Fr Cyr Avalilgbe sm, recent manager of Institution Mariste Jean Claude Colin de Ndiakhirate, Dakar, Senegal, Africa sent this short report to our Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue. Our Founder, Jean Claude Colin, saw education as a ministry of bringing about a new creation in the students. So, this is a fitting reason to share this news in the current Season of Creation.
Fr Cyr Avalilgbe sm - recent manager of the School
The Ndiakhirate Marist School Complex is open to everyone without distinction of race, sex or religion. in Senegal, I am a school manager. We have a nursery school, primary and secondary school. We have 620 students and among them, only 80 are Catholics.
Note: In the photos below: the photos without masks were taken in pre Covid-19 days. Now, with Covid-19 the school follows all the necessary protocols.
So, girls and boys, Catholics and Muslims, we all form a family school.
First of all, we respect each other. We have a good relationship. We favor dialogue. When the Catholics students have Mass, the Muslim students stay in class to study or to learn moral.
During our different meetings, we do the Muslim prayer and after the Catholic prayer. In the school, we are one family. Catholics and Muslims are together. And as they are children, the cohabitation is very good.
We respect Muslim celebrations as Muslims also respect our celebration. This is how we live together.
Our goal is to provide our students with comprehensive training with personalized support. To achieve this goal, we have chosen as our theme: "Discipline and Rigor for a School of Excellence". Our mission is to form, educate and teach by following the educational principles of our Founder the Venerable Father Jean Claude Colin.
Editors Note: Pope Francis on October 03, the second last day of the Season of Creation, will sign a Document, in Assisi, on Fraternity: "We are all brothers" : https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-09/all-brothers-pope-francis-to-sign-new-encyclical-on-oct-3-in-a.html
This builds on the Document of Human Fraternity, which he signed in Abu Dhabi on 04 February last year. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/travels/2019/outside/documents/papa-francesco_20190204_documento-fratellanza-umana.html
So our Marist Ministry, an outreach to the majority Muslim population in Senegal, is right in line with where Pope Francis is calling us to be, and where our Founder would want us to be.
Le Complexe Scolaire des Pères maristes de Niakhirate est ouvert à tout le monde sans distinction de race, ni de sexe, ni de religion. Ainsi, filles comme garçons, catholiques et musulmans , nous formons tous une école famille. Notre but est d'assurer à nos élèves une formation intégrale avec un accompagnement personnalisé. Pour atteindre cet objectif, nous avons choisi comme thème : "Discipline et Rigueur pour une école d'Excellence". Notre mission est de former, éduquer et enseigner en suivant les principes éducatifs de notre Fondateur le Vénérable Père Jean claude Colin.
P. Landry Cyr Avaligbé, Sm