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Jesuits News Education Malta, Fr. Sosa tells students: ‘Use your voice well’

Malta, Fr. Sosa tells students: ‘Use your voice well’

The children welcomed him cheerfully and posed their questions to him: What were your hobbies? How did you go to school? How did you feel when you became Father General? What are your dreams for the future? This is how Fr Sosa’s visit to St Aloysius College in Malta began in the primary school: 1524 students from nursery to high school.

“In your difficulties, listen to His voice”

At the meeting with the young people of the Sixth Form, the year of preparation for tertiary education, and at Mass Fr Sosa said: “You are at an important time in your lives, becoming young adults and making decisions about how to achieve your dreams for the future. Do not be afraid to use your voice and use it well. You can make a difference in today’s society. Believe in this inner voice of yours and learn to cultivate it by striving to be competent in whatever you do. Be conscientious in distinguishing right from wrong. Strive to use your intelligence to promote the good and the beautiful. Strive to pursue the common good. Have compassion for the weak, the poor and those suffering. In your difficulties, you are invited to follow the voice of Jesus to attain full joy”.

“Being with and for others”

Then he headed to the secondary school and met with the students: “A phrase that is 50 years old, but brand new, coined in 1973 by Fr. Pedro Arrupe to the graduating students in Valencia, Spain,” Fr. Sosa pointed out to the students and teachers at the secondary school. “To be with and for others means to be people who cannot love God without loving their neighbour. This is the portrait of a student in a Jesuit school.” He gave two examples related to Fr. Arrupe: “When Hiroshima was bombed, Fr. Arrupe, who was novice master in Japan at the time, took in the wounded in the novitiate. In that desolation he went down on his knees and prayed. This experience marked his whole life. He founded JRS in 1980 when he saw so many Vietnamese refugees being killed or drowned by pirates as they fled their war-torn homeland. He asked the Jesuits to help “at least bring some relief”. JRS has grown throughout the world and is present in Malta. Each of us can contribute to a better world. You have many opportunities to become men and women for and with others. Pope Francis reminds us to “stay awake and don’t sleep, don’t lie on the sofa”, don’t waste time on social media, but use it well, listen carefully and pray. We need love, we need courage, we need constant commitment, we need each other”.

The characteristics of the Ignatian educator

Fr Sosa then visited the secondary school where he had a meeting with the teachers and auxiliary staff of the college. Fr Sosa reminds them of some of the basic characteristics of the Ignatian educator: To be magnanimous, that is, to have a big heart and a big mind. Desiring great things and therefore doing well even the small things of daily life with a heart open to God and to others, educating young people in generosity, a very important task today considering the crisis of the family. He encouraged the facilitators of faith journeys to help each one to have a deep and personal encounter with Jesus, starting with the Spiritual Exercises, to help them encounter God in the classroom, not only to transmit information, but to promote active learning for the intellectual and spiritual growth of the students, to develop critical thinking, empathy, understanding of different perspectives, amazement, wonder, and the release of desires. He also encouraged to prepare citizens of the world, fostering appreciation of different cultures, languages and traditions, promoting reconciliation and justice, through practical experience, sustainability and care of creation and to work together in the one mission of the Society, experiencing community discernment and sharing our charisms. “Together, we walk the paths of light and love in the darkest corners of the world”.

Finally, in the afternoon, he visited the sports complex, inaugurated in 1997, and its development since 2022, thanks to the collaboration with Vassallo Group. The new Mediterranean Sports College is under construction, together with a sports science laboratory, a gymnastics area, a car park, a swimming pool and a childcare centre.

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