FEBRUARY

23

 

1853. Claret arrives in Baracoa (Cuba), after a difficult two-day trip by land. It had been 60 years since any bishop had visited this city.

1856. Claret writes a letter to the Pope asking him whether to continue in Cuba or return to the Peninsula.

1867. Claret speaks to the minister Arrazola to speed up the foundation of the convent of Mother Paris in Reus.

EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)

CREATION OF VISITORSHIPS

Two new Apostolic Prefects who succeeded Fr. Ciriaco Ramirez were assigned to the Visitorship of Guinea. First, Fr. Pedro Vall-Llovera, who died a year and a half later due to gangrene. Soon after Fr. Armengol Coll arrived, a great missionary, who was named the first Apostolic Vicar and first Bishop of the Congregation after the Founder. In the Chapter of 1895, the new Visitorships of America were created, dependent on the new Provinces of Spain: that of Mexico, on Catalunya; and that of Chile, on Castilla. As for the Visitorship of South America, it had already been founded in Valparaiso and Curico (1880), and in Linares (1895). At the helm of the North American Visitorship was Fr. Domingo Sola until Fr. Juan Mele was appointed. The foundations in Guanajuato (1895), Leon (1895), Puebla (1896) and Orizaba (1900), were established, all in Mexico.

Juan Gil, CMF

First Apostolic Prefect of Choco (1867-1912)

Navares de Enmedio (Segovia, Spain). On April 28, 1908, the Holy See created the Apostolic Prefecture of Choco, in Colombia, entrusted to the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Fr. Juan Gil was named the first Prefect. His great vocation was that of a preacher. In April of 1894 he was assigned to the community of Almendralejo where the following year he would follow Fr. Inocencio Heredero as Superior. The foundation of the house-school in Jerez was thanks to Fr. Gil. In 1906 he was appointed Superior of Plasencia. While there, in 1908 he was appointed as the first Apostolic Prefect of Choco. On the occasion of his visit to Bogota, the Archbishop Bernardo Herrera Restrepo offered the Congregation the Basilica del Sagrado Corazon (also known as the Church of the Voto Nacional). In 1911 he met with Saint Laura Montoya in Medellin with whom he worked on her foundation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and St Catherine of Siena. He suffered and worked until exhaustion, dying at 45 years old and after three years in Colombia.

Biography

Prophets and Sentries

I had the same experience on reading the prophet Ezekiel, especially chapter 3, at these words: Son of man, I have appointed you as sentry to the House of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from me, warn them in my Name. If I say to a wicked man: You are to die, and you do not warn him; if you do not speak and warn him to renounce his evil ways and so live, then he shall die for his sin. But I will hold you responsible for his death.

If, however, you do warn a wicked man and he does not renounce his wickedness and his evil ways, then he shall die for his sins, but you yourself will have saved your life (Ezek 3:18-19). (Aut 119)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Do you feel like a sentry and a prophet of the Lord or a simple religious official?
  • What realities of the world and of your brothers and sisters concern you and challenge your missionary life?
  • What should we denounce in order to be authentic prophets?

 

“The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time we are given.”

(Film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)

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