From the Olympics to Loreto School

11 Aug 2023 | Life, News, Stories, Training

Petra, a marathon runner, András and their four children have returned to Budapest after their formative journey in Loppiano with other families from various parts of the world. Work as landscape architects and a sports association they founded awaits them.

Petra is the novelty. The most diverse people and from the most unlikely places have come to Loppiano, longtime residents assure. But it is certain that an athlete who had participated in the Olympics had never set foot here. Petra Teveli, a Hungarian, ran the marathon at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, after competing in a World Athletics Championships and FISU World University Games (Universiade). In 2006 she was the Hungarian marathon champion. It was a passion born at age 11 but which is still very much alive. Three or four times a week Petra could be seen running through the streets of the Mariapolis.


Petra and András Prokopp arrived on August 31, 2022 to participate in the Loreto School family experience and returned to Budapest on June 23. With them were their four children, ages 13 years to 9 months. András returned to Loppiano after 21 years when he took part in the Gen School. “We arrived with the desire to give a year of our lives to God.” Petra had encountered her faith upon meeting András at the Budapest University, Faculty of Architecture. In 2006 they got married. They became landscape architects. They design and create gardens and parks. For the past 10 years they have started a company that works in and around the capital. While in Loppiano, András continued to run the company, devoting some time each week.


Landing in the citadel was problematic in the first period of their stay. The children missed their Hungarian friends and had no knowledge of Italian, while the parents had to organize their new life in all aspects. “Despite the cultural and linguistic differences, we experienced the extended family of the Focolare and felt the welcoming and merciful love of everyone.” No less important was “having felt the life of the citadel as our own, with its joys, challenges, tasks.” And then the children were the quickest to adapt and “deep friendships were born with the children of other families, which will be a great treasure for the rest of their lives.”

“We leave with a lot of trust in God and look forward to our return to Hungary,” says Petra. “It will be challenging to re-launch our company, together with a dozen or so employees and collaborators, but we also wish to give Jesus to the world through our work,” András continued. And not forgetting sports, together they founded an amateur sports association in 2009 to promote sports – mainly through running and setting up summer camps – “as a means of bringing generations together and transmitting the values of sports. We thus collaborate with other associations and with the municipal administration.” Happy running, then.

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