Lasallian Global Women’s Symposium
Auckland, New Zealand

We gathered in the morning ready to enter into our prayer, reflection, conversation and discernment and to do that the Brothers present among us, Superior General Bro. Robert Schieler, General Councilor Brother Ricky Laguda, (ANZPPNG) Visitor Brother David Hawke, and (DENA) Auxiliary Visitor Brother Ed Phelan lead us in morning prayer.

Brother Ed’s reflection, a greeting from the Lasallian family of RELAN was a tribute to the life and faithful witness to the Lasallian Mission of Brother Charles Kitson. Remembering Charlie’s inspiration “Step back and get the big picture. See the direction God wants. Don’t be thrown off or distracted. Review. Refresh. Be courageous against odds. Remember not to fall into the trap of negativity. Our very weaknesses are our strengths.”  Strong words to begin out day by….

The Change Makers — Women of our Lasallian Story

This session focused on the story and inspiration of four women. First, Mary, the Mother  of God and continuing with Madeline Remy, Sister Louise Hours and Dorothy Day. In considering their life stories we focused on their moments of encounter with God, the trust they placed in their personal discernment, the courage involved to following the call of the Spirit and their faithfulness to their life’s vocational call of mother, spiritual counselor, advocate for the homeless and disenfranchised.

Our afternoon invited us into a World Café style conversation in these particular topics:

  • What are the current realities and experiences of Lasallian women?
  • How do we create opportunities to give voice to Lasallian women?
  • How do we foster global relationships?
  • Imagine the Institute in 20 years- what will the Lasallian women’s vocation look like?

The conversations that were captured by a recorder began to form the foundation for the proposals that will eventually emerge as the work of the Symposium.

A significant dimension of any global Lasallian gathering is forming relationships across geographic borders and cultural boundaries. The participants engaged in an Emmaus walk that provided the opportunity to get to know one other participant in a more intimate fashion. Our day concluded with journaling and prayer. 

What continues to be most remarkable is the common experience of women from across the globe. The areas of needed attention and advocacy may take on various particularities based on location and culture but the overall issues of access to education, access to healthcare, access to participation in their local society, freedom from various forms of violence both personal, societal and institutional unfortunately resonate with a bellowing call for equality and justice!

The Lasallian mission of education and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ is liberating and making a significant difference in the lives of so many people today but how do we deepen the impact? Where is the Spirit leading?

“All change, even very large and powerful change, begins when a few people start talking with one another about something they care about. Change starts with an attitude of humility and a willingness to learn.”  Margaret Wheatley

Come Holy Spirit and enlighten us during our day together! AMEN! ALLELUIA!