St. Aloysius Day 2017!
On June 25th, the community of St. Aloysius Gonzaga commemorated our patron saint day - St. Al's Day. The day was full of activities, with the occasion being graced by people from all walks of life -students, staff, parents, pilgrims from the US, Regis High school students and friends of the school. The day began with a Eucharistic celebration co-presided over by Co-Founder and School Chaplain, Fr. Terry Charlton and Fr. Dan O'Hare, a Jesuit from New York who serves on the School of Hope Foundation Board. During the celebration, fifteen students received the sacrament of baptism as a way of beginning a new spiritual journey. Teachers and students who made 2016 a successful year both in academics and extracurricular activities were also recognized and awarded for their unwavering commitment to the increasingly bright prospects of St. Al's as a center of excellence. Students crowned the beautiful day by providing entertainment throughout the celebration with various skits, poems, songs, dances, and acrobatics which highlighted the cardinal values that the school instills by nurturing various talents among the students. Long live St. Al's!
The Chief Guest of the day was a serving senator and long-time friend of the school, Senator Beatrice Elachi. She challenged the students not to take for granted the support they receive from good friends abroad. Instead, she encouraged them to make a positive change in their lives as a way of showing gratitude. Hopefully, she noted, this olive branch will someday be reciprocated by the beneficiaries through creation of a local network of support as way of giving hope to others in need.
Noting the tremendous strides made by the school since its inception in 2004 in the heart of Kibera slum, the School Chaplain thanked all the benefactors and friends who have steadfastly stood with the school up to date. In the same measure, he pointed out that there is still work to be done in order to realize the ultimate dream of the school to provide holistic education in a caring and conducive environment. Key among these would include the construction of dormitory campus to provide students with a secure environment conducive to studies. Furthermore, Fr. Terry also announced that fundraising responsibilities for the school in the USA were being transitioned from USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus to the School of Hope Foundation whose board was constituted in early 2016. Effective in July of this year, this transition is an indication of the strength and maturity that St. Aloysius has reached in its fundraising. That this responsibility is being undertaken through the School of Hope Foundation gives us the opportunity to strengthen St. Al’s bonds with our many generous benefactors and friends, especially in America. Fr. Terry expressed his gratitude to the leadership of the Jesuits for its support for St. Al’s since its inception, assisting in this transition, and affirming that our partnership will continue in a variety of ways.
We take this opportunity to thank everyone who made St. Al’s Day a tremendous success through prayers and contributions. We remain true to the call of giving hope to young men and women from Kibera and its environs. We continue to appeal for your prayers and support for this mission.