Members of the Society of Jesus serving as Chaplains in Catholic schools in Zimbabwe convened at St Peter Faber spiritual centre on Friday the 15th to share their experiences and deliberate on how they can continue to place Catholicism and Jesuit philosophy at the core of their service.

10 Jesuits and 6 collaborators attended the meeting which was facilitated by the Jesuit Delegate for Education Fr Joseph Arimoso SJ and Jesuit Education Programmes Coordinator Mr Colbert Mpofu.

Leading the sharing of experiences, Fr Von Nida SJ expressed that Ignatian spirituality calls for more than just pure theoretical and academic skills but that people apply it practically to life.

He  went on to say that while there is need for chaplains to closely focus on the spiritual development of their students, but to also look at the holistic development which involve moral development and academic excellence because, he said, ‘God is wisdom.’

Fr Von Nida urged the chaplains to encourage their students to use the heart and the mind in making decisions and to see prayer not as just repeating formulas but to make it a living relationship and an experience.

The chaplains conversed on issues around parents’ active participation in initiating and guiding students in Jesuit ethos and key Catholic values aimed at ultimately assisting students to encounter Christ and be responsible and care for others.

Chaplains in Catholic schools and tertiary institutions are appointed to primarily assist students in their spiritual development in the endeavour of the church to give guidance and accompany its members in the journey of encountering Christ.