February 2012 - Brothers of the Christian Schools

(February 2011)
Greetings from Rome.
I am happy to send you the Information, referring to the activities carried out by some of the SIGNUM FIDEI communities of the Lasallian world in the last months. My thanks to those who sent in
the information.May knowledge of these realities help us to strengthen our links of fraternity and
solidarity and may we remember each other in our prayers.
Br. Alberto Gomez Barruso
Madagascar – Signum Fidei Center (ANOSIBE)
Br. Juan Sala
I would like to share with you the joy and the best wishes of all the Signum Fidei members of Madagascar. On
December 27 those of us from Antananarivo gathered
for a day of retreat. It was a day of prayer, searching, and
reflection on our lives and our community. We planned
events to celebrate and some formative times for the
rest of the year. The day was an intense one filled with
sharing. The construction project at the Anosibe Center
is going forward. We held an event to bless the buildings.
Once again we would like to thank the generosity of
those who have contributed $60,000.00 towards the
construction of this Center which is aimed at the Signum Fidei community. Thank you very much and
we remain united in Mary, our mother.
Italy: New members in three communities
Franca Bavoso
We are happy to report to everyone that after a few years of formation, with the support of their
communities and Brother Advisors and in the presence of Brother Visitor Achille Buccella and Brother
Alberto Gómez, the following have made their first consecration:
– Mr. Enrico Sommadossi at the Istituto Filippin in Paderno del Grappa.
– Anna Alessandri Lo Re, Silvana Danzica Palomba, Flora Giodano Mengassini, Rosamaria Santocchini
De Bellis at Rome's Pius IX Institute.
– Marisa Piacentini, Cristiano Bianchi, Silvio Giulianelli, Ugo Giromella at the Saint Philip Neri School in
We give thanks to the Lord and to our Founder for the gift of these nine new vocations. Each of them
has a wonderful family history as well as a work history and they are in solidarity with De La Salle. May
God be blessed!
Chile, First National Assembly
Br. Gabriel González
Our first National Signum Fidei Assembly was
held at Colegio De La Salle de La Reina in Santiago. This first day was a continuation of the
encounter held on August 15, 2010 with Brother Alberto Gómez. Thirty-four members from
five schools were in attendance: Agustín Edwards from Valparaíso, Colegio DLS–La Reina,
Instituto La Salle de La Florida, Colegio DLS de
Talca and Colegio San Gregorio de Santiago. In
addition there were six De La Salle Brothers
who attended and the Rector of the Colegio de
La Reina. Excused were those from Temuco. The session was led first of all by Brother H. Enrique
García and Brother Gabriel González, the National Advisor. Brother Rodolfo Andaur appreciated very
much the activities of Signum Fidei, its support for the apostolate and the way it is living out Lasallian spirituality. During the
Eucharist six Signum Fidei members renewed their consecration. Starting this year a registry will be kept just as it is for the
Brothers. At the end of the liturgy a message that had been
sent by the Brother world advisor was read. Lunch provided
the opportunity for informal exchanges. An official photograph was taken after lunch. It was commonly agreed that the
group from Valparaíso would work on setting up next year's
meeting which will be held on the first Saturday in October.
From Talca (Chile) we received this message from Ms. Linka:
Brother, I am grateful for what you send us. It is a joy to receive your news. Yes, the encounter we had
was important. We are really embarking on a new course and we do not know where it will lead us but
we are confident that God is working in us. Yours with affection from Talca.
Trujillo: Colegio Signos de Fe (Peru)
During the last trimester of 2011 the first phase of the building for children between the ages of 3 and
5 years was begun in Trujillo. The project will be financed by the Signum Fidei members of Malta (€
15,000.00), the Spanish NGO "Edificando" (€ 15,000.00) and one Lasallian Former Student (€
30,000.00). The school urgently needs this work because the country's educational authorities require
it. This school was begun by Brother Manuel Olivé and it was the result of much effort on the part of
the first Signum Fidei members of Trujillo and Lima. Without a doubt an education work such as this
one will require a community and teaching faculty that are committed to working together for the
students who most need their help. Congratulations to the many people who have made this dream
Also, with regard to Peru, we want to let you know that from February 1 to 4 the National Delegate
Assembly took place and there was a Formation Day for teachers in the Signum Fidei schools.
Italy: Coordinating Council
Franca Bavoso
On Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3, 2011, the Signum Fidei Community of Genoa
hosted a meeting of the Italy Coordinating Council. This Council is made up of 5 persons elected from
among all the communities. Among other topics the annual retreat to be held at the Generalate was
planned. At the end of the meeting the members of the Genoa fraternity renewed their consecration
during a simple yet moving ceremony. There is a Lasallian school in the city of Genoa but due to a wall
collapse in the school it had to be closed so at the present time there is no Brothers' community in the
city. Only Brother Felice Verbenesi visits the city monthly. The Lasallians of Genoa founded a cooperative and next to the ruins of the school they opened a welcome center for young people who live in
the city itself. They are accompanied by a group of teachers who are generously and lovingly dedicated to this mission. They held a meeting which was attended by Brother Alberto Gómez and members
from all groups, associations and Signum Fidei members from Genoa were in attendance. It is admirable to see how the Lasallian spirit is being kept alive in this city.
Colegio Manos de Dios – Activities in Pastoral Ministry (Peru)
Jorge Rojas
During the school year a legion of young people from the Pastoral Ministry program at the Signum
Fidei school Manos de Dios "climbed" the hills nearby the school in order to meet with a large number
of children.
This activity is known as CONIPO (Community of the Poor Child) and it is intended to be a continuation
of the NANIPO (Christmas of the Poor Child) activity. It is a pastoral ministry and catechetical program
that seeks the formation and human development of the children who live in conditions of poverty on
the outskirts of our school. Young Lasallians offer catechesis, games, and songs to these children...
Bolivia: New Brother Advisor
Rodney Edwin Muñoz
I would like to begin by thanking you for the weekly sending of the "Words of Life" that you send us.
We use it in our monthly meetings. I send these materials on to all the heads. It is a very useful publication. Our new national advisor now is Brother Marco Antonio Bonifaz. There are 35 members in our
fraternities in Bolivia. In each city the communities are involved in an apostolate. For example, in Trinidad the Signum Fidei members work in education with children of prisoners and they also given
them breakfast daily. In other places members work in the sacramental catechesis of students and
their parents.
Cairo – Egypt: Signum Fidei – School support for 60 students
Br. Sameh Farouk
Twenty teachers from the
two schools in
Cairo have taken on a project
classes for students of families who live
modestly and
who have learning difficulties. These classes are free and they take place at St. Joseph's School in Khoronfish. In total there are about 60 students in the primary and preparatory programs. The classes are
held on Thursdays and Saturdays from 2:30 until 4:30 PM. Before beginning classes the students are
invited to a meal. This group of teachers, Christians and Muslims has opted to help these children gratuitously instead of being paid for their services. – www.lasalle-po.org
Manado – Indonesia
Margie Poluan
At the beginning
of November the
national president of Signum
Fidei of the Philippines visited
the community
of Manado. The
made up mainly
of young teachers from La Salle Catholic University. At this time there is no Brothers' community in
Manado and for this reason and because of the new LEAD (Lasallian East Asia District) District that
includes various countries in Asia, Signum Fidei
of the Philippines accepted the role of accompanying this community. During her visit, Ms.
Mayra lead a day of recollection, gave a talk on
Lasallian spirituality to students from the university and met with the Young Lasallian
Corps. She also met with Bishop of Manado
Joseph Suwatan. There were many fraternal
times and visits to the country's tourist sites.
Soon we will be visited by Brother David
Hawke, General Councillor.
Caracas – Venezuela
Marfel López
We have begun our weekly Signum Fidei meetings in Caracas. The meetings have been very popular.
In one of the meetings, Brother Carlos prepared the prayer using one of the presentations that we
received from Rome and it was very well received. Then we read the Signum Fidei letter and we were
happy to hear about the Pope's meeting with the young people. We have also begun planning the
fraternity's activities for the trimester and for 2012.
Jordan – Amman
Clara Medzagopian
The community in Amman continues its meetings at La Salle School. On one occasion, after Mass we
had breakfast together and then held a meeting. All has gone well for us. The situation in our country
is stable for the time being. We invite everyone to pray for peace.
Bethlehem - Middle District
On December 2 as part of the preparation for Christmas the Signum Fidei members had a retreat in
the convent of the Franciscan Sisters in Bethlehem. Thirty teachers from Jerusalem and Bethlehem
attended. The event was called "We have come to see the star." The day began with prayer organized
by Ms. Claudine Faltas and this was followed by a presentation on the theme for the day by Brother
Daoud Kassabry. Mr. Raed Abed El Massieh gave a brief talk on Christian life in light of the Star of
Bethlehem. The retreat concluded with a Eucharistic celebration and a meal.
Sri Lanka
Brother Terrence Loyola
The Young Lasallians movement in Sri Lanka organized a ten day volunteer program for young people
from the Lasallian schools in the country. This was
the first time that an activity of this type took place.
At the Lasallian Home, built with the help of the
Signum Fidei Community of Malta, we heard terrible stories about war. Some children in this home
saw the violent deaths of their parents and close
relatives with their own eyes. How long will it take
these memories? These children, who have been deeply traumatized, suffer in silence. Reconciliation in this
country will not be easy if these deep wounds are not
forgotten. I hope that this volunteer activity will provide some sacred space for the Young Lasallians and
will contribute to the process of reconciliation and to
Nicaragua: National Signum Fidei Meeting
Ritha del Rosario González
On Sunday November 20 at the Bishop Lazcano La Salle School, located in the La Fuente neighborhood
of Managua, we Signum Fidei members met – there were 4 Fraternities from Managua represented –
a total of 37 persons. Ms. Ileana Calero, the Fraternity leader from the Bishop Lezcano School, gave
the welcome address to all the participants. The opening prayer was led by Ritha González from the La
Salle Pedagogical Fraternity.
The central topic on formation was the responsibility of Brother José David Sosa, the advisor of the
Pedagogical Fraternity. He helped us to understand the commitment we take on as Signum Fidei
members as part of the Lasallian Community and society as a whole. At the day's Eucharistic liturgy,
twenty-five members renewed their consecrations. Present also for the day were Brothers Vinicio
González, Benjamín Rivas, Francisco Boniche and Thomas West. After the Eucharist we were invited to
pray and to sing to the Most Blessed Virgin by using the traditional "la Gritería" hymn. There were also
some social gatherings. The host Fraternity gifted us with an image of the Founder and took us out to
lunch in the city of Tipitapa. Our meeting concluded with lunch.
Three years ago
the Signum Fidei
Fraternity of Malta
became an NGO
and it has presented to the government of the
SECOLI (Lasallian
International Cooperation Service)
projects. Besides supporting projects in Sri Lanka and Peru (Trujillo), this year the CLIMA project in
Burkina Faso received € 14,000.00. We congratulate Brother Edward Galea, the community Advisor,
Ms. Marlene Camilleri, Coordinator, and all members of Signum Fidei – Malta for their commitment in
favor of the Lasallian Mission.
Cuba – Santiago de los Caballeros
Br. Olvaldo
Our Signum Fidei group continues onward, thanks be to God. We continue to meet twice monthly and
we have extended periods of prayer and we discuss formation topics. At the present time we are
working with the Founder's Meditations. Mr. Reinaldo Sang, the Coordinator, is doing a good job.
There are ten of us and we hope to add to our number little by little. A teacher from the school will
join us the day after tomorrow. My greetings to all. We do receive your messages but it takes us a long
time to open them here.
Andalucía – España
Luis Lacida
On the first
February we
met in Seville along
with future
new members who
are in formation. During the meeting we shared our personal projects and
we finished writing our community project. We also dealt with the subject of our partnership with the
Signum Fidei of Equatorial Guinea. In the next months we will send them our donation. Mr. Simeon
Martin informed all of us of the points covered in the national meeting for Association. There they
discussed about "accompaniment and formation." We hope that within a few months the final formation program for Associates will be published. Finally we elected a representative of the community
for the Third Assembly for the Lasallian Mission in the sector in Andalusia. Our day of work, fraternity
and prayer ended with the sharing of a wonderful meal.
Starting Signum Fidei in Vietnam
Br. Joseph Lê Văn Phượng
On February 5th we had a gathering of lay
Lasallian at Maithôn, Saigon (District of
Vietnam). There were 8 groups of people
who collaborate with the Brothers in
different institutions.
-5 Teachers of charity from Ho Chi Minh
City / -2 Teachers from Truong Vinh Ky
Primary School in Gialai Province. / -5
Teachers from the English Center of
Taberd. / -2 Teachers from the English
Center of Đuc Minh in Saigon. / -3 Teachers from Vocation Center of Đuc Minh, /
-7 LaSalle Sisters / - 1 Teacher from the
Disability Center in Nhatrang / - 4 Doctors who are often willing to help the poor / - And 10 Brothers
from our communities
During the meeting we dealt with two main
subjects: Lasallian Family and how to establish the Lasallian association groups (following programs like the ones of the Signum
Fidei in the Philippines)
Brothers John Nguyen Van Ba, Vincent
Nguyen Thang Long and Joseph Kieu Duy Son
have been asked to be responsible for this
project. They are going to be in contact with
all these people during in this year and will
help them to start a process of Association as
members of the Lasallian Family.
Rome – the Signum Fidei presence in the 2012 CIL program
In January a formation program on Lasallian spirituality
took place in Rome. There were 67 participants in the
program, including Brothers and Lasallian teachers.
Among the participants were 6 people that had connections with Signum Fidei fraternities. Surely when they
return to their communities and Districts they will be
able to contribute all the good experience they had and
what they learned during these weeks. It snowed in
Rome and for some it was the first time in their life that
they were able to see it and touch it. The members with
Signum Fidei connections were: Ms. Haifa Haddad (Jordan), Elsy Lara (Venezuela), Enrico Sommadossi (Italy), Youseff Saroufim (Lebanon), Charles Marie
Ngue Nyoni (Cameroon) and Josephine Dromenge.
PHILIPPINES – (Reports Received)
Mrs. Myra
Patambang, president of the
Fidei in the
sent to us
reports of
her visits to
the various communities all over the country during the last months of 2011.
Among other communities she visited were those of St. Joseph School-La Salle in Villamonte, Bacolod
City; the University of St. La Salle Community; La Salle College-Victorias; De La Salle John Bosco College
in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; De La Salle Andres Soriano in Toledo City, Cebu; La Salle University in
Ozamiz City; La Salle Academy in Iligan City; San Benildo Integrated School in Cagayan de Oro City and
College of St. John Roxas in Roxas City.
It is very encouraging for Signum Fidei all over the world to learn about their achievements and their
challenges. Many communities are composed of administrators, faculty members, office staff and
maintenance personnel. Lay coordinators and Brothers take it very seriously to do their best in order
to properly accompany the communities.
We also appreciate very much their efforts to bring new members, their retreats, formation programs
and apostolic activities like providing opportunities for the out of school youth; involvement in Sunday
High School; and regular visits to orphanages where sessions on catechesis, values formation, personal
hygiene and team building are held for the residents.
Congratulations to all Signum Fidei and to coordinators for your excellent work. You are really an evident ACT OF HOPE for the International
Lasallian Family. We can all see
that the spirit of faith, zeal
for service and communion in mission remain
profusely embedded at
the very fabric of all
your efforts.
Institutional e-mail for Signum Fidei at "lasalle.org"
Since the beginning of December 2011 institutional e-mails for all the Signum Fidei Brother Advisors
and Coordinators have been available. We are attaching to this message a list of all these addresses.
We would be grateful if you would use these addresses for the exchange of information about our
fraternity. These addresses will always remain the same even though a Brother or Coordinator might
move somewhere else. In that case only the password would need to be changed. I think that these
addresses will be very useful for us when we begin to prepare for the 2013 Second International Assembly.
Updating of the Signum Fidei database for 2012 and the new Web Site
As we have been doing, we will send to those in charge the list that we have of the members and
groups and communities so that they can be updated and sent back to Rome. Thank you for this service. With the objective of preparing materials for the 2013 International Assembly we would be
grateful if you could send us during the year 2012 a brief history (maximum length between two and
four A4-size pages) along with the most recent photo of all members of the group or community. We
want to draw up a "Family Album" of all the Signum Fidei members throughout the world.
Most likely beginning with the month of March the new web site at www.lasalle.org will be available.
It has a very useful and dynamic look to it. Also a virtual Lasallian library will be made available to all.
This could be a good aid for our formation programs.
More information: www.lasalle.org (Lasallian Family and Association – Signum Fidei)