MARCH

10

1853. Fr. Joseph Caixal is appointed as Bishop of Urgel; Claret laments how the Libreria Religiosa may suffer.

1859. In a letter to Fr. Joseph Xifre, Claret is pessimistic about the attitude of the Government towards the Church and skeptical about the civil approval of the Congregation of missionaries.

1865. Claret is optimistic about the operation of El Escorial despite the opposition it experiences. He had just published Consuelo de un alma calumniada [Comfort for a Slandered Soul].

THE CONSOLIDATION (1899-1906)

FOUNDATION IN THE UNITED STATES

The foundation in San Antonio in 1902, established by Fr. Ramon Prat, was the fruit of the missions that were previously preached in Texas and California by Fr. Mariano Lusilla and Fr. Camilo Torrente from Mexico, at the initiative of the Apostolic Vicar of Brownsville, Pedro Verdaguer, who had known Fr. Founder. First from the Bishop’s residence and then from their own residence, they began tireless missionary work throughout the region. It was not easy to adapt to the new environment, including the way of dressing and the style of pastoral work. At the same time the first steps were taken for the foundation in San Marcos, a small town of 2,000 inhabitants about 100 km from San Antonio, a foundation which materialized in 1906. It was born from the preaching of Fr. Eugenio Sugrañes and due to the ailments and almost blindness of the only priest in the city. In these foundations, they had to accept the parish work but without renouncing their missionary character.

ANDRES MARTINEZ DE NOVOA

Catechist and Priest (1804-1871)

Madrid (Spain). He was an exemplary, pious and very charitable priest. He held the positions of Vicar in Navalcarnero (1835) and later as Visitor of religious sisters in the Diocese of Toledo and Chaplain and Confessor of the school of the Sisters Adorers. He published several works, including a Catecismo breve de la Doctrina Cristiana por preguntas y respuestas [Brief Catechism of Christian Doctrine through Questions and Answers]. He made the arrival possible of the Redemptorists to Spain and founded the House of Charity with the Vicuña brothers. He died of a stroke in Madrid on March 11, 1871. He was one of the two priests who brought Claret the bull of his episcopal appointment and Claret said they were very exemplary priests. He was also one of the four who, at Claret’s house in Madrid, took charge of his Novitiate project of the Tertiary Sisters of Carmel, since they were owners of the school for orphans in the Plaza de San Francisco, where the Sisters served.

Biography

Free of Worldly Motivations

Whenever I went to a town, I did so without any worldly goal in mind; my only aim was to glorify God and save souls. I was often forced to remind people of this because I knew that it was the most convincing argument for good and bad alike. I would tell them: (Aut 199)

You know that men nearly always do whatever it is they do for one or another of the following reasons: (1) for gain or money, (2) for pleasure, (3) for fame. I have not come to preach a mission in this town for any of these three reasons. Not for money, because I don’t want a penny from anyone and I won’t take one. Not for pleasure, for what pleasure could I get out of wearing myself out from early in the morning until night? … (Aut 200)

 

Maybe I do it for fame? Hardly. You must be well aware of the calumnies I’m exposed to. One person may praise me, but another makes all sorts of charges against me, as the Jews did against Jesus, speaking ill of his person, his words, and his actions until finally they seized Him, scourged Him, and put Him to death on a most painful gibbet of shame… (Aut 201)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Are the true motivations of your apostolate always clear to you?
  • Are you aware of the dangers of “worldliness” in your missionary service?
  • Do you think that one of the three aims that Claret avoided could be present in your life?
  • What motivates your evangelizing action?
  • Do you let yourself be evangelized?

 

“It is not enough for candidates to want to be ‘priests’ in order to let them enter the Congregation. They must ardently desire ‘to be missionaries’
and to accept all the consequences that this vocation entails.”

(Josep M. Abella Batlle, Witnesses and Messengers of the God of Life, 39)

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