Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2022. 8:50 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Official ceremonies of inauguration for “Del Carmen Plaza in honor of the Pallottines” will be held on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 3pm in Benque Viejo del Carmen.
The project included the rehabilitation of “Del Carmen Park” in Benque Viejo into a plaza to commemorate the Centennial of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize.
The triangular-shaped plaza represents the bow of a ship, reminiscent of the transoceanic trip taken by the Pallottines to the Americas in 1912.
The plaza seeks to serve as a green area for leisure, as well as an interactive space for cultural and social events like recitals, movies, and exhibitions.
Mural space behind the monument will highlight the narrative of the Pallottines. The design and drawings for the project were donated by LAR Architect & Associates.
The inaugural ceremonies will open with a musical prelude by “Los Hijos del West Marimba Ensemble” followed by a Liturgy of the Word presided by Fr. Beau Schweitzer, SOLT, and the blessing of the plaza.
The civic ceremony will follow with the keynote address being delivered by Merrilyn Young, President of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), and testimonials given by 3 former pupil-teachers.
The highlight of the event will be the unveiling of the life-sized monument of Sister Dominica Senn, first Pallottine Superior in Belize, instructing a child.
The monument was sculpted by noted Guatemalan artist Sebastian Barrientos del Bosque and is dedicated to the Pallottine Sisters and all pupil-teachers for their service in education throughout Belize.
The Pallottine Missionary Sisters arrived in Benque Viejo del Carmen on March 19, 1913, upon the invitation of Jesuit pastor, Fr. Arturo Versavel, with the purpose of serving as teachers.
By 1963 when the Pallottines celebrated their Golden Jubilee, they had staffed most of the elementary schools and public hospitals throughout Belize.
In 2015, the Pallottine Centennial Memorial Project Committee, comprised of lay persons, was instituted with the purpose of fund-raising for the memorial that has made way for a plaza that immortalizes the narrative of the Pallottine Sisters and their contribution to nation-building.
“Del Carmen Plaza in honour of the Pallottines” was made possible through a generous contribution on behalf of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), the private sector, and patrons at home and abroad.
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