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News  |  Posted on: 12th May 2023 - 09:11 pm


Have you heard of Claret International School, Abuja? 

I had viewed this Creche, Nursery and Primary school severally online and asked the Claretians from both East and West of Nigeria about its origins or likely connections to the Claretian family. Your guess is as good as mine. It was a dead end. No one knew much about it. The presumption was that maybe it was owned by a lay Claretian or a Catholic who was privately devoted to Saint Anthony Mary Claret. How wrong we have been. 

Well, on the 11th of May, 2023, I had the opportunity of making a cursory visit to the school at Abuja. I had some time on my hands after finishing the activity I came for, so I decided to do some findings about this school. The school is located in the heart of Abuja - Mabushi, close to Gwarimpa - a predominantly high class area. I must say the school is really beautiful - that got me impressed even from the entrance to the school. 

I had second thoughts on entry, contemplated abandoning this unplanned adventure, owing to the fact that I'm not aware of the demeanour of the owners. But I still knocked at the gate - I mean, after all, what's the worst that can happen. Introduced myself as a Catholic priest and I wanted to see the proprietor or head teacher. 

After two minutes, I was ushered into the premises. It was as you see online - ordered and colourful. The head teacher was very welcoming and polite. I went straight to business. I'm a Claretian priest and wanted to know if the owner was a lay Claretian or had Claretian links. 

Then the shock happened. The head teacher smiled. She said they've gotten calls from parents asking to know if the school is connected to the Claretians or other Claret schools they knew. But alas! The school is not even a Catholic school, nor owned by a Catholic. Yes! You heard me right. It's owned by a pentecostal and the proprietor was a Mrs. Titilayo. I was then informed that they named their school with the initials of all the members of their family (I guess hers being the 'T'). And it rhymed with a colour called 'Claret colour' which is also the major colour of the Claret International school (Hmm... I'll need to check that colour). She said it was only a few years after the school was founded in 2015 that they realized there were other schools around the country named Claret and that there was a Catholic Saint called Claret. 

It was a good encounter and I used the opportunity to let them know that the Claret school in Owerri is 25 years this year. It seemed an interesting coincidence as they said some parents who call in usually asked if it was a Catholic school, but they told them it wasn't. I jokingly added, that they should refer such parents to the Claret schools they truly sought. Also, commended them for the quality of work they put into the school and that St. Anthony Claret was known for doing things wonderfully. So they should keep representing that.

They were really welcoming and after some snapshots, I bade them farewell and took my leave. 

So, if you didn't know there was a Claret-named school, not owned by the Nigerian Claretians, NOW YOU KNOW!

Matthew Mmuo, cmf


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