JANUARY

28

1863. Claret apologizes to Bishop Joseph Caixal for not writing lately, due to the volume of work he has: Despite adding night to day, I still don’t have enough time for the things which, without looking for them, befall me.

1869. Fr. Paladio Currius communicates to Claret that the nuns of Mother Paris, expelled by the revolution, have been able to return to their convent in Reus and Currius himself is their chaplain.

CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)

 

NAVIGATING THE STORM

 

Fr. Xifre had to cross the Pyrenees, not by his own personal decision, but to find a house in France where he could gather the scattered members. It was not an easy task, but after much effort and after a short time in Perpignan, a rental house was found in the small town of Prades. With the foundation of this house on February 2, 1869 that stronghold in exile became the center and heart of the Institute. It was the first time that the Congregation lived abroad, although still in Europe. On March 21st, Fr. Xifre arrived to stay permanently. The house of Prades was soon complete.

On July 16, 1869, twenty years after the foundation, Claret wrote an important letter to Xifre regarding the understanding of the mission: little by little, they should open schools for children, like the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He understood it, given the new circumstances, as a current mode of evangelizare parvulos.

 

Isaac Retes, CMF

Missionary and Painter (1874-1959)

 

Llodio (Alava, Spain). He was a pretty famous painter together with Fr. Martin Roure, both disciples of academic Mr. Gonzalez Santos in Seville. He started in Cervera with Br. Alabert, who had entered the Congregation as a painter. With his brilliant reproductions of the masterpieces of national art, several of our houses and schools in Spain were enriched. Fr. Retes painted a large number of paintings, but many of them were destroyed in the Spanish Civil War. In 1917, the centenary of the birth of Fr. Xifre, he painted an oil painting of Xifre in Jerez de los Caballeros. This painting was sent to Aguas Santas and now it is in the General Curia. The painting he did of Father Claret is preserved in the Aula Claret of Colmenar Viejo, in Spain. He collaborated very effectively in the special edition of the Iris de Paz of 1924, 75th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Congregation.

 

The Value of Friendship

 

From that day forward he held me in high esteem, and on holidays he used to take me with him on outings with his sons. His friendship, advice, and sound principles were very beneficial to me because he was not only a well-educated man but also a faithful husband to his wife and a good father to his children, a good Christian, and a realist both in principle and practice. To tell the truth, some of this man’s advice was very useful for someone like me who had been brought up in a small town like Sallent, for at that time the very air we breathed was filled with constitutional ideas. (Aut 61)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Which friends have most influenced your life?
  • Is friendship, or has it been a positive experience?

We are not “lone rangers”, we do not live alone. We are people of encounter and communion.

  • Tell your experience of friendship inside and outside the community.
  • Thank God for the friends he has given you.

 

“Our poverty must be real, both personally and collectively.
It must be a reflection and an exercise of a
profound sense of Providence in our lives.”

(Declaration on the Spiritual Heritage of the Congregation,
General Chapter XVII, III. 77)

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