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The importance of the crib



The decoration of Christmas 2006

05/01/2007: Brazil - Photo gallery

Whether it be modern, rustic or traditional, Christmas decorations contribute to the formation of the Christian spirit of people of cities, visitors as well as residents.
For nearly forty years, the Archdiocesan College of São Paulo, belonging to the Marist Province of Brasil Centro-Sul has maintained the tradition and the creativity in the assembling the crib and the Christmas decorations on the well known imposing neoclassical façade of the college situated at Domingos de Moraes Street, 2565, Vila Mariana, in the western zone of the city of São Paulo, close to the shopping centre of Santa Cruz.

Benedict XVI highlighted the importance of the crib as a preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. “In a few days it will be Christmas, and I imagine that in your houses you will be finishing your crib,” said the Pope in the general audience of the 20th December 2006. The “representation of Christmas” is for the Pope, “an important element, not only for our spirituality, but for culture and art.” And he added that the cribs “continue to be in a simple and eloquent way the reminder of the One who comes to live amongst us.”

The decoration of Christmas 2006 in the “Archi”, as it is fondly called, was done nearly completely with recycling material. Recycling is a topic that occupies a great place in world debate. The College has integrated it in its educational project through the programme Know how to care which has as its aim to awaken in the educational community the concern for the environment.

In this way, 90% of the Christmas decorations were done with recycling material. Sixteen thousand disposable bottles were used, which gave form to the tress of the nativity, to the garlands, to the loops, to the snowmen and to the coloured spheres. The illuminated cascades were made with 137,500 lights. The portal, the angels and the central characters of the nativity were totally mechanised and life size.

The most notable of this prowess is that everything was carried out with a lot of tenderness by the personnel of the college, who each year, surpass themselves in generosity and creativity. We must be more and more confident in their capacity for imagination, execution and in the principal role of the seculars of our works.

The College Choir enhanced the moment of its opening to the public. Parents, students, teachers, administrative and services personnel, local authorities and many visitors gathered for this great event. During the months of December and of January, the visit to the crib and the Christmas decorations of the Marist Archdiocesan College of São Paulo will attract more than fifty-five thousand people.

The centre, for several consecutive years, has participated in the “Illuminated Christmas” Competition which the Commercial Association of São Paulo promotes. In this context it has received the “Sign of Peace” Trophy.

Brother Benê Oliveira, fms

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