“We like to start with definitions”. This is how Fr. Carles Gil began his presentation to explain the project that the General Congregation wishes to promote: “Alumni in the Pious Schools”.
The meetings were held by circumscriptions. In each meeting, Fr. Carles Gil discussed what we should understand about the term: “alumni” “former students”. Perhaps the current understanding and according to the form of the present project may be different.
He mentioned that the University Alumni experience is today a consolidated experience in many universities around the world. He also mentioned that this model can be “imported” or implemented in schools, and that there are those in the world who have grasped the benefits of this project and its potential for the context and the school institution itself. There are now very powerful Alumni networks in these places.
In the Piarist field, there are intuitions or projects already started in Catalonia, in West Africa, in USA Devon, in India, in Bethany Getafe, and very recently in Nazareth.
Currently there are two types of formats:
- Associations of people who meet to commemorate or remember some important moment of their trajectory, and, on the other hand, the eventual economic help in some project.
- To create a Piarist Alumni Piarist model (not of isolated works) that makes possible a sustainable project of human, community, and institutional development.
The challenge is: a Piarist student spends fifteen years in our school (and not only three or four like in a university), being formed in knowledge, attitudes, values and in an integral and integrative way. The Alumni project brings together those who have been formed in an educational institution and aims at the continuity of a relationship of help and cooperation. Therefore, our Piarist students could be Alumni under a project of accompaniment in the key to a relationship of help, cooperation and mutual growth.
What could we expect from a planned, coordinated, and intentional Alumni project for a demarcation and for the Pious Schools?
This is the project that is being built as an initiative of the General Congregation in the person of Fr. Carles Gil. Where will this initiative take the Pious Schools? We will know if we work together, coordinated, but, above all, loving the young people and the Pious Schools. For there are many good things and many benefits. As with everything, we must dedicate heart, strategic intelligence, and time to it.