On Saturday, June 30, 2018, the Seminario Seráfico [Seraphic Seminary] in Elizondo, Navarra, Spain, hosted a celebration event to mark the 50th anniversary of its construction.
Participants at the celebration included the Most Reverend Francisco PÉREZ, Archbishop of Pamplona-Tudela; Friar Marco TASCA, Minister General; Friar Ángel Mariano GUZMÁN LUDEÑA, Minister Provincial of the Province of Our Lady of Montserrat in Spain; and Friar Joaquín Ángel AGESTA CUEVAS, Assistant General of the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP).
Others attending were the last two rectors of the seminary, Friars Adriano ZORZI and Gianmarco ARRIGONI; the Vice Rector of the seminary, Friar Roberto PERETTI; the director of the high school, Friar Francesco ERVAS; one of the first formators in the Province of Spain, Friar Adolfo GONZÁLEZ GÓMEZ; and the Seminary’s first Rector, Friar Giorgio CARRARO.
When we arrived in Elizondo, there were 180 alumni, some with wives and children, who were getting reacquainted with the friars. The friars were visibly moved because they had not seen some of their old students for thirty or forty years.
It is true that nothing remains of the middle and high school buildings; they were sold and apartments and villas were built in their place. However, the living stones remain: the youngsters that the friars helped to grow and to form.
Many have openly expressed gratitude for what they received in their formative years. There were some secular professors from the early days attending and some members of the non-teaching staff, in particular, the last two cooks. They had worked at the Seminary for almost twenty years.
It was a joy being able to get together. Archbishop PÉREZ expressed his gratitude for the educational work carried out by the friars at Elizondo and for their presence in the Baztan valley. After the celebration of Mass, the Minister General addressed some words of gratitude, in, Spanish to all of the friars who followed each other doing educational work, and asked the young people to take advantage of what they received. Groups took turns watching a video of photo-memories which, for them, elicited reminiscences, various emotions and profound joy. What had been so lavishly bestowed upon these young people has remained in their hearts, and this has been of the greatest satisfaction to the friars.
Thanks to the Gazolaz family, that once hosted one of our communities, for hosting this event, and to former students Francisco Javier CIORDIA and Tomás LOYARTE for organizing it.
May our prayers and best wishes be with those present as well those who are absent.
Friar Gianmarco ARRIGONI