Posted by Br David Hawke
on 19 January 2021
On this day 75 years ago Brothers Patrick Howard, Celsus McGuire, Lucian Thorpe and Anthony Broderick arrived at Bomana having travelled from Australia. They would not have imagined in 1946 how the Lasallian mission would grow all over Papua New Guinea as we witness now in 2021. They would not have imagined let alone used the term "Lasallian Family", but I am sure they would take great pride in you, the Lasallian family and your various ministries right across Papua New Guinea. They would not have imagined in 1946 that what were known as "Brothers' Schools" would become "Lasallian Schools" but they would take great pride in the fact that Lasallian Schools in Papua New Guinea now embrace the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of education. They would take great pride in the fact that there is a National Office of the Lasallian Family that resources Lasallian across the country.
While the pioneering Brothers would take great pride in Lasallian Education in your country today, the entire Lasallian Family has every reason also to take pride in its achievements and successes down through the years. One has only to look at publications like "Mambu", "Journal La Salle" and "Lasallian Outlook" to see a record of the Lasallian Mission in Papua New Guinea and the contribution of the Lasallian Family.
The final chapter of Brothers' Rule is titled "Brothers Today". A section of it reads:
"The life and development of the Institute depend above all on the mystery and the power of grace. But by the gift of freedom, the Lord wanted to put the destiny of the Institute into the hands of the Brothers. At the heart of the Lasallian Family, the Brothers are a source of inspiration for all Lasallians who increasingly share the mission and the charism of the Institute. (Rule 154)"
As you reflect on 75 years, I am sure you will name Brothers who have been "a source of inspiration for all Lasallians." And today we thank God for them and especially for those Brothers who were pioneers in the various schools, not to forget that Mrs Bernadette Ove as far as I know was the first lay woman pioneer of a Lasallian school in Papua New Guinea.
Except for one ministry in the country, the leadership is now very much in the hands of committed Lasallian Partners who build so admirably on the foundations laid by the pioneering Brothers. The Lasallian Family now not only shares "the mission and charism of the Institute" but has taken responsibility for it. The structures in place across the country for the Lasallian Family under the leadership of Grace Wrakia and the Papua New Guinea Sector Mission Council have the responsibility now to ensure the viability and vitality of the Lasallian Education Mission in Papua New Guinea supported by the District Lasallian Mission Council and the services of Lasallian Mission Services.
On this day when the Lasallian Family celebrates 75 years, I congratulate each of you for your contribution to the "human and Christian" education of young people and others acknowledging that in a spirit of faith and zeal you face many challenges. The District appreciates who you are and the gifts that you share.
Enjoy this special day of celebration.
Live Jesus in our hearts,