2007-03-22 SPAIN

Presentation of the book ?Witnesses of a living history?

The college of Badajoz has joyfully celebrated the 75th anniversary of Marist presence in the city of Badajoz. For that, throughout 2005-2006 there have been different ceremonies to commemorate this event. Between the opening day of this event and its closing day, respectively the 8th October 2005 and the 6th June 2006, we experienced significant moments of this history. Thus the Ministry day, the Music day, the Sports day, the day for former students and brothers were occasions to recall and update the bases on which Marist education rests.

As the summit of these ceremonies, a book has now appeared ?Witnesses of a living history? where the facts and the most significant moments throughout these seventy-five years of history have been collected.

The source of the enquiry was fundamentally a few manuscript notebooks in beautiful handwriting, found in the cupboards of the Marist community where they were kept in which is recounted scenes, details and names of people who compose the whole of the book. This meticulous and slow work was possible thanks to the devotion of two current teachers of the college, Mrs Matilde Redondo and Francisco Colón, and of the superior of the Marist community, Brother Antonio Marín.

With the appearance of this book, we want to show the birth of the congregation in the department of the Loire, quite close to Lyons (France), thanks to the intuition of Saint Marcellin Champagnat towards 1817, and the implantation of the congregation itself, in similar circumstances, in the city of Badajoz in 1930. In the two cases there was the need to look after the domain of school and religious education.

Throughout the reading of these pages, you can appreciate the fundamental beginnings in which the Marist work of Badajoz was nourished: devotion of the brothers, presence of lay teachers, devotion to Mary, school sport, religious and pastoral activities, catechesis in the neighbourhood, musical education, attention to the boarding school, serious academic preparation of the school population, links with the local Church and the esteem of the school staff.

The second motivation for this living and written history is to recognise that all that has been possible thanks to the contribution of more than two hundred and seventy Marist Brothers, of the body of lay teachers present in this Marist college and more than 10,600 students, with their respective families who have put their confidence in the Marist Congregation of Father Champagnat.

The book was presented to the public on the 28th February, vigil of the fifteenth anniversary of the death of Nicolás Goyoaga Leceta, Brother Daniel.
For those who want to have a copy of the book, they can come to the college at number 14 Juan Pereda y Pila Street, Badajoz.

Chronicler Brother Antonio Marín Alba


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