Welcome to St Aloysius Gonzaga
St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School
World’s First High School for AIDS Orphans
World AIDS Day, December 1, 2014
Dear Friends of St. Al’s,
I begin our semi-annual letter by thanking each and every one of you for all you do to enableSt. Al’s to prosper. I know I was only able to meet a fraction of you at various events hosted during my time in the US this autumn, but I am very encouraged by your support and interest in our progress. You asked great questions and helped our St. Al’s family grow by inviting your friends and family members to learn about the school. Thanks to all who wrote a check or elected to sponsor a student. I am confident that we will move forward both in academic excellence and in forming men and women for others. Our students are alive to the issues of our world and exercise their talents and skills to the utmost.
We closed our academic year with our seniors taking their KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education) exams which lasted nearly four weeks. The results of this exam, which will be announced around March 1st next year, are the only determinant for what programs graduates will qualify for in pursuing tertiary education. The underclassmen moved into exam mode in late October, and all students finished their exams on Friday, November 7th.
As we approach World AIDS Day on December 1st, our St. Al’s community gathered on November 8th to celebrate the day and the close of our academic year. AIDS is not something we think of once a year; we are living the reality day-by-day in our families and home life. By providing a quality Jesuit education and by gathering this community together in solidarity, we can change the course of the next generation. Our special celebration also highlighted our hopes: that the stigma of being AIDS-infected/affected will be eliminated, that persons living with HIV-AIDS receive the medical and other care they need to live full lives, and that we are raising our students with the knowledge, convictions, and virtue to make our next generation an AIDS-free generation. We celebrated the day with Liturgy, speeches, skits, and a march through Kibera and around our neighborhood to share our hopes.
Our special guest and presider of the Eucharist was Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, who is an American. Exuding great personal warmth on this Feast of Jesuit St. Stanislaus Kostka, Archbishop Balvo spoke in his homily to our students about the need to work hard to realize their dreams and to commit themselves faithfully. We celebrated our first Sacrament of Confirmation ceremony at St. Al’s. In the past we have always had our students confirmed at a local parish, so this is our first time to celebrate in the school itself. We actually had 28 students confirmed, our largest number to date, along with one teacher, which is another first.
Also on that day, we “graduated” our senior class, and I expressed my gratitude for their example and leadership in the school and their hard work in their studies. I reminded them, of course, that we are not saying good-bye, but challenging them to continue on to the next stage of living our school motto, “To learn, to love, and to serve,” as they prepare to move to our 18-month long Community Service program. The celebration ended with a festive lunch and singing Christmas carols, led by our school choir, to put us in the Christmas spirit. In the days that followed, we held convocations where we honored our students for their achievements in academics, athletics, and other contributions to the school.
As we close the school year at St. Al’s, we are eager to begin the next one on January 5th with more than 300 students. You were all commended to the Lord at our closing Eucharist, just as we always do when we gather. I wish you a most joyous Christmas together with your family and a truly blessed New Year.
It is our hope that you might help us with the resources to sponsor more students. A sponsorship gift of $1,200 covers the annual cost of high school tuition, meals, textbooks, supplies, basic medical care, uniforms, and other fees. Currently we have 165 students who have sponsors. And, we are grateful to so many more of you who have collectively helped us meet our annual operating budget of nearly $700,000. Our hope is to buy land and begin construction of both a boy’s and girl’s dormitory to ensure the safety and well-being of our students. With your help, this project will be a reality in the coming year!
Terry Charlton, SJ
2050 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
Visit our website, www.sagnairobi.org
Note: Please be advised that in order to ensure all donors are entitled to a federal income tax deduction, the USA Midwest Province is required by Internal Revenue Service rulings to retain full authority over all gifts given to it. It cannot accept gifts that are required by the donor to be paid, or to be used, only to further the work of a specific individual Jesuit or that are required to be used overseas for a specific apostolate. A donor is able to express the desire, but not a requirement, that a gift be used for the benefit of a specific Jesuit apostolate.
Sponsor a Student at
St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School
With a gift of $1,200 or more, you can sponsor a student at St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School. Your gift covers the annual cost of high school tuition, meals, textbooks, supplies, basic medical care, uniforms, school trips and other fees necessary to educate a student at St. Al’s.
Students and sponsors will know each other’s names and the students will write a letter to his or her sponsor and share their St. Al’s experiences and gratitude. Sponsors will have an opportunity to send a letter and/or photo in reply to their student three times per year.
Sponsors are welcome to renew their student sponsorship through the years of high school. Please help us spread the word to your family and friends by inviting them to be a sponsor as well!
_____ Yes, I wish to Sponsor a student at St. Al’s!
My check for $1,200 (or more) is enclosed
Checks payable to: The Jesuits Memo: St. Al’s Sponsorship
_____ I made my $1,200 (or more) donation online at https://donate.jesuitsmidwest.org
Click on “Donate now” tab. In the Gift Designation direct my gift to...
International Missions. Enter: “St. Al’s Sponsorship” in the Additional gift Information section
_____ I would like to arrange my own payment schedule (contact Jeff Smart – see below)
_____ While I am not electing to be a Sponsor, please accept my gift of $ _________ (enclosed).
City/State/Zip Code: ___________________________________________________
Email Address: _______________________________________________________
Sponsors will be provided with more details upon receipt of sponsorship request.
Thank you for your generosity!
The Jesuits~ Advancement Office ~ 2050 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
800-922-5327 or www.jesuitsmidwest.org