Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Santa Cruz College, Maringá, Brazil

The week of March 13-19, 2023 was marked, at Santa Cruz College, by much excitement. We started by dressing a little girl dressed as Santa Joaquina. It was beautiful to rescue the old uniforms, satin banners -of the Congregation and of the College-, banners, photos…. In all the pavilions, the memory of the College composed the decoration.

The Santa Joaquina Museum was made accessible to visitors, old photos and even the stamp albums of Sister Pilar, one of the first sisters to come to Brazil from Spain, were restored. The students’ works, beautiful and full of love, displayed on the walls left a colorful and welcoming atmosphere.

The affection of all those who participated by painting, restoring, cooking, pruning, decorating, preparing the space, the cake, the panels, and above all attending, proudly wearing old event t-shirts and uniforms, moved us. The 70th anniversary commemorative T-shirt, a gift from Santa Claus to all Educators, whose logo was created by a student, embellished our presentation during these celebrations.

On March 19, we welcomed the educational community, alumni, parents, grandparents, former teachers and students in a walk to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the school. Our excitement was indescribable to see so many people (about 2000 people). Joaquina was taken by the people, among the people, opening the sidewalk. And the line to hold the bunk was huge, with students, parents, educators. Joaquina was accompanied by the Sisters and behind Joaquina, 5 students representing the five pioneer Sisters of this mission. Behind the five sisters, the educators, who continue the project, followed by the families, who represent and sustain the continuity of Our School of Love, we took a tour of the school. We stopped at the “Aquí Nació Maringá” Panel to tell that the work of art by the artist Eder Portalha was a gift to the population. In front of the main gate, we paused for a minute of silent prayer for our school and for all the students. In front of the hospital, we reflected on the charism of the sisters in health care and education, praying an Our Father for the sick.

As we entered Santa Joaquina de Vedruna Street, we applauded our Foundress and sang the hymn of our school. In front of the Chapel of Santa Cruz, we prayed for our families. On the way back, at the school gate, we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and went inside for a delicious breakfast, and toured the school facilities while the choir delighted us with their singing, followed by individual gymnastic singing performances.

A day to be engraved in the heart and in the memory. Day of many photos, stories, hugs, tears.

Prof. Tania Reginas Echs Lucena