The commemoration of the first anniversary of the death of the Augustinian Recollect religious Ángel Jubera Pellejero and the fifth of Don Tomás Sanz Alonso, both outstanding figures in the history of the Saint Augustine College of Valladolid, managed by the Augustinian Recollects, has led Roberto Sayalero, Augustinian Recollect professor of this educational center, to remember with accuracy, admiration and affection to these two teachers in love and dedicated to the education of adolescents and young people.

Every day is apparently the same, they all have twenty-four hours, they all have dawn and sunset, and they all have their good and some bad things. Moreover, throughout the year we also have days that are “to forget” and days that “we will never forget”. The dates dance through our memory as if they were the pieces of a puzzle and we are only capable of fixing, beyond academic knowledge, those that are engraved in the heart, for good or for bad. In the life of the College I allow myself to remember two. One that of October 1, 1961, the date of its inauguration; and on April 16 for a double and sad reason: in 2015 Don Tomás Sanz Alonso died and four years later, in 2019 Ángel Jubera Pellejero, Augustinian Recollect, died.

The magic of the passage of time allows calm reflection and it is not difficult to find some parallels in the life of these two difficult to replace figures. I comment on some: both with Augustinian training: the one, Tomás, studied with the Augustinians in Valencia de Don Juan (León) and Zaragoza; Angel, Augustinian Recollect from childhood; Tomás has a degree in Physical Sciences; Ángel, Bachelor of Philosophy, and as the philosopher Ortega y Gasset used to say, it is already known that the physicist loses his soul to metaphysics and the theologian to science. Both dedicated their entire lives to education: Thomas  took a few years in Galicia and since 1987 at the College; Ángel a few years in Fuenterrabía, Guipúzcoa, dedicated to the formation of the Augustinian Recollects and since 1981 at the Saint Augustine College.

They both leave without saying goodbye: Thomas, we are suddenly turned off with a fulminant heart attack that leaves him in a coma lasts almost a month; Angel gets out of hand for pancreatitis that devours him in less than a month.

Time has passed and the temporal distance that does not affect it, allows to speak without falling into the syrupy flattery that is usually synonymous with hollow and false. As with dates, it happens with people. Many go through our lives sliding, without making noise, leaving little trace and others, as if they were doing it on stiletto shoes, mark us forever. Thomas and Angel had the hard-to-reach quality of leaving no one indifferent.

Tomás, along with a good handful of teachers, began to break the teacher-student barrier, to become a true companion on the way in learning and personal maturation of the students he spoke to openly, as a true father looking for the best for his children. As a companion he always felt at the service willing to learn from others and share his experiences; as director, together with Father Juan Luis González, he undertook the task of adapting the College to the demands of the 21st century. Perhaps what defines him best is that, with how difficult it is in Spain, no one ever spoke ill of him. Anger was enthusiastic “he believed deeply in the education of adolescents and young people”, as he liked to say. Teacher and tutor of hundreds of students whose names and surnames he learned on the second day and never forgot, despite his innate absent-mindedness. Entrepreneur: he bundles the blanket over his head and launches into Italy with a group of teenagers.

Experience that was repeated year after year to over thirty. Fraternal: He realizes that the College is more than a succession of academic courses, the College marks the lives of the students and that familiarity cannot be truncated. For this reason it reorganizes the Alumni Association, which occupied most of its time and energy. Present: Yes, it is an easily explained adjective. In the midst of pain and desolation for the loss of a loved one, there he appeared in the morgue to show himself close.

He had a special sense of responsibility and closeness. In the same way he shared the joy of his spontaneous laughter at weddings, baptisms and all kinds of celebrations where the air of his “Saint Agus” was breathed. Ecologist: Lover of nature. It absorbed him in such a way that he lost himself without difficulty to the surprise of his expedition companions.

Anyway, they both also have a tree. Tomás, the olive tree of peace, harmony and health. Angel, the beech of strength, wisdom and presence. They both share a date and a place in our hearts.

Roberto Sayalero Sanz, Augustinian Recollect.