1855. A priest and a group of 12 seminarians from the Peninsula arrive in Santiago; Claret draws up a plan of formation for them until their ordination.
1859. Claret receives word of the appointment of Fr. Felix de Cadiz as his successor in Santiago; however, the appointment was unsuccessful.
EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)THE EXPULSION FROM FRANCE
In March of 1880 a decree from the government of the French Republic established the obligation for all the religious communities to regularize their situation by requesting their legal recognition. It was just a pretext. During the month of October, the government proceeded, through a premeditated and well-organized plan, to close the religious houses. The great complaint or pretext of the republicans was that the Congregations were hostile to the regime, and should be combated and annihilated. The General Secretary of the Prefecture of the Eastern Pyrenees, accompanied by some police officers, appeared at the house of the Missionaries on October 26th and ordered them to leave the house in a few hours. After the useless protests of Fr. Clotet, the approximately 80 members of the community left Thuir on foot the next day to Elne where they took a train to Spain. Three or four Brothers stayed with a Priest to take care of the house. The scholasticate was installed in Gracia, while the novices joined the novitiate which already existed in Vic since 1878.
Antonio M. de GaldácanoCapuchin Friar (1812-1863)
Galdácano, (Vizcaya, Spain). Capuchin friar who traveled as a missionary to Venezuela, the United States, Puerto Rico and finally to Cuba. In 1853 he received the appointment as a missionary from Father Claret and later that as professor of Theology at the seminary in Santiago, Cuba. In 1860 he went on to manage the same chair in the seminary of El Escorial (Spain), receiving the title of a chaplain. He died on February 2, 1863, of jaundice. About him, Claret wrote: This priest joined my company after two years in Cuba. A religious exclaustrated by the Revolution, he went first to the United States and later to Puerto Rico as a pastor. As he found Puerto Rico unsuitable to him, he came to Cuba, where he did better. He is a very well educated and zealous religious and has accompanied me on numerous mission campaigns, helping with confessions. I gave him a teaching position in the seminary and, after the arrival of my successor, he came to Spain, where I appointed him to the chair of theology in the seminary of the Escorial.
La atracción de la vida contemplativa
Disenchanted, weary, and bored with the world, I considered leaving it for the solitary life of a Carthusian and pursued my studies with this end in view. I felt that I would be failing in my duty if I didn’t tell my father of this decision, and the first chance I had, I did so, during one of his many business trips to Barcelona. He was deeply disappointed when I told him that I wanted to give up manufacturing. He told me of all the fond hopes he had for me and his business and for the partnership, we might have entered. When I mentioned that I wanted to become a Carthusian, his sorrow reached its peak. (Aut 77)
But since he was a good Christian, he told me, I don’t want to thwart your vocation, God forbid. Think it over carefully, commend it to God, and consult with your spiritual director. If he says that this is God’s will, then I respect and worship it, however, it may pain me. Even so, I’d rather see you become a secular priest than a monk. Whatever happens, may God’s will be done. (Aut 78)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Have you experienced any strong disenchantment with the “world” that has influenced your vocation?
- Were there proposals that you had to set aside to follow Jesus the missionary?
- What was your family’s reaction to your vocational decision?
Father Claret came to many different crossroads in his life. He made continuous choices and renunciations.
- What have your crossroads been?
translates into an ardent desire to imitate Christ…
The imitation of Christ was, therefore, his great obsession.”
(Juan M. Lozano, Mystic and Man of Action)