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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." — St. Mary’s High School
ST. MARY’S SCHOOL JAWALAKHEL : 1955
On 26th February 1955, three pioneers, M. Frances Pastofer, Maria Therese and Winfred Worle , with heroic spirit along with the superior of St. Joseph’s Convent, Patna, Mother Benigna Binder chartered a plane from Patna and landed in Kathmandu. A negotiation to begin a school was made with the Government under the guidance of the Jesuit Fathers, especially Fr. Marshal Moran. The sisters were met by him at the airport which was more or less like a grazing field for the cows. The sisters were taken to a house called “Thula Bhavan” which was quite close to St. Xavier’s. Prior to the sisters’ visit in 1955 they had come to Kathmandu with the Bishop of Patna, Bishop Wildermuth SJ and had made the choice of the house.
The sisters upon their arrival began preparations to start a school for girls. Education for girls was rare in Nepal, although some went to India to study. On 15th Feb. 1955 when the school opened, 15 girls were enrolled. Most of them were from the Royal family or belonged to the elite class and stayed as boarders since transport was not available in those days. By the end of the year the number increased to 45.
The sisters were treated like ghosts by most of the locals who had never seen anyone dressed as they were. Language was a great problem. Communication and transportation was difficult .True to the spirit of Mary Ward our sisters toiled without counting the cost, without seeking rest, finding their solace, hope and satisfaction in God alone.
Over the years the school grew into a wonderful Institution to educate the girl child in Nepal, slowly reaching out to people of all classes, creed and castes. The dedicated and brilliant work of the early sisters made the Institution one of the best quality. The school received national and international recognition. The girls who went out of the school proved to be the leaven in Society, the salt of the Nepalese families and leaders in their own work place. “Women in time to come will do great things ….”
Keeping to the vision of our foundress and to the need of the country the sisters moved among the Nepalese Society doing works of charity, especially socio- pastoral work, though Education was considered our main apostolate for about 20 years.