An unrecorded missionary text on Catholic education
A few words on Catholic education in Ceylon.
Sold at the Catholic Book Repository, Jaffna for the benefit of the Jaffna Catholic Schools and Orphanage. Madras printed by Robert Galway, at the Examiner Press 1860
First edition, pp.iv, 59, errata leaf tipped in. A very good stab-sewn copy Some spotting on first and last leaves, damp stain to gutter. Contemporary inscription dated Nov.27 60 on title-page. Later initials of C.H.B. Reynolds.
We locate no other copies.
A spirited defense of Catholic missionary schooling in Ceylon, written by the recently arrived French missionary, Christoph Bonjean (1823-1892), arguing for the need to provide a satisfactory alternative to the proliferating Protestant mission schools, many of which were educating local Catholic children. Bonjean chides local Catholics for failing to fund their own schools sufficiently, and notes the appeal of well-funded Protestant schools and colleges. He makes a number of comparisons to the situation in Dublin, where Catholic educational institutions competed with Protestant equivalents funded and supported by the British authorities. All funds raised from the sale of this publication were for the benefit of Jaffna Catholic Schools and Orphanage. The final section calls for all local Catholics to ensure that their family homes are furnished with a suitable library of good Catholic texts, available in English and local languages at Jaffna and Colombo, and the creation of local Catholic lending libraries across the island. Bonjean, a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate, first reached Ceylon in 1855. He served on the island for the rest of his life, firstly in Jaffna, he had learnt Tamil in India, and later became the first Catholic archbishop of Colombo. Perhaps he needed to print in Madras as the only presses in Jaffna at that time were Protestant.