“He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives” (Luke 4, 18)
Education is a basic human right and a significant factor in the development of individuals, communities, and countries. In today’s competitive world, education becomes a basic need after food, clothing, and shelter. Education brings solution to various problems that hamper the growth and development of the modern society. Education promotes perennial human values of love, service and fraternity. Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world, says Nelson Mandela. It is a humble attempt to deliberate the relevance of Catholic educational institutions in the current global scenario and a brief summary of educational institutions and mass media under the Marymatha Province of Vincentian Congregation.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his address to Catholic educators at Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, on 17 April 2008, said “Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth (cf. Spe Salvi, 4). This relationship elicits a desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ and his teaching.” Catholic educational institutions should have three goals in order to be able to fulfill their primary mission to allow students to “encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth” (Pope Benedict XVI). The following are the objectives:
1. To provide an environment in which students are enabled to build and deepen their relationship with God
2. To foster an academic culture aimed at the pursuit of truth
3. To actively promote growth in virtue.
Pope Francis makes his first significant statements regarding Catholic education in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium: “We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data—all treated as being of equal importance—and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches crit¬ical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values.” (64). Education is one of the most important tasks which the Catholic Church has undertaken for wellbeing of the people. Catholic education is not merely moral or spiritual education; rather it is education of the whole man, developing his intellectual, social, cultural and physical faculty.
The Vincentian Congregation is committed to the cause of evangelization of the people especially the poor. Besides its various ministries such as preaching the Word of God, Charitable, Social and Pastoral activities, it also lends an effective hand in the field of Education and Media. Drawing inspiration from its Charism Luke 4:18 – “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives”, the Congregation thrives to proclaim liberty from the captivity of ignorance, poverty, corruption, greed, individualism etc. Vincentian Educational institutions are not mere factories producing “Intellectual Products” but they are cradles which form responsible citizens for the society and nation. They shape the thoughts and character of people enabling them to attain a well balanced character and a truly successful and fruitful life. The Statutes of the Vincentian Congregation article 93 states the following Mission and Vision of the Congregation in the field of education: Through educational works, we are fulf illing the duty of forming worthy children for the church and responsible citizens for the state. Therefore, our educational institutions must distinguish themselves by their spiritual, intellectual and cultural excellence.
Many of our members may pose questions at least in their mind in the present situation that as many Corporates come to the field of ‘business’ educational institutions, what is our relevance of entering into the educational field, or since at present any one can come into the field of education, why should we cross the threshold of education. The question itself gives the significance of our presence in the field of education. In the corporate institutions, they are not imparting any appropriate value systems to our children. Moreover, it is not possible for children from poor or even average family strata to take admission in such institutions. In such circumstances, we need to have quality educational institutions in which we have to reserve the seats with scholarship and fee concession for the students from the poor and average economic family echelon.
The Marymatha Province of the Vincentian Congregation has altogether around 28 Educational Institutions in which 13 are schools and 15 higher educational institutions such as Colleges, Music Academy, Computer Academy, Bible and Spirituality institute and Media Institutes. Since a brief description about all the institutions are given under the respective Vincentian Houses to which it is directly associated, I am not attempting to demonstrate it again in this section. However a brief statistics of our educational institutions as per the proforma submitted by the institutions concerned to the Province during the year 2014-15 is given for your ready reference in table 1.
|Sl No||State||Institution Name||No. Of Students||No. Of Staff|
|1||Kerala||ANGAMALY- DE PAUL EMHSS||2240||103|
|2||CHOONDAL- DE PAUL EMHSS||1267||75|
|3||CHOONDAL- DE PAUL CENTRAL SCHOOL (ICSE)||118||6|
|4||MURINGOOR- DE PAUL EMS, DIVINE||69||12|
|5||Karnataka||MYSORE- DE PAUL PUBLIC SCHOOL||1303||65|
|6||Andhra Pradesh||BHIMADOLE- DE PAUL EMHS||927||63|
|7||KARIVEENA- DE PAUL HSS||1978||100|
|8||VELUGODE- DE PAUL EMHS||608||35|
|9||Maharashtra||RAHURY- DE PAUL EMHS||1907||111|
|10||SHRIRAMAPUR- DE PAUL EMHS||709||40|
|11||VAVARUTH- DE PAUL RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL||251||10|
|12||YEOLA- DE PAUL EMHS||1192||67|
|13||East Africa||UVINZA- DE PAUL MISSION SCHOOL||248||26|
|Sl No||State||Institution Name||No. Of Students||No. Of Staff|
|1||Kerala||ANGAMALY- DE PAUL COLLEGE||1432||35|
|2||ANGAMALY- DEPAUL COMPUTER ACADMEY (MKU)||241||2|
|5||PACHALAM- DE PAUL IMD||33||2|
|6||PACHALAM- GIFT COHIN||15||5|
|7||EDATHOTTY- OFF CMPUS||565||6|
|11||PINAKADIMI- ST. VINCENT DE PAUL JUNIOR COLLEGE||332||8|
|12||Andhra Pradesh||PINAKADIMI- ST. VINCENT DE PAUL DEGREE COLLEGE||220||9|
|13||PINAKADIMI- ST. VINCENT DE PAUL PG COLLEGE||118|
|14||KERALA||Depaul Music Academy||150||3|
|Divine Bible College|
|Sl No||Name & Place of the Institutions||Fee Concession/ Scholarship & Other Charitable Activities (Rs)||Fee Concession/ Scholarship & Other Charitable Activities (Rs)|
|Year 2012-13||Year 2013-14|
|DE PAUL HS SCHOOL||298832||246249|
|DE PAUL COLLEGE||146841||202257|
|DE PAUL COMPUTER ACADEMY||51350||15815|
|2||CHOONDAL: DE PAUL HSS & ICSE||135725||245234|
|3||EDATHOTTY: DE PAUL COLLEGE||9830||90455|
|4||MYSORE: DE PAUL PUBIC SCHOOL||132946||119924|
|5||BHIMADOLE: DE PAUL SCHOOL||15550||383352|
|6||KARIVENA: DE PAUL SCHOOL||452810||1333288|
|7||PINAKADEMI: JUNIOR, DEGREE & PG COLLEGE||285674||337999|
|8||VELUGODE: DE PAUL SCHOOL||115125||54005|
|9||RAHURI: DE PAUL SCHOOL||18350||431428|
|10||SHRIRAMPUR: DE PAUL SCHOOL||61380||197734|
|11||YEOLA: DE PAUL SCHOOL||333600||40622|
Source: Audited report of the Institutions concerned for the year 2012-13 & 2013-14
The Vincentian Educational Institutions are giving generous scholarship to the students from the poor and average economic background. The details of the scholarship and fee concessions and charitable activities provided to the needy students in our educational institutions during the year 2012-13 and 2013-14 are exhibited in table 2.
The foundation of the society is based on value based education since it brings economic, social and moral prosperity. Gaining education enhances an individual to live a respectful life in the society. This is because education offers a setting in which culture and values of a society are developed. Believing that the main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth, the Marymatha Province of the Vincentian Congregation strives to create a better youth for a better tomorrow For God and the Society.
The late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II said, "The electronic revolution opens up wonderful possibilities for spreading the Gospel". Today the Roman Catholic Church has put a tremendous focus on evangelization, especially through media. People are interconnected now more than ever through social media and the worldwide web. The potential for evangelization through this medium is almost limitless and many are yet to explore all of its potential. It was the words of the great Pope that inspired and urged us to take on the challenge to start a television ministry that has now blossomed into a 24-hour commercial free Catholic gospel channel under the leadership of Divine Vision.
Divine Vision started to produce Gospel programmes and transmit them through the secular TV channels in the year 2001. On November 20, 2011, the Media Day of the Church, His Beatitude George Alenchery blessed the transmission of the Goodness TV Channel in India at a glittering event held at the Divine Retreat Centre in the presence of Sri Oomen Chandy, the Chief Minister, and many other Central and State Ministers. The transmission of the channel to the European and Middle East countries was launched by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Oriental Churches on November 7, 2008. Most Rev. Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, Canada, inaugurated the transmission of the channel to Canada on March 22, 2009. The Divine Retreat Centre had brought out the 24 hour Catholic Gospel Channel to North America in order to spread out Divine presence to the whole Nation. The Divine Television Ministry is the realisation of the Vincentian Vision for the Word of God to reach every home across the globe. Divine Vision is available as a free channel without commercials to convey the Good News of Salvation in the light of the teachings of the Catholic Church.