Monday, April 8, 2013

President Mori and Bishop Amando Samo dialogue on possible future for St. Cecilia School

President Mori with Bishop Samo on April 6 at the Jesuit House in Kolonia,
At the Jesuit House in Kolonia, Pohnpei, President Manny Mori and Bishop Amando Samo of the Diocese of the Caroline Islands held discussions on April 6, 2013 regarding a concept for the renovation of St. Cecilia School in Chuuk.

In an April 5 letter to the Bishop, President Mori said:

"Under the Amended Compact, there are available specific grants for infrastructure, especially for health and education facilities. Chuuk State has a large allocated grants, but because of the land issues regarding government legal authority to use government and private lands, no new schools have been built during the first ten years of the Amended Compact. There seemed to be no viable solutions available at this time. Based on this fact and the dire need of new school buildings for the elementary as well as high school students, here is a concept that I must share with your for your consideration."

A the meeting, President Mori sought for Bishop Samo's support of the project concept that would require a long-term use right or outright purchase of mission land where St. Cecilia School is located and direct changes to other school arrangements (such as school governance structure) in order to facilitate government-church partnership in all aspects of "school improvement" for the future the school.

The discussion provided the opportunity for the two leaders to share the concept as outlined by the President and consider areas of responsibilities to allow the Church-owned school and the FSM Government to package a justifiable proposal that would merit the use of Amended Compact grants for school facilities.

"St. Cecilia School with clear land title is an excellent candidate to utilize Compact funds. The school has contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of the State of Chuuk, and it can continue to do so in the future. It is only fitting that the government directly contribute to rebuilding this important Chuuk State asset", the President further stated in his letter.

The President also said that the National Government "will be working with US Government to ensure the condition of Compact Grants for this type of project". 

Bishop Amando Samo expressed appreciation to President Mori and spoke of his willingness to progress a partnership with the government that would secure the long-term viability of St. Cecilia School with possible support as envisioned in the concept being discussed.

Bishop Samo is in Pohnpei on an annual routine as the Bishop who ministers to the Catholic faithful of Pohnpei and administers the rest of the Diocese of the Caroline Islands.

With the Bishop at the meeting were Fr. Julio Angkel, vicar of Pohnpei, and Fr. Ken Urumolog S.J.

Accompanying the President was Secretary Lorin S. Robert.

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