(Goa, India) The 16th February was a special day for the Redemptorists of the V. Province of Majella and for the Nano Nagle School. Fr Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R (Superior General), Fr. Sebastian Anidato, C.Ss.R. (Consultor General), Fr. Jovencio Ma, C.Ss.R. (Conference Coordinator) together with the Provincials and Councils of the Bangalore and Liguori Provinces and the V. Provincial and Council of the Majella V. Province visited the School. The Staff and students presented a cultural program rich in variety and color showcasing their talents and abilities. Fr. General lauded the work of the Redemptorists in the V. Province of Majella who in the spirit of St. Clement have embarked on a journey of trust in divine providence to proclaim the Good news to a wounded world (slum children of migrant workers in Goa). Fr. Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R. (V. Provincial Superior of the V Province of Majella) in thanking Fr. General and the visiting Redemptorists present acknowledged the significance of the School as one of the key apostolic priorities through which the confreres of the V. Province serve the missionary priority of migrant people. The Redemptorist students of Philosophy who live quite near the school assist in their pastoral work in the school in teaching moral values and help the children in their tuition. The Regents (students of immersion year) spend half of the year working in the school. The School is part of the Apostolate of the Community of Redemptorists who live nearby in Varca which is the Formation Community.
In 1983 Dr. Christanand Desai an ex Jesuit moved by the plight of migrant children in Goa living in the slums and badly in need of wholistic education through the English language started a school to reach out to the most abandoned poor kids. He ran this school through the National Institute of Open Schools, Delhi and over the last 37 over 1000 children have passed through this school and have received the education that has enabled them to move to a better life through good jobs that are based on the skills learnt in the school.
In 2016 Dr. Christanad Desai aware that he could no longer manage the school due to health and age constrains and having approached so many Religious Congregations who did wish to respond, approached the Redemptorists of the V. Province of Majella if they would be interested in being on the Board and part of the management of the School. Seeing the situation as one that was a cry for help for outreach to the most abandoned poor children the V. Province accepted his offer and started on a journey that has been nothing short of graces and blessings in responding to an urgent need of proclaiming the Good news through education of vulnerable children from a slum.
Today, in the year 2020, the Nano Nagle School is totally managed by the Redemptorists of the V. Province of Majella. Fr. Ritesh Rosario, C.Ss.R. is the first Redemptorist Principal of the School that has 250 students from Kindergarten to grade 12. The School has 8 teachers and 3 assisting staff. The School offers free education in English to the children. English Education is offered by private schools in the State of Goa in India and for that matter in all of India at a very high cost. This School offers academic education, training in vocation and computer skills, moral values, personality development programs apart from hot breakfast and lunch for the slum children. All of this is offered free of cost through the management of a Trust now run by the Redemptorists of the V. Province of Majella.
While most Religious Congregations and Institutions of the Catholic Church in Goa ignored this school and project or found it unprofitable the Redemptorists of the V. Province of Majella embraced this project in the spirit of trust following the example of Jesus and so celebrate the Good news being proclaimed to the most abandoned through wholesome education for slum children of migrant families. May our holy patron St. Gerard and his love for the poor abandoned inspire us and St. Clement Hofbauer who reached out to abandoned children in Warsaw through opening a school offering valuable education intercede for us Redemptorists of the V. Province to witness to the Redeemer in solidarity for the mission to a wounded world.
Fr. Ritesh Rosario, C.Ss.R.
Principal, Nano Nagle School (A Project of the V. Province of Majella)