07 AugJESUIT COMMITMENT TO LJSS
Official Opening of Loyola Jesuit Secondary School
24th June, 2017 Kasungu, Malawi
Today marks the culmination of a journey, a long journey which started over 10 years ago. The idea of starting a substantial Apostolate (work) for the Jesuits in Malawi came from the then and now late Superior General, Rev. Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach (MHSRIP), in 2009, when he wrote to the then Provincial, Fr. Peter Bwanali, asking him to consider having a major Apostolic work in Malawi. He believed that Zambia already had enough Social apostolates and wished that the ZAM Province could now establish something in Malawi.
FR. EMMANUEL MUMBA, S.J., PROVINCIAL OF ZAMBIA-MALAWI JESUITS
SPEAKS AT LJSS OPENING
Fr. Peter Bwanali then setup a group to look into this idea and to discern and propose what work the Jesuits should setup here in Malawi. There were several works proposed. Among the proposals, two works were prominent: Hospital and a School. With these two works in mind Fr. Peter Bwanali sent two Jesuits to Malawi- Fr. Kenneth Johnston, a medical Doctor- now lecturing at Mzuzu Medical School) and our own Fr. Alojz Podgrajsek, here present.
After several meetings, we the Jesuits, settled for a School. Now the problem at hand was where to locate the School. After further meetings and discernment, we decided to locate the school in a rural area and the choice of Kasungu came due to several factors:
- We do already have a work here, St. Jospeh’s Parish and a Primary School.
- Kasungu is a farming community with lots of dropouts.
- A lot of disadvantaged children without access to affordable education.
We are happy that we made that decision. As you can see from the faces of our Learners, they too are happy that we decided to open a school in Kasungu.
In a special way, I would like to thank the Traditional Authority, Chief Mwase, on whose land we are; I commend the Senior Group Headman Juma whose caring hand keeps us safe and confident of our mission and protection.
The Ministry of education has kept some of its obligations. They have faithfully been providing us with teachers and most of our Learners. As we enter into our third year, we are confident that the Ministry will be able to give us at least seven more teachers. I am sure our Headteacher, Fr. Simon Makuru, will soon approach your offices with a list of needs.
There are so many people who have made this dream to come true—
In absentia, I would like to thank the British Jesuit Province whose huge donation started the ball roling. They gave us 2.5 Million pounds. The Irish Province, the Slovenian Province, the Conference of Bishops in Italy, Our Jesuit Curia—and many other benefactors—individuals and Organisations—we thank them all.
Our anxiety at the moment is the continued availability of quality teachers. We appeal to the Government through the Ministry of Education to continue assisting us. We, as Jesuits of the Zambia-Malawi Province are committed to this project and we would like to continue this partnership with the Malawian Government in providing quality education to our young men and women here in Malawi. We will rely on your help, support and direction—we would like to do more, and we are sure, that with your help we will be able to do great things in Kasungu.
ADMINISTRATION OFFICES OF LJSS, WITH CLASSROOM BLOCKS ON LEFT AND RIGHT
On our part, we pledge to provide quality and integral education that forms the whole person—mind and heart. The essence of Jesuit and Ignatian education is to form men and women for God and for others. Men and women with a sharp and open mind to correctly read the social, economic, political, cultural and global signs of the times and to respond to them meaningfully and courageously. We shall endeavour to provide our men and women with the capability to go out there and transform world—to set the world on fire!
They say,“the Heart has its reasons of which the Mind knows nothing”. Jesuit education places great emphasis on the affective life, forming the use of imagination in prayer, discernment and interpretation of feelings, cultivation of great desires and great service. We therefore pledge to continue to form men and women who are Compassionate, Competent, Conscience, Committed and with a strong sense of Justice. Men and women detached from superfluous attachments but fully connected to the world.Men and women endowed with interior freedom, who will be able to choose rightly, to make correct decisions in life and to free and uplift others.
Our education is an Outlook, not a Program; it is a set of attitudes and thoughts, not rules or a scheme. We seek to empower and free the whole human person. Our education has to be adaptable to the needs of our people.
As we open this school, we would like this to be the beginning of Openings—the Moto of the school is “Ever to Excel”—we are never satisfied with this, we would like to do the MAGIS, we would like to go beyond this.
Thank you very much and may the God Lord bless us all!
Emmanuel Mumba, S.J.
Provincial, Zambia-Malawi Jesuit Province