November 5-23, 2018
Walking with Young People: A Gospel Adventure
The first ever International Lasallian Center (CIL) hosted in Africa has begun! CIL, an annual formation gathering of Lasallians, is happening for the first time outside of Rome, hosted at the De La Salle Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya, November 5-16, 2018. Our DENA participants, Maryann Donohue-Lynch and Br. Michael Andrejko, FSC, will be sharing via social media and the website during their time at CIL.
Updates from CIL
Friday November 16, 2018
A day full of commitment and proposals. Feelings, too… because the CIL came to an end. After a beautiful prayer made through the recognition of Christ as our center and La Salle as our style, expressed with symbols as a pilgrimage to the chapel, forming a cross with lit candles on the altar and settle words that remain at the end of our meeting. During the morning we had fertile time to order ideas, dialogue by Districts and Regions to formulate conclusions and propositions. In the afternoon General Councilors Br. Pierre Outarra and Br. Rafael Matas gave us messages, offering lights and motivating us to listen to the particular call of God and the needs in our spots and the Institute.
Thought for the day: “Carriers of hope sent to transform.”
Thursday November 15th, 2018
This day was led by Brother Paco Chiva. In his interactive presentation he invited the participants to make projections towards the future. Thinking about the Institute, the question was: how do we see it in the year 2051, the year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of our Founder?
This motivated a deep reflection in small groups, and the sharing focused on several possible scenarios of the future:
First an ideal scenario taking into account the vocation brothers, sisters, lay people, community life, our mission… But, it was also necessary to look at the worst scenario. This was the purpose of the work during the day.
Thought for the day: “Dreaming is human, and the absence of dreams is synonymous with death.”
Wednesday November 14th, 2018
We continue the CIL with the topic of the pastoral care of Lasallian Vocations. Brother Joseph Felix is the main speaker for the day. Today’s sessions are dedicated to the presentation of some good practices of Vocational Ministry of several Districts and to the reading of a draft of the Circular 471, in linguistic groups exchanging opinions on its content.
As Brother Joseph Félix started he presented the plan for the day and the five speakers from the Districts: all would answer the question “what are you doing in your District to help poeple become Lasallians?
Sister Guadalupana de La Salle Angelyne Noashy Randrianarilala from Madagascar presented the way in which the culture of vocations is lived in her Congregation. Then Brother Edgar Esparagoza showed how in the LEAD District students are instilled with the values of Faith, Service and Community to help them find meaning in their lives. Ms. Maryann Donohue Lynch from DENA presented the possibilities offered to alumni/alumnae to continue participating in the Lasallian network. Brother David García De la Peña of Distrito México Norte shared the experience of the parents’ commitment to the Lasallian Educational Mission. Finally Brother Jesus Perigot presented the Vocations Ministry in a global plan and its implementation in the ARLEP District, that includes training and discernment programs for all members of Lasallian communities.
After these five valuable presentations, Br. Joseph Felix invited the participants to read and reflect on the preliminary draft of Circular 471.
Thought for the day: “The challenge of the world is to live together in diversity”.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
As we began our morning session we were asked to recall our Saturday visit to Kangemi slum. We each recalled our encounter with the students at the schools, the people that accompanied us on our walk and the families we met. In addition, the wonderful and inspiring work of the Ngao Society. (www.ngaosociety.org)
In Brother Bob Schaefer’s presentation, he reflected upon how all “Lasallian formation is for mission and the mission of God comes to us through Jesus Christ. Those that were close to Jesus knew he was “Good News,” a living something good and new.”
We were asked to reflect, can we share something good and new about Jesus to our young people today? Can we receive that good news that Jesus fired into the hearts that those he called his friend and share that with others we encounter? How did Jesus accompany people? What did De La Salle experience in his faith in Jesus that led to his own faith itinerary? As Lasallians we need to not only provide Lasallian accompaniment but Lasallian discernment as well.
The parable of the Good Samaritan was offered as a Biblical Icon for accompaniment. This parable of Jesus sets itself at the heart of Lasallian pedagogy, evangelization and accompaniment. In this parable we see a God of mercy, a God that liberates and transforms society. Young people engaged in our Lasallian ministries should encounter the experience of good news, of liberation and of God’s merciful love.
Thought for the day: How can we create spaces and experiences where young people can discover or deepen their relationship with God?
Monday, November 12, 2018
This morning’s session focused on Christian discernment and accompaniment. In Christian discernment we decide how to make the best decision for what God wants for me and how to place myself at the service of humanity. Humanity has an orientation for good and is the basic motivation that drives us. One of the icons used for this presentation on discernment was the account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew what fate was awaiting him, he knew of Judas’ betrayal and of his inevitable death at the hands of the Romans. His agony was the discernment process of connecting the head (knowing) and the heart (accepting) of his crucifixion. Christian discernment is a reflection of God who is mercy, of God who is light, of God who is justice.
Also discussed was the “art of accompaniment” which includes the “art of listening.” An important aspect of accompaniment is co-responsibility to facilitate the growth and fidelity of each person toward God’s will.
Thought for the day: Like Jesus, our discernment needs us to link the head and heart. We are to be persons who views the world through the eyes of faith.
Sunday November 11
Reflection by: Brother David Garcia, District of Mexico North
Day of culture and knowledge visiting the National Museum of Nairobi and Bomas of Kenya. In the first place we were amazed by the history, culture and natural heritage of Kenya thanks to the detailed explanations of our guides. In Bomas we had the opportunity to meet traditional homesteads and enjoy dances, clothing, music and traditional songs of the main tribes of the country, such as Mijikenda, Luo, Taita, Embu, Maasai, Kikuyu, Kamba, Kalenjin, Luhya, Kisii, Kuria, among others.
Thought for the day: “Our diversity is our wealth.”
Saturday November 10
Reflection by: Brother David Garcia, District of Mexico North
We visited the Kangemi slum and there we went to a community centre whose staff helped us as guides. In small groups we toured and interacted with people and institutions of the neighborhood, where we witnessed the pressing needs of the population. At the same time we discovered the immense value of the service provided by Kangemi Resource Center through education, community organization for production and marketing, water purification, library, among other resources. Right there we had lunch and celebrated the 50th birthday of Brother Agustin Ranchal, to close the day with the Sunday Mass in the Regina Caeli parish.
Thought for the day: “we are God’s hands.”
Friday November 9
Reflection by: Brother David Garcia, District of Mexico North
The day was about Vocations and Youth Ministry, and we studied the topic trough this: 1) Presentations about the programs of San Francisco – New Orleans District by Miss Kenena Amuzie, Antananarivo District by Br. Bruno Rakotomavo, and ARLEP District by Br. Jorge Sierra. 2) World Café for reflecting and sharing of our best practices that leaded to dialogue and new ideas, and established the basis for the next momento. 3) Lenguaje groups to work on propositions for formation and activities about faith, service and community.
Thought of the day: “We have received a treasure to share it.”
Thursday November 8
The topic for today was Culture of vocations. The sessions were conducted by Brothers Joseph Félix and Chuy Rubio. The morning prayer was focused on the call of the first disciples Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip and Nathanael. We praise God for our various calls and ask for His blessing for all who share the Lasallian Mission.
In the morning sessions we had first a welcoming video and an animation song by Brother Felix, and then the presentation on the “understanding and practice of vocations” in the five regions of the Institute followed by personal reflection. Each Region practices were presented by CIL participants coming from every Region: br. Jacques Monchébi for RELAF, br. Chris Patiño for RELAN, br. Eder Polido for RELAL, br. Zohaib Gil for PARC and Ms. Elenora Munaretto for RELEM. They spoke about the different levels of understanding and a variety of vocational culture practices according to cultures and ways of understanding, and they showed the diverse realities of their respective regions and districts.
Thought for the day: “The one who does not sow anything, does not harvest anything.”
Wednesday November 7
This day was dedicated to the topic “Young people, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”: three morning sessions and two afternoon sessions.
We began this day with a Prayer on the parable of the Good Samaritan. We were invited to remember the names of people with whom we experienced love of neighbor. The names of these people were mentioned during the prayer.
Mr. Keane Palatino started with a singing game before heading to the conference room. During both sessions he gave a wonderful presentation on the context and needs of today’s youth. In a first video we watched a young female talking to an audience her painful story and invited adults to look at young people with greater empathy; to receive them, to listen to them, to understand them and to accompany them to find answers to their problems. In a second video, an expert offered new approaches for walking with young people to help them find meaning in their lives.
This presentation led to personal reflection and then to sharing in language groups at the end of the morning. Before that meeting in linguistic groups, a joyful moment was organized by the students of the De La Salle School: diverse musical, dance and speech performances were presented by talented and elegantly dressed children.
In the afternoon Mrs. Stella Quintos addressed an animation on the basketball court. Then she presented how to enter into dialogue with young people about the challengues that have impacted their lives. Above all, she emphasized the religious crisis experienced by young adults, manifested by his disaffection with the Church. They have great need to talk an adult. In summary, we can remember that we Lasallians are invited to be good Samaritans for young people who are like the wounded and abandoned man on the road. Mr. Keane pointed out that Jesus is the true good Samaritan. It is the parable of the Good Samaritan who served for the prayer in the linguistic groups.
Thought for the day: “Anyone who wants to travel by plane, should go to the airport.”
Tuesday November 6
This morning we had a very interesting lecture by Brother Paulo [Dullius, FSC]. I particularly enjoyed his placement of our mission, our accompaniment of young people and vocation “work” clearly within the context of God’s mission and the manifestation of that mission in Jesus Christ.
Additionally, he provided an interesting framework for us to consider our own personal motivations and desires in being part of this Lasallian mission.
Come & Be Twinning Visits
Maryann Donohue-Lynch and Br. Michael Andrejko, FSC, accompanied by Christopher Swain, also visited the Twinning School in Kenya ahead of CIL, to renew relationships, and learn about the schools’ new initiatives.