1860. Claret attends the event chaired by the nuncio in San Isidro (Madrid) as a thanksgiving for the triumphs in the war in Africa.
1868. The administration of the farms of El Escorial brings new disappointments every day. They have sold the house in Madrid which the monastery owned to the local government to pay for another property.
EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)THE MINISTRY OF TEACHING
In 1885, when the Spanish civil authorities granted permission to the Congregation to be able to teach, there were already schools in Segovia (1884), Toluca (1884), Gracia (1885), and in the following years schools were created in other houses such as Zafra, Alfaro, Calatayud, Medina de Rioseco, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, etc. As we said before, Father Claret wrote in 1869 to Fr. Xifre showing his agreement to be open to teaching, and he had thought that the Brothers could carry out this ministry, but Fr. Xifre thought it more convenient to also appoint Priests. At the beginning, Fr. Xifre was not very enthusiastic about the idea, thinking that our apostolate should concentrate on preaching. This was probably one of the reasons for the strong increase in Brothers in those years: the remodeling of old buildings and teaching. Indeed, we see in the statistics how in the 80s and 90s of the 19th century there were more Brothers than Fathers in the Congregation.
Leoncio Fernandez, CMFApostolic Vicar of Fernando Poo (1892-1957)
Tosos (Zaragoza, Spain). Destined to the Missions of Fernando Poo in 1917, his motto was always: I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your souls. Soon Fr. Nicolas Gonzalez wanted him at his side to visit the mission of Bata. And there he stayed. Later he was appointed Superior of Rio Benito and of Bata. With his good knowledge of the fang language, he soon began to advance into the continent in search of new foundations. In 1930 he was appointed member of the Provincial Government and had to move to Santa Isabel. And from there to Spain upon receiving the appointment of Apostolic Vicar. He received his episcopal consecration in Barcelona. He was a great reformer in every way, also materially speaking, and he founded the missions of Ebebiyin and Aconibe. He promoted native vocations. The Spanish Government decorated him with the Cross of Isabella the Catholic and the Cross of Africa. He was a poor, charitable and compassionate bishop.
Minister of the Word
During the Ember Days of St. Thomas in that same year of 1834, 1 received the diaconate. At the ordination the bishop read those words of St. Paul in the Pontifical: For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world… At that moment the Lord made me understand clearly the meaning of the demons I saw during the temptation I described in the preceding chapter. (Aut 101)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
Claret understood in his diaconal ordination that God made him minister of the Word.
- How important is the Word of God in your life?
- Is your ministry focused on the proclamation of the Word of God?
- How is your attitude of “diakonia” today?
Using them as if they were inexhaustible, with absolute dominion,
seriously endangers their availability not only for the present generation
but above all for generations to come.”
(John Paul II, Sollicitudo rei Socialis, 34)