MARCH

30

1850. Claret will commission canon Jeronimo Usera to furnish the episcopal palace. Meanwhile in Madrid, Fr. Antonio Tolosa, a relative of the Bishop of Vic, is taking care of things for his episcopal consecration.

1861. Claret wanted to spend Holy Week in El Escorial, but the Queen forces him to spend it in Aranjuez with the royal family. There he preaches a sermon about the passion for two and a half hours.

1862. Claret is an attending bishop at the consecration of Francisco de Sales Crespo, Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo.

EXPANSION (1906-1922)

IN CUBA AND PORTUGAL AGAIN

In 1918 the Claretian missionaries in Cuba were established again; this time in Palma Soriano. By then, most of the memory of Father Claret had been lost, even though the Saint had visited that town twice. The Archbishop admired the work of the missionaries; in 1920 he gave them another foundation: the Church of la Trinidad in Santiago, Cuba.

As soon as the slightest chance was perceived, the attempts at founding in Portugal began. The occasion came from the Bishop of Guarda Jose Alves Mattoso, who invited the missionaries to found a house in Freineda. It was the year 1920. The following year, in October, part of the missionaries of Freineda were transferred to Tortosendo, within the same diocese, where, in addition to preaching, they took on spiritual direction and other teaching commitments in the diocesan seminary. This foundation was needed not only because of the need for missionaries in the area but because of the laws of the Government that prevented the communities from having more than three individuals.

EZEQUIEL VILLARROYA, CMF

General Consultor (1877-1945)

Miravete de la Sierra (Teruel, Spain). He was Superior and Prefect of the Claretian seminarians in Cervera, Barbastro, and Alagon. Later he was assigned to Colombia. When he arrived, he was 38 years old and had been a priest for 12 years. He spent 19 years in Colombia and 11 in Italy. Since the Claretians had arrived in Colombia in 1909, there were already eight communities and in 1915 the Quasi-Province began. He was its first Superior, and he served for two terms. During his terms, the houses of Pereira and El Libano and the seminary in Bosa were founded. He remained in this position until the General Chapter of 1934 when he was elected General Consultor and Prefect of the Fathers of the Claretian International College. He was subsequently appointed Sub-Director General at the death of Fr. Felipe Maroto in 1937. He also held this last position under the generalship of Fr. Nicolas Garcia. Fr. Villarroya was sent from Rome to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile as Visitor. While serving as Sub-Director General, he died on March 21st in Rome.

Biography

The Means of Familiar Conversations

Another very effective way of doing good is taking part in familiar conversations with people. A great many benefits can be accomplished by this means! Among the early Jesuits there was a lay brother who went shopping every day, and as he made his rounds, the conversations he held with people were so effective that he converted more souls than any other missionary. I read this story as a student and liked it so much that I have followed the same practice as often as circumstances have permitted. (Aut 334)

If the subject of death came up or if a funeral bell was tolling, I seized the opportunity to talk about our human frailty and the uncertainty of our life and how we will have to render an account of our life to God when we die. Thunder and lightning would suggest the Judgment and I would speak of that great day. Standing by a blazing hearth, I would allude to the fires of hell… (Aut. 335)

 

…I have personally witnessed the great value of conversations like these; their effect was like that of the conversation Christ held with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. I also found that they had the further advantage of avoiding useless talk and grumbling. (Aut 336)

FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

 

  • Do you take advantage of everyday conversations when they lend themselves to convey the message of the Gospel?
  • What do you usually talk about with people?
  • Do you avoid useless or even vulgar gossip and comments?

Two synods have been celebrated about the family.

  • What follow-up have you been able to carry out?
  • How do you face the challenges faced by families today?
“In calling to mind the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi,
we come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation
is one dimension of overall personal conversion,
which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures,
and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change.”

(Francis, Laudato Si’, 218)

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