Posts Tagged ‘St. Peter Claver High School’
Jesuit 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.”
Fr. Connell left his faculty position in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University in March 2009 to help open St. Peter Claver High School in Dodoma, Tanzania. The Jesuit boarding school opened in January 2011 with Connell as headmaster, and it currently serves 140 boys and girls in their first year of secondary school.
“We’re here because it’s a poor region that’s been underserved by education,” said Connell.
Connell’s primary mission is to help Tanzanians “build capacity” by establishing a strong educational system. He said the notion of building capacity is a fundamental value of the democratic way of life.
“St. Peter Claver High School will cultivate these democratic ideals, which in fact dovetail with Jesuit values,” Connell said. “Students will be encouraged to build their capacity as individuals, always with an eye to how this positively affects their fellow citizens to the greater glory of God.”
For more information on Connell and his U.S. visit, go to the Chicago-Detroit Province website.