1840. After discerning about his case with the General Superior of the Jesuits, Fr. Juan Felipe Roothaam, Claret leaves the Jesuit Novitiate to return to his homeland.
1844. Claret continues his Lenten preaching in La Seu de Manresa (Barcelona). This was the second of the four times he preached in this city.
EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)Joseph Xifre’S TESTAMENT
In his last words (a brief testament), Fr. Xifre recognized his limitations and his love for the Congregation. On November 4, 1899, at 8 a.m., after the response was sung, Fr. Martin Alsina climbed to the pulpit and he exhorted everyone to listen attentively to the last farewell that Fr. Xifre addressed to the Congregation: My dearest Congregation: I have loved you as much as I could until the end, and I will not forget you in eternity. I have lived exclusively for you, without avoiding sacrifices or dangers. However, as a miserable man with many defects, not a few times I have put down and offended several individuals. That is the only thing that upsets me, that I deplore. I ask everyone for forgiveness and I hope to obtain it, as I forgive everyone, loving everyone in God, as I love myself. Pray for the one who loved you, apply a plenary indulgence, and it will be appreciated by the one named Joseph Xifre.
Juan Bautista FonteCollaborator of Claret (1822-1896)
Sancti Spiritus (Cuba). He studied ecclesiastical studies at the San Basilio seminary in Santiago, Cuba. Ordained in 1848, he held various positions in Las Tunas, Baracoa, in the parish of Los Dolores, where he established the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and later the Apostolate of Prayer. Claret said of him that he was one of the most respectable priests among those native of the diocese, for his virtue, for his zeal and for his aptitude for the care of souls. In 1863 he traveled to Spain and joined the Society of Jesus in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz. In January 1864, before finishing the novitiate, he was assigned to the school of Belen, in Havana, where he made his profession. He was Prefect of Discipline and professor. When he became ill, he went to Puebla (Mexico) and then to Jalapa, where he demonstrated his love for teaching and charity towards the poor. He had a holy death in this city on February 25th.
Four Months in the Society of Jesus
He did as he said, and on the day after he had received the request, the General asked to see me. I went, and as I arrived at his door, the Father Provincial was leaving. The General spoke to me for some time and then said, That father who was leaving as you entered was the Father Provincial, and he lives at Saint Andrea de Monte Cavallo. Go there and tell him that I’m sending you and that whatever he may do for you I will consider a favor. I went there directly, was very well received, and on November 2 was already living in the novitiate, so that I found myself a Jesuit overnight… (Aut 141).
The Lord did me a great favor in bringing me to Rome and introducing me for however short a time to those virtuous fathers and brothers…It was there that I learned how to give the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and methods for preaching, catechizing, hearing confessions usefully and effectively, as well as many other things that have stood me in good stead… (Aut 152)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Have you had any experiences that, although they did not appear successful, have enriched you?
- What significant learning have you experienced in these cases?
and abandon itself into the arms of love,
and His Majesty will teach it what to do next.”
(St. Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, Fourth Mansions, 3.8)