JANUARY

12

1856. Claret is visited by two Jesuits whom he addresses about founding a school in Puerto Principe (Cuba).

1859. Claret insists with the Queen, using his authority as her spiritual director, that the Carmelite Sisters of Charity can teach and be recognized as teachers, with their pay.

1865. Claret has a busy schedule, due to people who want to talk to him at length about matters of great importance; for this reason he has to arrange a date for any visit, even one from Fr. Xifre.

CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)

 

MISSION HOUSE IN VIC

 

The Mission House in Vic was the main house of the Institute in this period until the revolution of 1868. It was dedicated as a house for Spiritual Exercises for clergy and laity, and as a residence. Although at first, they did not run any churches, they later agreed to take care of liturgy in the church of La Merced. It was also the Novitiate and Scholasticate. Several foundations were split from it, such as the one in Gracia (Barcelona) and Segovia, which although in apostolic activity sometimes equaled and surpassed it, they did not have its distinction at that time from being the residence of the General Government. Fr. Xifre began as this community’s Superior when the whole Institute was concentrated in Vic, and for some time later until the General Chapter of 1864. According to the Constitutions, in his absences he was replaced, by his own right, by Fr. Clotet, as Sub-Director, who did not take long to exercise, as incumbent, the functions of Local Superior, as well as from the Chapter of 1864 until the revolution of September 1868.

Leopoldo O’Donnell

Prime Minister (1809-1867)

 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain). He was born on January 12th. He was a Spanish nobleman, soldier and politician, 1st Duke of Tetuan, 1st Count of Lucena and 1st Viscount of Aliaga. He presided over the Council of Ministers from 1865 -1866, during the reign of Isabella II. It is during this time when he was unofficially in contact with Claret. He died in Biarritz (France). In 1859 Father Claret wrote to O’Donnell offering his help for the victory of the army in Africa by absolving the blasphemies of the Spanish troops. In 1865, on the occasion of the recognition of the Kingdom of Italy, Claret writes in his Autobiography: On July 14…The President of the Council, O’Donnell, went alone to the palace and talked with the queen from 9:00 to 11:00, telling her that this matter of the Kingdom of Italy was not as bad as people thought…that the agreement only affected the holdings of the King of Naples but by no means those of the Pope…One could truly say that she was both deceived and threatened (Aut 834).

Fundamentals of Christian Formation

 

I learned the catechism so well that whenever I was asked to, I could recite it from beginning to end without a mistake. Three of the other boys learned it as well as I had, and the teacher presented us to the pastor, Dr. Joseph Amigo. This good man had the four of us recite the whole catechism on two consecutive Sunday nights. We did it without a single mistake before all the people in the church. As a reward he gave each of us a beautiful holy card, which we have treasured ever since. (Aut 23)

When I had mastered the catechism, I was given Pinton’s Compendium of Sacred History to read, and between my reading and the teacher’s explanations, the work was so deeply fixed in my memory that I could repeat it and discuss it with ease and without getting confused or flustered. (Aut 24)

 

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

  • What do you remember about your early Christian formation?
  • Did you participate in parish life during your childhood?
  • Did you have a good catechetical formation?
  • Tell your story in the form of a parable.
“First consideration must obviously be given to those values which concern man’s dignity generally, and the immense worth of each individual human life. Attention must then be turned to the need for worldwide cooperation among men, with a view to a fruitful and well-regulated interchange of useful knowledge, capital and manpower.”

(Juan XXIII, Mater et Magistra, 192).

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