The Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, has opened its first school in Bangladesh to help form young people to become future leaders of the country.
“We want to accompany the children in their growth, so that they become good citizens and patriots,” said Jesuit priest Probash Rozario, headmaster of St. Xavier’s International School.
“The intent is not only to educate the mind, but also to educate the heart,” said the priest.
The St. Xavier’s International School in Kuchilabari in the district of Gazipur, near the capital Dhaka, opened this year with 34 pupils.
Archbishop Bejoy N. D’Cruze, OMI, of Dhaka, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh, said “efforts must be made to improve the education sector” in the country.
“The Church thus offers the witness of doing good to society. In our schools we want to make students authentic human beings,” said the prelate.
A report on the Italian news agency Fides, Bishop D’Cruze said that Catholic schools in the country “also offer moral education and human and Christian values, training men and women who will then make a contribution to the nation.”
“This school will satisfy the needs of the territory and will be open to children of all faiths,” said Suren Gomes, a teacher in a state school.
“Throughout the world, the Jesuits carry out their ministry and apostolate in education. We are grateful to God that this school is God’s blessing for us. We hope that our children and the next generation will receive quality education from this school,” added Gomes.
The Jesuits were the first missionaries in Bangladesh who landed in the Bay of Bengal in the 16th century. After leaving the country, the religious order returned in 1994 at the invitation of the bishops of Bangladesh.
The Catholic Church in Bangladesh runs a university, 13 colleges, over 200 high schools and 500 institutes including primary schools and technical and vocational schools. – from an Agenzia Fides report