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Dimensions Montfortian Education

An authentic Montfortian educational initiative will stand out by the fact that we operate from the framework of our Charism. This is guided by certain core dimensions beginning with the spiritual genius of Montfort. The missionary audacity of Gabriel Deshayes, faith, enthusiasm of our pioneers, and new initiatives of our own day. The core dimensions of our Charism are:

1. A Spiritual Vision
2. Inclusive Education
3. Incarnational Methodology
4. Innovation and Creativity
5. The Best Interests of the Child
6. Partnership and Networking
7. Respect for Community of Life
8. Quest for Excellence

1. A Spiritual Vision

“God Alone” was Montfort’s ideal, his goal in life, and his key to the universe. A spiritual vision of life that helps the whole education community to seek the truth and live by it is the goal of Montfortian Education.

2. Inclusive Education

In the poor and the marginalized Montfort saw the face of God, they determined his life-style, gave focus to his options in ministry. Acceptance of others, respect for everyone, are some of the core values in his mission. Montfortian Education follows these same options in:

  • Promoting inclusive education through a clear admission policy to physically, socially and economically disadvantaged sections of society such as the differently abled, social outcasts, minorities, immigrants and the poor;
  • Providing technical education to improve skills and knowledge that will increase opportunities for the young;
  • Organizing well planned exposure programmes to the situations of poverty, injustice and violations of human rights;
  • Using a curriculum and other appropriate means to promote the rights of all to education.

3. Incarnational Methodology

Not content with loving the poor, serving them and sharing his table with them, Montfort became one among the poor themselves (Hymn 18). The history of Montfortian Education is replete with instances of such an incarnational methodology characterized by total self-giving, involvement, genuine empathy, sharing in the situations of people and participatory processes. These cherished values as an educational methodology go a long way in bringing about personal and social transformation. This is accomplished through:

  • A culture of personal and warm relationships with all;
  • Taking personal interest in the intellectual, affective, moral and spiritual development of every one, and helping each one to develop a sense of self-esteem and responsibility;
  • Involvement in the pains and struggles of the most vulnerable sections of the neighbourhood in which the institution/work is located through appropriate and well designed programmes;
  • Simplicity and transparency in all aspects of the educational process.

4. Innovation and Creativity

The powerful reprimand of Montfort, “If you do not take risks for God, you will do nothing great for him,” had its impact on the options and commitments of his followers all through history. If idealism and creative zeal were the hallmarks of Montfort, audacious and innovative re-foundation, organization and expansion marked Gabriel Deshayes. Following this lead, Montfortian Education seeks new frontiers, breaks new ground in perceptions, walks along unfamiliar paths, and forms citizens of a new world in the making. It aims at the holistic and integral development of every student to become men and women of character, competence, conscience and compassion.

5. The Best Interests of the Child

In all actions concerning children, Montfort placed the best interests of the person as the primary consideration. Montfortian schools are places where the children find themselves in an exciting atmosphere, almost like that of a game or play. Montfortian Education today places the child at the centre of its education mission. To realize this:

  • Basic needs of children are assured both within the school as well as outside;
  • Appropriate participation of children in all decisions that affect them;
  • Teaching/Learning process is made participatory, drawing out the hidden potentialities in every child.

6. Partnership and Networking

Our founders and pioneers already worked hand in hand with lay people. The world today flourishes on partnerships and teamwork. Partnership as an evangelical value and a strategic tool is realized in Montfortian Education by:

  • Introducing the larger education community to the life and vision of Montfort and Montfortian Education.
  • Empowering students, teachers, parents and other partners in education to share in the Montfortian Mission;
  • Networking with governmental and non-governmental agencies in the field of education for mutual enrichment and to provide for the deprived of opportunities;
  • Empowering the Montfortian Associates to participate in Montfortian Education at all levels, including in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Opening to international collaboration and networking.

7. Respect for Community of Life

As Pope Benedict XVI has asserted, “The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole” (Caritas in Veritate, No. 48). One with the creation, we need to treat it with respect and attention. It is thus, the Montfortian education is mindful that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value in itself, whether it is recognized by human beings or not.

Towards this end, Montfortian Education:

  • Inculcates in students respect and care for the community of life through curricular and co-curricular activities;
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle materials used in consumption systems;
  • Make careful and efficient use of energy;
  • Adopt lifestyles that enhance quality of life and limit material needs;
  • Develop an institutional culture that embodies respect and care for the community of life.

8. Quest for Excellence

Excellence is the characteristic of Montfortian Education. However, as Montfort instructed us, it does not come from “an exact conformity to the maxims and fashion of the world” (LEW No. 75), rather, excellence is measured by striving for and possessing true Wisdom. The effects of such Wisdom according to Montfort are the ability to “judge all things with keen discernment and deep penetration, energy, vigor and passion for all that is good, the ability to communicate the experience of true Wisdom to others with conviction, and the virtues of a lively faith, firm hope, ardent charity, well ordered temperance, complete prudence, perfect justice and invincible fortitude.” (cf. LEW Nos. 91-99). Such an education promotes a quest for excellence.