The first mention of the name appears in a letter to sector heads dated April 1987 from Brother Rafael Donato, then regional chairman, explaining that the annual conference would henceforth be known as the Pacific-Asia Regional Conference [PARC]. In the same letter he emphasised that it would have no legislative powers, its role would be purely pastoral and consultative and its primary aim would be to promote unity within the region through increased collaboration and communication.
This was strictly in line with Article 127 of the 1987 Rule published that same year which explained the concept of region as follows:
The Region is not understood first of all as a structure of government but as a means of coordination and collaboration between certain sectors of the Institute which choose to join together. Nevertheless, the statutes of each Region can confer on the Regional a role of decision and authority in certain matters or in certain cases.
Unity of heart and mind among the Brothers of the Region is established and maintained by communicating and actively sharing with one another. A Region is established as an expression of the willingness of the units that compose it to cooperate with one another and so benefit by the added vitality that comes from acting together.
Every District, every sub-District and every Delegation forms part of a Region. The Brother Superior and his Council ensure that no sector of the Institute remains isolated and without the benefit that comes from collaboration.
The composition of the Region is determined by an agreement between the Brother Superior and his Council on the one hand and the Districts, sub-Districts and Delegations concerned, on the other.
Regions may exist in many different forms characterized by flexibility in their organization and their functioning.
The reality of an annual regional conference in Asia had already existed, indeed for some twenty years, going back to the first Asian Regional Conference of Visitors [ARCV 1] which took place March 1967 in Colombo under the chairmanship of Brother Michael Jacques, Assistant for Asia. The Districts of Colombo, Burma, Vietnam and Penang were represented at this first meeting as members, while the Philippines sent an observer. The Philippines, Japan and Australia belonged to other Assistancies: Japan to Canada, the Philippines to the USA and Australia to the Assistancy for English speaking countries. These sectors were invited to ARCV meetings as participant observers and they did usually attend.
Even though the Philippines had by 1970 achieved autonomy as a District, it postponed joining as a full member till after the General Chapter 1976 by which time assistancies had been finally abolished.
The ARCV held eight meetings between 1967 and 1975, two in Colombo, two at Green Hills in the Philippines, three at Petaling Jaya in Malaysia and one in Rome. Political developments prevented Burma being represented from the late sixties, and Vietnam was no longer represented following the fall of Saigon to the Viet Cong in 1975.
The first conference embracing Asia and the Pacific took place after the 1976 General Chapter February 1977 in Penang, Malaysia. The name Asian Regional Conference [ARC 1] was adopted, even though it failed to register the presence of the Australian District. At ARC 9 in February 1986 at Cronulla, Australia, it was proposed to adjust the name to Austral-Asian Regional Conference [AARC]. The following meeting held 1987 in Thailand became known as PARC 10.
New Regional Realities
The story of the Asia-Pacific Region since that first meeting in 1967 cannot be separated from the texture of the times, particularly as regards Church renewal following the Vatican Council 1963-1966, as well as far-reaching political developments in the region.
Even after five centuries of missionary work the Church in Asia was just a small minority presence in most countries apart from the Philippines and to some extent projected a colonial flavour with a continuing dependence on foreign missionaries. The first of many changes following the Vatican Council was a switch in the language of congregational worship from Latin to a whole range of regional vernacular languages such as: Burmese, Chinese [including dialects], Dyak, English, French, Hindi, Iban, Japanese, Kadazan, Malay, Murut, Pidgin, Sinhala, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese and more. Another change was the gradual switch to local leadership in the Church.
But perhaps the most critical of many changes was in the new approach to other religions. Ever since their first arrival in Asia in April 1852, the Brothers' schools had catered for students of many faiths, and the lay teachers who belonged to these traditions were often among the most respected, sharing in the Lasallian mission with exemplary devotion and loyalty. Consequently for the Brothers the positive attitude adopted by the Vatican Council towards these religions was particularly liberating. Soon the Church in Asia would place dialogue with other faiths among its key priorities.
The languages of worship were also adopted in many Asian countries as the medium of instruction in schools as part of their nationalist agenda. However, English was the official language of PARC from the beginning and remained the language for all PARC meetings, programmes and formation centres. This represented a major convenience in a region so vast and diverse.
[Note: In 1990's PARC Lasallian Services Commission in response to a request from the Formation Commission produced a number of basic Lasallian texts in controlled English. This was to meet the needs of candidates not yet proficient in the language]
Simultaneously there were important political changes in many parts of the region which would affect the work of the Brothers. In Sri Lanka, for example, Mrs Bandaranaike's accession to power in 1960 led to the Brothers having to surrender four of their schools to the Government and over night Sinhala replaced English as the medium of instruction in all schools. Even those schools they were able to retain were not allowed to collect fees and consequently the Brothers entered a long period of struggle for survival.
One important result was that those Brothers who could no longer teach in Sri Lanka found a new mission field in Pakistan  at the invitation of the Dominicans, who had charge of the dioceses of Multan and Faisalabad. Others were able to restore a Lasallian presence in India  after an absence of 77 years. This may be regarded as a return gesture as the Brothers who withdrew from India in 1884 after a stay of 25 years, had gone to Colombo to establish a Lasallian presence there.
In Burma General Ne Win launched a military coup in 1962 and three years later in 1965 nationalised all mission schools without notice, confiscating all school properties. The Brothers who had served the country for 105 years were given clearly to understand that their services were no longer required. Two years later all non-citizens were obliged to leave the country; this included a number of Brothers of Burmese origin who had worked in Malaysia and Singapore and had returned only recently to serve in Burma.
In Sabah, a state in East Malaysia, the Muslim dominated government expelled all foreign missionaries in 1970, at a time when there was still no local leadership to take responsibility, thus plunging the church into a major crisis. Providentially the seminary filled up 'over night' and the Sabah church would soon rank among the fastest growing in Asia.
When Saigon fell to the Viet Cong in 1975 mission schools were nationalised and the Brothers were no longer allowed to teach. In the ensuing years several Vietnamese Brothers joined the 'boat people' who faced the hazards of the seas and of the unknown to escape from the Communist regime and found their way to Australia, Europe and the United States. Those who remained found new apostolates despite severe restrictions on their activities and movement.
Concerns of the Asian Regional Conference of Visitors
Regional meetings sought to address some of the problems arising from these tragic developments. For example, ARCV 4 held December 1970 in Green Hills, Philippines, reviewed recent developments in Burma and adopted the following resolution:
That the Districts according to their possibilities aid our needy sectors in money and in kind, and that a Central Assistancy Fund [CAF] be formed to this end to be administered by Br Assistant.
The main focus of ARCV meetings however was the implementation of the renewal programme mandated by 1966-1967 General Chapter. A variety of Chapter texts sought to bring the mind and spirit of Vatican 2 to bear on the life and work of the Brothers, particularly the Council's call for radical return to the original Lasallian charism and mission. Among the documents of the 39th General Chapter 'The Brother of the Christian Schools in the World Today' had perhaps the greatest impact.
Change was not easy to accept. Many grew disillusioned, possibly with the slow pace of change, and left the Institute. Others began to question their identity as Brothers especially in the light of the raised profile of the laity in the life of the church. A few opted for the priesthood. Several sectors began to experience a falling off in the number of vocations and a rise in the proportion of ageing Brothers. The first Asian Education Conference 2-6 July 1973, [attended only by Brothers!], held on Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, and presided over by Brother Aloysius Carmody of Australia, observed in its closing statement:
It was a phenomenon noted by all that though the conference was not concerned directly with vocations and recruiting, yet every discussion veered round to this topic, for any discussion of actualities and possibilities is purely academic unless we have the necessary Brothers.
These early conferences also focused on matters such as regional retreats for directors, Lasallian studies, catechetics and formation. Regional conferences of formators took place usually every two years from 1970 to 1985. Other areas of cooperation and coordination were explored such as funding and the sharing of personnel.
PARC proper can be dated to the first Asian Regional Conference [ARC 1] held February 1977 in Penang. Brother Jose Pablo attended and warmly affirmed the importance of regional conferences, quoting from Circular 403 Chapter 9 he said:
The grouping of Districts into Regions helps to prevent isolation and offers to the Brothers Visitors a form of community support. It also facilitates cooperation with the local Church, strengthens the sense of cohesion among the member District s and with the Brother Superior General and the centre of the Institute.
It was clearly understood that the conference had powers only 'to propose, not impose' and would work closely with the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences [FABC]. Brother Victor Franco was elected Chairman with a mandate till the end of the following conference. As Chairman he was to be the ordinary link with the Centre and with other regional conferences, and to represent the region in Rome. Brother Victor was re-elected annually till ARC 4 in May-June 1981 at Rome.
As far as was convenient the conference was held in a different sector each year, and this helped deepen familiarity with individual sector realities. This was further helped by the regular sector reports presented at the annual Conference. These gave an update on the life and work of each sector with a focus on special needs, concerns and challenges, as well as new ventures and successes.
PARC opts for a more Proactive Role
PARC 10 held February 1987 may be regarded as a critical turning point for the PARC region. Much thought was given to the future shape of PARC. Brother Rafael Donato, Regional Chairman 1983-1990, recalls a series of critical decisions designed to unify the Region:
'I looked at the other members of ARC and found all of us having a wide cultural diversity and the only common thread among us was our geographic location. ... It was then that we created the three commissions [to deal with formation, finance and catechetics], approved the novitiate in Singapore, appointed Japan as treasurer and proceeded to assess each member to set up funds necessary to operate the commissions' activities. We followed a socialized scheme in taxing each member.
It was also at this meeting that we appointed Br. Bill Garvey as Regional Coordinator with a specific job description to oversee the Commissions' work and to act as secretary for PARC'.
It was the PARC fund thus set up that helped fund a whole range of splendid formation and updating programmes for the region.
A Spirit of Inter-Dependence
One expression of interdependence was the kind gesture of the Baltimore District in making available the services of Brother Bill Garvey as  Regional Director of Formation for PARC and  Regional Secretary. He was funded over a period of some nine years 1988-1997 by the District of Ottawa.
During this period Bill moved tirelessly from Sector to Sector conducting retreats and sessions in psychology and prayer, Lasallian spirituality, the psychology of Christian growth and theology. He is especially remembered for his meticulous preparation of the annual PARC meeting and the comprehensive reports circulated afterwards.
Among his other significant contributions to PARC was the setting up of ISFA in Colombo in collaboration with Brother Emmanuel [then Visitor] and Brothers Baptist Croos and Michael Joseph. This timely project, in conjunction with De La Salle University in Manila, provided foundational training in all ministries. It was open to the Region and provided post-novitiate formation for several Brothers as well as for members of other congregations. It was funded by SECOLI and by tuition fees, and was assisted by the Regional Formation Office in Colombo. Over a number of years it also received an annual subsidy from PARC.
Certain sectors received valued assistance in terms of finance, personnel and training through a system of twinning with Districts in other regions, notably North America. It was largely SECOLI Director Brother Noel Bois who set up such twinning arrangements in respect of Vietnam, India, Myanmar, Colombo & Pakistan. At PARC 22 Brother Noel expressed a note of caution regarding twinning:
Care and responsibility have to be found on both sides. It is essential to have a competent Brother in charge of funds. Twinning involves more than money, it takes account of the mindset of the Brothers, and for this reason every Brother on both sides must be fully aware of all the implications and be personally committed.
We need to monitor the process with some care, making sure that the receiving sector itself involves all Brothers in sourcing its own funds.
Brother Dominic Berardelli also worked with SECOLI with the added advantage of being the Delegate for Thailand and Burma, thus having a personal contact with grassroot realities. He was instrumental in obtaining funding for several sector-level projects, including the new novitiate complex at Halgasena in Sri Lanka. On his retirement from the Region in 1994, PARC 17 paid him a warm tribute of gratitude for his eight years with SECOLI and nine years as a member of PARC.
Note: At ARC 2 in Tokyo September 1978 it had already been decided to dissolve the Central Assistancy Fund [CAF] set up in 1970 and transfer the assets to the Institute's Sharing Fund, which together with the Institute's Formation Fund was being managed by SECOLI. The PARC region benefited greatly over the years from these two funds.
Sharing our Lasallian Mission
One important aspect of PARC's development was the gradual sharing of Lasallian spirituality and mission with lay partners in line with a progressive thrust of General Chapter orientations:
☼ The 40th General Chapter in 1976 saw the consecration of the first members of the Signum Fidei.
☼ The 41st General Chapter in 1986 addressed itself to the Lasallian Family.
☼ The 42nd General Chapter in 1993 treated of Shared Mission at some length and spoke of partners for the first time. Lay consultants were invited to address the Chapter for the first time.
☼ The 43rd General Chapter in 2000 gave recognition to lay partners as actual delegates with a voice and voting rights in respect of the propositions for Lasallian Mission.
This gradual empowerment of lay partners was reflected in the great variety of renewal and updating programmes at sector and regional levels. A galaxy of distinguished Lasallian luminaries from within as well as from the beyond the region lent character and excellence to these programmes as presenters and facilitators. Mention may be made of Brothers Armin Luistro, Aidan Kilty, Bill Garvey, Bill Mann, Colin Griffin, Damian Lundy, David Hawke, Gerard Rummery, Gregory Wright, Henry Dissanayke, James Zullo, John D'Cruz, Joseph Hendron, Joseph Schmidt, Luke Salm, Malachy Broderick, Mark Murphy, Miguel Campos, Peter Foo, Ray Suplido, and Victor Franco.
While formation programmes were usually for Brothers only in the early days of PARC, in later years they were also made available to a variety of lay groups, notably youth, teaching staff and administrators. Two examples deserve special mention: the Philippines' annual 3-week Lasallian Studies Summer School and Australia's Lasallian Spirituality sessions at Narooma March to September each year.
Lasallian Services Commission
To provide regional coordination for such programmes PARC 12 meeting in Green Hills January 1989 decided to dissolve an existing Catechetical Commission and set up a 'commission for mission', namely The Lasallian Service Commission [LSC] with Brother Colin Griffin as chairman. In the ensuing years this commission monitored closely a variety of existing programmes, notably those at Narooma and in the Philippines and promoted wider participation from other sectors.
It also initiated its own programmes such as Asia-Pacific Lasallian Educators Conference [APLEC] and sponsored an important initiative by the District of the Philippines which came to be known as the Asia-Pacific Lasallian Youth Congress [APLYC]. These were conducted on alternate years and became highly popular among all sectors. APLEC was originally hosted by the Philippines , and subsequently by Singapore , Hong Kong , India  and Malaysia . APLYC was twice hosted by the Philippines 1989 and 1991, twice at Ipoh in Malaysia 1993 and 1996, and subsequently by Colombo  and Australia .
Another outstanding programme organised by LSC was LAYRAP [Lasallian Young Religious - Asia-Pacific] hosted by Thailand at Pattaya December 1997. The programme was first proposed by Australian Visitor Brother Kevin Moloney at PARC 18 June 1995 in Colombo. He felt it would provide a boost for regional morale to have a special programme for 100 young Brothers. In the event five Lasallian Sisters were also included. The programme was entitled To be Young - To be Brother with the theme: Celebrating our Brotherhood across Cultures. Brother Armin Luistro was director and Brother John D'Cruz facilitated. The presence of Superior General Brother John Johnston and PARC chairman Brother David Hawke lent additional significance to an excellent programme which lasted eight full days.
At the request of PARC the Lasallian Services Commission with professional help from Brother Mike Rapatan [DLSU] produced two very successful videos:  Shine in Youthful Hearts 1993 on the role of our lay partner, and  Men of Faith, Men of Zeal 1997, on the vocation of the Brother.
At PARC 20 held in Bacolod January 1997 it was decided to dissolve the PARC Formation Commission and include its portfolio in that of the Lasallian Services Commission. Brother Aidan Kilty, Institute Secretary for Formation was invited to join the Lasallian Services Commission to advise on matters affecting formation. This ensured a continuation of such programmes as periodic pre-profession retreats, commitment renewal, Directors' programme, accompaniment programme etc.
Sharing Our Spirituality
While La Salle and his writings have a basic Christian orientation, Lasallian works in the PARC region embrace people of all faiths, proof that Lasallian mission and spirituality can be meaningfully shared and lived in a multi-religious context. While seeking to be faithful to the gospel Lasallians are always respectful of other beliefs /faiths.
However the challenge remains: how to further contextualise La Salle's spirituality and pedagogy to make it more relevant and meaningful in today's growing pluralistic society.
An Overview of PARC
By way of obtaining a simplified picture of growth and ongoing development as well as ongoing challenges and concerns at a particular stage in its development, perhaps we may quote a synopsis of Sectors reports from the minutes of PARC 21 held at Narooma, Australia, February 1998:
Forty-three Brothers presently in active service. Average age 32. One Brother has gone missing since 1994. No novices this year, but some 20 aspirants.
More than 100 active Signum Fidei members and a group of Lay Volunteers. And 15 Lasallian Sisters. Most schools have initiated Lasallian youth corps.
New ventures in formation:  The Lasallian Studies Summer School &  Return to Vaugirard. Filipino community initiated in PNG, with hopes to send lay missionaries next year. Each school is encouraged to plan a Reach-Out programme.
May 1999 Lasallian Synod: preparations already under way with full lay participation.
Presently 22 Brothers, 9 in temporary vows of whom 6 are Pakistani; 2 Novices and 9 aspirants. Formation is a priority, especially for the young Brothers.
The Catechist training centre in Khuspur serves the whole church in Pakistan.
The Drug Centre run by Brother Norman operates a programme otherwise not available in Pakistan; he is in need of more staff.
Twinning with San Francisco District has been highly beneficial, especially for the ongoing training of personnel. An endowment fund in San Francisco will eventually help us become financially self sustaining.
Twelve communities and a total of 58 Brothers; 2 scholastics, 2 novices and 1 postulant. Morale among the Brothers is somewhat volatile given the present situation, a general fear for the future. The MID-WEST District and the San Francisco District and Australian District have given much appreciated and substantial financial help.
Political instability, widespread terrorism, the economy is affected, travel is problematic, especially in the North. Suicide rates rank highest in the world despite the presence of powerful religious traditions. We need faith and goodwill, not religions!
A sudden rush for English, and special classes are opening up everywhere to meet the demand.
Australia, New Zealand & Papua New Guinea
Numbers are stable. A greying District. One novice; a number of young aspirants in PNG. Signs of growth, particularly in PNG.
Diversity of ministries, e.g. Boys' Town, San Miguel, Kids Helpline [nation-wide phone counseling service], Brothers working for dioceses; secondary schools remain the main focus. Three volunteer Brothers under 100-Plus are doing wonderful work in South America and Africa.
Shared Mission is now well established, with a national secretariat. It helps maintain contact with all our works, especially those many schools without Brothers. Narooma provides regular programmes for student leaders, for principals, for non-teaching staff - all highly appreciated and helpful. Meetings of Lasallian partners, up to four times a year, have growing importance. The Buttimer programme has been introduced, the numbers attending went beyond all expectations. The Lasallian Family is progressing well, especially in PNG. A programme for Brothers In Later Years [BILY] will be conducted later this year.
The future: there is a palpable spirit of confidence. Thanks to good leadership, there is a pervading sense of optimism and enthusiasm. New works are targeted as signs of hope, e.g. a community in a poor area with a large migrant presence, post school youth project.
An aging district: in all 44 Brothers.
Current thrust is for community renewal. The annual retreat held in Thailand was an exceptional boost to morale. Presently Ray accompanies Visitor on community visits, and has a whole day with each community. Programmes later in the year for specific age-groups will be facilitated by John Linhardt.
Six Brothers still in school apostolate. Others are in various other works, some working with the bishops. La Salle Centre Ipoh runs school animation programmes for school heads and senior teachers, for student leaders etc. These programmes are in great demand. La Salle Institute began as a language institute, a diploma course in Religious Studies will be added shortly. A Counselling Course is also under consideration.
Effects of economic crisis: our financial situation is stable, but our capacity to pursue certain projected ventures has been seriously reduced.
At present 82 Brothers, 30 of whom are young Brothers. No schools. Brothers are involved in youth work, catechesis and the formation of catechists, vocational training for street children, a computer centre, and some teach in the seminary .
Vocations often come from Sunday parish classes run by very zealous young Brothers.
Shared mission: progress is slow among older Brothers, but younger Brothers have started with young teachers and a sense of lay partnership is growing. We welcome materials which we can share with our lay partners.
Vietnamese Brothers who are no longer citizens return to help from abroad are allowed to stay only a month. It will help greatly is such Brothers can stay a week or so in a neighbouring sector, so that they can then apply to enter once more.
Brothers are not allowed to go abroad for religious studies, unlike the clergy. There is difficulty also for Brothers pursuing university courses abroad in obtaining visas to cover the full period of the course.
Crucial leadership now comes a small group of young Brothers, fully supported by the older Brothers.
APLEC 1996 had a major effect on our lay partners in Singapore. Follow-up seminars have been held, orientation programmes for new teachers have been organised. About 20 teachers from St Joseph's Institution have attended Narooma courses with obvious benefit. A national seminar is planned for October.
The Lasallian Family is being pushed by lay people rather than by Brothers. Plans to open a new secondary school at the request of members of the Lasallian Family who will be directly involved.
A group of 25 university graduates, and post graduates who meet regularly as part of a formation programme, and have a thirst for Lasallian spirituality, have regular prayer weekend, provide free tuition .. This is something new, fully accepted by the Brothers, with its own momentum. In turn they have affected style of community living for the Brothers.
Signum Fidei has changed attitudes towards teaching as a career choice, with members opting for teaching with a strong sense of mission among today's youth.
Imbalanced economy, property in hands of top 10%. The church seen to be aligned with the haves: most Catholics belong to the poorer classes.
At present 36 Brothers, 31 of whom are finally professed. 3 novices, 2 postulants, and a total of 17 aspirants mostly belonging to a formation community composed of university students.
Sixty villages are covered with various outreach programmes. Some 60 women's groups are proving very effective for improving the quality of home life.
Many young people are interested in joining us; a need for careful screening. A two year juniorate is followed by three years in college before joining a one year postulancy.
Steps are taken to improve community life through regular interview, the CAP, and training in conflict resolution.
Financial sustainability is being planned with assistance from San Francisco and Great Britain Districts.
Most lay partners are non-Christian; difficulty of introducing Signum Fidei.
Plans for new works are often held up through lack of financial resources.
In all 23 Brothers of whom 19 are finally professed. Houses of Formation are functioning very well. There are 20 aspirants.
Works include boarding departments, training catechists and publishing the Catholic News Magazine. There is now freedom to open tuition classes, and it is hoped that this may lead to bigger things. The Delegation of Japan has helped set up a computer centre, with additional help from Penang.
Out of a population of 48 millions, 92% are Buddhist. There is urban stability though without the usual freedoms. In the countryside ethnic groups are constantly harassed.
Financial sustainability is an immediate target, with assistance from the Penang District. There is also a linkage plan with the District of the Philippines, possibility with the status of sub-District.
At present 19 Brothers [6 Japanese, 6 Canadian & 7 Mexican]. Some are retired but continue to do valuable work. Two young Brothers are both Mexican.
Hino [Tokyo] operates a retreat centre; Kagoshima runs a high school and middle school; Hakodate has a high school, and currently is establishing a feeder middle school; Sendai runs an orphanage for 70 boys, and may shortly extend to include girls.
Survival has become a matter for general concern, at risk of becoming pessimistic. The annual retreat after Christmas leaves little additional time for fellowship and sharing. Language is a problem: some understand English, others understand French. A need for improving morale all round.
Each year there is a meeting for Lasallian partners. This has proved popular and effective, a sign of great hope for the future. Mutual sharing among participants from different places. Experiment with liturgy for non-Christians.
Three communities, 12 Brothers. China Outreach: two Brothers work in China where Religious are welcome to teach English, even open schools.
Follow-up activities from La Salle Asia and APLEC show much vitality and hope for the future. Three out of five schools are allowed to use English as the medium of instruction.
As Brothers diminish in number, they will continue to influence school policy as members of the management boards.
Of 16 Brothers 12 are Thai. Works include schools, centres for school children, for rural scholarship students, and a boarding department. Other programmes take care of drop-outs, and young workers.
Government subsidy for schools amounts to 40%. So far this year the government has not paid up, payment is likely to be delayed for a long time. In this situation alternative funding must be found to the tune of at least two million baht a month.
The capacity of diverse sectors to work in harmony developed rapidly through direct personal contact at seminars, retreats, congresses, and at the annual PARC meeting. Evidence of this was seen among other things in the Asian Inter-District Novitiate [AIDN] which functioned for many years in Colombo. The funding came from participating Districts, from SECOLI's Formation Fund and PARC subsidies. In 1993 it was transferred to Lipa City in the Philippines and some years later was renamed La Salle Novitiate. Staffing also entailed a generous level of sharing by different sectors.
The Manado project was another important result of regional solidarity. Universitas Katolik De La Salle - Manado began to function in September 2000 on a property leased from the Bishop. It functioned originally with lay volunteers from the Philippines, and later with a local Indonesian staff.
The DLSU, Manila, supervised the initial operations and then handed it over officially to the District of the Philippines. Its legal status is that the property is owned by the Bishop and Brother Armin Luistro as founding members, who in law cannot dispose of the property. University administration comes under a Board of Management.
The resident community of three Brothers has mainly pastoral roles and comes directly under PARC.
Keeping Abreast of the Times
PARC meetings are also occasions for updating on developments affecting Lasallian spirituality and mission. At PARC 22 in Thailand February 1999 there was comprehensive reporting on the recent synods in Rome - Asian and Oceania - affecting the Region. The inputs were provided by Cardinal Thomas Williams from New Zealand & Brother Anthony Rogers, while Brother John D'Cruz facilitated the reflection process.
PARC 23 in February 2000 in Johor Baru, Malaysia, gave time for concerted preparation for the approaching General Chapter, involving a careful review of the current realities of each sector, a highlighting of key issues and challenges, as well as some practical strategic guidelines for the chapter proper.
The question of leadership received special attention. It was pointed out that:
We are looking for a new model of leadership, one which will foster a greater degree of interdependence and styles of autonomy - within the region and in the Institute at large. The group is becoming more important and needs to be more fully involved.
It was noted: [Brother] Mark Murphy's style of fostering change and accompanying is a model in our midst which is showing real success. This is a model that perhaps the Institute at large could copy
PARC 24 provided an exposure to modern methods of forward visioning and planning. This was provided by Global Business Network [GBN] from San Francisco. PARC members were guided through a process that led to the creation of four projects - two near-term and two-long term, designed to foster deeper collaboration within the PARC Region. The two near-term projects focused on  assuring adequate staffing for the region's novitiate and  creating a new vision for the PARC Region. The two long-term projects,  the creation of an endowment fund for PARC and  the expansion of the formation action plan, were more aspirational in their scope and would require additional resources from outside the PARC Region.
In his report to PARC 25 Regional Chairman Brother David Hawke spoke of key words: co-operation, collaboration, solidarity and association. He could truly say: These reflect our movement in recent years and point to the way forward
Perhaps text of the new vision for PARC which was approved at PARC 25 held in Kagoshima February 2002, may provide an appropriate conclusion to this brief sketch
PARC was established as a regional structure in 1977. In the years that followed PARC gradually developed as an outlet for the exchange of information, sharing of ideas, personnel and resources, joint formation programmes, mutual building up of various sectors, closer fraternal rapport among the Brothers of the Region and support of the local Church.
In the process there was a growing awareness of the action of the Holy Spirit in our midst as we reflected on the cultural, racial and religious diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, on the wider participation in Lasallian issues, goals and objectives, the clearer articulation by people of different races and creeds on what it means to be Lasallian in their particular context.
This inspired the production of videos which reflected these issues and this diversity, as well as the development of a possible lingua franca for the region through the translation into controlled English of a number of Institute texts.
PARC brought the story of these dramatic developments to the 43rd General Chapter in Rome for the enrichment of the Institute at large. In the wake of this Chapter and in the 15th year of its existence, PARC now feels called to formulate a NEW VISION for Lasallians of all faiths and of all states of life.
1. A Spirit of Faith that enables Lasallians to integrate the human and spiritual elements of a lived spirituality which frees them to attend to the unceasing calls of the Spirit in the midst of today's realities: neglected youth, denial of basic human dignity, political and economic instability, endemic violence, increasing globalisation and degradation of the environment.
2. A Spirit of Zeal that inspires Lasallians to commit themselves in service to the empowerment of youth, especially the poor, as endowed with basic human dignity, a capacity to love and be responsible for self, others and one's environment
3. A Spirit of Community by which Lasallians give priority to dialogue and association as a means of creating life-giving structures of participation and of governance for the purpose of building a society in which all can live justly in dignity, mutual respect and peace.
1. The development of a Lasallian spirituality open to all faiths within each sector and the training of faith formators.
2. Defining the basic characteristics of the content and method of Lasallian education in the Asia-Pacific region.
3. The development of structures of governance at sector and regional levels to facilitate the growth of the Lasallian Family in its educational mission.
as well as those who kindly submitted comments.