Brazil – The Santa Teresa Institute in Corumbá celebrates 125 years of presence

11 April 2024

(ANS – Corumbá) – On Thursday, 4 April, the Salesian Santa Teresa institute in Corumbá celebrated 125 years of presence and commitment to the pedagogical and social formation of its students. The date was marked by a celebration with the students of the school and by the Mass in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. During the day there were also sports and recreational activities that involved Salesians, students and teachers.

The first Salesians landed in Porto Geral in 1899, arriving in the city by sailing down the Paraguay River. The Salesian community in Corumbá was established five years after the foundation of the São Gonçalo institute in Cuiabá, in 1894; and two years before its foundation, the Salesians in Uruguay had already passed through Corumbá, before continuing to Cuiabá.

Religious and educational activities began in the early 20th century in a modest rented building. The first 112 students were educated in the house, which had some classrooms, a chapel, a kitchen and rooms for the Salesians, initially all males and children of good families from Corumbá. Future doctors, dentists, lawyers, politicians, engineers and successful businessmen would then emerge from this class , who would bring good intellectual formation and Don Bosco's ideals of being "good Christians and upright citizens" with them.

These 125 years have been marked by different educational phases. The first was the boarding house, which was aimed at young people from the countryside, a service that lasted until 1958. To take care of the girls, in 1904 the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians arrived. They founded the School of the Immaculate Conception, an institution that ended its activities in 2021. And when there were about 400 students, around the 1930s, little by little and with many sacrifices, the new building was built.

The current building was built in the 1960s, with a project carried out in several phases and the direction of the works entrusted to former student José Sebastião Cândia. The school thus came to have a large and comfortable three-storey space, with a total of 33 classrooms, which became fundamental when, from 1973 to 1997, the period of public education arrived. At that time, the institution had signed an agreement with the state government, and began a long period of educational service aimed at public school students, with three shifts and 5,000 students involved.

After these 24 years, the Santa Teresa institute has resumed offering a private education and continues to do so today, as a Catholic school which respects all differences of religion and belief, and always seeks to promote socialisation, respect, equality and interaction among its students, in a healthy and welcoming environment for all following the ideals of Don Bosco.

In these 125 years, the work has had more than 30 principals, some of whom later also became bishops, such as Michele Alagna (1946-55/1961-66), who was the one who with great commitment and entrepreneurial spirit built the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians and the new building of the work; or Segismundo Martinez, for two years principal of the School (1986-88) and subsequently, for 13 years, Bishop of Corumbá (2005-2018).

Among the longest-serving principals is the current one, Fr Osvaldo dos Santos, at the head of the institute since 2015, who has carried out a major overhaul of the structure of the complex, investing in technology, safety and comfort. Among the works carried out there are new classrooms for children's education, a parking lot and a covered field. While in the Salesian community there are also the Rector of the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Fr João dos Santos Barbosa Neto, together with Fr Jair Marques de Araújo, Rector of Cidade Don Bosco and parish priest of the parish of St John Bosco, and Fr Eduardo Moura.

The school has never stopped applying its Salesian pedagogy, which despite having ancient origins, is always attentive to changes and new needs of society and the labour market.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".