fidei vocation, as is attending funerals, supporting bereaved families and visiting those who need support in their time of need.

Being part of the John Paul College Signum Fidei community is about belonging. It is about having an identity grounded in the spirituality of St John Baptist de La Salle and his teachings.

Marie Hepi and Bernadette Fredricksen

La Salle Community Melbourne (LCM)

How did your community begin?

By 2012, it became clear that a number of young people involved in Lasallian activities were searching for something with a greater depth of commitment and more focus on Faith, Service and Community. Br Tony Cummins (Director of Lasallian Vocations) proposed to establish a non-residential community, based at the Vocations Office. Towards the end of that year, several members of LCM asked whether a residential facility was possible for those who wished to live together in community.

In what way(s) does your community express the Lasallian values of Faith, Service and Community?

Faith: LCM Residential meets four times a week for prayer and sharing to which all members of the non-residential community are welcome. Additionally, once a month the members of the community participate in Mass together. The community has a ‘spiritual companion’ who walks with us as individuals and as a community. This is an important part of our spiritual and personal growth.

Service: LCM Residential coordinates most of the Lasallian activities in Melbourne, including Camp La Salle, the Refugee Support Program and Volunteer La Salle. The community also assists in facilitating retreats, reflections days and workshops when possible.

Community: LCM invites all young Lasallians to consider committing themselves to the mission to educate and care for those less fortunate on an annual, monthly, weekly or daily basis.

How does your community attract new members?

By inviting young people who have been part of our volunteer programs, assisted with retreats and reflection days or have been to a Lasallian school. The second, less obvious way, is by the example we give to others by the way we live our lives.

What is the value in being part of your community?

One of the greatest strengths of being part of LCM is the support we give to each other and, just as importantly, the support we give to others who need our help. Having a common goal in community has helped too, in that we all place importance on the Lasallian values of Faith, Service and Community.

Stephen Beirouti

Friday, 12 July 2013
Author: De La Salle

A former student of De La Salle College in Malvern (VIC), after graduating from school Br Tony studied education at university and gained qualifications in Pastoral Counseling as well as Human and Spiritual Formation. Throughout his 30 years as a De La Salle Brother, he has taught in six Lasallian schools in Australia and New Zealand, worked in Campus Ministry and has been involved in programs with young people and adults across our District, as well as for the Pacific Asia Region over the last 10 years.


In talking about his new role as Director of Lasallian Vocations, Br Tony says, “This is a challenging role that I hope makes a difference in the lives of those who are involved in the Lasallian mission. In a word, my role in the district is all about 'accompaniment' - giving people access to opportunities to deepen their understanding of their vocation as Lasallians. Hopefully, this is a role that complements and enhances the great work being done in every place that prides itself in being Lasallian.”

Thursday, 19 July 2012
Author: Br Mark McKeon

For the past eight years, Br Ambrose Payne has led the Lasallian family in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and more recently in Pakistan. During this time he has been someone who has truly led by example, which is something that has earned him great respect, not only locally but also by our wider international Lasallian family. In fact, his leadership style, talents, vision and ability have been recognised in his appointment to three international commissions of the De La Salle Brothers.

A highlight during his tenure as leader has been his facilitation of the restructuring of our own District, which resulted in Pakistan formally becoming part of our mission in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. This was a significant change for our District and resulted in a major shift in resources, both financial and personnel.

As leader, Br Ambrose has consistently reminded the Brothers that their primary call as Brothers is their call to holiness. His fidelity to prayer and community life and his commitment to the educational mission has been an inspiration to all who have worked under his guidance.

Reflecting on his role as leader for the past eight years he said, “The overwhelming sentiment of which I am conscious is my total gratitude to God for the opportunity to have served as leader. That opportunity has afforded me the immense privilege of coming to understand the dedication, frequently of heroic proportions, that Brothers and Lasallian Partners manifest consistently and unreservedly as they carry on the Lasallian mission in such scattered and diverse settings.”

Br Ambrose is a man who has a purpose behind every move and every decision he makes. When Br Ambrose chose me to be his Second-in-Charge during his final term as leader, he did so with the intention of preparing a new generation of Brothers for leadership positions in the District. I knew that at the time and felt honoured that he saw the potential in me to one day take on the most senior role within the Brothers. Little did I expect that his intention would become a reality so quickly.

When I first received word advising me of my appointment as leader of the Lasallian mission in this part of the world, it was initially a little overwhelming. However, over the past seven weeks, having had the opportunity to pray and reflect on the role, I am confident in my ability to lead the Lasallian mission in this District.

I am looking forward to all the opportunities that will come my way with a real sense of hope and enthusiasm. I appreciate the support I have received from many people as I strive to build upon the immense contribution of my predecessor, Br Ambrose.

During my time as coordinator of vocation promotions and youth ministry programs, I have seen first-hand the generosity of many young people and teachers. One continuing challenge will be to support, to encourage and to affirm all those engaged in our mission to educate and care for those young people who are most in need in our society.

I have been fortunate over the past few years to have travelled and worked in all four countries of our District. Each country is making its own unique response to the educational needs encountered in their diverse contexts. As leader, it will be necessary to work with people to ensure a prioritised and coordinated response to these needs.

What I want to be in this new role is a person of hope. I am convinced, as was St John Baptist de La Salle, that “God is so good.” So, as leader, I want to affirm the goodness in all people and encourage them to respond authentically to what God might be asking them to do with their lives.

Br Mark McKeon

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