To mark the 70th anniversary of continuous Lasallian education in Papua New Guinea, a record number of delegates from across the country have gathered in Port Moresby for the National Gathering of Lasallian Teachers.
Hosted at the La Salle Technical College in Hohola, the event is held once every three years and this year has proven to be by far the most popular ever- with 230 delegates attending from urban and remote provinces.
The high attendance is a powerful reflection of the inspiring zeal and commitment to the Lasallian charism which is helping it to expand well beyond Port Moresby to some of the most remote areas of the nation.
This year’s event has featured keynote addresses and workshops on topics such as Lasallian leadership, classroom management, using smartphones in teaching and engaging Lasallian youth.
In her opening keynote address, the Principal of Jubilee Catholic Secondary School in Port Moresby, Mrs Bernadette Ove reflected upon the rich and enduring legacy left by St John Baptist de la Salle over 300 years ago and which continues to inspire generations of teachers today.
“The Founder faced many obstacles in setting up his network of schools for the poor in France, but he never gave up”, Mrs Ove said.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Bereina, the Most Reverend Rochus Josef Tatamai paid tribute to the remarkable contribution generations of Lasallian teachers have made to the success of Catholic education in Papua New Guinea.
In his keynote address at the conference, Bishop Rochus told the teachers, that they were very fortunate to be part of the Lasallian charism, given the way it has fundamentally shaped the direction of school education over recent centuries.
“And it is therefore critical that laypeople who choose to become Lasallians recognise it as more than simply a club that you belong to and reap the benefits from that, but rather that you see your spirituality as having a pivotal role to play in the broader mission of the Catholic Church in PNG”, Bishop Rochus added.
En su discurso de apertura de la conferencia, el obispo Rochus dijo a los maestros, que eran muy afortunados de formar parte del carisma lasaliano, dada la forma en que ha conformado, fundamentalmente, la orientación de la educación escolar durante los últimos siglos.
“Y por lo tanto es fundamental que los laicos que optan por convertirse en lasalianos reconozcan esto como algo más que simplemente pertenecer a un club y cosechar los beneficios inherentes, sino que se debe considerar su espiritualidad como depositaria de un papel fundamental que desempeñar en la gran misión de la Iglesia Católica en PNG “, añadió el obispo Rochus.