Br Visitor thanks PNG Women of Hope for successful Women’s Symposium
Firstly, may I congratulate each of you for planning and attending this first gathering of Lasallian women in Papua New Guinea. The fact that you have planned this event in very challenging circumstances in the country and the world speaks loudly that you are indeed Lasallian women of hope. Several of you attended the first world symposium of Lasallian women in Thailand and the one held in New Zealand. It was your dream while in New Zealand to have a similar event in PNG and now your dream has become a reality.
The word “hope” is uttered on the lips of many people these days. Pope Francis returns to this often in his writings and addresses and likewise Br Robert Schieler our Superior General. Civic leaders throughout the world and in PNG also refer to hope. And of course, hope is one of the great three Christian virtues along with faith and charity.
You gather in September, a month when the Church celebrates three Marian feasts; the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Name of Mary, and Our Lady of Sorrows. In his meditations St John Baptist de La Salle refers to our Mother Mary multiple times. In his meditation for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary he writes, “If Mary received an abundance of grace, it was to share it with all those who have recourse to her. By your care for her and your recourse to her, gain the help you can receive from her” (Med 163.3). As Mary received an “abundance of grace” may your time together be a grace filled experience for like her you are women of hope.\
In my letter to Grace Wrakia and the Lasallian Family to mark the 75th year of the Institute in PNG, I remarked that building on the work of the pioneering Brothers, Lasallian Partners are taking the leadership of the Lasallian Educational Mission in PNG and you are women who play a very important and significant part in that. In fact, it is women in your country who are taking the lead. And just as well you do as the Lasallian Educational Mission would be all the poorer if you did not stand up and lead. The District salutes you for that.
Your theme “PNG Lasallian Women of Hope” to me has a looking towards the future dimension. We are moving towards a District Chapter in 2022 which will include Lasallian Partners and Brothers.
This is shaping up to be one of the most important Chapters in the history of the District as we face a fragility like we have never experienced in the past. I am not going to elaborate on this but when something or someone is fragile you treat it or the person with tender loving care. I suggest that during your time together you name the fragility of the Institute in PNG and as you look to the future in hope focus on how you think the Institute in your country will forge ahead.
Your gathering is a significant event in this 75th year and along with others across the District, I regret that I am unable to join you on this occasion to share in the richness of who you are as Lasallian women of hope. However, I look forward to hearing the outcomes of your time together.
May God bless each of you, your families and your Lasallian ministry.
Posted by Br David Hawke on 17 November 2021