On Thursday night, I had the privilege of attending a donor appreciation banquet for SJII Scholars. This is a special program that awards deserving students who cannot afford to attend SJII a full scholarship, including room and board for scholars from other countries. This of course is directly connected to the Lasallian Mission of the school. It was a wonderful evening at a lovely hotel in downtown Singapore, and joining us for the banquet was Mary Fox’s nephew, Tom, who happens to be in Singapore for a few months studying.
On Friday morning, I had a chance to get to know some of the scholars a bit better. I spent about an hour with seven of them, and I was so impressed with their ability to articulate what SJII means to them and the difference a Lasallian education is making. Some are Singaporeans, but others hail from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
I had lunch with a few of the board members of SJII, including two founding “old boys”. I enjoyed conversing with them about SJII’s growth and impact in nine short years. We also had a wonderful Chinese meal together that arrived in several courses.
That evening I went out for a seafood dinner with the community that had hosted me. It was fun spending time with them. The community includes Brothers Kelvin, who teaches at SJI, Paul who is principal of SJI and also one of the LEAD Auxiliary Visitors, Ignaci, who teaches at SJII, and Larry, SJII President. We came back to the house and continued our socializing.
So, it’s back to winter in Chicago after almost two weeks of tropical heat and humidity, which I never quite got used to. Not that I’m complaining! I’m very glad and thankful that this trip panned out. I saw and experienced a lot and have a much clearer sense of our Lasallian Mission in the Philippines and Singapore. I thoroughly enjoyed the many places I visited and Brothers and Lasallians that I met. I’m also impressed with the vocation ministry efforts in LEAD and will share some of those in a later blog’ along with several impressive artistic renderings of the Founder and Lasallian saints.
Most of all, it was so gratifying to see how well both Marty and Larry are doing in their respective ministries and communities. They truly are “Brothers Without Borders”, and it’s so clear they are making a positive difference and touching all kinds of hearts.