“The contribution made by women has added great richness and potential to the realisation of the Lasallian Educational Mission. It is necessary to take deliberate steps to empower the presence, the voice, the action and the representation of women in all areas of the Institute.” Declaration on the Lasallian Educational Mission: Challenges, Convictions, Hopes 2.2.1
Over the last 10 years there has been a growing recognition of the critical role women in the Lasallian Family have in service and leadership of the Lasallian Educational Mission globally. In this time span there have been gatherings of Lasallian women around the world. The first was held in Thailand in 2012. A second was held in RELAN 2013, then an International gathering of Lasallian women in RELAL, and the International Women’s Symposium in New Zealand, both in 2017. There have also been a number of District gatherings of women; and during the pandemic women in different parts of the Lasallian Family have gathered in online communities to support and accompany each other. Lasallian women make up half of the members of the International Council of Lasallian Association and the Educational Mission.
Indeed we must acknowledge that at the service of the mission today more than 58% of Lasallian Partners are women. Among these women are Lasallians who feel a deep sense of commitment, co- responsibility and vocation to our mission.
In light of these realities, the Secretariat for Association and Mission has identified the need to undertake a global survey of women in the Lasallian Family in order to best understand the needs of women regarding their ability to fulfil their commitment to mission. Co-Secretary of Association, Ms. Heather Ruple Gilson has taken the lead on this project and has partnered with Lasallians from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota – Dr. Mary Catherine Fox, AFSC, Dr. Elizabeth Seebach and Dr. Sue Hines to guide the effort.
The goal is to be able to offer the Lasallian Family a representative study that identifies the needs of Lasallian women and to make recommendations for future action. The survey results and recommendations will be shared with delegates to the Third International Mission Assembly and used to inform future projects of the Secretariat. It will also be distributed widely to the whole of the Lasallian Family. With this data we can begin to answer questions like the one posed in the Conversation for the Lasallian Family: Deepening our Identity, “As women make up the majority of Lasallian Partners, how can the Lasallian Family ensure that their voice, contribution and skills are utilized in structures at every level?”
The Secretariat will be distributing the anonymous survey via Google Form on 1 November, 2021. It will be open until the 22 November, 2021. It is our hope that the survey reach as many women in the Lasallian Family who would like to participate. We encourage you share the survey with women in your District and ministries providing them the opportunity to participate if they so choose.
Should you have any questions, please contact Heather (email@example.com). Thank you.
Click HERE to access the survey
Click HERE to download the letter
Brother Paco Chiva
Co-secretary of Association
Ms. Heather Ruple Gilson
Co-secretary of Association
Brother Robert Schieler