The experience of our college Our Lady of the Rosary Fesd (Beaterio), Spain

At the beginning of the school year, there was no sign of the turning point that our lives would take at the end of the second term. Class work, laughter in the corridors and bustle in the courtyard gave way in mid-March to a silent, empty and sad college. Anger, uncertainty and fear surfaced in our Educational Community, but we faced them as one big family.

If you ask any of our students, families, teachers or administrative and service staff to define, in a single word, who we are, they will answer « FAMILY ». Our feelings and our lives are developed daily in educational work as such. We are the family of Beaterio. In fact, the name of our school is « Our Lady of the Rosary Fesd », but throughout Jerez we are known as Beaterio. Our entire Educational Community is very proud of this name because it brings us back to our roots. The name comes from one of the streets that border the centre, but it goes much further, since it is inspired by the work of a great lady, María Antonia de Jesús Tirado, who in the 19th century founded a community (a Beaterio) of Dominican sisters, which gave rise to the congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, whose work was the education of the poorest girls in Jerez in her day. We are all the beneficiaries and heirs of this educational work in our city centre.

We are a family whose heart truly beats, following the example of our foundress Mª Antonia de Jesús Tirado and Saint Dominic of Guzman. We have a great Mother, the Virgin of the Rosary, and that is why the fears and apprehensions that we had at the beginning of the pandemic have dissipated under her protection and we have been able to support and encourage each other, just as great families do.

 It is amazing how we were able to readjust the educational process without major problems. Teachers, students and families have remained in constant communication. We were able to learn and grow in every sense of the word, and most importantly we were UNITED.

Despite the confinement, we felt more united, more connected and more supported than ever before. Our heartbeat in unison with a constant rhythm that we never imagined it could. Our bonds grew stronger and our love grew even stronger.

We really miss our meetings in class, the college parties (because like any family we celebrate parties), our direct contacts, etc. We really miss our friends. We want and desire very much to be able to meet each other, to embrace each other, because love needs to express itself. But, while waiting for these happy moments to come, when nostalgia and melancholy arrive, we turn to the heart in which we are and we feel UNITED AS A GREAT EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY, A GREAT FAMILY.

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