By Melissa Lowe, New Zealand, District of Australia-New Zealand-Pakistan-Papua New Guinea (ANZPPNG), Pacific-Asia Regional Conference (PARC)
“Each dream is a personal one, but a Lasallian dream should also be a collective one. When one dreams alone, it is only a dream but when we dream together, our dreams can become a reality.”
I rarely share my hopes with people. I was always of the belief that my dreams were so personal, so secret, and so deeply private that if they were to be shared, they would lose what made them sacred. I thought that if I told people about my hopes, they would devalue quickly. Perhaps it is because I never been in an environment where I felt safe enough to reveal them. Or maybe it is because I felt afraid that no one else would understand or relate to them. However, Brother Álvaro set the tenor of the week-long symposium when he suggested to us that, as Young Lasallians, it is our very dreams that can be beacons of hope and change for ourselves and for each other.
I come from New Zealand, and it took me two days to travel to Rome on three different flights through three different countries. New Zealand is at the bottom of the world, often confused as being part of Australia, famous for Hobbits, rugby, and a vibrant Māori culture. At times, it feels like we are isolated in this Lasallian journey, being so far away from the rest of the world. But being here at the 3rd International Symposium of Young Lasallians, it is easy to see that if you are Lasallian, you all speak the same language and distance is immaterial. And it is here that I have found that so many others from over the globe share the same hope as I do.
Our theme is Building Hope Together and today marked the first full day of international discussion. Bro. Álvaro addressed us in the morning about the importance and necessity of hope as Young Lasallians, Joseph Gilson defined for us what a “Young Lasallian” is, and James Camden concluded the day by challenging us to consider our personal, professional, and spiritual growth. And here, in the International Lasallian Headquarters, we were able to talk with those around us about what being Lasallian means to us. I am filled with a sense of zeal (to use one of De La Salle’s words!) being surrounded by passionate young people who are all pioneering for an active ministry.
So, based on the content of our keynote presentations today, and my own imagination, I am going to share with you all my hopes and dreams.
- I hope that our Lasallian communities continue to grow.
- I hope that we are able to continue providing education for the most marginalised in our own backyards and around the world.
- I hope that we can work together to break the poverty cycle.
- I hope that we can keep bringing smiles to children around the world
- I hope that we are all blessed with the courage to continue spreading the word of De La Salle, even when people do not want to hear it.
- I hope that we can continue to lead by example.
- I hope that we can see Jesus in our hearts.
- I hope that we will work together and by association.
But, mostly? Well, I just hope that we can all continue to dream.