Sydney (Australia) -- Inauguration of Nairana Study Centre
The new seat of Nairana Study Centre was officially inaugurated on April 29 in Pennant Hills, in Sydney’s northwest suburbs.
On the previous day Bishop David Walker of Broken Bay, the diocese in which Nairana is located, celebrated Mass in the center’s oratory.
The event attracted a large number of parents of boys who take part in its activities and other friends, as well as some well-known public figures. Among them were Philip Ruddock, federal Minister of Justice; Nick Berman, the Mayor of Hornsby Shire; Bishop Issam J. Darwish, the Melkite Eparch of Australia and New Zealand; and several members of the parliament of New South Wales.
Journalist Mike Willesee gave an address in which he spoke about his return to the Catholic faith and encouraged the high school boys who attend the center to grow in their faith. “One piece of advice I want to give you,” he said, “is that when you have any doubt, ask yourself: What would Jesus do? Because you know that he is always with you, and he is the best friend you can have.” Willesee also expressed his hope that “through centers like this many people may get to know our Lord better.”
On his part, the director of Nairana, John-Paul Hinojosa, said: “From the first moment of the Nairana project, the parents have realized that the formation of young people doesn’t end at home. The parents who are founders of this project were aware that their children needed a personalized guide to channel their energies and develop their talents. Now more than ever, there is a great need for places where young people feel challenged to give the best of themselves—a place that enriches their moral and spiritual lives in a healthy and positive environment. That is precisely what Nairana tries to offer and in fact has offered for many years, since it first opened.”
In addition to human and Christian formation, Nairana also offers academic and sports programs. It also fosters the boys’ sense of social responsibility and their eagerness to serve their community. The boys who frequent the center regularly visit the aged and sick in the area. Nairana also organizes work camps in developing countries such as Sri Lanka, Fiji and The Philippines.
Romana, No. 42, January-June 2006, p. 132-133.