Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri (Madrid, 1916 – Pamplona, 1975) was one of the first women to join Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer in his efforts to spread the universal call of Christians to holiness, through Opus Dei. The text of the decree promulgated by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints highlights how Guadalupe lived the virtues to a heroic degree, and “with joy, gave herself completely to God and to the service of the Church, experiencing divine love with intensity” (Decree on the Heroic Virtues of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri).

She knew how to find God in the daily efforts of her scientific research and teaching; in the various tasks of formation and government that Saint Josemaria entrusted to her; and in her illness, which she bore with a strong Christian spirit.”

The Spanish chemist, who also spent various years in Mexico and Italy, is the first lay person in Opus Dei to be raised to the altars.
Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri will be beatified in Madrid, her hometown, on Saturday 18 May 2019, the anniversary of her First Holy Communion.

The Holy Father approved the miracle needed for her beatification on 8th June 2018.

Read more….

Edmund Hernandez passed away on Sunday, April 14th at the age of 93 in California. He was one of the first lay members of Opus Dei to come to Kenya on 25 Aug 1958. An architect by profession, Ed opened his own firm soon after arriving and began the architectural work that he continued to practice In Kenya for another 25 years.

Ed Hernandez was born in Peoria, Illinois to Michael and Juanita Hernandez. Ed had five brothers (George, Robert, Raymond, Henry and Louis) and one sister (Connie), all of whom were educated in the public Catholic Schools of Peoria, Illinois.

When Ed was 16 years old he drove down to the Peoria Department of Motor Vehicles.. The clerk asked him how he got there, and when he told him he drove, they gave him his license without any further questions. He served in the US Army at the very end of the World War II during which he was posted to the Aleutian Islands. Thanks to the GI Bill that financed higher education for former armed forces personnel, for which he was ever grateful, he was able to attend the University of Illinois, where he graduated with both an undergraduate and a master´s degree in architecture. Ed started practicing his profession while working as an adjunct professor for two years at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Ed then went to live in Rome for two years, where he worked as an architect at the Roman College of the Holy Cross and helped in the initial construction of the buildings for the headquarters of Opus Dei in Rome.

One day Ed met Fr Joseph Muzquiz, one of the first priests of Opus Dei and one of the first people to go to US to start Opus Dei, and told him that he had dreamt of marrying and having a large family, just as his parents had done. He could not imagine that God was going to be much more generous with him and give him the even bigger family that Opus Dei really is.

After his two years in Rome he was one of the first people of Opus Dei whom Saint Josemaria asked to go to East Africa.

Fr Henry, Ed and Joao infront of the Italian Church Rift Valley 1961.
During his years in Kenya (1958-1983) he helped the beginnings of Opus Dei and worked as an architect. Some of his projects were the original Strathmore College, now Strathmore School in Lavington, Kianda School, Kianda Residence, Riverside Residence, Finance House (Koinange Street), Protection House (Haile Selassie Avenue), the Telecommunications College (now Multimedia University), and other educational institutions.

After spending 25 years in Kenya working as an architect and helping in the work of Opus Dei, he returned to the US where he continued his architectural practice..

Ed with Kennedy Mugo (alumnus) in Berkeley, California

Ed was a good and kind man. He was described as a gentleman by many of his friends. He was also very smart and would amaze people with his great recall of details of events from 50 to 60 years prior.

His funeral took place in St Mary’s Catholic Church in Oakland on April 23, 2019 and he was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California, US.

Everybody in Kenya and in many parts of East Africa are grateful to him for his fidelity, for being one of the first to come to Kenya and for planting many seeds of the spirit of Saint Josemaría in this part of the world.

On 31 January 2018, the class of Form 4 2018 were in school to give thanks for the good performance in last year’s KCSE examinations.

Families of the Form 4 class of 2018 joined the whole school at 11:40 am for Mass in the courtyard in front of the library facing the form 4 class rooms.

After the Mass, they had lunch with staff members. Speeches of thanksgiving followed with some exchange of gifts and farewell.

To the form 4 class of 2018. Congratulations! and we wish you success in life.

Who is a Saint? What does it take to be a Saint? To be a saint is to live a life of heroic virtue. St. Josemaría used to say that being a saint is not difficult, but that it was also not easy. He would add that sanctity is not for some people, it is for all people.

This year we are celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the arrival of Opus Dei to Kenya (Since 1958) and the 90th Anniversary of the foundation of Opus Dei (Since 1928). As a sign of our thanksgiving for this double celebration, we decided to celebrate the feast of St. Josemaría this year with a special one-week (26th June to 2nd July 2018) challenge.

During the “St. Josemaría Week”, students were challenged to put into practice the spirit that St. Josemaría wanted for Strathmore. We would like to remind all students that being a saint is possible and that it is not a boring chore but an exciting adventure. Striving for sanctity is very much like playing competitive sports – easy to begin, difficult to persevere but very rewarding.

With the aid of a number of select quotes from St. Josemaría, students were guided through the challenge. The idea is not only to do them for one week, but persevere in doing them; to slowly and gradually put all of them into practice in daily life.

Try it, you won’t regret it!

 

Day 1: Tuesday 26th (Hour of Study …)

Challenge:

Offer up an hour of study today

3 Easy Steps:

1. Single out an hour of the day from your study timetable.
2. Say a simple prayer like, “My God, I offer you this hour of study,” before you begin
3. Try to study as well as you can (no distractions).

Day 2: Wednesday 27th (Little Things)

Challenge:

Make your bed in the morning.

It seems like a trivial matter right? Why should you make your own bed knowing that you will sleep in it in the evening?

1. A made bed creates the appearance of a neat and pulled-together bedroom. What’s so great about a pulled-together bedroom? It’s a small thing, in a way, but also not so small, because coming home to a tidy and pulled-together-looking bedroom will make you feel proud, calm, in-control, and grown-up.

2. If you start by setting up everything with purpose, your room will set the stage for what you do in the house and how you should act that day. Setting up your room in the morning therefore means confronting the “devils in your house and in your day”.
3. Because it only takes one minute: You are not busy, you are just lazy. Plus if you make the bed every day, the act of doing so starts to get quicker and quicker—in part because a bed that’s made every day gets less disheveled while you sleep, and in part because your bed-making skill level will improve.

Day 3: Thursday 28th (Friend in Deed)

Challenge

Go to the chapel to Greet Jesus

Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, in the tabernacle

He is there because he knows you need him. Do you bother to greet him? He is waiting.

1. Pass by the chapel as soon as you arrive in school to tell Jesus “hi”.

2. Pass by at the end of the day to tell Him “bye”.

Day 4: Friday 29th (The First Battle)

Challenge:

Heroic Minute

The heroic minute is a chance to exercise heroic virtue at the moment of waking up. Rising instantly sounds easy, but if that were true, we would all do it and there would be no such thing as a snooze button.

Here are three suggestions that may help you:

  1. Pray about it the night before – Our wills are weak, and we need graces to do even the smallest good act.
  2. Don’t give yourself excuses – Just do it! Move your alarm – Where is your alarm in the room? This can make a big difference. If it’s far from the bed and you have to get up to shut it off, you are far more likely to get up right away.
Day 5: Saturday 30th (Honour Your Mother)

Challenge:

Give a genuine compliment to your Mother

Jesus had a mother and he honoured her. Honouring our parents is also a commandment.

You need reasons? Here are some: You can compliment her when/because …

  • She tells you the truth, even if you don’t want to hear it.
  • She always pick up the phone when you call.
  • She will cook you dinner when you return home.
  • She always makes sure you have everything you need, even if it’s more than enough.
  • She makes you want to be a better person.
  • She is your biggest fan and supporter.
  • She is the only one listen to you talk about yourself for hours.
  • She listens to your complaints and doesn’t complain about you complaining.
Day 6: Sunday 1st July (Honour Your Father)

Challenge:

Do something with your Father

Practicle examples:

  1. Wash the car
  2. Mow the lawn
  3. Go for a walk
  4. play chess or draughts
  5. Play golf etc.
Day 7: Monday 2nd July (Giving Thanks)

Challenge:

Get used to saying thanks

Practicle Examples:

Say a simple thanksgiving prayer (Grace) before each meal:

Example of a simple prayer: “For what I am about to receive, I give thanks.”

Education is more than passing on of knowledge. Education is about the passing on of a culture.  Our culture both represents and shapes who we are. Although inescapably exposed to the general culture in our society, while they are living at home, your sons’ most influential cultural experiences should be dictated by home and school.  To this effect, we at Strathmore seek to collaborate with you in providing a culture for your sons that will shape them according to your expectations and hopes.

The most important agent for surrounding your sons with the culture you desire is the home environment you create. Given how much children learn from the environment around them, you parents have a special power to form and deform. Of course, you could not hold the former without also risking the latter.  Your values and example have an impact.  If you put away your own phones when you sit at the dinner table, then you form your children into believing that phones should not interrupt the sacredness of dinnertime.  If you keep your phone with you and check it, even furtively, while at the table, your sons will learn that constant access to their phones is accepted (you do it).

Much the same way as contaminated water is passed through a filter to remove harmful elements, a number of technical devices (filters, routers, timers …) that impede the passage of negative elements have been developed for the Internet. These devices produce an “immediate prevention”, which presupposes the “remote prevention” of a cultural and ethical nature that fosters in the person the decision to want to use devices and the Internet well.” Without this cultural and ethical component, filters will be of very little use. So, here are some ideas – both ethical and technical – for creating a healthy formative culture at home.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, or a final list.  Read it, rather, as a sample of what a list of family cultural traits could be like, in no particular order of importance.

  1. Have a Library at home

If you want your sons to develop into readers, then you need to present a culture of reading at home. It may occasionally be more convenient to read a book on an iPad, or to listen to

Audio-books, but there is no substitute for having physical books at home that stare your sons daily in the face.  Your sons benefit from seeing you, on a regular basis, grab a book from a shelf or from a side table and sit down to read.  That image conveys to them that reading is for adults, and that through hard work and habit, they are making themselves capable of sharing that activity with the civilized, educated world.  If they never see you reading, no matter how much you counsel them to do so, they will invariably believe that reading is for kids in school but not something grown men do.

  1. Establish and protect order in common areas of your home.

This way you can teach your sons that you have the expectation of order in all areas of the home, including his bedroom. After all, the bedroom is not really his room but rather the room in which he sleeps. Order is a way for us to make the space we inhabit available to others.  Order is not only an act of self-discipline; it is also an act of charity.

  1. Aim to have dinner together every day.

An occasional failure to this plan will still ensure that you have family dinner most of the time. There is just no better way to teach your sons about the importance of making time for family. Only by adamantly protecting this time, will you teach them that being together for dinner is the best use of time no matter how busy you are.  Given that deciding     when career and social obligations or demands weigh more than family time is a hard balance to strike, parents need to be the wise arbiters.

  1. Dedicate a nightly time to family prayer.

It does not have to be long, as a matter of fact, it is better if it is rather short. Maybe not even five minutes.  But there is something powerful about a family gathering at the end of the day – just before the youngest goes to bed – and praying together.  Everyone has an opportunity to mention one or several intentions for which he would like the family to pray.  This teaches your sons both that men pray for what they care about most, and also what it is that you most care about.

  1. The use of any media in our home should be consistent with our beliefs and values as a family. Below are examples of rules that parents can enforce for various media and devices. It’s wise to write them out, in a posted “Media Contract” that – if necessary – everyone signs:

a. TV: Watching TV is a special event, not a regular routine. In general, it is also a family event, not a private pastime. No TV before school, before homework is done, or during meals. Always ask permission to turn on the TV; watch only approved programs. Certain nights are “quiet nights”; the TV stays off so we can focus on family activities and doing other things. (Choose these nights together as a family).

b. Video Games: All video games must be previewed by a parent and limited to agreed-upon times.

c. Phones: No mobile devices at meals. Unless permission is granted, no use of mobile devices after agreed-upon times (set a reasonable curfew).

d. Laptops: parents should create a guest profile for students who need laptops for school projects. If a student needs to install a program or an application or download a resource, they need to go through the parents – who retain the administrator password.

e. Movies & Series: No R-rated movies or series and no PG-13 or PG movies without parental permission.

f. Internet/Wi-Fi: Every internet enabled device should have a filter – including video games – e.g. PlayStation, Xbox etc. No use of the Internet without parental approval. You must have parental permission to download anything. Do not share your password with friends or over email. Never physically meet someone you have met online. If a stranger tries to involve you in an online relationship, tell Mum or Dad right away. Pornographic and hate web sites are off limits and blocked by an Internet filter installed by the family.

(NB: Digitally savvy kids know how to get around most of these controls, which is why our talking with them about these issues is essential for developing the most important control – their conscience).

After about two years of preparation, 32 pupils of standard 3 finally received Holy Communion for the first time on Saturday, 20th May 2017. They had been looking forward to that moment with more and more eagerness as the final preparations were being made. The boys were also glad to receive their first confession that week and many of them were happy to go several more times to prepare themselves. Before the actual day, many of us also witnessed the boys rehearse for the ceremony, moving around the compound in two orderly lines guided by their class teacher Mr. Muiruri. Their effort paid off as their orderly movement helped to make the day a success.

In his homily, the chaplain, Fr. Francis reminded those present that this year is the 100th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children in Fatima Portugal. He told them that before the 13th of May 1917, the three children received their first communion from the hands of an angel as a preparation for their first meeting with the Mother of Jesus and as a way of preparing them to receive the important message she had for the whole world. Fr. Francis further encouraged the boys to love Jesus in the Eucharist. As a show of their gratitude to Jesus, communicants sang a wonderful song.
The number of boys receiving first Holy Communion this year was the highest in the recent past and for that reason we had a large gathering of relatives and friends coming to witness the great moment. There were several grandparents present and they were clearly joyful at seeing the young ones make a major step in their Christian life. The boys as good hosts shared their joy with them by inviting their guests to a tasty bite of cake and other refreshments. Parents, sisters and brothers also assisted in making the other guests feel at home and making the day a great success.

Following the death of Bishop Javier Echevarria on 12th December 2016, an elective congress was conceived in Rome in which Mosignor Fernando Ocariz was elected Prelate. On the same day, The Holy Father, Pope Francis confirmed him as the new Prelate of Opus Dei. Until then Mosignor Ocariz was the Auxilluary Vicar. In this role, he was the principal assistant to Bishop Javier Echevarria.

Monsignor Fernando Ocariz was born in Paris on October 27, 1944, in a Spanish family exiled in France due to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The youngest of eight children, he graduated from the University of Barcelona with a degree in Physical Sciences in 1966. He received a licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1969 and a doctorate in Theology from the University of Navarra in 1971, the year he was ordained a priest. In his first years as a priest he was especially involved in ministry to young people and university students. Over the past 22 years he has accompanied the previous Prelate, Bishop Javier Echevarria, on his pastoral trips to more than 70 countries. Monsignor Ocariz becomes the third successor to Saint Josemaria.

A Mass of the Holy Spirit was held here in the school on 23rd January to pray for guidance for those electing the new prelate. On 27th January, a Mass of thanks giving attended by very many students and members of staff was held in the school chapel to thank God for the gift of the new Prelate.

All of us are invited to pray for the new Prelate as he takes over his new role as shepherd and Father of many sons and daughters including those in Strathmore School.

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