After 77 years a new Secondary School of the Reformed Church is opened in Budapest
Hungarian version of the article: Hetvenhét év után adtak át ismét református gimnáziumot Budapesten
October 18, 2020 at 10:00 AM
The new building of the Rózsakerti Demjén István Reformed Primary and Secondary School was opened within a thanksgiving service on Saturday in the 24nd District. Standing opposite the current building of the school, the foundation stone of the new complex was lain in 2018.
A belfry was also built next to the school. The bell cast by Miklós Gombos and Ferenc Gombos was raised on 27 May 2020. The bronze instrument is decorated with a map of historical Hungary to symbolise the unity of the Hungarian people, the names of the sister congregations and the school's motto.
The newly completed building will function as a secondary school and house 12 classes. The last new building opened for a school of the Reformed Church was inaugurated in 1943, on Lónyay Street in Ferencváros.
The new buildings, with the belfry in the foreground (Photo: Zoltán Máthé/MTI)
The event was attended by Viktor Orbán. In his address, the Prime Minister said that when the state provided funding to build or maintain a new Church institution, it was investing its funds in the best possible place. "All Hungarians receive several times the investment through education, culture, caring for children, families, the poor, the elderly, the sick or through their efforts in helping Hungarian communities throughout the Carpathian Basin. In many areas where Church and state are allies in Modern Hungary" – said Mr Orbán on the nature of state support for church institutions.
Quoting the Reformed pastor, poet and writer, Endre Gyökössy, the Prime Minister continued "we have been given Christian Freedom (..) so that we may raise our children as homo Christians", as people committed to their children, their faith, their nation and their fellow human beings. The Prime Minister continued by saying that "our generation has been given three tasks." The first is to save a renew the values that Hungarians have created in the Carpathian Basin over the last 1000 years. This is why old churches, schools and public spaces are being renovated.
The interior of one of the new buildings. Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the middle (Photo: zoltán Máthé/MTI)
The second was building new churches, nurseries, and schools at home and beyond our borders. Thus "building the strong defensive line that will ensure that coming generation remain Christian and Hungarian," adding that the state and Church were allies in these two goals.
Finally, the third task - according to the Prime Minister - is to protect the work completed to date. The question of our children is unavoidable, the values they will live by, and their connections to family, Hungarians, "and even their own sexes." Mr Orbán added that a definite answer is needed to the question "what do we want to pass on to the next generation" to ensure that "the traditions that connect us to the Hungarians of the last one-thousand years are not broken" that they "understand that they must add their own time to this one-thousand years so that the next one thousand cannot happen without us."
If we know the answers to the questions "Who are you and why?" then "no great trouble can befall us in life. And we hope that no trouble will come upon our children's, or grandchildren's lives" – said the Prime minister, adding that the new school was one of the best places to teach its pupils who they are, who we Hungarians are, and why, that is, what our mission is in life.
Mr Orban also highlighted that the last Reformed secondary school opened in Budapest can be found in Lónyay Street, and was inaugurated 77 years ago, reminding those present that the first Reformed nursery school in the country was opened here in Budafok.
Eventually, this nursery led to the creation of a primary school and later a secondary school – the Prime Minister added.
The new building has redefined the area
Ferenc Karsay (Fidesz-KDNP)district mayor of Budafok-Tétény spoke about how the new school - which has redefined the area – is further proof of the dedicated Reformed community in Budafok-Tétény. The congregation built the nursery, the primary school, step by step, and can now give thanks for the opening of the new secondary school building.
In his sermon, Pastor Péter Nagy emphasised that a Christian school teaches a Christian view of the world and people, and views spiritual, moral and material values through these. While the path of Christian educators is not always smooth in the present day, they continue to stand up for "everything that is true knowledge, the truth, and holds moral value."
The school's namesake organised the construction of the local Reformed Church
Speaking on behalf of the congregation, its caretaker, Géza Németh said that naming the first religious school in the District after the Reformed Pastor István Demjén – a major organiser of the local Reformed Church's construction – was a respectable, if belated, way of rehabilitating the pastor for his service.
He noted that nearly 730 pupils attend the school. The first secondary school class was started in 2018 and expressed hope that the primary school may also be expanded soon.
Cover photo: The new building complex (Photo: Zoltán Máthé/MTI)