19 AugA “JESUIT” SCHOOL?
A “JESUIT” SCHOOL??
How to assure that our new Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (LJSS) is really a “Jesuit” school in every way will surely be a big challenge for us. While our school will be open to teachers and pupils who are Catholics, Protestants and of other faiths or no faiths, we will emphasis right from the start that we have certain values which distinguish us. Values about the dignity of the human person, the strength of community, the responsibility for service, the power of love in assuring real development of our country, and the glory to be given to God our Creator.
Because this is clearly a big challenge, I was really fortunate to recently participate in a great gathering of representatives from Jesuit secondary schools from across the globe. This meeting was held in Boston from 29 July to 02 August, and brought together over 400 participants (about one-third Jesuits), coming from 60 countries, on behalf of some 200 Jesuit schools. The conference, featuring a finely tuned mix of plenary speeches, workshops and small group discussions was coordinated by Boston College High School and hosted at the Boston College campus.
(See the conference website for full details of participating schools, and blogs giving summaries of major papers. www.icjse.org ).
Many words were used to describe the “ethos” or set of values that should mark a Jesuit school. Here are a few that impressed me, making me think about the big ahead:
- Mission-driven – service of the faith and promotion of justice
- World-affirming – God is in our midst in the greatness of our world
- Education of the whole person, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, physical
- Care of the young person’s needs for full growth
- Concern for the poor and marginalized in society around us
- Service to the Gospel and to the Church
And what should mark a fundamental attitude in our school would be:
Attitude of love:
Preserve the core
Take the risk
I was very much impressed by the active presence of representatives from schools both new and old across Africa. Indeed, during the major presentations, workshops and discussions, Africa really shined! “Networking” will be a big task for all of us!
Elpidius Kalyepe, S.J., Zambia, speaks to Boston conference, while Pete Henriot, S.J., Malawi, listens carefully, mid-row in green shirt (not dozing!).
For me it was encouraging to see how the three secondary schools of our Zambia-Malawi Province, Canisius and Leopard’s Hill Jesuit in Zambia and LJSS in Malawi are challenged to cooperate together to promote the kind of Jesuit education so necessary to make our “faith and justice” mission truly alive in this part of Africa.
I did learn a few things about successful fundraising (my big task!) – here are some of my priorities:
Five points for fund-raising:
- Believe in the value of your work
- Let you light shine
- Know clients, be patient with failings
- Manage assets carefully
- Honour your friends, show them gratitude
Tune in here very soon to a new Blog for news of our Groundbreaking Ceremony coming up in mid-September!
Pete Henriot, S.J. Director of Development firstname.lastname@example.org