Visit of Fr. Victor Assouad SJ
Fr Victor Assouad, S.J., who visited Clongowes last week, is Fr General’s Delegate for Western Europe and the Near East. His ‘territory’ covers Ireland, the UK, Holland, Flanders and francophone Europe, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Morocco, Algiers and Syria, so he has a very large area for which he is responsible.
Fr Victor himself is Syrian and his family left for Lebanon at the start of the war in his home country. Later he also had to leave Lebanon on account of war and his family settled in Egypt. He is an Alumnus of the Jesuit School in Cairo and spent most of his formation in the Society of Jesus in France. He also studied in the US – and speaks 5 or 6 languages.
Clongowes was his last stop on a familiarising visit to the Irish Province. He had been here on a fleeting visit once before for the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Beatification of Blessed John Sullivan last May. This time he spent two days with us, meeting the Rector and Jesuit Community, Headmaster and Chair of the Board of Management, Members of Staff, the Prefects, and, of course, the students themselves, emphasising the importance of maintaining our identity as a Jesuit school and our core mission.
Fr Assouad was a very pleasant and encouraging presence in Clongowes – emphasizing the value of lay collaboration in the mission of the Society of Jesus – and was himself a concrete reminder of the worldwide nature of the Society. At Mass on Sunday he gave a wonderful homily, reminding us all to appreciate the importance of a good education, drawing on the example of Christ who is the Teacher par excellence.
Fr Michael Sheil SJ, Rector