Almost all of the Brother delegates from the two regions of the Americas are gathered here in Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil. To give you an idea of the distance from Chicago, it was a ten-hour flight to San Paolo, and then another hour and a half to Porto Alegre. We are meeting at a large Jesuit retreat center. As true Lasallians, our firt gathering Tuesday evening was a social togeher, which gave us all a chance to get both acquainted and re-acquainted, since many guys already knew each other from other gatherings and chapters.
Wednesday consisted of four sessions: the first was devoted to reports on RELAN and RELAL by the two Counselors, Brothers Bob and Edgar. The second was a follow-up with questions and comments and ended with reactions by the delegates to the International Assembly.
As always with international Lasallian gatherings, simultaneous translation was provided in English, French, and Spanish. Brothers Mike French and Florent both served in that role; if you look closely you can see Bro. Michael through the glass…
Our afternoon involved a report on the Young Brothers Gathering which was held last summer in the Philippines; Brothers Diego (Bogota) and Jhonmar (Venezuela) did a commendable job of presenting the dreams, hopes, and convictions of the young brothers from around the world.
We are not the only FSCs gathered here; there are two other groups: 15 RELAL Brothers on their Final Vow Retreat and several other Brothers from the District of Brazil-Chile for meetings. Our last session of the day was a conversation with the 15 brothers on their Final Vow Retreat. We had a wonderful exchange, led by Bro. Edgar. Both delegates and the young Brothers had an opportunity to ask and respond to questions.
At 7:00pm we all boarded buses for a half-hour ride out into the country at a property owned by the Lasallian university here. We were treated to a classic Brazilian barbecue, hosted by Bro Jardelino, Visitor of Brazil-Chile. Needless to say, a good time was had by all!
-Bro. Larry, Delegate