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The Gift of Self - One Hundred Years



Marist presence in Alicacante

18/10/2007: Spain

The Marist Brothers came to Alicante on October 2, l907. When the hundredth anniversary of this event came around, the school community and, in general, the Marist Family of the city did not want to let the date pass un-noticed. For that reason, a committee was set up and given the task of preparing various activities for the present school year. The motto of the activities is “From the Heart.”

The opening of the centenary year took place at Sacred Heart College on the afternoon of September 29. The superior of the Marist Brothers’ community was the first to speak. He was followed by Jesús Rodríquez Marín, Rector of the University of Elche and former Marist student. Other speakers followed. After a video presentation recalling the history of the Marist Brothers in Alicante, a Mass was held. It was concelebrated by several priests and presided by the diocesan Vicar General as delegate of the Ordinary. The day concluded on the premises with a toast in honor of the occasion.

The presence of more than a thousand people provided testimony to the affection in which the school is held. Among the guests were: Brother Manuel Jorques, Provincial; the full Provincial Council; representatives of the local political entities: county, the city (which presented a comme-morative plaque honoring the Marist Brothers), and the region of Autonomous Valencia.

A few days later, October 2, a piano recital was held at the Cultural Centre which was filled to capacity. The performers were two well known musicians, both graduates of the school: Juan Carlos Vázquez and Alejandro Pico.

An exposition entitled “One Hundred Years of Marist Presence in Alicante” is expected to be held in February 2008. In April, a book, The Marist Brothers in Alicante 1907-2007, will be published.

Over many years, Brother Felicísimo Ruiz (deceased in 2005) developed the college’s sports program. The centenary organizers wished to take advantage of the occasion to offer a tribute to the Brother in question. At an opportune moment in the future, a book entitled, From the Heart . . . Testimonies in Honor of Marist Brother Felicísimo Ruiz, will be presented at the sports center. On the playing fields, the students (male and female) of Mediterránea Province will compete for a second time in the Memorial Games which bear his name.

The centenary celebrations have also taken into account the cultural side of things: the con-ference given by Brother Provincial, as well as the presentation of a book of poetry called Memorial
de la espuma, written by Brother José Luis Vallejo, a member of the Brothers’ community. Other activities will not be wanting either on the religious side as well - a ceremony to honor the Blessed Virgin - or on the family side. Indeed, on April 12, the Marist family members of Alicante will take a trip to Terra Mítica (Benidorm).

June 6th will be the day when all the commemorative activities draw to a close. On that day centenary pins will be distributed to the former graduates and, at a place to be chosen on the college grounds, there will be a blessing of the St. Marcellin monument. In addition, a Mass will be cele-brated by Rev. Palmero Ramos, Bishop of Alicante. A gala dinner will bring the festivities to a close.

The Marist school described above was founded in Alicante one hundred years ago, in the plain and simple circumstances of infant projects. The college has now become a noted, coeducational institution attended by 1,800 children and young people.

Bro. José Delgado García

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