Education Is Key Part of "Option" for the Poor, Pope Says

John Paul II Receives Filippini Nuns in Audience

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2001 (
Education is an indispensable component of the evangelical preferential option for the poor in the Catholic Church, John Paul II said this morning.

He made his remarks when he received superiors and representatives of the Religious Teachers Filippini, a congregation that has been a pioneer in educating young women.

Founded at the end of the 17th century, this religious family, which today is active in 125 educational centers throughout the world and directed by almost 1,000 religious, is celebrating its general chapter in Rome.

Its founder, St. Lucia Filippini, established the Schools of Christian Doctrine for poor girls and young women in 1692, to regenerate the values of the family and society, the Holy Father explained.

He said this was the origin of a revolutionary educational project, which made many women in these centuries become the protagonists of their own future, rooted in Gospel values.

John Paul II appealed to these religious to exercise this singular educational ministry with «constant signs of love, especially through the poor,» and «foster through the schools, not only the solid cultural growth of the students, but also their conscious growth in the perennial truths of the Gospel.»

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