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4 December

Saint John Damascene and John Calabria
1889, opening of the first Marist school in Colombia

Marist Calendar - December

Br Saturnino Alonso Ortega

 

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New Provincial of the Province of Sta. María de los Andes

13/03/2014: Bolivia

Br Emili Turú has communicated the appointment, made by the members of the General Council, of Br Saturnino Alonso Ortega as Provincial Superior of the Province of Santa María de los Andes, for a period of three years. At the same time, he thanks Br Antonio Peralta, actual Provincial, for his service to his Province and the   Institute, in carrying out the important role of Provincial, for these six years.

Br Saturnino Alonso tells us something of his life and experiences below:

Born on 23 February 1957, in a village called Santa Cruz del Tozo, in the Province Burgos, Spain. Fifth of 6 sons of Julián and Isidora, one of whom died in infancy. What a beautiful experience of family life in simplicity and in work in the fields!

Began his Marist formation as a child in September 1969, going to join a new family in the juniorate of Robledo de Chavela, Madrid, then in the juniorates of Ogíjares, Granada, and Castilleja de la Cuesta, Seville. For four years lived in the house of Maimón, Córdoba, where he made his postulancy and novitiate, and was professed on 8 September 1978. He did his Scholasticate at Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, living an intense community life at the time of completing his Master’s degree.

At the conclusion of this first stage of the post-novitiate, received “a great gift” – said Br Saturnino –: being sent to Bolivia.

 On 13 January 1981, he arrived in Bolivia, and a few days later, was in his new town: Comarapa.

 On 25 March 1983, he made perpetual profession in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where he is living this year. 

Of the various missions he has been assigned, the many years accompanying vocations ministry and the different stages of initial formation have been the most significant.

 Br Saturnino says that he experienced a time of grace in accompanying the young men in formation, since he felt at the same time accompanied, esteemed, questioned and loved, as much by the formation communities in which he lived, as by the young men in the postulancy, novitiate and postnovitiate with whom he has lived for many years. At this stage of his life, he remembers with much fondness the Course for Formators he lived intensely in Cochabamba, as well as the journey made with formators of many   congregations with whom he has worked.

The contact with so many children, adolescents and young people in the different areas in which he has been responsible for working, as well as with the teachers with whom he has shared life and mission, have helped him greatly in his personal growth – Br Saturnino declares. Very significant were the long experiences lived among the peasants; the innumerable camps and retreats with youth have shaped his heart.

The time lived as Superior of the District of Bolivia, from 1993 to 1999, was a special time of great closeness to the Brothers of all the Marist communities and educational works of Bolivia. But they were also years which helped him become more open to the journey of Marist life in Latin America, to religious life and the progress of the Church.

Since 2002, with the getting underway of the restructured Province, he has shared the commitment of journeying together with the brothers and laity of Chile, Peru and Bolivia, from the hand of and under the protection of Santa María de los Andes.

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