Fr. Xifrè’s Letter to Vallier

xifre2The 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

Superior

Dear Brother:

 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.

 I had answered all the letters you had written; I believe we have them all. We also receive the newspapers with the address in your own handwriting, with news about the clergy; really bad, it is shocking.

 You requests for more people for that House with such confirmation of the need and in such terms that it would mean that Chile would have to deserve our exclusive attention or, at least, be given first priority. But let me recall your own words, that in the other Dioceses of the Continent the need is extreme.

 Do not think that you have to do everything, or that the Congregation has to meet every need. It is necessary to do the best you can, and not be anxious about the rest.

 And I take this opportunity to tell you that the desire to do good has to be moderate, and never take measures contrary to well understood charity, which should begin at home. Therefore, you should not and cannot undertake activities that are beyond your possibilities, or work longer hours than your strength can sustain, whatever the need may be. At the same time, never leave the Divine Office or the prescribed meditation, whatever the custom, the authorization, or the need may be. Those two things are the food of the soul, which one should never do without in our Congregation.

 When the Founder went to the Canary Islands and later to Cuba, he found so much and perhaps more spiritual need than you in your area, but he never stopped the two things mentioned above. So he told me few days ago, asking me to convey it to you and your community. In spite of everything, he arranged his hours for the needs of the body and the soul, and devoted the rest to others. Do just that and not any other thing, even if you leave the people without confession, and without ever making a judgment about the conduct of other Institutes, since monastic relaxation is common in your place, which is something the Pope and all the pious ones lament. And, precisely, because in that country this relaxation is much more dangerous. Therefore, let us try to avoid it with the greatest care, without ever forgetting the spirit and the Constitutions of the Congregation, which we must always observe with fidelity in all places and countries around the world. Do not worry about anyone or about anything: call on God, trust in Him, and you will overcome every trouble.

 In Europe things are awful. In France, republic and war. In Spain, the yellow fever… Rome, occupied by the ‘super-Italians.’ What a terrible situation! However, we remain well and in peace, thank God.

 If within a few months things appear to improve, we will try and secure some new foundations; we will contact some Bishops and deal with that matter in Rome. And in this case, if God does not dispose otherwise, I have the intention to accompany those sent there and also to visit you. May God’s will be always done.  

 Mr. Mulleras had professed. Fluviá went home, where we sent him to see if he will recover from his daily deteriorating health.

 There are eight priests in the novitiate; the more, the better, and may they be good and wise, that we like.

 The Holy Father has granted to everyone in our Congregation the faculty of praying Matins at two hours after noon, all the year round, and to celebrate two hours before dawn.

 I guess that you, like everyone else, have done the new profession according to the formula definitively approved by the Holy See, copies of which I sent to you.

 We will warmly entreat the benefactor, Mr. Manuel Arriete, that you mentioned. Please convey to him my affectionate regards, and thanks for everything that he has been kind enough to do for our Congregation, which will never be forgotten before God.

 The contents of this letter is going to upset you a little. But remember, all of you, the endearing love that I have for all of you in Christ Jesus and the heart of Mary.

 Your least brother,

 José Xifré

 P.S. All the brothers in this community send warm greetings.

 (original):

C.M.F. Provincial Archive of Chile

copy:AG CMF, B-A-2-10 (1)

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