It is comforting to hear, in this time of accelerated change and crisis in almost everything, the proposal of the “Global Education Compact” promoted by Pope Francis. My first impression is that it is a dream to be achieved, not a programme to be fulfilled with specific dates. It is a time open to the future that wants to involve and put to work all the educational forces in the same direction.

We Brothers of the Holy Family have education as our main mission. Brother Gabriel understood education as one of the noblest tasks, because it was a good for individuals, families and society: “What a beautiful mission that of education! You are charged with forming good members of families and society and saints for heaven” (Circular 8, VIII, 1852). The passage of time has proved him right and no one doubts the essential value of education for the growth of individuals and peoples. It is in this endeavour that the Sa-Fa Family Schools are spread throughout the world.

We understand that the person is at the centre of education. Each person is considered unique and we must offer them motivation, culture and training so that they can bring out the best in themselves. At the same time, we must open them up to relationships, commitment and integration into society.

Sometimes, we place the educational emphasis on knowledge and the provision of intellectual and manual resources. Today we see that people have an emotional intelligence that makes them project themselves and form part of a world of relationships; relationships between people, with nature, with society, with transcendence… everything is connected. “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire” (Malafa Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize 2014).

It is necessary to nurture the ideal of caring for the common home and building the human family by promoting the values and culture of encounter. In the words of the Global Education Compact itself: “Joining efforts to achieve a broad education alliance, with a view to educating mature individuals, capable of rebuilding the fabric of relationships and create a more fraternal, equitable, solidary and supportive humanity”. These last four adjectives seem to me to be very suggestive for the Sa-Fa Schools because they connect with our Educational Project.

The challenges facing our world require us to walk together and join forces. We are living in a historic moment in which we feel we are in the same boat and we have to add the best of each one of us to a common project. We are invited to be cooperative, co-responsible, collaborative and committed in our educational tasks. We are also invited to associate, group together and project ourselves in harmony with those who are pursuing the same dream.

Nothing will be possible without the firm will of the educational agents and everything will be possible from an openness to change that seeks to give the world a more human and evangelical face.

Bro. Francisco Javier Hernando de Frutos. AG