The people and government of Anambra State are "absolutely delighted at the taking off of a Jesuit secondary school in Anambra State", according to the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba.
The school, named Gonzaga Jesuit College, will start in Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area, in September, this year.
It is the fourth Jesuit secondary school in Nigeria, with the other three located in the Rivers State, Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
A statement signed by the Information Commissioner explained the establishment of the fourth Jesuit college in Nigeria in Anambra State is "an eloquent testimony to the premium which the state places on education.
"It is also a testimony of the cooperation between the state government with the church and the private sector to develop the state to global standards as quickly as possible".
Governor Willie Obiano three years ago laid the foundation of Gonzaga Jesuit College and commended the three leading promoters, namely, Dr Ernest Azudalu-Obiejesi of ObiJackson Group and his wife, Mrs Nnenna Obiejesi, as well as Engineer Paul Erinne, a philanthropist from Okija who also built and donated the imposing Erinne Block at Paul University in Awka, among other philanthropic gestures.
Governor Obiano said "it is a mark of the new culture of collaboration, solidarity and ecumenism in the state that the majority of the promoters of Gonzaga Jesuit College in Okija may not belong to the Catholic faith and yet they donate so generously to a school by a foremost order in the Catholic Church famous worldwide for the highest quality of education to its students regardless of their religious convictions".
Describing the promoters as authentic Christians, the governor said their action is consistent with the Book of John Chapter 17 verse 21 where Jesus Christ prays "for all shall be one".
The Anambra Information Commissioner stated that the excellent security in the state, which has in the last five years enabled billions of dollars in investment flow into the state, facilitated the building of the new school in Okija which is of global standard.
The college is named after St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a young Jesuit who is considered the patron saint of youth. Aloysius was undergoing studies for the priesthood when a plague broke out in Rome. The young Aloysius poured out his life, caring for the sick, and eventually died on June 21, 1591, at the age of 23.
Mr Adinuba said that Gonzaga Jesuit College in Okija, whose entrance examination will hold on Saturday, March 27, will help deepen Anambra State’s reputation as the most educationally competitive state in Nigeria.
The Jesuit Superior General, Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, while giving approval to the Jesuit school in Okija, explained that the Jesuit educational goal "is not just to educate, but to form people of depth – intellectually, spiritually, and psychologically. Our mission is to form people who are open to change, who exercise aptitude for personal conversion and social transformation.”