– Fr.Aquilino Bocos
It is at the invitation of Fr. General that I am undertaking an exercise in the corporate memory of the General Chapters held after the Council. I have in mind these words of Sören Kierkegaard who said that “life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards”.
I. THE COUNCIL, EVENT OF GRACE
We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. It was opened on 11 October 1962 by John XXIII. When asked for the objective he wanted to get from the Council, he opened the window toward St. Peter’s square and said: “The Council will do this: that a little fresh air will enter in the Church”. That happy day began the “aggiornamento”, “the new spring”, “New Pentecost”, for the Church as had been indicated by the good Pope on other occasions. The Church began a parable of renewal returning to “the pure and simple lines of the origins” in freedom and charity.
Siguenza had been a haven of peace until the situation became extremely difficult on July 25. Fr José M ª gathered the seminarians in the chapel, “it would have been one o´clock in the afternoon,” says the chronicler, to bring them abreast of the situation. “He wanted to encourage us , but could not hold back tears.” – “It’s okay, but to prevent what could happen, I announce with deep sorrow that the school is suspended for a few days … Go out in groups to the neighboring towns, since all have offered to give us accommodation … ”
Seven kilometers from Cervera, the Claretians had a farm popularly known as Mas Claret where the scattered members of the Community had found a temporary refuge. In the morning of July 24, some members of the Revolutionary Committee of Cervera came to seize it.
Joseph Jeyaseelan, CMF
We call ourselves as servants of the Word. Since servant-hood in the common secular use of the term bears nuances to lack of dignity and freedom, the expression servant may give the impression that we are people without dignity and freedom. Fortunately and truly it is not the case. The word servant in no way implies servitude, slavery or subservience. We are servants in the sense that we are called to be at the service of the Word of God in the world as missionaries. Being servants is our response to the missionary call we have received in the Congregation and it is not the core element of our being.
The following letter of Fr. Xifrè to Vallier in Chile in 1870, a couple of weeks before the death of the Founder, sheds light on his concern for his brothers and constant reference to the founder as a guide for our missionary life
Prades, 5 October 1870
Rev. Fr. Pablo Vallier
I have received your letter dated August 12 which I have in front of me, and from it I gather, with regret, that you have not received all the letters that we had written to you, especially the ones where we acknowledged above all the acceptance of the Masses and alms you had sent.
Esta carta da una idea de la preocupación de P. Xifrè por sus hermanos y de su constante referencia al fundador como guía para nuestra vida misionera.
Prades, 5 de octubre de 1870
R.P. Pablo Vallier
Muy estimado Hermano:
He recibido su muy apreciada del 12 de agosto, que tengo a la vista; y de ella deduzco, con pesar, que no reciben todas las que nosotros les escribimos, sobretodo por lo relativo a la aceptación de Misas y limosnas que ha enviado.