South Africa: Pastoral visit of the general Superior in the District of Charles Lwanga

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This Tuesday, January 24, De La Salle Holy Cross College of Victory Park was in the general Superior’s program. As its name indicates, this educational work was founded in 1986 out of the willingness of the Holy Cross Sisters, founded by Mother Bernarda Heimgartner, and the Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded by John Baptist de La Salle, to carry out a common educational work. The school has 900 students and an education team of more than 100 people. It is established on a vast and beautiful area, with in its center, a huge and beautiful church…

The visit of De La Salle Holy Cross began at 10.00 am in the company of the Junior School Principal, Mary Hyam. One is struck by the remarkable originality; the school has a music room equipped with various instruments and another room equipped with computers networking for the training of students.

At 10.15 am, tea was served to the school staff and to the Holy Cross Sisters. It is a moment of conviviality very important for the school staff. At 11.00 am, the general Superior, accompanied by the Councillor and the Sector coordinator Br Thomas, joined the school general assembly in a crowded amphitheater. Children’s choir, from 8 to 10 years, under the direction of a teacher, and accompanied by an organist, entertained the assembly with two beautiful songs full of humor. Students presented John Baptist de La Salle and also what he did…  Then, teachers led a prayer which was introduced by the Principal.

The Principal, after introducing them, gave the floor successively to the general Superior and to the Councillor. Br Robert Schieler thanked and congratulated the students and the educator team for the quality of their welcome. He indicated the meaning of his visit and stressed the importance of their belonging to the Lasallian Family without forgetting their link with the Holy Cross Sisters’ educational works. The Councillor simply asked the students if they liked their school and why… many hands were up and nice responses came out: one of them says he loves his school because people there are nice, another one loves the school for its beautiful environment, a third student adds that the lessons there are interesting.

At 12.00 pm, we visited the De La Salle Holy Cross High School. The High School goes from the grade 8 to grade 12. At this last level, students pass the senior certificate examination, commonly called “Matric. “, an abbreviation for “matriculation”.  Success in this exam opens the doors of the university for them.  The visit was conducted by the Principal DJ. Harris. A snack was first shared with the members of the educational team… From 12.45 pm to 1.10 pm, the Superior met the Committee of Young Lasallians. Liane Stonier, one of the very committed teachers is the advisor.  At 1.30 pm, there was general assembly with students following roughly the same pattern as that of the Junior School.

At 2.30 pm, the Brothers community, located within the school, welcomed us for lunch. There are three Brothers: Albert, Patrick and Laurens. Br Patrick, responsible for the pastoral of vocations, is the youngest and unique South African Brother we have for the moment. At 3.30 pm, a meeting with a large group of people interested in the LASA, Lasallian Association of South Africa foretells in the near future an enthusiastic commitment of several collaborators in the Association for the Mission. There is already an Executive Committee which will take care of the implementation of the training relying particularly on the program proposed by Br Joseph.

At 5.00 pm, snacks served to the Sisters, the Brothers, the administrations and the teaching teams of the two schools, De La Salle Discovery and De La Salle Holy Cross ended a day full of promises for the Lasallian Mission in South Africa…

Brother Pierre OUATTARA, general Councillor

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