John Yong Tang, SJ; Ms. Jasmine Hui Nga Man;
Alan Ting Yuet Wong, SJ - Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, Chinese Province
“Jesuits 2023 - The Society of Jesus in the world”]
Students from a Jesuit
secondary school in Hong Kong share their experiences with an adaptation of the
Wah Yan College,
Kowloon, is a Jesuit secondary school in Hong Kong. It has 884 students and
approximately 100 staff members. Six years ago, the school decided to implement
a school wide Examen into its daily
timetable. Each school day begins with a twenty-minute Jesuit value education
with the Examen prayed straight after
lunch. This allows the Jesuit ethos to grow in the students’ minds and hearts,
through both theory and practice. Because the majority of students and teachers
are non-Christians, the Examen
required adaptation. We had to meet two major challenges.
First, the Examen had to be adapted. Texts were
developed in both Cantonese and English to fit the school non-religious
context. Moreover, the understanding of “finding God in all things”, was
substituted by “finding goodness in all things” which becomes the permeating
phrase used by the students’ reflection of their lives, studies, families,
friendships and relationships.
Second, teachers had
to be formed to guide the Examen
prayer. They were given lessons and we also prepared videos for teachers and students,
to guide teachers who did not yet feel sufficiently ready. The texts and videos
outlined the basic framework for Wah Yan Kowloon’s Examen. Once the teachers self-mastered the Examen, they were encouraged to further fine tune it for the
particular context of their classes.
Six years later, the Examen is a part of daily school life with trained teachers and
students able to lead the group Examen.
The results have been positive. There have been numerous benefits for students
and they span a range of areas but, most importantly, the students have become
calmer, more reflective and better behaved. They also have manifested higher
standards for their behaviour. Concretely, why not hear from the students
themselves? Four of them have been selected, two Catholic and two non-Catholic,
to share their experiences of the school’s Examen.