Inauguration of the New Premises of the Magnificat Institute | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Inauguration of the New Premises of the Magnificat Institute


Tuesday, September 4, 2012, the Custos of the Holy Land, Fra Pierbattista Pizzaballa, inaugurated the new premises of the Magnificat Institute, in the presence of the Consul General of Italy, Giampaolo Cantini and a delegation of the funders of the project from the Marche Region. The delegation included Luca Marconi - Councilor responsible for the Development Cooperation of the Marche Region, Giancarlo Carbini - Mayor of Maiolat, Gianluca Fioretti - President of Premio Vallesina and others from Italy connected to the project. Those present from the Custody of the Holy Land included the Economo Fra Ibrahim Faltas, Custodial Vicar Fra Artemio Vitores, Secretary General Fra Silvio De La Fuente, Pastor of St. Saviour Fra Feras Hejazin and Pastor of Good Shepherd (Jericho) Fra Mario Hadchiti. Bishop Kamal Bathish, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General Emeritus of Jerusalem, was also in attendance.
The event concluded with a concert by the International Youth String Orchestra, directed by Maestro Stefano Campolucci. This was the end of a tour entitled “Pentagrammando la pace insieme”, which was organized by Premio Vallesina, bringing together students of a number of schools of music, including Ancona, Jesi, Senigallia, Sarajevo and, of course, the Magnificat.
The proximity of the Marche Region to the Magnificat was clearly seen in the meeting of the two entities before the inauguration, a relationship motivated by a shared mission in the Magnificat, which stands as a sign of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and excellence in teaching. Also evident was their closeness to Fra Armando Pierucci, Founder and General Director of the Magnificat. “A father in the true sense of the word,” Fra Pierbattista Pizzaballa said in his address, “who gives not only bread, but also his spirit to his students, teachers and staff. Here in the Holy Land we always speak about projects, centers, treaties, but above all we need the spirit of the souls, which Fra Armando instills in his school.

The restoration project was explained by the engineer, Roberto Mancini who, together with Ettore Soranzo, engineer in charge of the Technical Office of the Custody, organized the operation. This was a major restoration and reclamation of the classrooms of the institute – housed in a basement – which will now be fully dehumidified and equipped with an innovative air conditioning system. Particular attention was paid to the improvement of sound insulation, through the strengthening of walls and doors, and the use of special glass. In addition, an area has been designated for the newly established academic courses, a component recognized by the Ministry of Education in Italy. There are also new offices, a library, multipurpose room, multimedia room and a rehearsal room for choir and orchestra. “The restoration,” commented Engineer Mancini, “together with the efficiency of the structure in Jerusalem allows for the technological culture of the March.”
After the presentation, the Custos of the Holy Land blessed the new premises, which were then visited by those present. Participants then went to the Auditorium of St. Saviour, where the director of the Institute Hania Soudah Sabbara welcomed them for a concert and the initiation of the D274 Steinway grand piano, donated by Premio Vallesina. The piano is unique, build in 1987, at the headquarters of Steinway in New York, and bears the signature of the last descendant to preside over the Steinway business: Henry Ziegler Steinway. The students of the Magnificat who made this king of pianos “to sing” were Emmanuel Mnaztzganian, Khoulud Sabbara, Annie Sivzattian and Genevieve Shemessian, with the participation of teachers Maria Spitkowsky and Mirjam Younan for pieces for four and six hands.
Before the entrance of the orchestra, a moving speech was made by Fra Armando Pierucci, Founder and General Director, and Nicola Di Francesco, secretary and tireless promoter from Premio Vallesina.
Then was the moment of exhibition of the International Youth String Orchestra, directed by Maestro Stefano Campolucci, which concluded the program with the applause of an attentive and numerous audience.
At the end of the evening, Fra Armando Pierucci presented commemorative handcrafted Armenian pottery to the representatives of the sponsoring institutions and those most involved in supporting this project.