1851. Claret arrives in Santiago, Cuba after sailing for a month and a half.
1862. On this Sunday Claret preaches in Villaverde, a town near Madrid.
1866. The approved Constitutions ad quinquennium of the missionaries reach Claret’s hands. He sends them to Fr. Joseph Xifre.
EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)CORDIS MARIAE FILIUS (CMF)
Early practices offered a great variety of acronyms at the end of the signatures of the Claretian Missionaries: Pbro. (Presbyter), Mro. (Missionary), P. del C. de Ma. (Father of the Heart of Mary), of the I.C. de Ma., etc. This is what the missionaries of Segovia did: Berenguer, Casanovas, and Fabregas. The current acronym CMF began to be used around 1878 and continued to spread until 1887 when Fr. Xifre in the Boletin Religioso offered a ruling that read: Attach the initials CMF (Cordis Mariae Filius) to your last names since this is the true hallmark with which we the individuals of the Congregation are honored. Later the custom was introduced that the applicants added to their last names: CMP (Cordis Mariae Postulans) and the novices CMFolus (Cordis Mariae Filiolus).
Joan Sidera, CMFClaret Scholar (1918-2018)
La Cellera de Ter (Gerona, Spain). He entered the Congregation at only 9 years old. He was a companion during the studies of many of those who were later martyred in the Spanish civil war and later beatified. He was involved in the war like so many young people of his age, although in auxiliary services. His pastoral dedication was, fundamentally, educational. He had a degree in Chemical Sciences. He was the founder and director of the Junior College in Cervera. In 1979, his life changed when he was assigned to the community of Vic. There, thanks to his interest in historical subjects, almost up until his death, he developed intense research work on the Founder and the Congregation, especially for 30 years as the person responsible for the Axiu Pairal and the Arxiu Claret. It would be impossible to name here his numerous private and congregational investigations and publications. In June 2017, on the occasion of his 75th anniversary of ordination, an interesting book-tribute was published on Claret’s family entitled Enamoraos de Cristo…y de Claret [Fall in love with Christ … and with Claret]. He died on February 4, weeks before his 100th birthday.
Ministry and Formation
I sang my First Mass in my home town…On August 2, Feast of the Portciuncula, I began to hear confessions. I was in the confessional for six straight hours, from five until eleven in the morning. I gave my first sermon in September of that year, a panegyric for the feast day of the patron saint of the town. The next day I gave another sermon, on the faithful departed of the town… (Aut 103)
After I had performed these functions in my home town, I returned to my studies in Vich, but because of the civil war, the students were unable to gather in the seminary and had to pursue their studies in private conferences. At this time, as the Ecclesiastical Governor and Vicar Capitular had no one to fill the post of assistant pastor in my parish, he wanted me by all means to go there and study in the conference, as I was doing in Vich, for the remainder of my training. I did so out of obedience and finished my studies, as the certificate I received from the Seminary of Vich attests… (Aut 104)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
The first four years of Claret’s priesthood were marked by ministry and study; the latter performed in the midst of strong adversities.
- Do you find difficulties in living out your necessary permanent formation?
- Do you commit to overcome them and thus obtain the essential formation that is current for our time?
- What place does permanent renewal have in your missionary formation in order to better respond to the challenges of the mission?
with which we would enclose him
and he constantly amazes us by his divine creativity.”
(Francis, Evangelii gaudium, 11)