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Memories of Jesuit high-school education

January 9, 2015
Lenny Barretto
Daly City

Re “New focus on Catholic identity in high schools,” Dec. 12:

After reading the article, of the many memories that came to mind, none is more vivid than the wonderful days at my alma mater, St. Patrick’s High School, Karachi, at the time British India. The school was founded and opened by the Jesuits in 1861 and admitted students from all quarters and religious leanings. The Jesuits with their immense skills, experience, zeal and spirit of dedication, gave themselves wholeheartedly to educate the boys. They were very small in number, but what they lacked in quantity they had in quality. Not only in education, but they put special emphasis in sports programs and had the skill and ability to have the students participate in other cultural activities.

It was the Jesuits who were mainly responsible for the unusual number of vocations to the priesthood – the school produced two cardinals and impressive number of bishops – 9 in number and 14 to the Jesuit priesthood. Can this be matched? The Jesuits also used their deep knowledge, liberal and broad-minded attitude to guide persons in the civic and national direction and it was their guidance that St. Patrick’s School provided an impressive list of persons who had risen to prominence from Army generals, high court judges, mayors and others.

It was Jesuits who had the gift to deepen our knowledge of religion and strengthen our faith. Working in a strange country, they had no support system and relied on their own strength, skill and dedication and Jesuit training.

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