The proposal of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, in the School that they direct in the southern area of the city of Cochabamba in Bolivia, acquires a human face, close, that of Saint Clare of Assisi. The Educational Centre, which bears her name, presents her as an example of Christian life, in the process of formation, especially today on her liturgical feast: 11 August.
AMBASSADOR OF THE CULTURE OF LIFE
Like the saints, in their time, they loved and incarnated Jesus Christ, their experience of life becomes light for people of all times. That’s what happens at Santa Chiara in Assisi. For this reason, during the course of a week, various recreational, cultural and spiritual activities take place, through which the life of St Clare and her values, which are proposed as a model of life to all the members of the Educational Centre, are interiorized, which in Bolivia is called the Education Unit.
The words that flowed from the heart, from the lips of Saint Clare and that the Franciscan sources keep: THANK YOU, LORD, BECAUSE YOU CREATED ME, penetrate the life of every child. This week the words of St Clare are translated into prayer, conviction, action of grace, assembly, song, joy, celebration and hope, before the world that lives without God and opts for the culture of death and cultivates ideologies without a future.
THANK YOU, LORD, BECAUSE YOU CREATED ME, is painted in slogans, posters, sentences. It is recorded in poems, songs, speeches. It acquires a harmonious and delicate movement in dances and dances. Although this year takes place in the context of distance education - virtual, it is no less festive, joyful and committed.
It also goes back to memory and we walk with this persuasion of Saint Clare: "SHORT IS HERE OUR WORK, THE REWARD, IN EXCHANGE, IS ETERNAL" This conviction of Saint Clare is made life in the teachers led by the director and the other sisters of the religious community, that make it possible to carry out activities, with responsible, creative work, committed to everyone.
Parents are invaluable members of the Educational Unit and are invited to participate in the process of formation and education of their children. In this way they also participate in the work of evangelization. Thus, virtually from August 2 to 10, children, their families, teachers and nuns gather for the novena in honor of Saint Clare, actively participating in the broadcast at 19:00. Every day a kindergarten class is in charge of the transmission. They record the video, send it to the Education Unit’s Facebook page and involve all the participants. This is how a passage or an event in the life of Saint Clare is explored, which allows us to illuminate today’s families.
In addition, throughout the month, the children perform an assigned reading on the life of Saint Clare, for 10 minutes every day.
To find oneself personally in this time of pandemic, even if only online, is a source of joy and emotion; it is to renew the conviction that the human being is social, that we need each other, that, in order to cultivate fraternity, characteristic of Franciscan spirituality, it is necessary to see, embrace, share, listen and communicate with the whole being. On 11 August, the feast of our Patron Saint Clare of Assisi, the Eucharist is celebrated in the presence of the teachers of the Educational Unit, while students and families participate virtually. At the end of the Eucharist fraternal sharing takes place.
Another important moment of the celebration of Santa Chiara and the anniversary of the school is the CIVIC ACT: a ceremony that is carried out according to a program developed with the aim of celebrating events. Its structure is the presentation of the program, the opening words, the hymns and the cultural and civic component according to the creativity of teachers and students. As a conceptual element, it includes reflections that promote values through various activities also expressed with the body. At the feast of Santa Chiara, the teachers on duty, send to their colleagues the order of the animation of the Civic Act and the script, so that all the courses record their videos. The transmission on the Educational Unit’s Facebook page is scheduled for 17:00. For the second consecutive year, the civic hour is performed in honor of Santa Clara, in virtual form.
Saint Clare presents herself with two of her most significant thoughts, which look at with attention lead to discover that both are a song to life and ETERNAL LIFE.
These words spoken by a woman in the thirteenth century, wish to be for the members of the Educational Unit Santa Clara of Assisi, Cochabamba, Bolivia, an incentive to value, defend, cure, love life, especially that of the human being and thank God for this beautiful gift. With her life, Saint Clare tells us that the culture of life is also the culture of commitment, sacrifice, generosity and love. Santa Clara’s life has a lot to tell us. The culture of life is more difficult than the culture of death, but it is the only one that gives hope and is a pledge of Eternal Life.
We all receive the blessing from this exceptional woman:
"I bless you in my life and after my death, as I can and more than I can, with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies blessed and will bless his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth, and with whom a spiritual father and mother blessed and blessed their spiritual sons and daughters. Amen"