Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

The two generals

Green Light
Manila Standard Today
Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan
September 29, 2014

 Today, I write about the two generals of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.  The first is a Superior General who leads globally the largest lay religious educators in the world.  The second is a Councilor General who is responsible for the operations of the Brothers the Asia Pacific region.

Global leadership

At the Lasallian Charism lecture series of Br. Michael Broughton, FSC at De La Salle University, Manila, he flashed the image of Br. Robert Schieler, FSC, the newly elected Superior

General of the Brothers at the 45th General Chapter in Rome on May 20, 2014. He became the 27th successor of St. John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute.
Previously, Br. Bob served as General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) in Washington, D.C. Before this, he was the Director of Education for the Brothers’ United States-Toronto Region, directing the national educational formation programs for teachers and Brothers in the 104 Lasallian schools. He was Executive Secretary of the Regional Education Board and the Lasallian Association of College and University Presidents.
Br. Robert also served for seven years as Auxiliary Visitor and Director of Education for the Baltimore District.

A native of Philadelphia, he served in the Philippines for 13 years in a variety of administrative positions, from Assistant Principal to Superintendent of Schools.
Resilient character

Before I left the Institute in 1978, I was privileged to be Br. Bob’s confrere at La Salle Academy, Iligan City where he taught catechism and history subjects. And he was very popular and well-loved because he was a brother to them inside and outside the classroom. The Lasallian concept of education then was developing personal relationship with the students through sports and co-curricular activities, aside from regular classroom engagement.

His physical endurance clearly showed his character under difficult and trying circumstances.    He had an on and off bout with amoebiasis. Thus, he chose to sleep on a reclined rattan folding sofa to jump-start his position and race for the comfort room. Our tap water in those days came from an underground stream.  Br. Bernie Oca, FSC, Br. Emilio Villarosa, FSC and I appeared to have developed a natural immunity against waterborne amoeba.  But for Br. Bob, it was a different story.  And so, he lived a life of physical discomfort.

That early, as a missionary with temporary vows, he already showed signs of physical resiliency.  This resiliency is a hallmark of his character as a supervisor of De La Salle schools in the Philippines, a scholar of European history, a doctor of education, Auxiliary Visitor of the District of Baltimore, Director of Education of USA-Toronto Region, Visitor of his district and General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of RELAN of USA and Canada.

Regional leadership

Br. Ricardo Laguda, FSC was elected Councilor General the 45th General Chapter in Rome.  Part of his portfolio is to manage the De La Salle Brothers of Pacific Asia Regional Conference (PARC).

Previous to this, he was appointed the 4th University Chancellor in 2010 and officially installed as the 22nd President of De La Salle University in 2012.
In 2006, he was assigned to De La Salle Canlubang to serve as Interim President. In 2007, he concurrently served as the President of the Jaime Hilario Integrated School-La Salle in Bagac, Bataan and De La Salle Araneta University in Malabon.

As a young novice Brother, his guru was Br. Armin Luistro, FSC. Later, he became a novice master himself.  Br. Ricky has a Master’s degree in religious education and a PhD in educational leadership and management. He studied at Harvard University to prepare him for his executive position at various De La Salle universities and his leadership as President of De La Salle Philippines.

According to the 2401 Newsletter, Br. Ricky’s presidency was marked by rapid growth and he left a legacy of Lasallian excellence and service: 23 percent of DLSU students on scholarship as of Term AY 2013-2914, 12 undergraduate programs with Level 4 accreditation, 9 CHED centers of excellence as of 2014, 5 major infrastructure projects launched in 2014, 2 UAAP general championship titles and 1 PAASCU institutional accreditation.

Lasallian family partnership

When Br. Armin Luistro, FSC became the Brother Provincial, meaning he was in charge of the De La Salle Philippine District, he made a historic move to insure a sustainable pursuit of the educational mission of St. John Baptist de la Salle in the Philippines.  In 1999, he called for a District Synod to establish partnership with the Brothers’ lay educators.

This event is essential in understanding of the message of Superior General Br. Bob Schieler who said, “I know that anything that can be accomplished will be done only because of the great Lasallian family that we are all.”  This statement is most significant in the history of the Brothers of the Christian Schools because it was predicted by Br. Gabriel Moran, FSC that religious life is “dead”.  As this unfolds lay men and women are called upon to carry out the educational and evangelical mission of the Church.

The Lasallian family Br. Bob refers to is a partnership of the Brothers with the lay educators.  In 1999, Br. Armin Luistro, FSC, then Brother Provincial, convened the First Philippine Lasallian District Synod. That synod was unique because the Brothers stayed at the background and their lay partners were given the upper hand to fashion the direction of the District in the Philippines.  A Lasallian Partners Council of Convenors was formed to “partake in the decision-making and implementation of the propositions proposed by the Philippine Lasallian Convocation Commission.

A new vision

My logical formula then was: John Baptist de la Salle, a priest, founded a lay religious order with vows of poverty, obedience, chastity, teaching the poor gratuitously, and living in association with each other.  Today, the Brothers, who are not priest but with vows, are creating a new ‘order’ of lay men and women who have no religious vows at all.  The age of lay apostolate in the 21at century as announced by the Second Vatican Council is now.

The call for the most ordinary Christian is to truly share in the mission of the Church, which was once relegated to the priests, nuns, and the brothers.  Thus, the fate and future of the Church is now entrusted in the hands of the lay apostles.

The Generals are leading the way.

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