Best of Times Indeed

Fr. Guillermo M. García-Tuñón, S.J. | President
This academic year began with informing the school community about the theme that would carry us throughout the months of studies, sports, and activities. “Be worth your salt,” has been a reminder of the need we have to work for what we want, not take anything for granted, and realize that the world owes us nothing. On the contrary, we owe the world. 

I confess I was a bit concerned that while the theme was printed on pretty posters hung on bulletin boards around the school, the meaning of the phrase would get lost in the hustle and bustle of Belen life. Then there was Tombola. This is the most important of all Belen events, not simply because it raises more money for financial assistance than any other event, but because it gathers the community at large and gives us an opportunity to be together. 

As I walked this weekend through every corner of the Belen campus, I ran into alumni who hadn’t been on campus since they graduated, current students and their parents racing up and down the halls picking up food for their booths, and teachers flipping burgers and stuffing Cuban bread with “lechon.” I saw parents whose sons graduated long ago come to support and regain the feel of belonging to this awesome community. I saw grandparents whose children were once here and whose grandchildren are now students at Belen, manning a booth and having a great time. These were all people who were being worth their salt.

There may have been some who did not make it to Tombola for one reason or another, but most were here because they understood that for this one weekend, it mattered to be here. It is no coincidence that the gospel for Sunday’s Mass was, “You are the salt of the earth.” 

There are so many people who have to be thanked for the extraordinary success of Tombola 2020 – The Best of Times. Our administrators, faculty, and staff served faithfully and without hesitation. Gigi García-Chang and her army of hardworking, faithful parents were the heart and soul of the weekend. Matthew Jordan and his student posse were ready at any moment to resolve any issue. Yvonne von der Osten and the multitude of Belen mothers put together a culinary extravaganza for the ages. Student Council President Alberto Romero ’20 and Vice President Gabriel Robau ’20 and the senior class of 2020 manned the pumps, filled in slots to work the booths, and led the charge during the “hora loca” to close us out. The maintenance staff put things up and then took them down.  

To all our sponsors, teachers, parents, students, and alumni, thank you for always saying “yes”. Because of you, this year’s Tombola raised $721,323.14, surpassing last year’s total by a lot. This was only possible because of your hard work. On behalf of the Belen Jesuit administration and, especially, all of our students and future students who will have an opportunity to study at our school because of financial assistance… thank you! This weekend proved once again, you are worth your salt.

Click here to view the online photo albums. 
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Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain.  The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline.  In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty.  The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow.  Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.