16 September 2015 (Dubai).
Bishop Paul Hinder, OFM Cap. was present to inaugurate St. Mary's School Muhaisnah at 11 am on 16 September 2015. Also present were H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Said Al Kindi, the former Minister of Environment and Water and also Sponsor of the St. Mary's Group of Schools and Mr. Joseph Flynn, the Managing Director of St. Mary's Group of Schools. Several education officials and professionals from other schools of the St. Mary's Group participated in the function.
St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Muhaisnah (SMM) is a Catholic school dedicated to the formation of the whole person – education in faith, academic excellence in a caring environment, and community service in charity. This means that the children find identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community of diverse cultures, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values.
The school is managed by the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC), Philippine Province.
Below is a full text of the Bishop's address during the inauguration:
Today we are gathered here at St. Mary’s, Muhaisnah to formally launch this newly opened Catholic High School. This is the fifth of the chain of Catholic schools that the Vicariate of Southern Arabia has established. Here everyone who wants to get a good education based on Catholic values is welcome. I would like then to welcome all of you, my dear young people, to this school, and I thank your parents for choosing this school for you. I would also welcome and thank the teachers and all who support the education process through their services, for choosing to work here at St. Mary’s Muhaisnah. It is my joy to see this school in its full operation.
What does St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Muhaisnah offer to you, my dear students? St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Muhaisnah strives to create every opportunity to develop your talents to the full, through academic works that you do, through co-curricular activities, and through your spiritual growth according to your respective faith tradition. Each student is valued and respected as unique individual, capable of growing and becoming and fulfilling his or her role in society.
Education is not just passing the exams prepared by teachers, or completing projects and requirements, get high grades and eventually, graduate with honours. It is not merely about gathering and accumulating knowledge. Excelling in class is not bad; receiving honours is not bad. In fact I encourage you to do your best. But this is not enough. Rather, education must prepare students to face life’s challenges. This is what our Catholic schools offer: a value-based education that provides opportunities for students to develop their full potential as human beings and, in the process, to discover more talents and abilities they possess. As a Catholic school, St. Mary’s Muhaisnah is founded to help you, young people, to grow and become mature individuals capable of making responsible moral choices and decisions, of assuming responsible roles in the larger community, of promoting the good of all in a peaceful and just way. It is important therefore that we provide high quality pastoral care in all aspects of school life, in order to support the individual needs of each student.
The Catholic school setting in UAE is uniquely different. Our Catholic schools accept all who wish to be educated according to our bascic principles, regardless of their faith tradition or religion. At once there is a variety of religions among students. In addition, there is also a variety of culture and people. All these are utilized to create a school climate of interdependence and harmony. Here at St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Muhaisnah, students, together with the staff and school leaders, are exposed to an experience of life in a community that is founded on charity. If we have love and respect for one another, different cultures, different sounds of speaking, different ways of approaching God, different traditions and howsoever we differ from one another, will not at all form obstacles to unity. Instead these differences will turn out to be opportunities for growth by enriching one another. When students are taught and guided to interact and relate with others who differ from them in many ways, they will learn to accept differences and respect others for who they are. This surely will help in the formation of these young boys and girls to become good citizens of this world, loving God and loving others, and enriching society with their goodness, love and peaceful countenance.
For St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Muhaisnah, to achieve integral education, the teacher is a friend, a mentor, a facilitator, and an experienced companion in the student’s journey to life. Teachers accompany learners in the lifelong pursuit of competence, integrity, and compassionate commitment to life. Open and honest communication is expected and differences between teachers and learners, and learners among themselves are respected and appreciated. And so cooperation and collaboration make up the norm to make this education community a locus of joyful learning.
Furthermore, St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Muhaisnah, teachers are committed to the formation of persons. They are pro-person and pro-human, who work for the promotion of human dignity and well-being of each student, over and above material pursuit. They help students, especially the younger ones, in expanding their horizons and value others as members of the St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Muhaisnah, community and value the Earth that God has created.
To conclude, I thank all the people who were involved in the process of establishing this Catholic High School and made it possible that we can look forward with confidence. May God almighty bless you all!