JANUARY

05

 

1852. On Claret’s first pastoral visit, he arrives in Las Tunas (Cuba), where he receives a grand reception.

1861. Claret walks through the farms that El Escorial owns in Gozquez (south-east of Madrid) in order to see the economic possibilities of the monastery.

1869. From Paris Claret warns Fr. Joseph Xifre that the Carmelite Sisters of Charity in Madrid are holding on to his money destined for the Congregation.

EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)

THE DISASTEROUS FOUNDATION IN CUBA

It was an offer from the Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba. It had always been a dream of the missionaries to continue the work of Father Claret in that diocese. In May 1880 Fr. Xifre sent the first expedition, led by Fr. Juan Manent. Everything started well, but tragedy soon followed. A few months later three of the members of the expedition died in three days, victims of yellow fever. Two weeks later, two others died. Faced with this sight, Fr. Antonio Sola became very discouraged. When Fr. Xifre ordered Fr. Sola’s return to the peninsula, a telegram crossed the message saying: Sola, Masoliver, Parer, died, Xuriach gravely ill: quid? Urgent. Manent. Fr. Xifre’s answer was: Come first steamboat. Xifre. Of the 6 Fathers and 5 Brothers (as always, a mixed group) only two remained alive: Fr. Manent and Br. Domingo Sese. However, the reaction throughout the Congregation was a general offer to go to Cuba.

Augusto Andres Ortega, CMF

Missionary and Theologian (1904-1983)

Villavedón (Burgos, Spain). He completed his theological studies in Spain, Italy, France, Belgium and Germany. He received a PhD in Philosophy at the Roman universities, with his doctoral thesis on the Analogy of Being. He devoted himself to teaching in several ecclesiastical centers: Sigüenza, Zafra, Burgos, Granada, Seville, Salamanca and Rome. He was a professor and member of the Institute of Political Studies and organized seminars at the Menendez Pelayo University in Santander. He was a friend of Eugenio d’Ors, Zubiri, Conde, Ridruejo, Lain Entralgo, Sopeña, Aranguren, Valverde, Panero, etc. His writings offer us a good lesson on how to do theology and philosophy in our time. In them he encourages rationality as the source of modernity and traditional Catholic thought. His writings have been published in three volumes in the prestigious Editorial BAC (Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos [Library of Christian Authors]). The work consists of three volumes: I: Theological reason and mystical experience. God encountering man; II: Life in Christ Christian life as divinization of man; III: The philosophical perspective. Man, world, God.

Biography

La traición de un amigo

A young man of my own age suggested that we pool our interests, and I agreed. We began by entering a lottery and were quite lucky at it… (Aut 73).

I already had a large number of receipts that added up to a pretty sum when one day, lo and behold, he came and told me that one of our tickets had won… but that when he went to collect the money he found that he’d lost the ticket. And he was telling the truth…because he had gambled it all away and lost. But that wasn’t all. He went to my room while I was away…and took all the receipts of our partnership…Finally, in an attempt to recoup his losses, and finding that he had nothing more to gamble with, he broke into the house of an acquaintance, stole the jewels of the lady of the house, and sold them. He gambled the money and lost again. (Aut 74)

Meanwhile, the lady discovered that her jewels were missing…She reported him to the authorities, who captured the thief. He confessed his crime, was prosecuted and sentenced to two years in prison. I simply can’t describe how great a blow this was to me – and not just because of my financial loss, although that was great enough, but because of my loss of honor… (Aut 75)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Have you experienced the betrayal of a friend?
  • Has this caused you to question the value of friendship?
  • What does honor mean to you?

Given the value of friendship and of love, there are only two options: fidelity or betrayal.

  • What do you say?

 

 

“Love helps you to grow. But love and the cross go together.
Accepting the cross is a sign of love and fruitfulness.
If we want to grow the Congregation, we must be willing
to sacrifice our life for our brothers.”

(Aquilino Bocos Merino, Herencia y profecía, 50).

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