/ 18. March 2012 15:46
Often, when we have an image of the foreign missions, we think of parish ministry. For the Augustinian Friars their first ministry in a foreign land was the establishment of a parish. Over time, the ministry has expanded beyond the parish structure to include the education ministry. The schools are part of a parish structure.
When the first American friars began a mission in the late 1950s in the city of Nagasaki, Japan, they began the equivalent of an elementary school. This school continues to this day with an enrollment of approximately 320 students. In our parish in Fukuoka, Japan, there is a kindergarten with an enrollment of some 178 students.
St. Leo’s school for Zulu children began before the Augustinians accepted responsibility for that mission. As we began our ministry in the parish there were about 300 students. Some ten years since our accepting the mission, there are close to 700 children in this elementary school.
A few years ago, the friars accepted the responsibility of an elementary and high school in the city of Pacasmayo, Peru. Today, the total number of students is approximately 300 children. Our parish of San Jose Obrero in Chulucanas, Peru, also assists at an elementary school with several hundred children.
The Augustinians serve over 1,500 students in the field of education. In many of these schools the friars have served in many roles, as principal, teacher and chaplain.