LaSalle’s mission tradition

DSCN1193aLaSalle Catholic College Bankstown students embraced fun and tradition at their annual Founder’s Day event on June 16.

Carnival rides, food stalls and games followed a morning Mass to celebrate St John Baptist De La Salle. The Lasallian tradition aims to develop the inherent dignity of young people through education, for the wellbeing of each student and society.

Students in Years 7 to 12 enjoyed an onsite broadcast by community radio station 2NBC 90.1FM at the event, also known as Mission Action Day (MAD).  Principal Michael Egan said the school aimed to raise $6,000 through the day to support a Lasallian Foundation school project in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Former mathematics teacher at LaSalle, Br David Miller, now teaches at the school with a small group of local teachers who are also committed to Lasallian education principles.

“They are looking to expand the primary school to include Kindergarten and Preschool, so with our fundraising today we hope to raise enough to keep 41 children educated and fed at school for the next year,” Mr Egan said.

“It’s a good thing for an area that is close to Australia, but quite impoverished.”

Mr Egan said most schools within the Lasallian tradition hold a MAD day each year to support some part of the mission in a part of the world that is in need.

“I think it’s a healthy way to mix celebrating and sacrifice,” he said.

“We talk to the students about putting faith into action. We know why we do what we do – because we’re inspired by Jesus and John Baptist De La Salle. The best way to live that out is not to just talk about it, but to do something about it. On a local level it’s a good way for students in each grade to mix in with the other kids and get to know each other better. On a deeper level, the work that they do stretches out to other people in need.

“It’s a good model for the whole of life. If they can get into the good habits at school they’ll leave here good citizens.”DSCN1184a

Mathematics teacher Nabil Saad lent his woodwork skills to the task, making crosses and religious plaques throughout the year to sell on the day. He said some pieces took up to six hours to complete, including intricately carved and lacquered crosses.

The nail challenge proved popular, with students from all grades lining up to race their teacher to hammer a nail into a tree stump, one hit at a time. The day ended with performances by school bands, hip-hop dancers, beat-boxers and musicians in the school talent quest.

School captain James El Hayek said there was a lot of Lasallian spirit present on the day.

“LaSalle Day is always a special day,” he said.

“Everyone gets involved, helps each other out and has a good time.”

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