Yesterday we had Fr. John Guiney S.J. visiting us from the Jesuit Centre of Faith and Justice. With him was Diana Karua, the Communications Director in Nairobi who has been visiting Ireland for 2 weeks. She returns home today. We wish her every blessing and a safe journey.
Mr. Rochford’s Poetry History class was treated to a talk by Fr. John on the Jesuit Missions. He really challenged the class on media perceptions of Africa which are then filtered down to us and they become our opinions of a country, or of a people. The class was so engaged, asking pertinent, intelligent and searching questions. They were particularly interested in the Jesuit School there, to which students have to walk 5 or perhaps 6 miles a day to reach, without having any meals until they return back home in the evening. In some places, girls are denied an education because their dowry is worth more to their father in the immediate term than their education.
It really was a rich engagement between the class and the speakers and Fr. John was very impressed with the level of interest and questioning that he encountered. He drove home to the class that for him, ‘mission’ in the Jesuit sense is giving each individual their dignity, whether it is here or in Africa, pointing out that Ireland is now becoming underdeveloped due to the recession…lots to think about as we enter the season of goodwill!!