On July 16, 1950, Father Francisco Orcoyen arrived in Rio de Janeiro, thus beginning the beautiful history of the Piarists in Brazil.
Many events have occurred in those 70 years: the beginning of courses at the San Miguel Archangel School (1951); the direction of the Ibituruna school (1952); the presence in Boa Esperanza (1953), the “Shore House” of the Jacaraípe (1964); the presence in St. Lucia (1966) and Volta Redonda (1971); the parish Of Our Lady of Graces (1973); the parish of San Marcos (1984); the Recanto of Betim (1992); the lay people of the Fraternity sent from Pamplona (1999); the Sonoro Despertar (2000); the Social Center in Governador Valadares (2002); the official beginning of Itaka-Escolapios (2006); the presence of Serra (2008); the Social Center in Belo Horizonte (2010); the Piarist Fraternity (2011), the Recanto of Baguarí (2013); the presence in Aracaju (2019), and much more with the GGN, the houses of formation, the Pastoral of the Minor, the Calasanz Movement… and, above all, people, many people who are the best in that story. We now have a very well done work by Father Fernando, presenting this Piarist history in Brazil.
It is nice to look back, as a memory, but also to discover the hand of God in that history. We have to thank the Lord and also all those who made and continue to build this history: religious, vocations, members of the Fraternity and the Calasanz Movement, collaborators in parishes, in schools and in social centers, in the Itaka-Escolapios projects, children, young people… all!
Remembering these 70 years of history is also useful in renewing our commitment to the Piarist mission of transforming our beloved Brazil, through education, the proclamation of the Gospel, solidarity, our happy life, following Jesus, our religious communities and the Fraternity. It is an opportunity to renew our Piarist vocation, religious or secular, with creative fidelity, maintaining the Calasanz charism of always and, at the same time, updating it in every moment and situation that we are living.
To celebrate these 70 years is also to learn from this Piarist history in Brazil, discerning, in the present, the steps we have to take to respond to the will of the Lord Jesus and the needs of people and society, learning from history and inventing a better future, always in community.
Being a part of that network of people, events, 70-year decisions, with the confidence that our work will have continuity for many more years, is a gift and a motivation to renew our Piarist life.