By Rev. John Lydon, O.S.A.
On the second Monday of March, the official school year in Peru got of to a start with a new school opening its doors in Trujillo. This is the first school to be founded by the Augustinian Vicariate in Peru and is a short distance from our formation house in Trujillo. The school is presently housed on the land of the parish church that the Augustinians have ministered to every since arriving in Trujillo in 1988, while a more suitable piece of land is purchased and funding is found to begin building the new school. The school's name is "St. Augustine's" and it represents a new commitment to the ministry of education in the Augustinian Vicariate. It is also hoped, that as the school grows in size, that it will be able to provide economic support for the Augustinian mission in Chulucanas, where the parishes attend to a very poor region and are unable to sustain themselves.
Fr. Fidel Alvarado, the Vicar in Peru, presided at the blessing, and a representative of the Education Department was on hand to express his support for this new endeavor. Fr. Ramiro Castillo is the first head of the school which began with grades 1, 2 and 3 on the primary level. Each year a new grade will be added until the school holds all of primary and secondary education.
After the short speeches by Fr. Fidel, Fr. Ramiro, Fr. Eleodoro and the representative of the Education Department of the state, there was a toast with a traditional Peruvian drink (Pisco Sour) and then all went out to the main patio for the blessing and the breaking of the bottle of wine as is traditional here.
The formation students were also present at the inauguration and then later in the morning headed off for the opening mass of the academic year in the Seminary. With 18 students in the initial classes, St Augustine's school of Trujillo was born.