On the occasion of Ruby Jubilee of St John’s Kannada Medium High School, Most Rev. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese said that currently in India the Christians were baselessly targeted on religious conversion issue.
He said that the high school had completed 40 years of teaching and hundreds of students belonging to all religions have attended and passed out but none of them converted to Christianity. He further said, "We are converting people but from untruthfulness to truthfulness, ignorance to knowledge, darkness to light. We teach them to be good and honest citizens of this country as our great Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi dreamed."
Speaking on the occasion Fr Vincent Crasta (secretary, SESU), speaking on the occasion said that wherever the church was built by the Catholics, the school was also established as per the teachings of Jesus Christ and provided education for all the children without any bias such a caste, creed or religion. Currently, he said there are educational institutions are run by Private Business People and asking for enormous fees from the parents but catholic schools are providing value based education for free with government aid. We Catholics established Kannada medium schools prior to our Independence but today I feel sorry to say that most of them are closed due to lack of students to Kannada medium schools.
"We, the Christians in India are only around 2.45 percent but our contribution to education to around 21 percent. So all these talks on conversion are baseless," he said. He further said that only education can enlighten the people but school education alone is not enough for the growth of the individual or amassing the wealth. That which brings about an all round growth of a human being is the real education, he opined.
However, he stressed, “The foundation for this growth is education and we must continue to educate people and that is our goal. Jesus Christ taught us to follow His path and we are just doing that.” He congratulated the school management, all the teachers who taught from 1981-2022 and all the students on the occasion of Ruby Jubilee of the school.
The grand celebration on February 14 began with a procession from the St John’s church to the high school at 10 AM attended by the bishop of Udupi diocese Fr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Fr Ferdinand Gonsalves (correspondence St John’s Educational Institutions), Fr Vincent Crasta (secretary SESU, Udupi diocese), Ashwin Rodrigues (HM of St John’s High School). The dignitories and all the teaching staff of both Kannada Medium and English Medium schools, guests and well wishers were welcomed by the students of the high school, English medium school and junior college with showers of flower petals.
The stage function of the grand event was held at the PU College Hall. The celebrations began with the beautiful welcome dance by students. All the guests were invited to the stage namely Bishop Isaac Lobo, Fr Vincent Crasta (secretary of SESU, Udupi diocese), Fr Ferdinand Gonsalves, Ashwin Rodrigues, John Rodrigues (VP of Parish Council), Anitha D’Souza (secretary, Parish Council), Seema Margaret D’Souza (president, 18 Commissions), Rayan Fernandes (president, Alumni Association), Priya D’Sa (principal, PU College), Sr Saritha (HM, high school) and Leena D’Souza (HM, primary school).
Prior to release of school magazine (Jnana Manikya) by bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo, high school teacher Leena Sunitha D’Souza (editor) of school magazine thanked the donors and editorial committee and those contributed ads for the magazine. Walston D’Sa, old student of the school who suggested the appropriate name for the magazine (Jnana Manikya) who felicitated by the bishop along with who helped to get funds for the school facelift/refurnishing were also felicitated.
On this special occasion three former headmasters of St John’s High School were felicitated for their dedication service namely- John Lobo, Mohandas Shetty and Clara Mendonsa. John Rodrigues introduced them to the audience prior to the felicitations,
Also, felicitated on the occasion were Naveen Amin (Old Student and Entrepreneur) Alphonse Mendonsa (Photo Journalist and Member Old Students Association) and Teacher Assumpta Veera D’Mello for organzing funds for the 12 computers for the school, by bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo and other guests on the dais.
Fr Ferdinand Gonsalves was also felicitated by the bishop as a correspondence of the high school who leads the school under his able leadership. HM Ashwin Rodrigues introduced and thanked Fr Ferdinand for his constant guidance and support to the school.
Headmaster Ashwin Rodrigues was also felicitated by bishop for his excellent service to the school during last five years and all round achievements. Fr Ferdinand introduced him and thanked him for his dedicated service to the school and especially to the students.
Rayan Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks and SuchitKotian emcee of the day conducted the entire stage programme.
A cultural extravaganza followed by stage programme that included Janapada Dance and skit highlighting the effect of hunting animals and depicted how the environment is imbalanced due to constant hunting. It was a beautiful presentation by the student which enthralled the audience.