Fr Quyen Vu SJ, the Australian Provincial, attended the very first graduation ceremony at Xavier Jesuit School in Cambodia. Held on 16 of December 2022, twenty-eight grade 12 students graduated from the college.
The school director, Fr Jinhyuk Park, shared the importance of the event in the life of the school.
“This is the day our graduating students have been waiting for. This is the day that all of us have been waiting for. Today is a meaningful day for all of us to celebrate all the efforts that made our dream of nurturing the seeds of Cambodia’s potential through quality education at XJS turn into reality, and to thank all of you who have dedicated yourselves to make this dream come true.”
Happiness and joy could be seen on the faces of all the graduating students as well as their parents on the day. For most of the families, it was the very first time they had ever attended such a ceremony. It was obvious they were enormously proud of their sons and daughters.
Fr Vu is the past Principal of Xavier Jesuit School, having served there from 2015 to 2020. The school has been the beneficiary of generous support from many donors, including through Jesuit Mission Australia, which has been a long-term supporter of its work. The Jesuit works in Cambodia are a Mission of the Korean Province, with Jesuit and lay collaborators from around the world supporting the ministry there.
Speaking at the graduation, Fr Oh-Chang Kwon SJ, Delegate of the Korean Provincial, shared three points about the school motto with all the graduates.
“Be bold and dare to challenge new areas of life: the school is named after St Francis Xavier. Leave this school with the pioneering spirit of Francis Xavier, who moved endlessly across borders to the unknown to share the Good News,” he said.
Secondly, he said, “Live as people who have dreams: it’s good to have dreams and it’s also good to have new ones on life’s journey.”
Thirdly, “Reflect on your own ‘brighter future’ and what it means to be a person for others, rather than to lead a self-centred life. This will bring you a brighter future.”
Many of the people involved in supporting the school and the students attended the ceremony, including current and former staff, directors and volunteers, as well as benefactors and friends of Jesuit Mission Cambodia, and Jesuits and priests from the Battambang prefecture.
Fr Vu said it was a memorable event for Xavier Jesuit School in Cambodia.
“The school’s motto, ‘Dare to Dream for a Brighter Future’, has been realised for this first batch of students. Their dreams have come true because they have completed their high school with enormous success. This historic graduation ceremony is the result of all the hard work which they have invested throughout their time at the school.”