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No. 58 • January - June 2014 • Page 151
 •  Initiatives

Madrid, Spain -- Fifty Years of Support for Schools

At the beginning of the 1960s, some married couples confided to St. Josemaría their dreams for the education of their children, and especially the possibility of starting schools that would respect the role of the family as the primary educator. They hoped for schools that would provide a formation inspired by a transcendent vision of human life, and by the Christian principles of personal dignity. The founder of Opus Dei encouraged them in their efforts to resolve this social need. In 1963-64, Ahlzahir school in Cordoba began with 108 students, the first school of the Fomento de Centros de Enseñanza, a support organization for these types of schools. On the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, the institution now includes 35 schools with over 23,000 students, 16,000 families, 2,500 professionals and more than 80,000 alumni. For this anniversary, the Prelate of Opus Dei expressed in a letter his desire that, together with academic excellence, families would continue finding “trustworthy schools that offer a deeply Christian formation, imbued with virtues such as fortitude, friendship, a spirit of service, and sincerity of life—virtues that further the integral development of each child’s personality and their ability to serve others.”

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