From Covadonga, he was shaping up an educational project, a charism and a mode of acting within the Church. “We must show with deeds that science goes well with holiness of life,” he wrote. His great respect for science made him want it to be compatible with the Christian life. From then on his greatest intent would be to bring faith into the world of culture, intellectuality and knowledge. “We shall form men and women of virtue and knowledge who, in turn, will form the teachers that will be responsible for the education and enlightenment of the future generation.”
By Academy, Poveda meant a center that ”would have the sparkle and joy characteristic of those original academies in Athens.” In these centers, aspiring teachers were to be trained by those experienced in new methodologies. Here, bonds of fraternal love could be strengthened and genuine solidarity fostered. Soon enough he set up a center in Gijón involving a group of male primary teachers. However, those he involved failed to follow through with the plans and the project came to nothing. Poveda would not be put off. He continued to pray, to think, to meditate and to dream…thus he began to turn his thoughts to those whose roles were still restricted yet with so much to give and share: the WOMEN. The role of women was beginning to emerge at the turn of the century and women’s voices were starting to be heard.
He thus initiated a program of Christian formation, scientific training and educational updating for teachers; and established the first Academia in Oviedo with women now at the helm. The Academias grew and extended its branches to other cities in Spain. The secret behind the effectiveness and the richness of the idea was Poveda’s basic philosophy of choosing a small group of committed persons willing to carry out the “good idea.”