FEBRUARY

08

 

1844. Claret receives the religious profession of the first two Carmelite Sisters of Charity.

1848. Claret arrives in Madrid on the way to the Canary Islands. He stays at the home of Mr. Jose Maria Ramirez Cotes, with whom Fr. Fermin de la Cruz lives, both closely related to the nunciature. There he also meets Fr. John N. Lobo, Jesuit Fr. Carasa, Mother Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament and he meets with his friend Fr. Jaime Balmes for the last time, who was already seriously ill.

1858. From Madrid Claret informs his family of the great indecision in which he finds himself. He does not know whether to continue in Madrid or what direction he will take.

EARLY EXPANSION (1870-1899)

THE MISSIONS IN THE GULF OF GUINEA

Since 1858 the Jesuits were in charge of this Vicariate. In 1868 the state subsidy was withdrawn, and they left definitively in 1872. Things went badly in that mission until, finally, in 1882 Fr. Xifre was invited to take it over. By accepting he obtained, in addition, the exemption from military service, which lasted three years, for young missionaries in formation, an exemption Fr. Xifre greatly desired. Once he accepted, the first expedition of 12 volunteer missionaries was sent in 1883. Fr. Ciriaco Ramirez was designated as Apostolic Prefect.

Something similar to what happened in Cuba was repeated here. Many young Missionaries died, even a few days or weeks after arriving. And in Spain there were many Claretians who offered to replace those who died. It was a great example, we could say, of martyrdom, because, in effect, then many of them continued to die. So much so that Fr. Xifre had to put a stop to it because there were too many who wanted to go to that mission.

João de Castro Engler, CMF

General Consultor (1910-1992)

Campinas (Brazil). He made his first studies in Campinas, and from 1922 to 1925, in the Claretian seminary of Guarulhos. He devoted himself fundamentally to teaching theology. He studied in Brazil and Rome, where he was ordained a priest in 1936. He earned a Ph.D. in Dogmatics at the Gregorian University, he taught theology in the Claretian seminary of Albano-Laziale (Italy) and later in those of Garulhos and Curitiba (Brazil) where he was Rector. From 1954 to 1960 he was Provincial of Brasil Meridional. At this time, he was chair (founder) of Latin Language and Literature in the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of Parana (federal). In 1961 he was named a member of the General Government until 1967. At the same time, he was Director of the Claretianum in Rome and professor. Returning to Brazil, he was appointed Director of Studium Theologicum in Curitiba and professor. After nine years of illness, he died in Rio Claro.

Providential Encounters

At the beginning of September, 1829, I left Barcelona and because my parents wanted me to go to Sallent…I stayed with them until September 29, the feast of St. Michael, when we left after hearing Mass…We reached Vich that night, completely soaked. (Aut 83).

On the following day we went to see the bishop, Paul de Jesus Corcuera, who received us kindly. …I was stationed with the Steward of the Bishop’s Palace, Msgr. Fortian Bres, a very good priest who showed me a great deal of affection. I lived with him throughout my stay in Vich… (Aut 84)

In the early days of my stay in Vich, I asked whether anyone could recommend a good priest to hear my general confession. I was advised to go to a priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Father Peter Bach. I made a general confession of my whole life to him and afterward always made my weekly confessions with this very good director. It is worth noting that God has used three Fathers of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri to counsel and direct me at the most crucial moments in my spiritual life… (Aut 85)

 

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

Claret recognizes that God put several significant people in his path to help him on his formative journey.

  • Who are the people who most marked your initial formation?
  • What do you remember from those first experiences?
  • Call to mind the mediations that God has used with you.
  • Write a prayer of thanksgiving.

 

 

“Those who are already rich
are bound to accept a less material way of life, with less waste,
in order to avoid the destruction of the heritage
which they are obliged by absolute justice
to share with all other members of the human race.”

(Justitia in Mundo, 70. 7).

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