De La Salle Brothers from the Philippines have joined with fellow Brothers from around our own District to mark an historic milestone in the history of the Lasallian Mission in Papua New Guinea.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of our District presence in Papua New Guinea when four pioneer Brothers left Sydney to establish a community in Bomana, near Port Moresby.
70 years later, the Lasallian mission has expanded rapidly in PNG to cover a growing network of primary and secondary schools as well as teachers colleges.
30 Brothers have joined in the celebrations at the St Joseph Centre in Baulkham Hills including Brothers from PNG itself, from New Zealand and the Philippines.
Among them are some of the veterans of the Lasallian mission in the country, including 90 year old Br John Cleary.
Born in Armidale in northern New South Wales, Br John has made an inspirational commitment to the De La Salle Brothers working across Australia, New Zealand, PNG and the Philippines.
It was in 1966 that he began a long association with PNG which included a stint as Principal of Sacred Heart Teachers College.
"I was inspired by the people I met in PNG because they were hungry for God", Br John explains.
"I started leading retreats and reflections for teachers there because I'd always believed that if you could help nurture the faith of teachers that would in turn benefit the students greatly as well".