Wardha, India. The Claretian Ashram College of Philosophy in Sawangi (Meghe) Wardha, Maharashtra, had two intense activities these past weeks. One was in view of the Beatification of our 109 brother martyrs and the other was the closing of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Xifre.

Long-term preparations were dedicated to both activities. Weeks before the beatification, the biography of one martyr are posted on their notice board daily to animate the community in their martyrial spirituality, daily liturgical prayers and other reflections. Other materials such as the Circular of Father General on the martyrs and letters from their Provincial were also given as additional sources in rejuvenating the Claretian Missionary and Martyrial Spirit in each one of the students.

On the beatification day, they had a very solemn Eucharistic celebration in the morning, in which their neighboring religious communities, friends and well-wishers were present who were amused of the fact that our Congregation has more than 180 martyrs.

On the other hand, with regards to the Xifre Year celebration, they have started the preparations one month before. They were provided with materials on Fr. Joseph Xifre and were encouraged to present the summary of their readings and their own personal reflections. Then they had three days of special prayer sessions in the evening together with rosary and other church prayers. And the documentary “Father Xifre, Missionary by Profession” was shown to make the students more acquainted with Fr. Joseph Xifre

In the morning of the 3rd of November, they had the solemn Eucharistic celebration in which they thank the Lord for the gift of Fr. Joseph Xifre to our beloved congregation. In the evening of the same day, they had a 2-hour long symposium on the theme “The Impact and Contributions of Fr. Joseph Xifre”. Six papers were presented by the students on the following themes:

  1. Joseph Xifre: From Peasant boy to Priest and the Co-founder of the Congregation.
  2. Joseph Xifre: The First Elected Superior General of the Congregation.
  3. Joseph Xifre: A Missionary by Profession.
  4. Joseph Xifre and the Missionary Expansion of our Congregation.
  5. Joseph Xifre and the decade of 1880-1890.
  6. The Last Years of Fr. Joseph Xifre.