I happen to be part of such gathering, and was only about to complete my first ten years at La Salle Green Hills --- six years of which I devoted in the classroom as a Reading and Philosophy for Children Teacher, two years in an LSGH-supervised school (St. Mutien Marie School) in Pampanga where I was seconded as Principal, and another two years in LSGH as a rookie middle administrator.
Four years after, the first Philippine Lasallian Family Convocation was held, following what I recall was a mandate of the Philippine District to cascade the directions of the General Chapter and to come up with concrete resolutions to respond to the challenges posed by the Superior General and his Council. That paved the way for my greater engagement with the Lasallian family when I joined the Lasallian Partners’ Council in 2003, reappointed in 2008 and completed the unfinished term of then Mr. R. Holmes as Chair until the recent Convocation in 2015.
Later on, I realized that the doors to more engagements were opened. For instance, it deepened my understanding of the mission when we collaborated in the design of programs for LJPC, participated in fora that were meant to engage Lasallian partners in the intended projects of the Brothers such as the assessment of schools which have expressed interest in subscribing to the rule of the District, pretty much like a supervisory arrangement, the formation of young Brothers through formal meetings and sessions on pedagogy, instructional supervision and the governance of our schools.
If there is one program that even built my love for the mission was the crafting of the LS CARES (Lasallian Community Appreciation and Reflective Study) as a process of self-reflection from the level of the institution, whether Basic or Tertiary or combined, to a regional setting and eventually to a national field where new recommendations were identified as agenda items for the 2015 Philippine Lasallian Family Convocation. Said process involved the finalization of the process design from rationale to procedures, as well as the focus group discussion questions that were calibrated to respond to the identified areas of interest as outlined below.
It is true that the process was a bit tedious but allowed for more Brothers and lay partners to articulate their joys, priorities, and commitment to the furtherance of the Lasallian mission in the Philippines. It did humble me and I suppose, our colleagues in the Council, because while we may have thought that much had been accomplished from our limited perspectives, the peripheries revealed that still much had to be done.
At the moment, I find joy serving my LSGH family as Grade School Principal, and extending the same to the supervised schools as supervisor, and the network of Lasallian Principals as the incumbent Chair of the Basic Education Commission. These remain to be my reason to serve more and love more.
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