SAAOC Lay Brothers’ Gathering

13-17 May 2024, Singapore

21 May 2024

“Renewing Our Common Vision as Lay Friars in a Fractured World: Franciscan Contemplatives Formed for Pastoral Ministry and Evangelisation” is the discerned theme and orientation for the 15 lay brothers from the South Asia, Australia and Oceania Conference (SAAOC) gathered at the La Salle House in Singapore.  The entities represented: Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia-Singapore, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste and West Papua. 

Br Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General, wrote a very encouraging letter to all gathered, inviting them to deepen their identity as brothers and minors and to also be very daring to welcome back the completeness of our vocation. 

The 3 full days of presentation and fraternal sharings were focused on contemplation on the life of Lay Brothers; thoughts and ideas about Formation and finally on pastoral ministry and evangelisation matters. Throughout the week, Br David Leary facilitated the process of mutual deep listening, honest articulation of experiences and insights, and made sure that every voice in the room is heard. 

From the richness of the discussions emerged several recommendations for the International Gathering to consider and these revolve around the structure and process of initial and ongoing formation that is essentially Franciscan but also human in its psychological and professional aspects.  The recommendations also expressed the pressing need for intentional discernment to the lay brothers’ vocation and the appropriate accompaniment by formators and entity leaders.

To balance the serious work, event organiser Br Vernon Chua ensured that there were also recreational activities like visiting the various communities in Singapore and also touring some of the local attractions like Gardens by the Bay, not forgetting to enjoy a sumptuous seafood dinner by the beach, complete with tasting the famous Singapore Chilli Crab!

All in all, the participants sincerely felt that they had a week of directed fruitful discussion and life-giving fraternal experience.

Download the final Communiqué

In the pictures:
SAAOC Lay Brothers Gathering 2024 – Participants with Br Derrick Yap (Custos of Singapore-Malaysia & SAAOC President). 
Meeting and discussion in progress

SAAOC Lay Brothers
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