Religious order reaches Guatemala and East Timor in the middle of the pandemic.

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The Piarist Order was founded four centuries ago in the middle of a plague. Since 1617, they've been working to educate young children. And their mission has spread throughout the world.

They believe education holds the key to creating a different society in the post-pandemic world.

Superior General, Piarists
“Some of our schools held online classes. Those who could participate did, others were unable to. We’ve had to be creative, giving classes over the phone, on the radio, or using WhatsApp. Our mission isn't limited to the classroom, it’s about an integrated education that includes pastoral ministry, faith groups, and personal accompaniment.”

The Superior General of the Piarists is Fr. Pedro Aguado Cuesta. He says 'the need to find solutions will emerge from our present challenges.”

Adapting to a new classroom reality has been a challenge for educators who are dedicated to the Order’s mission.

Superior General, Piarists
'A young Piarist was teaching online on a video platform, when one of the students asked him: “Teacher, do you know how tall I am? Do you know my height?” The young man went pale, it was his first year as a teacher. 'No”, he said, “I don't know, I've never seen you in person.” And he started to cry. The student also started crying, along with the whole class. And that was the end of the lesson.”

Fr Cuesta says the Piarists are more committed than ever to their mission of educating children and adolescents. They’ve even started two new initiatives, one in Guatemala and one in East Timor.

Superior General, Piarists
'In Guatemala we started in the diocese of Los Altos, involving parishes and schools in two localities called Guitán and Cabritán. We’ve been working there for three months so far. We sent a small community made up of three religious and a lay Piarist'. - 06:38 FLASH 07:02 'In East Timor we are just getting started, making slow progress. We are working with the Bishop to find a placement where we are really needed.' 07:10

The Superior General stresses the importance of courageously putting Pope Francis’ call into action: to promote a new global alliance 'that educates us toward universal solidarity, and a new humanism'.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

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