The Southern Cross : August 2011
Page 14 August 2011 www.thesoutherncross.org.au vocations week august 7 -- 14 This year marks the 360th anniversary of the birth of the founder of the De La Salle Brothers, John Baptist De La Salle. In South Australia the work of John Baptist de La Salle continues at St Michael's College at Henley Beach and in Port Pirie and Adelaide through the initiatives of BoysTown which provides employment and training services for young people including the delivery of Accredited Training Courses for disadvantaged young people. John De La Salle was born in France in 1651 and opened the first Lasallian School in 1680. Since that time the De La Salle Brothers have spread to 83 countries around the globe and work in varied places such as Madagascar, Palestine, Australia, China, South Sudan and Chile to name just some of the places. The core work of the De La Salle Brothers is to provide a human and Christian education to young people especially those most in need. Br Mark McKeon, who is currently the Director of Vocations, has been a De La Salle Brother for almost 30 years. He says the name "Brother" says it all for him. "Being a Brother is all about relationships. These relationships include the Brothers I live in community with, the young people I meet in my work and the adults I work with and my relationship with God," he explains. "I love being able to speak about how I came to be a Brother and probably more importantly why I stay being a Brother. "The bottom line is I love what I do and each year in the Brothers gets better for me." Br Mark has taught in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia. More recently he has worked in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. "An essential aspect of the Brothers' life is being available to respond to needs," he says. It is a challenge to pack up belongings and head to a new place but I've always found, after an initial settling in period, the new place quickly becomes home for me. "What helps these changes is the reality that community is integral to the life of a Brother. Living in community with other Brothers provides me with both support and encouragement. It is the genuine interest that Brothers show in me that also helps me in the various ministries in which I am involved." Br Mark says if you would like to "test drive" the Brothers' life all it takes is an email or phone call. For more information visit www.delasallebrothers.com. St Michael's College students recently raised $55,000 for the Lasallian Foundation. (See story on page 18) The name 'Brother' says it all BEING A BROTHER: Brother Mark McKeon with Bankstown students.