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A century of Marist presence in Apipucos

24/08/2011: Brazil - Photo gallery

This year 2011 celebrates the centenary of the Marist presence in Apipucos, Recife (NE Brasil). The festivities commenced on 12 March, in the chapel of the Faculty of Medecine, and will finish on 8 December. The Marist expedition in thedirection of Recife was marked by innumerable challenges, which did not, however, prove obstacles to the attainment of Champagnat’s dream to reach all the dioceses in the world. Multiple roads, long journey, dangers and obstacles.

On 2 July 1910, Brothers Romildo and Martírio, with eight youths from the Juniorate of Aubenas, disembarked from the English steamer Oriana and took shelter in a house of the Ponte d’Uchôa station, thus forming the first Marist religious community. The following year, on 1st January 1911, Br Paul Berchmans founded, in a vast garret in Ponte d’Uchôa, the school of the Immaculate Conception, which received its first pupils on 6 February. The big building of Ponte d’Uchôa received once a week the pupils from the centre of Recife for the practice of sports. That same year, the great garret on Ponte d’Uchôa took on a new function, bearing the name of « Externato São Luís », with primary classes.

In this historical context, the climb up the hill of the Immaculate Conception was the great expression of thanks towards the Good Mother, our ordinary resource, a motive of gratitude and praise to the God of life. From the height of the hill of the Conception, the Brothers contemplated what would be a new Hermitage. To contemplate a mountain, a hill… perhaps a new Tabor, a new mountain, a new climb towards the summits, where all find meaning…

Arriving at the summit of the mountain of Apipucos and breathing the pure air of the forest surrounding the hill, was the confirmation of a project which cast its first seeds in this place; it was necessary to steady one’s steps and trace a new path.

On the occasion of its centenary, the house of Apipucos represents a place of encounter, conviviality, prayer, of strength at moments of crisis and difficulty, but especially a place of  contemplation and prayer, a hermitage where each can recover strength for carrying out the great  mission : « To make Jesus Christ known and loved ».

From the height of the hill, we wish to contemplate the innumerable challenges awaiting us over the next hundred years, with the profound conviction that we can do much more, showing ourselves  simple and humble servants in the construction of a more fraternal world.

Today, the house of Apipucos harbours the Marist Faculty, a centre of academic formation of high prestige in our city. For that reason, it remains faithful to the project of Saint Marcellin Champagnat   « to form good Christians and good citizens ».

________________

Sandro Roberto
Co-ordinator of Ministry of the «Colégio Marista São Luís »

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