Students from Jesuit school in Uruguay visit Stonyhurst

Pupils and staff from Jesuit school Colegio Seminario
Pupils and staff from Jesuit school Colegio Seminario

Stonyhurst welcomed a group of pupils and staff from the Jesuit school Colegio Seminario in Montevideo, Uruguay.

There were sixteen Uruguayan students, all aged between sixteen and seventeen. Eight boys and eight girls had been selected from a large number of applicants at their school and were accompanied by their lay deputy head, Maria Ines Berasain, and a Jesuit Scholastic, Brother Pablo Michel SJ.

The Rector of the Colegio Seminario, Fr Marcelo Coppetti, also joined the group for their first few days.

The visit came about as a result of an approach from the Colegio, and visits by Maria and by Fr Marcelo some two years ago. Their interest in Stonyhurst was due to the Colegio’s foundations: it was founded in the late 19th Century by John Jackson, an Old Boy of Stonyhurst. The group of Uruguayan students and staff members stayed at Stonyhurst for two and a half weeks and left on Monday for a few days in Edinburgh and London.

During their visit the Colegio students were paired up with Stonyhurst students and accompanied them to lessons. They also attended all the usual weekly assemblies, masses and benediction and learnt about the history of Stonyhurst and the Stonyhurst Collections.

Students also spent time in the astronomical observatory, joined a meeting of the Stonyhurst Hispanic Society and planned and led a mass in Spanish which was celebrated by chaplain Fr Tim Curtis SJ, who by good fortune, speaks fluent Spanish. It was an unusual mass by Stonyhurst standards, with modern music, guitars and pupils sitting on the floor of the Angels’ Chapel. 

Maria and Br Pablo led our whole school assembly one week and one of their pupils gave a stunning and deeply moving talk at the following week’s assembly about the values, especially Jesuit values, which the two schools have in common.

Matthew Moyston, Second Master said: “Of all the many groups we have welcomed at Stonyhurst over the last few years, this group stood out as being among the most impressive we have had.  They were an absolute delight.  Genuine, strong friendships were formed between pupils and between staff, and we are sure that this is going to be the start of a very close friendship between the 2 schools in years to come.”

Colegio Seminario has a strong Catholic and Ignatian identity. The educational organisation works towards ensuring that students and members develop as individuals, become competent, honest and responsible. The school’s ethos includes urging students to discover the Christian meaning of life, as well as develop their intellectual, emotional and spiritual abilities.

Stonyhurst has an international dimension and maintains good links with many Jesuit schools around the world.