Posted by Ms Angela Porro
on 29 October 2019
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE LASALLIAN? WHAT INSPIRES ME?
After three terms at the De La Salle Caringbah, I continue to have such pride in the young men of our community. As we approach our final term, I reflect on my hopes for each student at De La Salle.
In regards to what inspires me in my vocation of teaching - the answer is simple - it is our students. I know that all our staff would have the same response. They are young men of integrity, full of kindness and never-ending energy.
I recently surveyed some students regarding what being Lasallian meant to them. Their thoughts were affirming of what we model for them:
Being Lasallian means...
Believing in what St John Baptist De la Salle has taught us to do.
Being the best person I can be and to always strive to do better.
Being respectful and kind.
Living a life of Christ.
Belonging and giving back to the community.
Being a steward of creation and to help people that need it, without a reward.
Entering ready to learn, and leaving ready to serve.
Being part of a mission. I must have faith and follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before me.
Being a gentleman, humble and loyal to my neighbours.
Showing care, compassion and praying to God.
Helping others and fulfilling the mission of De La Salle.
At our Founder's Day Mass, Fr Moises inspired our young men to be like our Founder. What does this entail? What is my hope for them?
John the Baptist knew the true meaning of sacrifice. He gave up all his wealth to begin schools for youth, especially those living in poverty. He empathised with the plight of the poor. I am humbled by the generosity of our young men in fundraising initiatives and in the small sacrifices which they make in their daily lives. I encourage them all to be the best that they can be. They have so much to offer this world. Being a true De La gentleman means reaching out to those who are in the margins of our society, and not expecting anything in return.
Our founder left a legacy. To our young men, what legacy would you like to leave in your time at De La Salle? Your day to day interactions with each other, and you proudly representing our college, is reflective of the gentlemen that you are. We often tell you that it is 'the little things that count,' and that is true in every sense of the word.
I have always believed that God sends people into our lives for a purpose - God does come disguised as our lives. Interestingly enough, when John Baptist met Adrian Nyel (a layman educator who would help him set up the Lasallian schools), it was a chance encounter. What seemed like a small event changed his life course forever. What can we learn from this? No event in our lives is ever unimportant. To our students, each and every moment of your time at school is integral to who you become as a future citizen. Value every moment - when you reflect on this time later in your lives, I am certain that you will be proud knowing that you had no missed opportunities.
De la Salle experienced challenges along the way but he never did surrender. I encourage our young men to be resilient, and this takes time to develop. When learning a new skill, it is okay to fail, but it is not okay to give up without trying in the first place. Do not lose sight of your potential - try your best in all you do. It seems simple in practice, but often we are hard on ourselves. Never lose sight of who you are. We are all different. We do not need to follow the crowd - God made us all as individuals with gifts and talents to share with each other.
"Be satisfied with what you can do, since God is satisfied with it, but do not spare yourself in what you can do with grace; and believe that, provided you want it, you can do more with the grace of God than you think."(John Baptist de la Salle).
Be courageous. I am certain that our Founder would have felt some weariness during his vocation. However, if he had not taken the risk, our Lasallian tradition would not exist today. Sometimes we all need to step out of our comfort zones and try something new. In the final term of the school year, I encourage our students to try something which perhaps they have avoided or not considered.
As a final thought, 'touching hearts' is what being Lasallian is all about. The students in our community have definitely touched my heart and inspire me to be the best that I can be.