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Returning to Loyola after so many years away in the North with First Nations Peoples is a rare privilege. The long and rich history of the School first comes to mind. In 1848 the future Loyola came into existence as Collège Sainte-Marie and St Mary's College, a new bilingual Jesuit institution with a double name serving both the French and English speaking Catholic population of Montreal. Loyola became independent in 1896 and later shifted away from the eight year cours classique model to a four year Loyola College program and a four year Loyola High School one in 1923.
Loyola High School has since grown into a creditable and inspiring school for secondary education serving English Catholic families of greater Montreal. Being part of the French Canadian culture has remained important, and many students have come to excel in both languages with teachers from both cultures.
In 1903, a Montreal newspaper captured the mood of our Jesuit School at that time: It noted the two sides of our Catholic education: "On the one hand intellectual thoroughness, the striving after the highest culture, the most enlightened methods of instructions; on the other, the inculcation of faith and piety, virtue and manliness, the setting forth of Catholic ideals in all their excellence."
Loyola continues today to challenge each student and encourage spiritual growth. There is a strong academic program, community outreach initiatives, co-curricular activities in sports, and a variety of clubs. Walking in balance in body, mind, heart and spirit is being intellectually competent, open to growth, being religious, loving, and committed to a generous service of the people of God. Men for Others, simply put.
The Jesuits and their lay colleagues seek to bring to full expression the talents of young people in this school within its Christian tradition. Loyola students learn how to understand the thoughts and accomplishments of others as they themselves learn how to think and achieve. At Loyola, students study and apply mathematics till they are at home with abstract logical thinking. In their science program they become scientists as well as humanists. They learn to read and write effectively, and they learn to think justly. Loyola students develop responsibility, discipline and cooperation through their activities and sports - and they even have fun living these ventures together.
It is good to be back in this privileged environment.
Fr. Michael Murray, SJ
President, Loyola High School