MDR, WOMEN AT THE SERVICE OF THE COMMUNITY
I am Maribel Cintrón, alumna, teacher, mother and member of the Lourdes School management team. I share with you my experience with the community of the MDR Sisters.
The Missionary Dominican Sisters founded the Lourdes School in 1958, oriented to the education of girls and young women. Later, at the request of the parents, the school became coeducational. The sisters have always distinguished themselves for their genuine and selfless dedication to the academic and spiritual education of the girls, boys and young people who have passed through the school, as established in the philosophy of the institution: “To form Christian people, who are open to the realities and needs of their time, capable of integrating themselves in an attitude of service in the democratic society…”. Something that has also characterized them is their desire to strengthen knowledge and respect for Puerto Rican culture, as well as respect for the culture of other countries. A spirit of service can be perceived in them, which they have also instilled in the teachers, support staff and students of Colegio Lourdes. During these 65 years there have been many professionals and also some religious who have left this institution and these are characterized by their commitment to community service. The seed that Colegio Lourdes sowed in them has flourished and will continue to flourish in the generations to come.
Personally, I can attest to the above. I arrived at Lourdes School at the age of 4 in 1968, to attend Pre-Kindergarten with Sister Emilia. Ma. Del Carmen and Sr. Vicenta and the affection with which they treated us. Celina had a great impact on my life. She was my Spanish teacher. Her support for the student body transcended the subject she taught; she prepared us for any situation we might face. I thank her for instilling in me a love for my country, for the Puerto Rico that she loved so much and to which she dedicated her life. She developed in me talents that I did not even know I had.
Sister Milagros, Sister Carmen, and Sister Soledad who taught me in different grades the class of Education in the faith had a great impact on my religious and values formation. I can say that I had never learned so much about the Bible and Christian-Catholic theology. These sisters, in addition to teaching a class, were a role model. The example they set allowed us students to understand what justice, uprightness, loyalty, fellowship, sincerity was.
When I left school, I always remained connected to the school and when I graduated from college, the sisters invited me to join the school community as a history teacher. Being part of the faculty, I was fortunate to share hand in hand with the sisters who gave me valuable advice. Paz, who was the principal and had the great ability to observe and evaluate the capacity of people and then incorporate them in those tasks that could contribute to the development of the student body and the service of the community. In my first years as a teacher, I was fortunate to have the guidance of many of my former high school teachers: Thalia, Marta, Sister Carmen, Sister Celina, among others.
In 1999, my first daughter, Carmen, entered Lourdes School as a Pre-Pre, when she was only two years old. Four years later, Nestor and then Amelia. The important thing is that my experience as a student and as a teacher had been excellent. Therefore, I wanted my children to have the same academic and spiritual experience and preparation that I had had. I guarantee they received much more than that. They were attentive and were part of their academic and spiritual teaching process.
In the year 2021, Sr. Anabelle asked me to cooperate with the school in another function, that of Curricular Coordinator, which I accepted. Sharing with her the process of guiding the teachers in the process of preparing and teaching the classes according to the curriculum and the philosophy of the school is a challenge due to the particular situation our country is going through. Her responsibility, her uprightness and her great capacity to work are an example to follow.
I hope to serve the College with the same dedication, love and loyalty that I was taught. My wish is that regardless of the position I occupy, I can contribute to the continuity of the mission that this Congregation has outlined in Puerto Rico. Certainly, the MDR through Lourdes College, have left a transcendental mark through the formation of thousands of Puerto Rican women and men who today are responsible and productive citizens.
Maribel Cintrón Ferrer