Among the training centres that form the SAFA network (Sagrada Familia Professional Schools) - see our SAFA article: A network of chartered schools connected to the world) - one of them is of particular interest this year. The SAFA Úbeda University Centre celebrates its 75th anniversary. During all these years, it has been faithful to Father Villoslada’s initial intuition, that of training instructors, but even more, teachers, men and women, for and with others, who have an innovative attitude, a perspective of depth and social responsibility that can bring about positive change in Andalusia. More than 7,000 educators have graduated from this “Teacher Training School.”
Father Arturo Sosa took a moment, during his visit to the Jesuit communities and works in Andalusia, to come and celebrate this anniversary. Drawing on the Society of Jesus’ recently published document on education, A Living Tradition, he highlighted the ten characteristics that should define the educational institutions of the Society of Jesus. In line with the perspectives of the Universal Apostolic Preferences, he invited future teachers to contemplation and discernment, constantly seeking new avenues for the creation of a future full of hope for the younger generations.
The Deputy Director of the Sagrada Familia-Úbeda University Centre, Consuelo Burgos Bolós, outlined in a few words the orientations of her institution.
“We train teachers for our SAFA schools in the spirit that defines us. To allow everyone to access our academic programs, our students, in addition to applying for the Ministry of Education scholarships, can access the SAFA scholarship program, which covers all or part of the tuition fees and even accommodations at the university residence. We also have an agreement with Fe y Alegría Paraguay through which we offer internships to four of their teachers.
The SAFA Centre is a reference point in Andalusia for the training of teachers. This is due to several factors, such as a strong commitment to updating our curricula and internships, as well as our didactic and evaluation models. We are creating research groups, publish the journal Aula de Encuentro (Meeting Room) and are planning the implementation of a Master’s degree in Ignatian pedagogy. We also ensure, in everything we do, that the principles of the SAFA Foundation and the Society of Jesus are always in evidence.
In short, our University Centre continues to have, among its priorities, personal development based on social commitment and professional preparation based on academic excellence. In other words, we aim at the integral education of students based on the principles that characterize a SAFA network institution and Jesuit higher education. It is in this direction that we want to continue to work, by expanding and diversifying our educational offerings.”
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the SAFA Centre in Úbeda, Fr. Arturo Sosa highlighted one of the most important themes he is known for: collaboration. To carry out the educational project based on Ignatian characteristics and a spirit of discernment, he concluded as follows: “The mission we are carrying out is God’s mission. And we carry it out together, Jesuits and lay people. I want you to feel deeply united to this mission. Rely on all the resources that the Society puts at the service of the mission, both human and material. Think of them as your own.”