Posted by Br Gerard Rummery
on 16 September 2019
On Saturday 7th September the Brothers of the Karlaminda community invited their neighbours , the Sacré-Coeur Sisters from No.10 Roma Avenue, the Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and members of the communities of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and Brothers from the Parmenie community to attend a prayer service and special afternoon tea to commemorate the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the death of John Baptist de La Salle. Some 37 guests attended. The prayer concluded with a very moving singing of Brother James Maher's inspiring hymn to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
Brother Gerard Rummery traced the historical connections from France with the three other congregations, particularly links with the Sacré-Coeur Sisters in Rome, Cairo and Alexandria, the foundations of Father Jules Chevalier at Issoudun where the Brothers ran the village school, the links with the OLSH Sisters in Australia, the common mission of our German Brothers and German OLSH Sisters in Rabaul in 1912 and our many links since 1946 with the MSCs in Papua-New Guinea.The 'novelty' of De La Salle's first teaching Brothers was not well understood in Rome but after the Brothers received a Bull of Approbation from Pope Benedict XIII, there followed a whole series of teaching Brotherhoods, Edmund Ignatius Rice's Christian Brothers, Marcellin Champagnat's Marist Brothers, the Patrician Brothers and some 16 independent groups of teaching Brothers, all making use of De La Salle's pedagogical and spiritual writings.
Just as many other foundations of the 17th century in France, the Brothers were founded on a principle of forming a 'society' and ultimately first consecrating themselves by a primary vow of 'association,' not well understood by the Church until 2014.
The reformulation of the Brothers' mission in 1986 as a shared mission of human and Christian education has attracted some 92,000 lay people 57% of them women - of many different religions to choose to take part in Lasallian foundations rangeing from kindergartens to universities.
This development suggests that something new is being born with greater lay-participation in forms of association beyond present canonical structures.
During the following social activities some of the MSC priests and brothers present were pleased to identify themselves as former students.