The day dawned rainy and fresh. However, the sun shone for a while at about the time of the beginning of the act in the hall of the Museum of Covadonga. Eight testimonies on life, vocation, projects, and achievements. Those were two intense hours of sharing words loaded with so much truth that they brought about emotion, recollection, joy, and gratitude. It was one of those moments in which we can see that Covadonga is a source of life for people who live this charism of the Church.
Camino Cañón, Director of the Sector of Spain, called Our Lady of Covadonga, welcomed the attendees. She said: "during these days we have had the opportunity to evoke that gesture of Pedro Poveda of turning his eyes to Mary, fixing our gaze on the image before which he conceived this Work of God and ask him to accompany us on the adventure of making our mission dreams come true in the present."
Maite Uribe, President of the Teresian Association,said: "we come to Covadonga from very different realities, and you, as representatives, come to Covadonga from very different countries, languages and traditions; some of you come from nearby places and others after have arrived from a different country and even continent: Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Italy, Dominican Republic, and Spain. This is the wealth of an international association like ours that wants to serve everyone, without distinction of cultures, origin, or language.
"You come - she added - having prepared this pilgrimage, with your head and heart in the present moment, opening a space in your lives to own some of the attitudes that we wanted to emphasize this year: gratitude for so many goods received gratuitously, from God and from others; the passion for the present and its prophetic urgencies, a present that God gives us and in which his Spirit acts; and a look full of hope for the future, the hope of those who know themselves called and sent by the God of Jesus, who is faithful and fulfills his promises.
Covadonga's Votive Offering
The “Voto de Covadonga” (Votive offering), so called by Saint Pedro Poveda, took place after Communion at the 12-noon mass, presided by the Abbot of Covadonga, Fr. Adolfo Mariño. It is related to the tradition of many pilgrims who made an offering before La Santina (Our Lady of Covadonga) at the time when St. Pedro Poveda was a canon at the basilica there. It means a solemn promise made to God, through the mediation of Our Lady. For the Teresian Association, This is the commitment to go on pilgrimage to Covadonga every year to remember the origins of the Work, to give thanks, and to ask for light and the necessary graces for our life and mission. It has been celebrated annually since 1934, in accordance with the will of the Founder.
Testimonies of each of the TA representatives at this year's votive offering
Javier Albajar (Collaborator of the Teresian Association, teacher at Escola Arrels, Barcelona), with an uninterrupted professional life working in a school of the Association. Javier represents and brings with him a large number of vocational educators, trained in Poveda’s school, who embody and put into practice on a daily basis the values of Poveda's pedagogy and humanism, both in the classroom, in management and other services a school needs. Thanks to them the Association carries out its mission in different places.
They are part of this great family. ... that the TA Mission may continue to be the raison d'etre of our schools, faithful to the foundational commitment to the development of the person, human advancement, and social transformation.
Vincenza Annunciata (Primary Association, Italy), medical doctor, representing all those who live and share their personal and professional gifts in the health area; in the name of those who, like Jesus, "go about doing good and healing many oppressed of various ailments" (Acts 10:38), of those who experience and feel human vulnerability as a mystery of bliss, grace, fruitfulness and promise.
Perhaps the true sharing in the mystery of pain lies in the humble gesture of being there ...
Primary Association, Chile), member of the continental Advisory Committee of the Socio-educational Proposal of the Teresian Association in America (PSE).
Eliana brings with her the reality of the PSE, which has strengthened the identity of the educational presences of the TA in corporate works and their own socio-educational projects, systematizing them, encouraging innovation and putting them at the service of an inclusive education that is committed to justice; It has united people and groups, has broadened local horizons and created a solid network of collaborators.
(Primary Association, India) is grateful for the presence of the Teresian Association in the Asian continent, and especially in India, in a very rich and complex contexts due to the diversity of cultures, languages, religious traditions, and new challenges.
Nancy brings with her all the people who have committed their lives to the inculturation of the faith and the charism of TA in those contexts; she also brings with her the values that the religious traditions of Asia that offer: gratuity, interiority, wisdom, silence and dialogue; she brings with her the longing for justice and peace of many men and women of Asia.
Yes, I bring with me the hopes, aspirations, longings and yearnings of all the people of Asia and very especially I bring with me the context of India, a land of contrasts and contradictions.
Noris Garabito (Primary Association, Dominican Republic), teacher, educator of teachers, with a long professional career lived in Latin American contexts, where the Teresian Association has decidedly supported for years a variety of educational programs in teacher training and the promotion of education rights.
She brings with her generations of educators and social agents who, on the job, embody the mission of the Teresian Association. She brings with her the value of wisdom, both knowledge and experience matured, a valuable treasure to be transmitted to the younger generations.
Join us, Mary in our struggles for a citizenship that strengthens democracy, to eliminate violence, to eliminate state corruption, to eliminate poverty, to strengthen solidarity, fraternity, compassion, and tenderness in our daily lives.
Pablo Sánchez (Acit Joven, Spain). Pablo belongs to a generation of young people who have grown and matured, as persons and in their faith, within the TA Youth Movement, in the company of many other young people who express their desire to grow, belong and live the charism.
As Poveda said and they like to repeat: "the Work was made with young people," "for them God gave us the vocation." Pablo brings with him the TA Movement and its 40 years of life. With him, we recognize and appreciate the vitality and enthusiasm of the groups, of the facilitators, and coordinators. And we also give thanks for their encounters, the moments of accompaniment, the systematization of the stages and formative processes.
These young people are already a present reality full of fruits of hope and always open to the newness of the Spirit. I place before La Santina the fruit of these 40 years of life and the future of the TA Movement, seeking the lights and the help in the very place where the Association originated. Under your protection, Acit Joven can face the new stage that is about to begin.
Ana María Torre
(Primary Association, Congo), representing the generations of members of the Association that have chosen to live their life and mission in Africa, uprooting the charism in that rich, fertile, beautiful continent, full of life and joy, and also mistreated and abused.
Ana brings with her many who make this their own this land that welcomes them, they feel close and loved, they appreciate everything that they and their people receive, and they give what they can.
She also brings with her those who, day by day, struggle with serious situations of injustice and do not lose peace, their smile, or hope.
Today the Teresian Association comes to tell you, with the faith of these peoples of Africa, how much we need wisdom, love, discernment, strength and serenity to build a world where all of us have a home.
Manuel Vega (ACIT Andalucía Occidental-Extremadura, España), padre de familia, profesor y director de Institutos de Secundaria en la educación pública, en representación de quienes encarnan la vocación-misión de la Institución Teresiana en contextos familiares, ciudadanos y sociales de grandes cambios, y cuyos desafíos educativos solo pueden afrontarse poniendo en ejercicio el agradecimiento sincero, la pasión contagiosa, la compasión tangible, la esperanza tenaz y la imaginación audaz.
El empeño es, pues, formar a ciudadanos competentes y activos abiertos a la trascendencia , que desde una conciencia crítica sean capaces de defender y luchar por los derechos humanos básicos, reconozcan la diferencia y la valoren como un factor de enriquecimiento mutuo y de progreso.