1853. Claret continues the mission in Baracoa (Cuba).
1865. Claret visits the Vincentians, whose Major Superior, like that of his missionaries, has just obtained from Rome the faculty of extending dimissorial letters. Claret obtains a copy of the form and sends it to Fr. Joseph Xifre.
Evangelize With Freedom
In mid-March, I left Rome for Catalonia. The fathers of the Company wanted me to settle in the city of Manresa, while the Rev. Father Fermin de Alcaraz wanted me to go to Berga, where missions were being held. Nevertheless, in view of my condition, I was given complete freedom to decide. I placed myself under observation in Olost. From Olost I went to Vic, where my superior told me to go to neither of the places that had been suggested but to Viladrau, and to this end I was named regent of the parish and left for Viladrau on May 13. Here I successfully recovered from my illness. (Aut 167)
In the parish of Viladrau there was an elderly and disabled pastor and an assistant pastor from the town itself…This was very convenient because it allowed me to start out on missions from there. (Aut 168)
How admirable God’s Providence is! He freed me from going to Berga, where my mere presence would have put me in danger because the royalists were in power there… (Aut 169)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
Berga and Manresa were cities controlled by the two opposing political factions of that time. Thanks to the assignment he was given by the head of the diocese, Claret was able to evangelize with freedom.
- Do you find dangers that could hinder your freedom as an evangelizer?
- Does your attitude towards the various political tendencies diminish your missionary freedom?
- Watch some scenes from the movie “Of Gods and men”.
(Josep M. Abella Batlle, Witnesses and Messengers of the God of Life, 26)