The words of the Superior General both challenge and reassure Lasallians. We are called to action to work "together and by association" to make a real difference in the lives of others.
Inspired by Christ, the ultimate servant, and the example of St John Baptist de La Salle, the Lasallian Mission Council (LMC) seeks to provide leadership within our District of ANZPPNG to touch the hearts and minds of those we serve. While the global pandemic may have caused us to operate differently, our commitment to the constituents of the District has remained unwavering.
We live within potentially the most diverse District within the Lasallian world. While we are separated by great physical distances, different languages, cultures, political systems, climate and geography, we are unquestionably unified by a clear and consistent commitment to the charism of the De La Salle Brothers, and their mission to meet the educational and welfare needs of young people, especially the poor.
During 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic ran parallel to the ongoing challenges of operating the LMC within extremely confronting financial times. Our Council relies heavily on the very generous financial support of the Trustees of the Brothers. We are all aware of the financial burden that the Trustees are managing to support appropriately the victims of historical child sexual abuse. The LMC must continue to explore alternative funding sources, while also ensuring an equitable 'user pay' system, to enable our services to be maintained and potentially grow within the District.
It is opportune to thank Br David Hawke FSC, the Brother Visitor of the District of ANZPPNG, for his inspirational and untiring leadership. While David's capacity to travel around the four countries that constitute our District was severely curtailed during 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, nonetheless, he was able to use technology to keep in touch and support the various Lasallian communities and groups. The Lasallian Mission Services (LMS), the executive arm of LMC, expertly led by our Executive Director, Merv McCormack, mastered the challenges of lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions to ensure that Lasallians in our schools and works continued to be supported with high quality professional development and resources. I would like to express my appreciation to Merv and his dedicated and hard-working Team who have continued to demonstrate the highest possible commitment to the Mission.
On the 13 April 2020 we mourned the passing of the inaugural chair of the LMC, Br Chris Gorringe FSC. At the time of his death, Chris was Deputy Chair. He was undoubtedly, along with Br David, the driving force and architect of establishing the Lasallian Mission Council. So much has been written about Chris' magnificent contributions to the Mission within the District. I would simply like to add that without the work that Chris undertook, the flourishing mission that we see daily lived out within the District would not have been possible.
I acknowledge my fellow directors of LMC for their generous, insightful and discerning contributions in the promotion of the Mission within the District of ANZPPNG. I also thank and congratulate Ann Corcoran on accepting the invitation from the Br Visitor to take on the position of Deputy Chair of LMC. Thank you to our members of the 2020 LMC:
Michael (Mick) Egan
Merv McCormack (ex-officio - Executive Director)
Finally, may I express my deep appreciation to the thousands of Lasallians throughout our diverse District who continue to work and commit to the service and support of young people. May Jesus continue to live in each one of your hearts, and may you remain inspired by the practical and spiritual guidance provided by St John Baptist de La Salle.
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