With the Theme ‘Ignite To Excel’ St Aloysius Institutions celebrated ‘Foundation Day’ in Fervour
Mangaluru: Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World”- that’s right. And for that matter whoever got education from St Aloysius Institutions have reached greater heights and have also become great assets to the Nation and also the world. The purpose of having education at SAC is that every student who passes the portals of this College learns to attain the fullness of life not merely by amassing information, but also by transforming into persons with concern and commitment to the marginalized of our society. Before I go further on my report, I felt proud to grace the 139th “Foundation Day” of St Aloysius Institutions run by the Jesuit Priests for two reasons- one being an Alumnus of this great institution where I completed my PUC and B Sc, and secondly, I salute SAC for making me what I am today.
St Aloysius during its 138 years of existence and while stepping into its 139th year has given prime importance to value education for all their students, including spiritual formation through retreats. The Institution seek to be the place where search for knowledge complements with a sense of responsibility to the life of the community, where a sense of community sustains men and women in their pursuit of education, fostering a conviction that life is only lived well when it is lived generously in the service of others. The Motto of this Institution is ” Lucet et Ardet”which in Latin words means ‘Shine to Enkindle’ refer to the qualities of the mind and the heart. It is the deep desire of this Alma Mater to present to the world and the nation, men and women with knowledge and creativity and hearts burning with genuine love and concern for others.
When you look at the St Aloysius Institutions Crest, there are the letters IHS in the Centre of the rising sun. This is the abbreviation of the name of Jesus (which in Greek is written as IHSUS). That name symbolizes deepest faith in God, commitment to humanity and the readiness to sacrifice one’s life for others. The Vision of the St Aloysius Institutions of the Mangalore Jesuit Educational Society is “Empowering youth through excellence in education to shape a better future for humankind; and the Mission, inspired by the person and mission of Jesus Christ, and guided by the motto “Lucet et Ardet”,(Shine to Enkindle) to commit themselves to spread the light of knowledge and wisdom and to kindle the ardor of faith that does justice by forming men and women for others, who are academically accomplished, emotionally balanced, morally upright, socially responsible, ecologically sensitive and professionally dedicated, so that they are a powerful force for the transformation of society.
Every big tree in the world starts out small before it nurtures to its full potential, and that’s the story of St Aloysius Institutions, that could be revealed on its 139th Foundation Day. To have a sense of history, it is very important to know where this Institution came from. In 1880, the nine Jesuits of Italian and German origin who came to Mangaluru in 1878 to found a college knew that education was more than knowledge, that education was also a vision. To be a constant source of inspiration to the young entrusted to their care, the Jesuits chose one larger than any one of them-thy chose St Aloysius Gonzaga. Today the St Aloysius Institutions reflect on the very early days of this institution and how far it has come forward as a full-fledged Institution. So its time to present to God the stories of Joy, of gratitude and of fulfillment on this Foundation Day.
Foundation Day also gives a sense of mission and purpose, where we should not forget the vision of the people who established it, so taht we make new again the vision which has inspired this Institution for the past 139 years. The motto “Lucet et ardet”(Shine to Enkindle), which is a spark that ignites other fires. Foundation Day is also a day of remembrance, a day to celebrate what has been achieved over the past 139 years, and a day to look forward to what is yet to come. It is also a day to give thanks for the developments undertaken since the last Foundation Day celebration, which includes the new Gonzaga School; the Restoration of iconic St Aloysius Chapel and the St Aloysius Museum, and with all the roads leading towards them getting a face lift. Therefore, today is a great day to look back in retrospect what this Institution has accomplished since its existence of 139 years.
The celebration of the ‘Foundation Day’ began with a Holy Mass concelebrated by Fr J B Saldanha, the Parish Priest of Permannur Paris, and the head of chair in Christianity at Mangalore University, joined by Fr Dionyisus Vaz SJ – Rector of St Aloysius Institutions and Fr Denzil W Lobo-Secretary and Treasurer of Mangalore Jesuits Educational Society, along with 20 other Jesuit priests of the Institution, and from outside. In his homily, Fr J B Saldanha with his message to the Students, Faculty and Administration said, “Why should you join St Aloysius Institution for your studies? Because the Jesuit priests who manage this prestigious and renowned institution are capable of producing better youth to lead our nation and the world. You should have three qualities in your life, they are Competence, Consciousness and Compassion, in order to build a better society. You should also have wisdom, which will find joy in you. Just like the patron of this Insitution who showed Compassion, you should also make a difference through your compassion towards others “.
“Students should also inculcate two important values in their life- Contentment and Humanism as Education without values will make an individual inhumane. You are lucky to get education from the institution run by the Jesuit priests. You should be grateful to be the students of this institution-once you get out from here, whatever career you choose, you’ll always cherish the education that you got from this institution.. Your education at this institution will benefit the nation and also the world. As you move into the real world you’ll thank this Institution for the education you got here. Like Mahatma Gandhi who said, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’- go and make a difference in the real world, and you’ll always remain a proud alumnus of your Alma Mater.” added Fr J B Saldanha.
Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, Rector of St Aloysius Institutions at the end of the mass while thanking all those who have supported St Aloysius Institutions said, “We were always looking forward for St Aloysius Institute of Civil Services, which will be launched today, and pretty soon our Institution Deemed to be University. The vision of this institution is to empower youth through excellence in education to shape a better future for humankind. It is the deep desire of this Alma Mater to present to the world and to our nation, men and women with minds bright with knowledge and creativity and hearts burning with genuine love an concern for others. Always be proud that you are an Aloysian”.
“One of the collective humanity’s most important quest is the understanding of the past and its relation to the present. Six themes of Jesuit Education for the future worldwide are: Civic and Political leadership; Peace and Reconciliation; Environmental and Economic Justice; Education of the marginalized; Inter-religious Dialogue; and Leadership in an Ignatian way of proceeding. Your support and encouragement in the development and growth of this Institution has meant a lot to us, and we look forward for the same in the future years to come” added Rector.
On the occasion of Foundation day, St Aloysius College (Autonomous) also launched its Civil Service Academy, with classes located at the IV Floor in the newly remodeled Gonzaga Institution. Following the Mass, Michael D’Souza, philanthropist and NRI businessman launched the academy by clicking the button on the laptop, and later formally inaugurating the academy by cutting the ribbon, joined by Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, Fr Praveen Martis, Principal, St Aloysius College, many other Jesuit priests and well-wishers.
Speaking on the occasion, Philanthropist Michael D’Souza said “This is indeed a dream come true, which we need to thank the Almighty. When our committee approached St Aloysius Jesuit priests on this project, they readily agreed, and therefore today we have launched this Civil Service Academy which will play a vital role in training the future civil servants. This academy opens a new doors for youths to serve the nation. Like Fr J B Saldanha said in his homily during the Mass, Compassion, Consciousness and Competence, is needed during the Civil Service training, which also decides the students’ future. There wouldn’t be any doubts that the best civil service officers will emerge out of this newly launched Academy, to serve the nation and its people. While thanking the Rector and the management on behalf of our team, I anticipate that this Academy becomes a top class center of civil service in the Country,”.
Ms Ruby Merlin Pinto of IIIrd year BSc compered the proceedings during Mass ceremony. Following the inauguration of St Aloysius Institute of Civil Services, a formal and cultural function was held at St Aloysius High School Hall to commemorate ‘Foundation Day”. Mind-blowing, glamorous and glittering Cultural extravaganza was performed by the faculties of various colleges/schools under St Aloysius Institutions, which added colour to the event and was a feast to the eyes. All the performers put a fantastic show which was loudly applauded by the huge mass of audience. These teachers/lecturers/professors/staff simply rocked the scene.
The celebration began with prayer service by Fr Pradeep Anthony SJ, followed by welcome dance by St Aloysius High school students. The welcome address was delivered by the Rector, and the chief guest for the occasion was Gerard Colaco, who was introduced by Fr Praveen Martis SJ. As part of the cultural line-up, performances were given by the faculty/staff members MJES units, namely- a variety programme on the theme “Teachers Empowering Youth”by St Aloysius PUC; Song with theme “Harmony” by St Aloysius Industrial Training Institute; Dollu Kunitha (Theme-Folk) by Aloysius Boys Home; Cultural Variety (Theme-Empowering Youth) by St Aloysius Evening College; Dance by St Aloysius Higher Primary School; Musical play by AIMIT, Beeri; Dance by St Aloysius Gonzaga School; and a skit/play (theme-Peace) by St Aloysius Degree College.
Vote of thanks was proposed by Fr Denzil W Lobo SJ, and the compering of the function was done by Ms Jacintha D’Costa and Amogh, faculties at St Aloysius Gonzaga School and St Aloysius PUC respectively. Media in charge were Schs Ovin and Joseph Jerald. Grace before the sumptuous meal was done by Fr Denzil E Lobo SJ- Director, AIMIT, NBeeri.
While concluding in my perspective- “No matter what corner of the world you are, you’ll always be proud to say ” I am an Aloysian”. This institution is the most preferred institution, and one who receives education here will be a great asset to the nation and also the world. We need to respect our mentors and teachers who led us to the right path and gave us good education. The truth is, times have changed. Long gone are the days when a teacher’s presence alone demanded respect — from students as well as their parents. Today, in a society where good morals are on the decline and self-centeredness is on the incline, teachers can’t afford to educate students the way our teachers did back in those days. Teachers have to get respect the hard way, and they have to earn it. So my humble request to the students-kindly respect your teachers and elders- you’ll feel good”.Long Live St Aloysius Institutions!