Leioa, Spain. From 17 to 19 November, ten of the young Claretians in Europe gathered together at the Atalaia Claret residential house in Leioa, Biscay, Basque Country, for the annual Quinquennio on-going formation. Present were: Miguel Alvarez Nieto, Gabriel Ponce Carpintero, and Alejandro Suárez Rosales of the Province of Bética; Yohanes Benjitu Bareto and Dion Paskalis Nandut of the Province of Catalunya; Robert Essougou, Aimé Césaire Metena of the Delegation of France; Louie Guades III and Mario Kevin Armijo of the General Houses in Rome; and Iñaki San Nicolás Guimón of the Province of Euskal Herria. Present also were José Ramon Sanz, Prefect of Formation of Santiago and the Provincials of France, Pierre Zanga and of Euskal Herria, Mateo Larrauri. This year’s topic was focused on the ministry to the poor and the excluded. And the main theme was: “Poverty and Marginalization: Keys to Evangelical Responses – Love not in word but in deed.”

The program was divided into two parts – theoretical and practical. For the theoretical part, two resource persons were invited: Fr. Martin Iriberri, SJ and Fr. Agustín Ortiz, CMF. Both of them gave an overview of the reality of poverty and marginalization in the area. And for the practical part, the group visited the Claret Enea located in the City of Bilbao and spoke with some of those who are staying in the shelter house. Then the group, together with some students of Claret School of Askartza, visited some of the homeless who are wandering, begging along the Gran Via of Bilbao. They even gave a birthday present to one of the homeless whose name is Lorenzo. A creative prayer at the community chapel of Claret Enea ended the day.

On Sunday, 19th of November, World Day of the Poor, two homeless, Franc from Nigeria and Fleming from Belgium, gave their testimonies and experiences of being homeless, wanderers, anonymous, unemployed and poor. The participants had the chance to listen and interact with them. The two joined the group in celebrating the Mass for the World Day of the Poor and in the lunch prepared in the community of Leioa.

The young Claretians of ECLA were faithful to the invitation of Father General to celebrate the World Day of the Poor in the best way possible, and responded faithfully to the invitation of Pope Francis in loving not only in words but in deed.