FEBRUARY

11

 

1865. It is a joy for Claret that on this day the Holy See has granted a rescript according to which the Director General of the Congregation may issue dimissorial letters for ordination.

1867. Today, and almost every day this month, Claret goes to the Ministry about the foundation of Mother Paris in Reus.

1870. Claret speaks at the meeting of the Spanish bishops in Rome about a single and universal catechism.

EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)

THE FOUNDATION IN SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA

The church and the College-University of the Franciscans were the basis for the foundation in Santo Domingo de la Calzada (La Rioja) in 1885. It was the first great College of the Congregation in Spain. The other large group was previously that of France: Prades and Thuir. All the theologians traveled there from Gracia; the novitiate also moved. Fr. Isaac Burgos intervened in the foundation. Its first Superior was Fr. Clement Serrat. Fr. Pablo Vallier, having recently arrived from Chile, was the Novice Master. The condition had been placed on the authorities to repair the building. Since it had not been fulfilled, Fr. Xifre ordered the community to leave Santo Domingo, but with the intervention of Fr. Felipe Amigo, a priest from the city, things were settled and the transfer was revoked. Soon the Hospital and the schools were built. The community grew and the new facilities were also occupied. With the scholasticate, the General Government moved there too. On September 1, 1906, the Minor Seminary was inaugurated.

APPROVAL OF THE CONSTITUTIONS

On this date of 1870, and after the petition personally taken to Rome by Father Claret, our Constitutions were approved by Pope Pius IX. In turn, and as a sign of historical continuity, February 11, 1982, was also the date on which the Decree of the Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes was published, by which the post-conciliar revision of our Constitutions was approved. They are our book of life, which we are meant to incarnate in our missionary lives and experience. As such, it helps us first of all to remember the journey as a disciple of the Founder Father and many brothers: an experience worth sharing by his side in following Jesus. This small book condenses and articulates the Gospel experience described in the Founder’s Autobiography. By gratefully calling to mind our Constitutions, we celebrate our greatest gift, which is the implantation of Jesus of the Gospel at the center of our existence.

Words that Mark His Life

Every year in the chapel, during Lent, we made an eight-day retreat, from Sunday to Sunday. The bishop attended all the morning and evening exercises. I recall that during a sermon one day he said, Perhaps someone will ask why the bishop is spending so much time with the students. I would tell him that I know what I’m doing. If I can have good students now, I’ll have good priests and good pastors later. Think about how much more rest I’ll have then! It is very important for students to be continually nourished spiritually during their studies; otherwise, they will grow up to be proud, which is the worst they can bring upon themselves and pride is the source of all sin. I would rather have them know a little less and be pious than to know a great deal with little or no piety and be puffed up with the wind of vanity. (Aut 92)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

Claret, after several decades, still remembers the wise words of his bishop.

  • Are there words that you have either heard or read, that have marked your life and that you still remember with gratitude?
  • What place do study and piety occupy in your missionary life even today?

Words have power for life and transformation.

  • List the words that have most marked your life and mission.

 

“In order to be faithful to the present moment,
Claretian formation must be living, creative and effective
within a strict fidelity to our mission.”

(General Chapter XVIII. Formation, 8)

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