[Province of Spain-South] The Closing Ceremony of the Centennial of Huerta de la Cruz School was held on 20th of January. This event put the finishing touches on a year of celebrations to pay homage to all those who have made it possible for the Centre to become an educational focus for Algeciras.
After the entrance song, and while the opening prayer was read, some small children formed the school logo with flowers. It was a grateful remembrance of the 100 years of Vincentian presence in Algeciras that have been for the promotion and comprehensive training of students. They allowed them to live and collaborate in society without losing the Christian and Vincentian values.
The Gospel reminds us that we should be “salt and light“, therefore, to be open, welcoming, and attentive to meet others, especially those forgotten by society. Throughout the years this place has been a home of charity and evangelization with a workshop, boarding school, a clothing thrift store, and a home school for mothers. It started with 50 students, but soon the children who have passed through here would be counted in the hundreds and today in the thousands.
We give thanks to God because He wanted us to be present here in the city through this community that has shown us the Vincentian charism. Sisters have combined their educational vocation with catechesis, helping the most disadvantaged neighbours, collaborating with the Caritas soup kitchen, apartments for women and visiting prisoners. Their presence is, as the Gospel indicates, salt and light in the world in a silent and humble way, seemingly insignificant. Their steady presence is capable of transforming everything. One hundred years invite us to a grateful remembrance, but one hundred years also invite us to recognize that no matter how much has been done, there is still much to be done in order to respond today to our world, our city, our families…
In a moment of thanksgiving we discovered a mosaic of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, made for such a special event. With the constant protection of Our Lady we asked God to continue fulfilling the desire that led Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise of Marillac to work for the Kingdom of God in education, helping people to open paths for the human and Christian life … building together for the good of society and our souls.
Today, we not only remember the past and look at the present, but we think also of the future. Let us enliven the enthusiasm and let us open ourselves with generosity to continue educating and evangelizing in the Vincentian charism, taking new challenges, new projects according to the situations and needs of today’s world.
Finally, we shared a simple and fraternal meal. Today, 100 years later, all of us who form part of the Huerta de la Cruz School, continue to contribute with our efforts and involvement so that the Centre endures to contribute to the formation and care of present and future generations. It remains a beautiful flower that beautifies the Gibraltar Area.