1847. Claret finishes preaching an eight-day mission in Cornudella (Tarragona), where he had also given Spiritual Exercises for the clergy.
1867. Claret delivers the documentation from the Archbishop of Tarragona for the Foundation of the Sisters from the Convent of La Enseñanza in Reus.
CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
ELECTION AND FIRST DECISIONS OF Fr. Joseph Xifre
After the death of Fr. Stephen Sala the election proceeded for the one who would be the Superior General of the Institute. The election decided on Fr. Joseph Xifre on May 1, 1858. He was not reluctant to take the first steps in the government of the Institute entrusted to him. Already in 1859, the first General Assembly of the Congregation took place in Vic, convened and presided over by the Founder, and which is considered the First General Chapter: it was May 28, 1859, in Vic, with 9 participants. It is the shortest General Chapter in our history: it lasted one hour, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and in the Superior’s own room. Seven resolutions related to the rules were made. Later there were two other General Chapters that were momentous for the Congregation because they were consecrated to the definitive elaboration and approval of the Constitutions: 1862 and 1864, both of which took place in Gracia and were presided over by Claret.
Oratorian from Vic (1796-1866)
San Lorenzo de dos Munts (Barcelona, Spain). Claret’s spiritual director. He studied at the University of Cervera. He was Coadjutor of Santa Eugenia de Berga Parish. In 1824 he entered the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Vic. After the events of 1835 he went abroad and resided in Perpignan, Nice and Rome. In 1844 he founded the House-asylum for sick clergy in Vic, Instituto de los Hermanos de la Purisima Concepcion [Institute of the Brothers of the Immaculate Conception.] He was Superior of the Congregation of the Oratory. Claret recounts in his Autobiography (n.85): I was advised to go to a priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Father Peter Bach. I made a general confession of my whole life to him and afterward always made my weekly confessions with this very good director. He was one of the four wise, virtuous and trustworthy men which Claret consulted before accepting the appointment of Archbishop. The other three were Jaime Soler, Jaime Passarell and Stephen Sala.
Recognition of the Gifts Received
For my greater embarrassment I should like to quote the words of the author of the Book of Wisdom (8:19): I was a boy of happy disposition. I had received a good soul as my lot. That is, I received a good nature or disposition from God, out of his sheer goodness. (Aut 18)
My God, how good you are! How rich in mercy you have been to me! If you had given others the graces you have given me, they would have cooperated with them so much more. Mercy, Lord: I’ll begin to be good from now on, with the help of your grace. (Aut 21)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
Claret recognizes that God, out of goodness, has given him a good disposition.
- Thank the Lord for the gifts He has given you.
- Do these gifts affect the good of your brothers and sisters?
- Pray Lectio Divina with Mt 25:14-30.
- List the gifts and fruits that accompany your missionary life.
(Declaration on the Spiritual Heritage of the Congregation,
General Chapter XVII, I. 4)