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Be the leaven of reconciliation

· Archbishop Zani speaks to former students of Rwandan Catholic schools ·

“Begin with the Lord; look at your neighbor, recognize him as your brother; and create a new culture as the fruit of love for God and neighbor”: these are the three characteristics that make a person educated in a Catholic school a convincing witness of reconciliation. Archbishop Vincenzo Zani shared these thoughts during a recent visit to Rwanda, in which he participated in an international meeting on “religion and challenges in schools today”.

Archbishop Zani, the Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, together with Father Youssef Chédid of the Order of Antonine Maronites, spent five days in Butare, taking part in organizational works of the Catholic University of Rwanda, in collaboration with the Centre de recherche en education et religions [Centre for Research on Education and Religion] at the Belgium university in Louvain.

Monsignor Zani presided at the opening Mass, along with Archbishop Andrzej Józwowicz, Apostolic Nuncio for Rwanda, Bishop Philippe Rukamba, and other prelates from Rwanda and Cameroon. After the celebration, the Vatican’s Secretary of the Congregation met with former Rwandan Catholic school students in a conference on the theme “We are the leaven of reconciliation amidst God’s children”. After having outlined the situation of Catholic schools and universities today in the world--of which there are 217,000 schools with 62 million students and 1865 universities with eleven million students--the Archbishop recalled the way in which these institutions operate “in many different social and cultural contexts” and “face many economic, professional and social challenges”, the greatest of which “lies in their ability to rely on well-prepared educators who can sustain the schools with a quality educational program, always up to date and able to respond to the questions of the younger generation”. In so doing, explained Monsignor Zani, “they inspire [students] by Gospel values to draw from the source of a message that places man at the center with his dignity and the need to form him in freedom and solidarity”.

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