On 17 June last, Raquel Pérez Sanjuán received the Charism Award for Education granted by the Spanish Conference of Religious CONFER. Raquel Pérez is Director of the Spanish Episcopal Commission for Education and Culture. Since last February she is a member of the State School Council attached to the Spanish Ministry of Education.
CONFER awarded this prize to Raquel Pérez “for her defence of the teaching of Religion as necessary for the holistic education of Spanish children, adolescents and young people”.
Raquel Pérez pointed out that she was not receiving this award in a personal capacity but that she saw it as a gesture of appreciation for the new working approach adopted by the Episcopal Commission for Education and Culture. Above all, she added, it shows recognition of “the teachers of Religion who day by day carry out their educational task with passion” and “have redoubled their efforts and dedication to fulfil this task in these difficult pandemic times by caring for their colleagues, students and families”, supported by the diocesan Education Delegations, titular entities, and other social agents in the educational field.
In her speech, she also made reference to the changes in the Episcopal Commission that she directs. These have helped her to become more familiar with the educational system and the teaching of Religion in Spain with its challenges, problems and complexities. “This indeed connects and strengthens my personal vocation for Education and Culture that is proper to the charism of the Teresian Association, founded by St Pedro Poveda, to which I belong”.
She then referred to the challenges to which we as a society must give a response, over and above the pandemic. She was alluding to the Global Compact on Education advocated by Pope Francis and to which religious educational centres are trying to respond according to their charisms.
Finally, she highlighted the importance of the present situation of the teaching of Religion in Spain and the open forums for dialogue in the development of new curricula.
She received the award from the Madrid Community Deputy-Councillor for Education Management, Nadia Álvarez.
The aim of the awards
This is the second edition of the CONFER Charism Awards. It was created to give recognition to the work carried out by people and institutions to encourage, serve and promote religious life, and in order to thank “so many lives dedicated to the service of the impoverished and the whole of society with the aim of building a more humane community”. In total, awards are given in ten categories or areas of activity: Faith Education and Spirituality; Justice and Solidarity; Mission and Cooperation; Education; Youth Vocational Ministry; Health; Faith and Culture; Impact; Communication; and the Special Charism Award.
TA translators Team.
Vídeo and Photographs: CONFER.