Teachers, philosophers, scientists

The Jesuits of Canada in Ethiopia

As the 1945 school year was about to begin, four Jesuits travelled from Canada to Addis Ababa at the invitation of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I. Mandated with the reorganization of the country’s educational system without engaging in proselytizing, these Jesuits were dressed in civilian clothes.

First assigned at Tafari Makonnen School, the Canadian Jesuits on Ethiopian soil expanded their field of work to include positions in educational institutions at all levels, scientific and academic research, and various pastoral ministries, including the Jesuit Refugee Service.

The Archive of the Jesuits in Canada holds a large collection of textual, photographic, audio and audiovisual records documenting the presence of Jesuits of Canada in Ethiopia over the course of the twentieth century.

The community. 1946. 0900-0022.4.4

Exhibition Modules

Tafari Makonnen School

Upon arriving in Addis Ababa in the late summer of 1945, the Jesuits tackled the first task assigned to them by Emperor Haile Selassie: reorganizing Tafari Makonnen primary school in time for the start of the new academic year. In the years that followed, they added a secondary curriculum to the institution, and set up courses and activities promoting the development of well-rounded individuals, such as team sports, theatre, and scouting.



According to the tradition of Jesuit colleges, sports and athletics were organised to complete the education of the child. ‘Mens sana in corpore sano!

Les Jésuites et l’éducation en Éthiopie de 1945 à 1950, by Édouard Trudeau, S.J., Master of Education thesis, Boston College, July 1953.