Posted by Amanda Proulx
on 16 March 2020
Giovanna Fiume, Principal of La Salle College Middle Swan, and Aaron Peters, the College's new Deputy Principal, Catholic Identity and Mission, invited the Formation for Mission Team to spend two days immersed within their community on 24 and 25 February. Brother Peter Ryan, Director of Mission Integration, Sebastian Duhau, Retreats and Programs Coordinator, and Amanda Proulx, Director of Formation for Mission, have returned from the visit impressed by all that they experienced.
"As a Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) school, the College integrates an induction to the Lasallian heritage with the system's 'Faith Story and Witness' program for new members of staff," explained Peter. "We were asked to facilitate the first two sessions of the program this year and enjoyed rich discussions with over twenty educators. Their roles represented the complex reality of contemporary schools classroom teachers, administrators, education support staff, human resources and more and yet their engagement with our ongoing Lasallian story and with one another was enthusiastic. We came away feeling reinvigorated ourselves!"The team also had the pleasure of hosting interactive sessions for the entire Year 7 cohort, who are in the midst of a five-week program which invites them to discover for themselves what it means to be part of the community at La Salle College. "The students were fantastic," shared Sebastian, who designed and lead the sessions. "They have already learned so much about Saint John Baptist de La Salle and about what it means to be Lasallian in their community, so we were able to build on that and help them feel connected to the rest of our District and the broader Lasallian family."
Finally, two Twilight Retreats were offered to all interested College staff at local winery Mandoon Estates. These informal formation opportunities brought together more than fifty Lasallians, which was a pleasant surprise for both the school's leadership and the team from Lasallian Mission Services. Monday's retreat explored the Lasallian practice of remembering the presence of God through the lens of the practice of mindfulness, while Tuesday evening offered participants the opportunity to consider Lent (which began the next day) as a journey to an oasis. Each retreat concluded with a communal dinner at the winery's on-site restaurant, meals which rang with laughter and stories.
"We have planned to host Reflection Mornings and Twilight Retreats in both Sydney and Melbourne over the course of this year, but this was the first iteration of these two programs," Amanda said. "We appreciated capping off both days spent in Middle Swan with so many Lasallians who were open to a new experience and willing to spend a weeknight in reflection and fellowship with one another."
"Sebastian, Peter, and I are returning to Sydney deeply grateful for the many opportunities we've had to walk alongside this College community and to experience their warm hospitality."