From Claudio, Sarzana, Gregorian chant teacher, choir director.

The emotion of finding each other again

“A little more than a year ago, my teacher-sister returned to Sarzana, to the house from where

her mission had started, and so I found my Sr. Alessandra again, not without emotion and with the knowledge that time has not soothed the memories but, on the contrary, has strengthened them.

In those years (1977-1981), I lved profound experiences that certainly formed and strengthened me or simply favoured my growth.

From the protective cradle of the Catholic school to the to the multi-cultural world

Clearly, the formation I received was ‘biased’, that is, in the wake of Catholicism, and this led to two consequences: Christian initiation and later difficulties. Let me explain: in addition to the values transmitted by my parents and the parish priest at the time, being able to study, grow up and frequent the environment of the Sisters of Charity created in me a great deal of awareness of the categories of the True, the Good, the Beautiful and the Just; having had the opportunity to spend an entire day marked by prayer, study and relationships in a protected and authentic environment was a grace, in the sense that every day was like a liturgical day.

Conversely, as I entered the century – I mean when I went to middle school – I had the contrast with a less protected reality, dealing with an otherness of teachers and pupils, who did not have the same paths as me.

The difficulties, the doubts, the contrasts, the disorientations were born. In a certain way also the enrichment of another reality, very different, to be understood, even welcomed and then transformed. But the primal initiation was strong and definitive: a strong light that did not dazzle but knew how to be contemplated.

From sister Alessandra a serious, profound, creative formation

The teaching method was already in the vanguard, with the abandonment of notions learnt by rote and the frequenting of the ways of logic, expressiveness and imagination. Certainly the quality was high, and the consequences were, on the one hand, the great ability in studies and later life to make good use of the learning, and on the other, the burden of competitiveness, which was difficult to learn to let go of. But the horizontality of relationships was experienced in moments of leisure, recreation, and play, which was a creative, artistic, fertile game.

It was sister Alessandra who first made me know and love study subjects, know and love the Consecrated Host in Eucharistic Adoration, know and love art: music, theatre, drawing, expression. They were fruitful years, contained in a discipline that was still defined but never definitive and where freedom was not lacking because they were moments of even severe formation, but libertarian precisely because in the Lord and in the humanity of being together.

I also came into contact with other sisters: those who taught, those who made music, those who cultivated the garden: they all prayed and were an example.

The beauty and strength of feeling a “family”

When I met Sister Alessandra again after so many years, we hugged, moved, and she has called me ‘my child’ ever since; she always says to my wife, ‘I always had him around…he was my child’. That’s it: I believe that such a child is in the reciprocity of an affection that has been ‘family’.

I thank God for having had this journey and this experience, which today is not a memory but an actuality in that it resonates in me as it did then”.

My name is Claudio, I am from Sarzana (SP)- the town that gave birth to the humanist pope Niccolò V – I am 51 years old, married and live in Sarzana.

At work I am a partner in the family business and in the musical field I have trained and specialised as a Gregorian scholar, I am involved in training in Gregorian Chant, I conduct choirs, I sing in specialised ensembles and I teach at the international courses of AiscGre, the International Association of Gregorian Chant Studies.

Presentation of the school in one line

Immaculata Institute, Sarzana – Catholic primary school – Its origins date back to 1818, the Sisters of Charity took over its management in 1895.