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First Marist Education Congress in Chile

10/09/2011: Chile

The « Instituto Alonso de Ercilla », Santiago du Chili, was the venue for a great meeting about education. The participants were teachers from the network of Marist schools in Chile. The Marist family of Chile is in this way celebrating the Centenary of its presence in this country.

The participants in the First Marist Education Congress arrived on the morning of 8 July. Their first activities were meeting and sharing as Marist family on the occasion of this Centenary. The inauguration took place in the afternoon. It was the Undersecretary for Education in Chile, Mr Fernando Rojas, who fired the opening shot: « The quality of education is not good enough, he stated, and equality of opportunity leaves much to be desired ». So he congratulated the Marist congregation for taking time to reflect on the occasion of its 100 years of history in Chile.

The first conference of the Congress was given by Br Jesús Bayo, belonging to our Province of « Santa María de los Andes ». He is currently in the service of mission Ad Gentes, and lives his vocation as a Marist Brother in Cuba. His conference was entitled: « Celebrating the historic memory of 100 years of Marist presence in Chile ».

Saturday 9 July began with a talk by Br João Carlos do Prado, director of the Bureau of Mission, who took part in the congress not only as a speaker but also as delegate of the Superior General, Br Emili Turú. His talk was entitled: « Evangelizing through education with Marist educators ».

Raúl Zarzuri, sociologist and professor at the « Alberto Hurtado » University, spoke on the topic: « Evangelizing youth and their cultures through education ». There were representatives from the Student Centres of the various Marist schools, who had also taken part in the Youth Congress at La Serena.

The afternoon presentations began with the conference of Mme Mª Alicia Halcartegaray, Doctor of Education, who reflected on « Evangelizing from Education: school and family hand in hand ». By way of closure, those present benefitted from the words of Fr Fernando Montes, Jesuit, who spoke on « Quality and identity of the Catholic school ».

« Challenges and proposals for education in the XXIcentury»: this was the last conference given at this great Marist Education Congress by Mr José Joaquín Brunner, titular professor and researcher at the « Diego Portales » University.

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