CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
THE FOUNDER WITH HIS MISSIONARIES
Father Claret was still present in the Institute despite his duties as Archbishop and Royal Confessor. He visited the houses in Vic and Gracia in 1859, 1862 and 1864, commemorating the celebration of the first three General Chapters, and that of Segovia during his summer stays with the Queen at La Granja. During these visits he lived with them as just any other missionary. In 1865, on the occasion of his separation from the Court following the recognition of the Kingdom of Italy, he came to reside for three months with the missionaries in Vic, and led Spiritual Exercises for them in 1867. He did the same in the house in Gracia. It was during these Spiritual Exercises that he prophesied that the Congregation would have a martyr; this was going to be Fr. Francis Crusats. Likewise, in Madrid he tried to spend time with some members of the Institute like Fr. Pedro Vilar and Fr. Lorenzo Puig and Br. Joseph Saladich and Br. Antonio Calvo. His Claretian community in Madrid was also going to be mixed.
First Vocational Call
When I was still a small boy in elementary school, a distinguished visitor to the school asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I answered that I wanted to be a priest. Accordingly, when I had successfully completed my elementary school, I was enrolled in the Latin class taught by a very holy and learned priest, Dr. Don John Riera. From him I learned and memorized nouns, verbs, genders, and a bit more, but as the class was discontinued, I could no longer study and had to give it up. (Aut 30)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- What is your first vocational memory?
- Was there any person who intervened in a special way in your vocational awakening?
- Was there anyone who tried to stop it?
- Go back to your “first love” … What does it say to you today? How has it matured?
- Go back to the text of Scripture that illuminated your vocation. How does it look to you now?
Make me love and serve you with all fervor;
make all creatures love and serve you.”