Laity Enriches the Work of Education and Mission


The teachers at the Roque González Institute, Posadas use their professional skills to share the Gospel in concrete ways. They start from the fundamental premise that education is not just knowledge, but involves how to be a responsible person in the world. Throughout their secondary education, students participate along with teachers from their corresponding classes in conferences organized by a spiritual adviser and a secretary.

Students in the last two years of school have the opportunity to participate in a deeper three-day retreat in which they can experience an intimate encounter with God and self, away from the outside world with its distractions. Teachers also prepare the Mass on Saturdays which is held in the chapel of the school. They help organize the celebrations along with the students and their parents who accompany them at Mass. Although it was slow to take root, today it has produced fruit; important liturgical celebrations such as Christmas and Easter are prepared at the school and shared with the community at large, and enjoy a very good response from all.

To realize the missionary charism in the schools, the confreres strive to broaden the involvement of the Parent Teacher Association. is e ort was designed without major organizational or structural plans, but with clear achievable goals: (a) to collaborate in the evangelization of families; (b) to commit one- self to the education of children and youth; (c) to dedicate our resources to the larger community as a whole.

Consequently, work began with the parents of the students in the year 2000. A simple plan was initiated so that a group of them gathered together, and this led to the first UPF (Association of Parents). But as with all new groups, they faced difficulties and used much time and energy to develop an organizational structure.

thanks to the clarification of objectives and the involvement of willing participants, the new commission of parents assumed an important role in the school. Their activities and proposals soon began to take off. Joint activities such as bike rides were scheduled which brought together children, youth, adults and seniors of the city in organized recreation. They also extended their activities to focus on the collection of non-perishable food for the Antonio Sepp Parada Leis Home, which sponsors the school and houses for teenage orphans.

The bike rides event has gained the interest of the municipal and provincial governments and draws thousands of people whose participation provides assistance to other homes for children and to soup kitchens in the Province. It likewise serves to trigger other activities of solidarity in neighbouring educational institutions.

From a simple beginning with clear objectives, the Association of Parents began to support the development of a myriad of extra-curricular activities: student sporting events, parties, camping, music groups, celebrations for the Day of the Child, formation talks for students, parents and teachers. All these were done without interfering with the management of the school, while at the same time becoming a valuable support in the educational goals of the Roque Gonza?lez Institute.

Another activity carried out by this committee is to put into practice our Society’s goal: the biblical apostolate. e parents prepare as well as implement this activity. To make this a reality, groups are formed of teachers, parents and students. They then go out and visit about 250 families and celebrate a Day of the Word. This action further deepens the charism of our missionary spirituality. The commission chose the name of SVD Family because they wanted to be the family of the Divine Word, identifying with SVD spirituality, life and mission.

This SVD Family celebrates its feast day on September 8, the birthday of the Society of the Divine Word. In the last 15 years, the commission has been renewed as students graduated and as faithfulness continues. They are committed to an ongoing accompaniment of our students. Past and present committed lay persons who contributed to this great community have allowed the community to realize and put into action our missionary spirituality. Because of their commitment, they are assured that the missionary spirit is present and permeates more and more deeply.