CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
NAVIGATING THE STORM
Fr. Xifre had to cross the Pyrenees, not by his own personal decision, but to find a house in France where he could gather the scattered members. It was not an easy task, but after much effort and after a short time in Perpignan, a rental house was found in the small town of Prades. With the foundation of this house on February 2, 1869 that stronghold in exile became the center and heart of the Institute. It was the first time that the Congregation lived abroad, although still in Europe. On March 21st, Fr. Xifre arrived to stay permanently. The house of Prades was soon complete.
On July 16, 1869, twenty years after the foundation, Claret wrote an important letter to Xifre regarding the understanding of the mission: little by little, they should open schools for children, like the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He understood it, given the new circumstances, as a current mode of evangelizare parvulos.
The Value of Friendship
From that day forward he held me in high esteem, and on holidays he used to take me with him on outings with his sons. His friendship, advice, and sound principles were very beneficial to me because he was not only a well-educated man but also a faithful husband to his wife and a good father to his children, a good Christian, and a realist both in principle and practice. To tell the truth, some of this man’s advice was very useful for someone like me who had been brought up in a small town like Sallent, for at that time the very air we breathed was filled with constitutional ideas. (Aut 61)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Which friends have most influenced your life?
- Is friendship, or has it been a positive experience?
We are not “lone rangers”, we do not live alone. We are people of encounter and communion.
- Tell your experience of friendship inside and outside the community.
- Thank God for the friends he has given you.
It must be a reflection and an exercise of a
profound sense of Providence in our lives.”
(Declaration on the Spiritual Heritage of the Congregation,
General Chapter XVII, III. 77)