Convent of Jesus and Mary, Lahore
|Convent of Jesus and Mary|
"Education is not Information but Formation"
Lahore, Punjab, 54000
|Type||State-owned, Missionary-run Public School|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Principal||Sister Pilar Vila San Juan Sagnier RJM|
|Age||4 to 18|
|Colour(s)||Red and white|
The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Lahore, commonly referred to as "Convent", is a girls-only school situated in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It was founded on 17 November 1876 by Religious of Jesus and Mary, a congregation founded by Claudine Thevenet, and received official recognition in 1881. It educates over 2,300 girls aged between 4 and 18 years starting from preschool to Grade 11.
The Sisters of Jesus & Mary first went from Lyon (France) to the South Asian Subcontinent in 1842, and opened a school in Agra. The Pakistani section of the congregation came into existence in 1955, eight years after Pakistan's independence on 14 August 1947.
In 1856, the Congregation opened a school in Sialkot, which came within Pakistan at the time of partition, as also did the Convents of Lahore and Murree. Consequently, the history of the Religious of Jesus & Mary in Pakistan begins before the creation of Pakistan. Today, at the start of the third millennium there are eight Convents in Pakistan.
Sialkot (1856), Murree (1876), Lahore (1876), Mariakhel / Mianwali (1956), Karachi (1957), Islamabad (1979), Lahore / Shadbagh (1986), Toba Tek Singh (1999)
Other foundations were made in Rawalpindi in 1881 and closed in 1893. Dalhousie (from Lahore) in 1897 and closed in 1900. Islamabad in 1975 and closed in 1992.
Since its conception the principal work of the Congregation is carried on by means of education for children from all social milieux. The latest venture in the development of CJM Pakistan was to open a centre at the Lahore Convent in 1999 for children with special needs, named Thevenet Centre after the Foundress; Saint Claudine Thevenet.
CJM is divided into four sections:
- Nursery (parvulario to prep)
- Kindergarten Section (grade 1 to Grade 3)
- Junior Section (Grades 4 to 6)
- Senior Section (Grades 7 to 11)
In 2011, the school celebrated its 135th year. Pakistan Post issued a commemorative on the occasion.
On February 15, 2012, the President of Pakistan approved conferment of Sitara Quaid-e-Azam on Sister John Berchmans Conway, a former teacher of the school, for her services towards education and promoting interfaith harmony in Pakistan.
CJM has the following four student houses and colours:
- Unity (red)
- Faith (green)
- Discipline (yellow)
- Service (blue)
The Thevenet Centre for special children was opened on the 3rd of February 2000. At the opening ceremony Sister Marie Cecile Osborne RJM threw light on the reasons for opening the centre. She said:
"In the summer of 1998, one of our parents, Mrs. Nari Suleiman who has a son with special needs expressed the desire to Sr.Pilar that her child attend our school somehow, somewhere. At that stage we had no provision as such for children with special needs, but it was her request that gave birth to the idea of starting Thevenet Centre and for this we thank her.
The Sisters of Jesus and Mary are proud to say that they have been educating the girls of Lahore since 1876, 135 years now. It seemed only right then, that at the dawn of the new millennium they should venture forth into a new branch of education and provide for children, not with disabilities, but with different abilities."
Fatima Urdu Medium School
In 1956 an Urdu Medium School was opened to impart education to those of the area who could not afford any education at all. Starting from two rooms, the school has expanded, now offering classes from kindergarten to Matriculation educating many needy people. Till class 1 boys are also educated in Urdu medium section.
Other branches in Pakistan
There are seven branches of CJM in Pakistan:
- Maryam Nawaz
- Asma Jahangir
- Hina Jilani
- Rubab Raza
- Benazir Bhutto
- Tahira Hussain Naqvi
- Shamim Ahmed
- Nigar Ahmed
- Syeda Abida Hussain
- Afia Nathaniel