The Irish Jesuit Missions presents the second in its new series on achievement and the struggle towards success on the continent of Africa.
A vision for discernment and faith with justice
In Kasungu, Malawi, an empty field of dreams has become a site of great hope for a future of achievement and excellence. Following years of dreaming, planning and constructing, excitement is mounting as the Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (LJSS) there is nearing completion. It will throw open its doors to welcome the first students of 144 young girls and boys in September!
The dream has been to provide a live-in school education option for children who are in poverty in the area. When the initial groundbreaking work began in September 2012, it was an empty 22 hectare (50 acre) field.
Fr Alojz Podgrasjek SJ and Fr Peter Henriot SJ project leaders, inspecting the site of the LJSS
The vision is of a community of LJSS graduates composed of young people of conscience, competence, compassion and commitment who are aware of their responsibilities to transform Malawian society in line with Christian values. Of the many elements that go into a Jesuit education of persons with and for others, two are very central to the vision and mission of LJSS: discernment and faith with justice.
Students and teachers in a complete learning environment
It was an exciting day for students from nearby St. Joseph’s Primary School when they recently visited a brand new classroom and were the very first to sit at the desks and chairs. Fr Peter Henriot SJ says: ““You can be sure that they are all hoping to be sitting there as regular students when the LJSS opens!”
Students from St. Joseph’s Primary School, Kasungu
Next month in August, the teachers will arrive to settle into their new homes that are being built beside the campus. Their close living quarters ensure they will be available to students throughout the school terms. With staff and students living close by to each other, a complete learning environment for the whole academic community will be the lifestyle at LJSS.
““Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela would have celebrated his 97th birthday on July 18th. His famous quote echoes the wisdom of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, across the centuries. Ignatius was deeply committed to the educational apostolate.
The Society of Jesus has long recognised the power that a quality education for justice can have on individuals, their communities and countries. The prime educational objective is the formation of men and women for others: men and women who will live not for themselves but for God.
Ignatius recognised that each person contains a spark of the divine and that many sparks, together in the service of others, will ignite a fire. When that fire of love is alight it transforms people and situations. It makes a difference: such a difference that Jesuits believe the education of people for service is worth a lifetime of dedicated labour on their part.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, the hard work of the contractor, architect and construction teams, along with the careful oversight of Fr. Aloyz Podgrajsek SJ, the dedication of Fr Peter Henriot SJ and the prayers of so many people, construction of the LJSS facilities that are needed for the new students and teachers for the coming academic year has been completed.
Irish Jesuit Missions 16 July 2015