St. Al's Day 2018
On 17th June 2018, St. Aloysius Gonzaga secondary school marked its 15th anniversary since its humble beginnings at the heart of Kibera slums. Since then, the school has been a true beacon of hope to hundreds of boys and girls who have dared to dream due to the support they have received. The day began with a Eucharistic celebration which presided over by Fr. Terry Charlton, who is also the co-founder for the school. He was assisted by the current school chaplain Fr. Richard D’Souza and Fr. Dan O’Hare who is a Jesuit priest from New York city and who accompanied this year’s pilgrims from the US. During the mass Fr. O’Hare gave a powerful homily on faith and 20 students received the sacrament of baptism. This was also the day that 14 students who excelled in 2017 examinations and who qualified for university were recognized and awarded. A strong challenge was posed to the current fourth year students to ensure that they surpass the performance of their predecessors to ensure that more students enroll at the university.
The celebrations were also graced by our pilgrims from the US who were able to share their experiences with the students and the entire St. Al’s community. This year, we were blessed to have two pilgrims who were able to visit other Jesuit projects within Nairobi in addition to visiting Maasai Mara national park for their maiden safari. The pilgrims were paired with students to help them deepen their relations, bond, share experiences and feel at home away from home. Our students were very happy to play the role of hosting the guests and ensuring that their stay in St. Al’s was fruitful and an enjoyable experience.
Apart from the hearty singing during the mass, the students were also able to showcase their talents through other traditional songs, dances and short skits. The highlight of these entertainments was a beautiful salsa dance that was presented by a group of the students which got everyone on their feet. The chief guest, who is a lecturer in one of our local universities, reiterated the importance of collaboration between the school and parents/caregivers of the students to ensure the overall success of the students. In her sentiments, she asserted that the holistic formation offered at St. Aloysius is unparalleled and challenged the students to take full advantage of this opportunity and to be men and women for others. This is the true spirit of St. Aloysius day – the spirit of sharing to learn, love and serve.