Posted by Br David Hawke
on 9 August 2018
Vocations Ministry Sector of Australia
Greetings on this feast of St Mary Mac Killop, our Australian saint and a pioneer of education in Australia. As we move towards the Tercentenary Year and the Year of Lasallian Vocations I write urging your support for a vocations project in the Sector of Australia.
The Rule of the Brothers of the Christian Schools reminds me that "the Brother Visitor promotes the pastoral ministry of vocations." However elsewhere the Rule reminds us that "the entire People of God is responsible for awakening vocations in the Church. The Brothers make their charism known and show the importance and specificity of their vocation. They show they are willing and ready as intermediaries of the Lord to invite and accompany young people and adults who feel called to the various Lasallian vocations." (Rule #84)
It is interesting that while the Rule is the Brothers' Rule it mentions all Lasallians with respect to the Ministry of Vocations. "Each Brothers' community examines the quality of its witness to the Gospel and its ability to awaken, welcome and accompany new vocations. Likewise, the whole educational community undertakes to promote vocations." (Rule #84.1)
In my report to the recent District Chapter I commented: "While three Sectors have given top priority to the promotion of Brothers' and other Lasallian Vocations and accepting that there have been efforts in Australia, that Sector needs to give this ministry a higher profile and especially during the Tercentenary Year. Let's hope the new initiative yet to be announced in Australia will bear fruit."
One of the goals of the Tercentenary Year is to:
"Share our hope for the future within the unity and diversity of Lasallian vocations by witnessing the movement of the Spirit in our lives and ministry."
The original intention of designating the 16 Roma Avenue, community Kensington as "Parmenie" was to refocus the community on a place where Young Lasallians would be welcomed. Hence as we move forward I have initiated an Australia Sector vocations ministry project based at Parmenie.
A Vocations Team of three Brothers will work in collaboration with the District Youth Ministers to promote Lasallian Vocations with the team very mindful of the urgent need in Australia to promote the vocation of the Brother. The three Brothers Garry Coyte (Coordinator), Lewis Harwood and Mandy Dujunco will reside at "Parmenie". In March, Br Mandy will be replaced by Br Arian Lopez also from the Philippines in the Lasallian East Asia District. I appreciate that Br Edmundo Fernandez, Visitor has been generous in enabling Brothers from LEAD to work in Australia.
Throughout the Tercentenary Year there will be an opportunity to invite persons interested in the Brothers' life and other Lasallian Vocations to experience community life on a short-term basis at Parmenie and other places. We now have in Australia and other Sectors, a number of youth ministers, former youth ministers, Lasallian volunteers and former LV's who may be interested in weekends or periods of time with the community of Brothers. The Vocations Team will develop a programme to which young Lasallians and others are invited.
The specifics of the project will be developed in the latter months of 2018 by the appointed Brothers in collaboration with LMS. The programme will be evaluated and reviewed annually.
While this letter is directed mainly at the Sector of Australia, I invite all Lasallians across the District to be involved and invite young people and young adults to consider the invitation to a Brother or other Lasallian vocation. I urge all in the Sector of Australia to be involved in the project.
In inviting your support, two scripture quotes come to mind; "ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:38) and "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). Yes, it is vital that all Lasallians commit Lasallian vocations to prayer, but it is equally important that we do the work to hopefully bear fruit.
In the spirit of the approaching Tercentenary Year I commend this project and vocations projects elsewhere in the District to you mindful of our Founder St John Baptist de La Salle who reflected in his life: "One Heart, One Commitment, One Life".
Live Jesus in our hearts.