Lasallian Mission Council
Executive Director's Message - Merv McCormack
Two years ago (in 2015), I commenced my message with the following quote:
"WE MAY KNOW WHERE WE WANT TO BE, BUT WE WILL SELDOM KNOW THE ACTUAL STEPS WE MUST TAKE TO GET THERE. WE MUST TRUST IN OURSELVES TO LEARN THE WAY, TO BUILD THE BRIDGE AS WE WALK ON IT." QUINN, R.E. (1996). DEEP CHANGE DISCOVERING THE LEADER WITHIN.
At that time, it accurately reflected the evolving relationship between the Lasallian Mission Council Board (LMC) and a nascent Lasallian Mission Services' (LMS) team, the LMC's operational arm. Two years later, there has been significant progress. LMC, under the chairmanship of Brother Chris Gorringe, and LMS, now with an expanded team of dedicated professionals, have undertaken significant steps in developing their respective areas of leadership, governance and operational effectiveness.
There are now more Lasallian staff and students accessing formation opportunities, retreats and reflections days than ever before. With increasing confidence, we are successfully mapping where we need to be in meeting the formation needs within the District, and we have an enhanced understanding of the actual steps required to get there. The many hours spent in strategic and operational planning and consultations over the past two years, has resulted in a careful refinement of existing programs alongside the development of new projects. Evaluations of our programs by staffs and students during 2015/16 reflect increased satisfaction with LMS's work, and a growing trust that we are heading in the right direction.
LMC: HELPING THE MISSION TO BE ACHIEVED:
LMC was established by the De La Salle Brothers of the District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea (ANZPPNG), as the lead entity responsible for conducting and sustaining the District's Lasallian mission, both current and into the future. As Lasallians, both Brothers and Partners, together and in association, we aim to ensure that co-responsibility is a central component in delivering and sustaining the work.
ASSOCIATION AND CO-RESPONSIBILITY:
LMC aims to reinforce the association between the Brothers and Partners in their mission, ensuring genuine co-responsibility in the planning and provision of a wide range of Lasallian programs and projects. Our mission is to work beyond boundaries of religion, economy and culture to help create a more compassionate and just world. LMC aims to guarantee the sustainability of this mission so that the educational and welfare needs of the young, in particular, and especially the marginalised, are improved so far as our resources permit.
WHAT DO WE DO?
LMC has a clear focus on ensuring, through LMS, that the Lasallian mission is supported and sustained as effectively as possible by the delivery of the best possible formation programs. Such programs are currently focused on students and staff, with plans to expand to include the Boards of Colleges and our other works, yourtown and the Lasallian Foundation. We also hope to include parents and alumni in such opportunities in the future.
LMC, in common with all Lasallian works, takes as its inspiration, the central teachings of the Founder, St John Baptist de La Salle: "Recognise Jesus beneath the poor rags of the children who you have to instruct". When the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris threatened De La Salle with exile, he made no objection, saying that he could find God anywhere. He saw God's presence in the events that affected him, whether for good or ill. The call to prayer "Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God" is a reminder that sharing the mission is an invitation to put God at the centre of the Lasallian works in which we are engaged.
BUILDING THE BRIDGE:
De La Salle experienced regular challenges throughout his ministry. The path was rarely smooth, difficulties were common. Today, the pathways of change are no less challenging. Few structures or policies assure success. Like the Founder and his small group of followers more than 330 years ago, we continue to build that bridge as we walk on it. De La Salle's tenacity in persevering in the face of the long odds he faced is a regular inspiration to those of us who walk in his footsteps. Tackling deep change and facing a new future, we are called to work with confidence and tenacity as we teach minds, touch hearts, and transform lives in a world troubled by many new challenges.
LASALLIAN MISSION SERVICES TEAM
Merv McCormack: Executive Director
Julie Alibrandi: Director of Operations
Kate Mason: Communications Manager
Br John Cantwell: Director of Formation
Br John Pill: Director of Lasallian Identity
Br Garry Coyte: Director of Professional Development and Vocations
Br Lewis Harwood: Lasallian Volunteers Assistant Coordinator
Br Adrian Watson: Tercentenary Project Officer
Br Ambrose Payne: Safety & Compliance Officer
Joanne Nehme: Lasallian Volunteers Coordinator
Amanda Proulx: Director of Young Lasallians
Philippe Dulawan: Senior Youth Ministry Coordinator
Damian Khoury: Youth Ministry Coordinator
Sebastian Duhau: Retreats and Programs Coordinator