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Franciscan Friary
St. Francis Str. 1

The Custody
is present in:
Israel / Palestine

Buenos Aires

in various
all around
the world

Terra Sancta Schools - Aims

by Fr. Halim Nujaim ofm

Terra Sancta schools, as any other Christian educational institution, are based on the philosophy of general education and the educational philosophy of every society in which they function with special emphasis on Christianity.

Christ asked His disciples to go and teach all the nations. Since the Church's mission is not only directed towards Christians, it is also directed towards non-Christians such as Moslems and Jews.

Terra Sancta Schools and Society:
Terra Sancta schools are unique because our philosophy is to bring individuals together without any bias either to social classes or to Christian or non-Christian students in terms of educational activities. The school has a special entity. It is a ring so to speak which links the family with society. The school acquaints the student with the values of both family life and of society so as to benefit from both. The school assists the parents by educating their children, and by developing them mentally, intellectually and literarly.

The school offers the students a comprehensive and complete education shaping both the spiritual and mental sphere of the person as well as mutual respect for all. It attempts to meet the needs of all those who are deprived economically, both physically, morally, and to welcome the stranger. Thus our interest in education leads to and becomes an act of love towards humanity. In many ways our schools offer an opportunity, especially in today's world, to develop the entire person. In many ways, the future is linked with and dependent on this type of education.

A Friar in the school's corridor

A Friar in the school's corridor

The education provided in our schools should be a vehicle for all the young people, irrespective of their religious beliefs and races, in obtaining the education they deserve. Our schools, like all other schools, should aim at educating and raising the youth according to a comprehensive plan.

Education provided by our schools should instill proper values and understanding worldwide issues such as poverty and social injustice while at the same time learning how to make the right choices towards peace, solidarity and development. In our society our schools should endeavor to teach students not only how to prepare for the work place but to do so both ethically, and morally for the sake of humanity. The policy of our schools has always been openness and service towards all. It is not only a necessity but also a mission to be fulfilled in the environment in which we live.

If we do not examine it regularly in the light of the present social, cultural and educational necessities, then this call for development will remain futile and unrewarding. Otherwise, we might find ourselves in a situation where our work in educating will lose the spirit of innovation, development, progress and creativity. Terra Sancta schools are called on to continuously develop the educational process to include the total education of individuals whoever they may be.

For this reason, we call on our administrators and teachers to hold comprehensive group conferences and to examine what success we have achieved in the light of our educational mission, a mission that must always be innovative. We must also incorporate the Franciscan charism which has permeated our schools throughout our history, a charism that should lead us to deeper convictions.

The school should provide the possibility and the necessary atmosphere for building the human personality: I.e. the moral, spiritual and cultural life leading towards total integration in our society. Our schools cannot be isolated from other schools. They should be with the community, for the community and complementary to the community. They should live in harmony and solidarity with other Christian and non-Christian educational institutions. In the framework of the every day life where children and youngsters grow, it is essential that our schools are dedicated towards educating these children to become good citizens who are ready to bear responsibility for the public good. For this reason, history calls us not to lose our distinguishing charism that is, to put our schools in the service of others, to open our doors for all people, and to make our schools centers for spiritual and educational growth.

School's office

A Friar in the school's office

Terra Sancta schools must give special care towards the poor. For the good news of the Gospel is oriented towards the poor. In many ways, the Terra Sancta schools have a special mandate based on the Holy Scripture towards the poor. If the student is unable to pay his/her tuition, we do not charges them. In fact, those who are able to pay... many pay only a symbolic or nominal payment. In this regard, the Church requests the state to treat the Terra Sancta schools in the same way it treats the government schools for the following two reasons:

1. Parents have a natural right to care for the education of their children and to choose the kind of education they wish. Since the parents of the students of Christian schools are citizens who enjoy equal rights and duties before the law, they consequently have the right to benefit from the private schools without paying the tuition fees since they are also paying taxes.

2. The aim of the State is not to nationalize education and culture but rather to encourage it for the sake of public interest and without of course forgetting the marginalized in society. The citizen has the right to benefit from education and culture wherever he finds it in society without restriction to one institution or another.

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