Jesuit Transforming Lives through Education in Tanzania

Jesuit Father Martin ConnellJesuit Father Martin Connell, a member of the Chicago-Detroit Province, currently serves in Dodoma, Tanzania, where he is provincial assistant for education of the Eastern Africa Province and headmaster of the new Our Lady Queen of Peace Educational Centre and its St. Peter Claver High School.

While teaching at Loyola Marymount University, Fr. Connell was asked if he’d be willing to leave his post to open a new high school in Tanzania.

“Absolutely” was his answer. “My educational and work background, coupled with my desire to follow St. Ignatius’s principles of a universal Society and the virtue of availability to go where the needs are greatest, have led me to this place and time,” he explained.

The high school, which opened in January 2011, serves 140 boys and girls and includes a four-story dormitory with two wings that can house 640 students each. As a boarding school, it puts girls on equal footing with boys; otherwise, the girls would be expected to perform domestic duties upon returning home each day.

“It is no surprise to those who know the Jesuits that the Society believes in the transformative power of education—as a link between learning and a better future for students,” said Connell. “But education also empowers individuals to improve the lives of their fellow citizens. Here in Tanzania, we believe it will not only help improve our students’ and their community’s quality of life, but that it will support a more informed democracy and help Tanzanians diminish the poverty that many face every day.”

To learn more about Connell’s work in Tanzania, visit the Chicago-Detroit Province’s website and Connell’s blog.

One Response to “Jesuit Transforming Lives through Education in Tanzania”

  • Pedro:

    I am really glad to hear how Fr. Connell was ready to leave his post to open a new high school in Tanzania. It is not a joke. It reveals really a Ignatius’s principles of universal Societies, looking for the greatest needs. May the Lord inspire more jesuits to extend this kind project in other parts of the world where the education is the greatest need for millions of children and adults. Angola is one of those societies, without any college of the society you can’t imagine…

    Pedro