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Embodying Lasallian Values Through Action, Dedication, and Service—Missionary Karen Isaacs Becomes an Affiliated Member of the La Salle Institute

On May 15, 2024, the Lasallian Family witnessed a significant event as Karen Isaacs became an affiliated member of the De La Salle Brothers. This momentous occasion not only marks a personal milestone for Karen Isaacs but also underscores her profound connections and contributions to the Lasallian mission.

Affiliation to the Institute is a distinguished honour, recognising individuals who have deeply engaged with and supported the mission of the De La Salle Brothers. It is not a title lightly bestowed; it emerges from a heartfelt commitment to the values and spiritual heritage of the Lasallian family. Such an affiliation is granted by the Brother Superior and his General Council, a process that involves careful consideration from the District Council and testimonies from the local community, ensuring that the individual’s contributions and alignment with Lasallian spirituality are genuine and impactful.

Karen’s affiliation is noteworthy and reflects her profound connection and dedication to the Lasallian community. An Oakhill College graduate and longtime educator, Karen is a woman of action. As a graduate of Oakhill College, class of 1988, Karen has dedicated herself personally and professionally to the institution and is recognised for her persistence in initiating new school programs. Karen’s youth-related work extends beyond the classroom to all aspects of the Aboriginal community. She played an instrumental role in establishing the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation, where she laid the groundwork for several initiatives.

Additionally, her efforts in planning the Murraytoola Damana preschool and her dedication at Redfern Jarjum College have been instrumental in transforming early childhood education concepts into reality. Karen extends her commitment to uplifting Aboriginal communities through her involvement with the Kariong Youth Detention Centre, where she leads a yarn circle, offering incarcerated Indigenous youth a platform for hope and healing.

Her relationship with the De La Salle Brothers, which she affectionately compares to a familial bond, has been a personal and spiritual journey. From her formative years under the guidance of Br Quentin O’Halloran to witnessing the continued stewardship of Br Steve Hogan and others, Karen’s life has been intertwined with the Lasallian values of faith, service and community.

Her words echo her deep reverence and humility toward this honour, highlighting her vision of the Lasallian community as an expansive family tree with roots deeply embedded in shared values and missions. This metaphor beautifully encapsulates the essence of the Lasallian spirit – a network of support, growth and nurturing that extends beyond individual members to encompass and uplift entire communities.

Karen's ambition to bridge the Lasallian values with the Aboriginal and Indigenous communities worldwide is a testament to her visionary approach to global fraternity and sustainability. Her dream of intertwining these communities speaks to a broader mission of mutual learning and support, fostering a space where diverse cultures and traditions can enrich one another, building a more inclusive and sustainable future for all.

The meaning of affiliation expands beyond the individual, forging bonds between diverse members who share a unified vision.

Through these relationships, the spirit of community is continually reinforced, promoting a culture where each person is valued and inspired to contribute their unique talents and perspectives. Affiliates like Karen Isaacs exemplify this ethos, demonstrating that affiliation is not merely about being part of an institution but about living out its principles and missions in everyday actions.

This affiliation recognises Karen’s past contributions and ongoing commitment to the Lasallian mission. It is a testament to her role as an integral part of the Lasallian family, whose efforts have significantly impacted the lives of many within and beyond the community. Karen embodies the true spirit of affiliation, transcending mere association with the Institute and reflecting a more profound, lived connection to its core values and aspirations.

Karen Isaacs's story is a powerful reminder of individual dedication's impact on a collective mission. Her affiliation is a beacon of inspiration, encouraging all members of the Lasallian community to explore how their unique contributions can further the shared vision of education, service and spiritual growth. It reaffirms the belief that every member of the community, whether Brother, layperson, or affiliate, plays a vital role in the continued flourishing of the Lasallian mission.

In celebrating Karen Isaacs's affiliation, the Lasallian Family honours her contributions and renews its commitment to inclusivity, diversity and collaborative growth. It is a moment of reflection on the power of community and the boundless potential of shared dreams and values to effect meaningful change in the world.

May 15, 2024, will be remembered as a day of celebration, reflection and recommitment for the Lasallian Family, marking another chapter in its rich history of faith, service and community. Through individuals like Karen Isaacs, the Lasallian spirit continues to thrive, reaching new heights of impact and inspiration.

Click HERE to read the speech Karen gave at the ceremony. 

Event photos