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Centenary of Archdiocesan School, San Paolo

21/01/2008: Brazil - Photo gallery

The display called “Bethlehem Arqui-2007,” has helped us initiate the festivities marking the 150 year history of the São Paolo school named Colegio Arquidiocesano. For 100 of its 150 years, the school has been under Marist administration: yes, already 150 years old. When São Paolo counted but 30,000 inhabitants, the first site of the Arqui school was along the street called Avenida Tiradentes. This first building in stucco has now become the Gallery of Brides. One of the graduates of the early years was Wenceslau Braz, former President of Brazil.

The school is now marking its 100th year as “Marist,” because the Brothers assumed the administration of the school in 1908. Ten years later the building became a hospital because of the outbreak of Spanish flu. Then in 1924, during the “Tenentona” revolution, the building was used as a barracks and was subjected to bombardment.

In 1935 the city of São Paulo was embellished by one of its most important buildings: the new Marist Archdiocesan School built in the well-off neighborhood of Vila Mariana. The fine looking building that one sees today took ten years to complete. A historic photo shows the area to have once been an agricultural site. Today the same spot contains a commercial center and the archdiocesan school which, at Christmas time, holds a large Christmas crib which awaits the Christ child. Throughout academic year 2008, the school will conduct many activities to celebrate its centenary.

With a certain justifiable pride, given its importance in the Vila Mariana neighborhood and in all of São Paulo, “Arqui” (as the school is affectionately known nowadays) has accepted, on behalf of the Church, the challenge of fulfilling the mission it has inherited from Saint Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers. That is, to form good Christians and worthy citizens: competent professionals guided by ethical principles and Christian philosophy, committed to building a society in which people truly care about one another.

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