Loyola day is celebrated at Loyola School
Loyola Secondary school in South Sudan celebrated the feast of St Ignatius on the 27th July this year. It was an opportunity to welcome all the families of the students, as well as friends of Loyola, past students and benefactors into the school for one big celebration.
Amongst the war torn country, Loyola School is described by the headteacher Fr Beatus Mauki SJ as, “a sanctuary which brings students together for studying and learning. Our hope is that the institute will provide South Sudan with leaders, men and women of tomorrow.” Over half of the students live in refugee camps and many walk over an hour to reach school. Jesuit Missions supports the East African province of the Society of Jesus who reopened the school in 2008 after it was forced to close due to war. This year a Jesuit Missions South Sudan summer appeal was launched to help provide a nutritious breakfast and lunch for students who rely on the school lunch as their main meal of the day.
The Loyola day started with a mass that included 25 priests concelebrating and over one thousand guests in attendance.
It was then followed by speeches by the principal, local Mayor and the Minister of Education and performances prepared by the children.
On the 31st July, St Ignatius’s feast day, the principal encouraged the children to take part in Ignatian community service. Some students went to spend the day at one of the local hospitals while others went to volunteer in local primary schools. Some remained at the school, where together with the staff, they took part in ecological services such as planting trees and cleaning the compound.
The principal of the school, Fr. Martin Waweru Kamau, said, “Loyola day is one of the greatest moments celebrated here in Loyola Secondary School, where we remember our patron Saint, St Ignatius. It was a great day where the community of the School participated actively in community and cultural growth.”