Presentation from Father General

Authentic missionary life is only possible when we extract from our charismatic well that which constituted the source of apostolic vitality for our Founder and several generations of Claretians. Claret speaks of his companions as those who have received the same spirit that encouraged him (cf. Aut 489). We are Claretians because we have also received that same spirit to proclaim the Gospel today. A closer contact with our Founder and with the history of the Congregation will help us fan the flames of our missionary spirit and find urgent, timely and effective ways to carry out our mission in the times in which we are living.

Fidelity to our roots and openness to new realities, demand a fruitful relationship with the elder Claretians who walked before us. Pope Francis, addressing consecrated men and women, reminded us of the importance of this mutual relationship:

For if the young are called to open new doors, the elderly hold the keys. An institute remains youthful by going back to its roots, by listening to its older members. There is no future without this encounter between the old and the young. There is no growth without roots and no flowering without new buds. There is never prophecy without memory, or memory without prophecy. (Homily, World Day for Consecrated Life, 2018)

The project of the Claretian Year is a humble effort that seeks to help the current generation of Claretians to walk according to the spirit of the Founder and to help us all become familiar with our predecessors, whose lives shaped our history.

Fr. Gonzalo Fernández Sanz, General Prefect of Spirituality, together with his collaborators, undertook this enormous project with much love and dedication. Through these lines, I want to express my gratitude to everyone.

I urge all Claretians to use this instrument to grow joyfully in our Claretian life and to bear fruit in the mission.

The versatility of the project allows us to drink from the well of the various spiritual sources included in it and enjoy its contents at any time and in any place, since we can find them in hard copy, in a digital version, in applications, etc. A motivated Claretian, with a minimum of self-discipline, can easily fit the project within the framework of his daily life by integrating it into the common prayer of the community or in the hour of personal prayer recommended by the Constitutions (cf. CC 37). Let us take this journey together to the charismatic sources and walk towards the peripheries with the joy of the Gospel.

Oriental wisdom affirms: “Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.” Rooted in Christ through our charismatic tradition, we will be like “a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never fail.” (Is 58:11)

Rome, March 19, 2019
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Patron of the Congregation

Mathew Vattamattam, CMF

Superior General

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