Author: Claudio Baez Leiva
President of Signum Fidei Chile
The Lasallian Jubilee Retreat was held at the Colegio La Salle – La Reina, Santiago de Chile, in December 2019. We were filled with the Holy Spirit, the love of God and Lasallian values, as we followed the retreat with joy and enthusiasm in the spirit of the Lasallian charism.
Our spiritual retreat for the Lasallian Jubilee was organized by the National Leadership Team of Signum Fidei, Chile (ENAFSF), with the support of Brother Olavo José Dalvit, Visitor of Brazil-Chile, Brother Paco Chiva Co-Secretary for Lasallian Association, Brother Juan Baez, National Advisor for Signum Fidei Chile and Director of the Sagrada Familia Community, and Brother Mario Silva Pardo, Rector of the Colegio La Salle – La Reina.
In addition, our retreat was given a boost by the message from Brother Robert Schieler, Superior General, which was read to us, and by the presence of Brother Olavo José Dalvit, Visitor, and of our own dear Brother Rodolfo Andaur.
There were 23 participants from the local Fraternities of Colegio de La Salle – La Reina, Colegio La Salle de San Gregorio, Colegio Agustín Edwards de Valparaíso, and from the Santa Rosa de Lima Fraternity in La Florida.
Also present were Brothers Sergio Moreno, Enrique García and Mario Silva.
It was a retreat that was filled with symbolism and fraternity, and it was led by our permanent deacon for Signum Fidei, Hugo Santibáñez Osorio. The main focus was on the figure of the Holy Founder and on the plenary indulgences granted by Pope Francis. In light of current events in our society, we sought the Founder’s intercession for our country and for all of the Lasallian families of Chile.
There was an atmosphere of unity and association and time for spiritual peace, which filled our hearts with with hope for the future of our Signum Fidei Fraternity.
We are grateful to Brother Robert Schieler, Superior General, for his message encouraging us to continue to build the Kingdom of God through Faith, Service and Fraternity according to the Lasallian Charism “being sent to proclaim the Kingdom of God with one heart, one commitment and one life, as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ and as witnesses who will attract Lasallian vocations.”
We are also grateful to Brother Paco Chiva from the Secretariat for Lasallian Association who encouraged us to be witnesses of Christian community, testifying to the values to which Jesus calls us and to a real encounter with Jesus and with the unwanted.
And of course we thank Brother Olavo José Dalvit, Visitor of Brazil-Chile for his message: “Be signs of faith throughout the world. Be signs of faith in a world in turmoil, testifying to what Our Lord has taught us… Be signs of faith and of zeal for a better society. Be significant people for those who are entrusted to our care in our families, our work, our misión, and in our lives.”
We thank Brother Rodolfo Andaur for his support, his collaboration and his words of reflection, and likewise Brother Juan Baez, our National Assessor, for his input as a witness of faith in Lasallian values.
We pray that the Holy Spirit may enkindle in our hearts the fire of his love so that in our Local Fraternities we may live our vocation to service with enthusiasm as well as our mission to which we are called as members of the Signum Fidei Fraternity of Chile, by continuing to work for the Kingdom of God and by sharing the Lasallian experience of true fraternity with our brothers and sisters in greatest need.
We are grateful for having been given this opportunity to experience true Lasallian Fraternity “Together and by Association.”
Live, Jesus, in our Hearts!
The first Brothers arrived in Chile, to learn about the situation facing them, in October 1876: Brother Yon José accompanied by Brother Adrién of Jesús.
On May 1, 1877, they took over the St. Vincent de Paul Workshop School, which had been founded on October 28, 1855 in the hope that the Brothers would come. (The first mention of a request for Brothers is of one made in December 1855 in a session of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference). The Community was joined by Brothers Amadeo (who arrived in Santiago on 11 April 1877), Jucondus, Teófilo and Donatoris (who all came from Liverpool and arrived on 19 April).
Currently, there are seven establishments located in three cities: Santiago (4), Talca (1) and Temuco (2). Of these, three are absolutely free, one has a shared subsidy and three are fee-paying. Of the seven, four are co-education (boys and girls) and three are for boys only. There are currently five communities, comprising 19 members (15 Chileans, one Spaniard and three Brazilians). Apart from these 19, there are three Chilean Brothers serving outside the country (2 in Brazil and one in Rome).