In a letter sent to Brothers and Lasallian Partners earlier this year, Provincial David Hawke appealed for a renewed effort on promoting the vocation of the De La Salle Brother to young men in our district.
That effort is expected to grow over coming years in the lead up to 2019, which has been declared the Year of Lasallian Vocations.
This coincides with the 300th anniversary of the death of St John Baptist De La Salle.
At the forefront of vocations ministry is a team of sector directors across Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea who are working through schools and youth ministry teams to promote this mission.
Among them is Brother Colin Griffin who chairs the Formation/Vocation Commission at the De La Salle Provincial Office in Sydney.
Br Colin has decades of experience in schools and youth ministry in Australia and New Zealand and was the Founding Principal of Casimir College in Marrickville.
He was also Principal of De La Salle College Mangere East and a Mentor to the Signum Fidei group in Rotorua.
Educated by the De La Salle Brothers himself, he believes Lasallian schools need to be at the forefront of promoting vocations to religious life.
"The Brothers at my school in Marrickville had a very big impact on me", Brother Colin explained.
"It was a time when you'd go into a school and all the teachers literally were Brothers and I was impressed how they cared for us and showed an interest in us as individuals", he said.
Through his work in vocations ministry, Brother Colin has been encouraging fellow De La Salle Brothers to regularly visit Lasallian schools, particularly for important events like Mission Action Days.
But he also believes there is great potential to promote vocations through the Young Lasallians and through university chaplaincies.
Brother Colin said Lasallian universities in the United States and the Philippines had been highly successful in this area and our district could learn a lot from them.
"Tertiary institutions are where vocations are going to come from in the long run", he said.
"We don't have a strong presence there, so we need to keep sowing seeds for potential vocations in Lasallian schools".
Brother Colin said the current Year of Consecrated Life had helped to raise greater awareness around the need for religious vocations.
He said there were some encouraging signs within our district.
"In Pakistan, we're certainly getting vocations and there are two young men there who are going into the postulancy", Brother Colin explained.
"They're going to the Philippines and have been doing an aspirancy in Pakistan in their last few years of high school".
Brother Colin said there were also some aspirants in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia.
"But our youth ministers need to keep promoting vocations for young people in their first few years after leaving high school. That is the time with the greatest potential to draw them in".