The foundation for St. Benedict’s school was laid in 1996 with a view to giving a value- based and integral education to the poor children in the villages surrounding the monastery. A plot of land, 5 kms away from the monastery, was made available by the Bishop J. Thumma, and later on, a few more acres were additionally bought by the monks for the purpose. The present Abbot General, Rev. Fr. Andrea Pantaloni showed keen interest in the project. The school was opened on 11 July 1998 though the building was in construction since 1996. The immediate needs for beginning the elementary classes, were met with the funds received through the initiatives of Abbot Andrea Pantaloni. We are extremely grateful to the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), which offered a handsome amount of money for these initial expenses of the project.
The community is also indebted to Ealing Abbey, England and its generous friends for coming forward with offers of financial helps to complete the school-construction. Presently, the ground floor of the proposed three story building is almost completed. Besides these main donors, we also gratefully remember other benefactors and social-action groups in Italy, especially Mr. Stefano Pantaloni and his friends, who raise funds for the various minor projects of the School. This school has a very promising future for the monks’ service of education of the youth and thus, in the words of our Abbot General, to ‘make Navajeevan a source of spiritual light to Andhra Pradesh and to the whole of south-east India’.
In August 2002, a rudimentary computer course with just two PCs, is begun in the school premise, for introducing the students to an elementary level of this modern technological revolution. One of our monks dedicates his time for this purpose. The catholic children in our school are among the poorest. Some enjoy the benefit of distant adoption by generous souls in Europe. This programme of distant adoption, will go a long way to contribute to the education of the poor children. Situated in a rural setting, the school is hoped to become a centre of authentic and integral education of the young children, in keeping with the venerable Benedictine tradition of monasteries becoming great centres of culture and learning. This is our wish and, indeed, an uphill task!