Finding different seats across the room, we began the morning with a reflection and prayer from the Hong Kong Lasallian women in our group. They shared that there is a growing number of girls attending schools in their country and more and more female staff educating the children.
After a recap of thoughts from our days together, we reviewed the listed outcome topics that had been outlined during our symposium.
Each table group was invited to reflect on this list and add to or update input so that we could formulate specific resolutions. It was decided that outcomes be formally prepared and submitted to Brother Superior and the General Council for endorsement so we would first seek a “YES” from all women attending regarding these outcomes. Trish Carroll will conclude her role as Symposium Lead Organizer by preparing a formal report for the General Council.
***Please Note: I’ve taken notes so I might offer a snapshot of outcomes the group discussed and said “YES” to include. The formal report will be more comprehensive and have final information to be discussed and considered.
SYMPOSIUM OUTCOME NOTES
- Truly representative International Women’s ‘Council’ with a Mission Statement and clear purpose statements by the end of 2017; an appointment of person(s) as short-term bridge to effectively get this started in a timely manner and consider potential use of secondment to utilize existing skills/experience.
- Engagement with district/regional groups that work with existing structures.
- Ensure inclusivity and collective Lasallian voice, gender parity in leadership and representation with concrete policy. Be culturally sensitive.
- Effectively communicate using both virtual and traditional means to inform, engage, and include ALL Lasallians.
- Global, regional and district mentoring program using a variety of structures (technology/face-to-face) tailored to meet the individual needs.
- Engage the voice of students/clients/Young Lasallians immediately in Mission planning, as well as in the promotion of Lasallian vocation.
- Create a database and directory for global connections.
- We acknowledge the need to remain faithful to the Mission by bringing to life the commitments contained without our Lasallian documents.
- Personal commitment of all delegates to share this experience, knowledge, and outcomes with their local Lasallian communities upon return.
At the close of this most important work – we stood together and declared, “We Are Here!”
Our days together concluded with a beautiful service in which each participant was blessed to receive a gift of a hand painted river rock with meaningful symbols from New Zealand. In the quiet moments while we walked together…our tears fell, tears of joy because we were each moved by the everlasting relationships we all formed, the power of our voices together in song and sharing and the knowledge that we have made a difference.
Certificates were distributed and we all went forth…a new beginning!
Our Lasallian sisters from Pakistan….England, Australia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, North America, Hong Kong, South Africa…the globe!
We are touched by a zeal no one could fully capture in words, we smiled and laughed, voiced our passion and desire to do good in our world, to be the good we wish to see. I shall never be the same!
And as I left Aukland this afternoon, riding with new friends from ‘across the pond’ to see more of New Zealand, we talked about the many things that touched us…the many ways we grew and appropriately, the scenery along the way showed us the Hand of God reaching down as He did all those days together.
My thanks to the Christian Brothers of the Midwest District for this opportunity to be a part of this next chapter…for allowing me to share this story. Also, to my colleagues at Saint Mary’s Press for their support and help with ongoing work during my time away. It is so good to be together by association…live Jesus in our Hearts – forever!