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Jesuits mark 60 years in Nepal

UCAnews - Tue, May 8th 2012


Jesuits mark 60 years in Nepal

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President Ram Baran Yadav of Nepal, left, attends the 60th anniversary celebration of the Jesuits' service in the country

The Nepal Jesuit Society Sunday celebrated a milestone in its service when the Republic of Nepal’s first president Ram Baran Yadav graced the 60th anniversary function on the St Xavier’s School grounds in Jawalakhel, Kathmandu.

Sixty years after Jesuit priests Marshall Moran, Francis Murphy and Ed Saxton first arrived in Kathmandu and set up the St Xavier’s School with 65 students in Godavari, 15km north of Kathmandu, there has been no looking back for the Nepal Jesuit Society (NJS).

Owing to the steady growth in the number of students, the primary section of the Godavari school was shifted to Jawalakhel in 1954.

“The NJS sapling planted by the three Fathers in 1951 has today grown into a beautiful tree with branches spread all over Nepal,” said Fr Amrit Rai, SJ, the principal of St Xavier’s School.

The past 60 years have not always been kind to the society, Father Rai noted.

“If the country is soaked in the sweat of the [Jesuit] Fathers and Brothers, the land is also soaked in Fr Gafney’s blood,” he said, referring to Fr Thomas Gafney, an American-born Jesuit priest who was found murdered at his residence in Kathmandu in December 1997.

In an address during yesterday’s celebration, President Yadav lauded the work of the Jesuits and said the NJS brought about a revolution in the education system of the country.

“Nepal has always been a land of tolerance and religious harmony … with people allowed to practice the faith of their choice without fear,” he said.

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