History of the Congregation

       BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONGREGATION

 

I CHAPTER:

FROM THE FOUNDING

TO THE DEATH OF FR: STEPHEN SALA

(1849 – 1858)

1. The Foundation.

The foundation took place after two main realizations of Claret: lack of evangelical preachers and the eagerness of people to hear the Word of God.

            Before the Foundation Fr. Claret had offered himself to the Propagation of the Faith to be sent to the infidels. Unable to join – people of the Propagation of the Faith were out on summer vocation – he joined to Novitiate of the Jesuits in Rome. Several months later Claret was victim of severe rheumatic pains. He was advised to return to Spain. Back in Spain, he received the title “Apostolic Missionary” from the Holy See. The title and honored he transformed in the definition of his own being: ‘universal preacher at the fashion of the Apostles”.

            After his missionary preaching in the Canary Islands, Claret spoke to the Archbishop of Tarragona, with the bishop of Vich – Nibs Casadevall – with the Rector of the seminary of Vich – Soler -, with canon Pasarell and with the oratorian Fr. Peter Bach. Claret arranged with the bishop of Vich and with the Rector of the seminary the place and date and invited those who were to be the Co-founders: Stephen Sala, Joseph Xifre, James Clotet, Dominic Fabregas and Emmanuel Vilaro.

            On July 16, 1849, they began the Spiritual Exercises during which the Congregation would be founded.

            “At 3:00 P.M. we were gathered together at the seminary”. Before starting the Spiritual Exercises Fr. Claret said: “Today we begin a great enterprise”. Fr. Vilaro smiling said: “What can we do being so young and so few”? – “You will see –replied Claret – if we are few and young the power and mercy of God will shine the more”.

            The rooms were equipped with a wooden bed, table and chair, basin and pitcher, and a lamp.

            The foundation room had a crucifix on the table, oil painting of our Mother of Divine Love, one simple chair for the president and two benches without back for the others. Everything borrowed, pretty humble.

            The topic of the first talk was” “Your rod and your staff give me comfort”. – the rod and staff stand for the Virgin Mary (Mount Carmel feast) and the Holy Cross (Exaltation of the Holy Cross feast).

            At the end of the Spiritual exercises al unanimously agreed to appoint Claret “Director” of the new Congregation.

He wrote down the “plan of life”:

At 4:00 AM rising, Lauds and meditation in common, Mass mutually served. Three daily conferences:

          Moral theology from 9:00 to 10:00 AM

          Sacred oratory one hour in the afternoon

          Mystical theology half an hour at night.

Spiritual reading and examination of conscience, Rosary, visit to the Blessed Sacrament after meals, reading at table, night prayer, examination of conscience, points of mediation.

Weekly confession, on Sundays and holydays half an hour more of mediation followed by a talk. Absolute silence, fast and abstinence, (such that people started becoming sick. A doctor imposed one hour recess in the afternoon).   Monthly recollection, twice yearly spiritual exercises. (This “plan” has been kept almost literally until Vatican II.)

  1. 2)On July 30, 1849, Fr. Bernardo Sala – brother of Stephen – joined the community.
  2. 3)On August 11, 1849, Fr. Claret received the appointment of Archbishop of Cuba. After speaking to the bishop of Vich and to the Rector of the seminary, he sent his renuntiation giving as main reasons:

          Repugnance for honors

          Incapacity to perform the duties

          The fact of abandoning the newly born Congregation.

Not accepted his renuntiation by the Apostolic Nuntiature and encouraged by the bishop not to resist the will of God, claret finally accepted.   The community at first strongly objected, and then they accepted in faith.

  1. 4)On October 9, 1849 the community moved from the seminary of Vich to the convent de la Merced, formerly convent of the Mercedarians Fathers.
  2. 5)At the end 1849 and before sailing for Cuba, Claret wrote down the Constitutions for the missionaries. They were never printed and got lost.
  3. 6)At the end of April 1850, the community of Vich consited of twelve members: the seven mentioned above plus Caixal, Homs, Carbo, Picanol and Tuban.
  4. 7)On October 6, 1850, claret in consecrated Archbishop of Cuba at the Cathedral of Vich..
  5. 8)On December 28, 1850, Claret and Vilaro sail for Cuba, leaving ten members in Vich.
  6. 9)Before leaving, Claret appointed Stephen Sala Director of the Congregation with unanimous consent of the missionaries. Although no substitute was name, in practice Fr. Bernardo Sala took over in his brother Stephens absences.
  7. 10)In 1851 Fr. Homs left due to family situation.
  8. 11)IN 1852, Fr. Carbo died. So, eight are left in Vich.
  9. 12)Meantime around Claret the Congregation grew in Cuba: Sanmarti, Rovira, Currius, Barjau. The two groups were referred to as “congregation”. They were identical in regards to regulations, spirit and life. Cuba considered itself a second community of missionaries, like that of Vich, while Claret remained in Cuba.
  10. 13)In 1854, the Spanish revolution took place. The community of Vich went unmolested, but the ministries were curtailed creating a financial crisis. The community of Vich wrote to claret that sent them Mass stipends.
  11. 14)On May 26, 1857, Queen Elizabeth II appoints Archbishop Claret to be her confessor at Madrid. Claret returns and goes to Madrid as requested by the Queen.
  12. 15)On June 29, 1857, Claret promulgated the first printed Constitutions. The members decided to put all goods in common and each one to be served from the common fund.
  13. 16)On September 8, 1857, the members of the Congregation accepted the constitutions with a personal promise of observing them.
  14. 17)On April 18, 1858, Fr. Stephen Sala died in Barcelona. The congregation then consisted of only one house, 12 priests and three Brothers: Puig, Pla and Vinolas. (Among the members there were an ex-Jesuit, an ex-Trapist, and ex-Benedictine, an ex-Carthusian and an ex-Mercedarian).

II CHAPTER

FROM THE ELECTION OF FR. XIFRE

TO THE FOUNDERS DEATH

1. Election of Fr. Xifre

After the death of Fr.Stephen Sala, his brother, Fr.Bernardo acted as Superior and convoked a general Assembly, which was held on May 1, 1858, with the purpose of electing new Director of the Congregation.

            During the first votation Fr. Xifre was elected Director and Fr. Clotet Sub-Director. Fr. Xifre did not accept.

            A second votation gave the same result. For the second time Fr. Xifre did not accept.

            Without a third ballot, the community insisted that Fr.Xifre accept. Fr. Xifre was refusing to accept on the grounds of his bad temper, the community insisting, he finally accepted, but he made clear: “if you insist, be ready. There are people are who will suffer”. His first act as to call Fr. Picanol (ex-Jesuit) and made his read some passages in the Constitutions asking him if he was ready to fulfill them. Fr. Picanol answered that he would not. So he was sent out of the Institute.

            At first the community became nervous, since Fr.Picanol was a good popular preacher, but then, they approved since Fr. Picanol was a proud person and with disruptive influence.

            Fr. Picanol appealed to the bishop who decided not to interfere. So Fr. Picanol remained out.

Fr. Xifre immediately enforced two rules:

          no food must be taken outside the community and

          no visits outside.

The community approved and became more stable.

2. Immediately vocational propaganda started giving as a result:           

          in 1858, 4 new candidates

          in 1859, 16 candidates

          in 1860, 13 candidates

          in 1861,11 candidates

          in 1862,11 candidates

          in 1863, 17 candidates

          in 1864, 16 candidates

          in 1865, 5 candidates

          in 1866, 14 candidates

          in 1867, 12 candidates

          in 1868, 12 candidates

These new vocations became the backbone of the new congregation, among them were Frs. Brossosa, Crusats, Valier, Serrat, Ramonet, Gavin…

  1. 3) On July 9, 1859, the “Statutes” of the Congregation were approved by theof Spain.
  2. 4)On November 4, 1859, he 2nd house of the Congregation is founded in Gracia, Barcelona.
  3. 5)On January 23, 1860, Fr. Clotet and two Brothers moved to the new house. With this foundation the aspirations of expansion of Fr. Claret and Fr. Xifre started to take place.
  4. 6)On October 9, 1860, the Government of Spain gave the official approval of the congregation.
  5. 7)On October 19, 1860, the Holy See gave to the Congregation the “Decretum Laudis” or “decree of praise” through which the Congregation became Pontifical.
  6. 8)“House – Mission” of Vich was the principal house of the Institute. With the growth of the community the church of La Merced was entrusted to our missionaries. Very soon it turned out to be small and had to be widened.
  7. 9)On November 22, 1861, the foundation of the third house of the Congregationplace in Segovia, in the center of Spain, according to the desire of Fr. Claret. At the petition of the bishop, Claret him self initiated and directed the negotiations of foundation. At first it was established in San Andres. Later on, the missionaries moved to the church-convent of the Alcantarins, one of the “ransom’ Orders. The first community was formed by Frs. Clement Serrat, superior, Francis Crusats, Dominic Fabregas and Brother Jose.
  8. 10)Novitiate and Scholasticate in Vich (not yet canonical novitiate) were established in 1861, for Brothers and Priests. Fr. Hilario Brossosa was the first novice master in the Congregation. At that time there were not yet candidates for priesthood. In 1862 aspirants to priesthood with “advanced career” (already in theology) would be admitted.
  9. 11)II General Chapter on July 7 to 14, 1862, at Gracia, presided over by the Founder.

Important agreements take place:

          chapters on students and Brothers are added to the constitutions

          novitiate is adopted: 15 days aspirancy, spiritual exercises, one full year novitiate, ending with the Act of Consecration to God, to Jesus Christ and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To God, to Jesus Christ and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Promise of fulfilling the constitutions. Oath of perseverance until death in the congregation.

          The possibility of making private vows is open, although not compulsory.

  1. 12)III General chapter on July 3 to 6, 1864, at Gracia, presided over by the Founder. The main concern is the definitive elaboration of the constitutions.
  2. 13)In 1865, Fr. Claret spent three months in Vich. During is stay he gave the spiritual exercise to the community. Then he went to Gracia. During the spiritual exercises in Gracia he prophesied that the Congregation would soon have a martyr. Also on this occasion stated the “Consoling promise”: “Those who will die in the congregation, will be saved”. This same year, Fr. Claret sent to Fr. Xifre a letter in which he writes the “Definition of the missionary”.   Now, not being able to live with members of the Congregation, Fr. Claret asked some members to live with him in the court in order to observe the Claretian “Plan of life”. The first being with him were Fr. Vilar and several Brothers.
  3. 14)On December 22, 1865, Pope Pius IX approved the newly revised Constitutions for ten years “ad experimentum” and also gave the definitive approval of the Congregation.
  4. 15)On that occasion Vich had 21 priests, 23 Brothers and 15 novices.
  5. 16)On August 1, 1868 the 4th house was founded in La Selva del camp, Tarragona.
  6. 17)In September, 1868, a revolution started “against the crown and against the altar” inOur communities suffered tragic moments.   The community of Vich was scattered. The house of La Selva del camp was assaulted. Fr. Francis Crusats was martyred on Sept. 30, 1868. It was foretold by the founder as a sign of growth of the congregation. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of new Christians.”
  7. 18)On November 23, 1868, Fr. Xifre was persecuted and took refuge in Perpignan, Southern France. He gathered there a small community. On February 22, 1869, the Perpignan community moved to Prades, where the students and novices took refuge. Prades became the center and heart of the Congregation with about 100 members of all kinds. Prades was the 5th house of the Congregation. Funds were limited, maintenance difficult.
  8. 19)On October 23, 1869, the 6th house was opened in Algiers, North Africa. The Claretian missionaries were invited by Charles Cardinal Lavigerie who personally approached Fr. Xifre. He gave his support for a house – mission in his see of Algiers. The main reason was to attend to the spiritual needs of the many immigrants SpanishAlgiers was under French administration, but majority of people were Spanish immigrants. Although the Procurator of the Republic protected our missionaries, the French parish priest, the bishop and the governor made work and life impossible for the missionaries, so in 1888 they abandoned Algiers.  
  9. 20)First foundation in Am Erica: in Santiago de Chile on January 22, 1870 Both Algiers and Chile foundations were made with the approval of the Founder. On Dec. 13, 1869, the first expediction of missionaries left for Chile led by Fr. Pablo Valier. They were 5 piresits and 2 Brothers. Thef rist house was not conducive due to the presence of manifpulative old biddies under a certain Don Santiago. At first the missionaries encountered great hositility among people, and were forced to change residence after one week. They moved to Belen. Being a strong and dynamic group, the Congregation began to spread. The group requested Fr. Xifre to send more missionaries. In May 1872, Fr. Xifre sent a second expedition composed of 6 priests and 4 Brothers. Still a third expedition of 5 priests and 2 Brothers was sent afterwards. Fr.refused to send more, although seeing the extraordinary work of his missionaries; he decided to send 4 more missionaries.
  10. 21)On July 16, 1869, Claret writes to Fr. Xifre recommending the apostolate of Christian education through schools inspired in the good work of the Christian Brothers. Fr. Xifre was not of the idea, so he took no action for the moment until 1884.
  11. 22)On February 11, 1870, Pope Pius IX approved definitely the constitutions of the Congregation and we became a religious Congregation of public simple vows. On July 26, 1870, the Holy See approved the Formula of Profession written by the founder. The simple vows became compulsory for all the missionaries. From 1871, the public Profession was made general after the Novitiate.
  12. 23)Last days and death of Fr. Founder. Fr. Claret persecuted, took refuge in Prades. He enjoyed and took delight with his sons, the missionaries. He was prophetically spread the Congregation throughout the world. From Prades he moved to the Cistercian Abbey of Fontfroide. Seriously sick he made his profession in the hands of Fr. Xifre on October 8, 1870. After several days of agony he died in said monastery on Oct. 24, 1870. Our Founder was the first to die as a vowed
  13. 24)The early ideal of the missionaries was “popular missions” lasting from 10 to 15 days with a very hectic schedule of preaching. It comprised from September to EasterThe life at home was regulated by the Constitutions and Directory, written by the founder, as well as by the Director written by Fr.Clotet for the Coadjutor Brothers.   They studied, had conferences, made spiritual exercises together, and gave them to priests and religious. It comprised the time of harvest, that is, from April to September.
  14. 25)From 1857 to 1865, the government in the Congregation was fully centralized. The Director and Sub director were for life. From 1865 to 1912, there would be a moderate centralization. The general would be for 12 years. Provincials would be elected in Provincial chapters. Local superiors would be elected in Provincial Chapter. In 1870, the houses will be grouped in Provinces. Although the practice would take time.
  15. 26)Three steps in the development of the Congregation:

Diocesan Congregation

July 9, 1859, Spanish government approves the “Statutes” of the Congregation

October 9, 1860, Spanish Government approves the Congregation.

Pontifical Congregation

          October 19, 1860, Holy See gives to the congregation the “Decretum Laudis”.

          December 22, 1865, Pius IX approves the Constitutions for 10 years “ad experiementum”.

Religious Congregation:

          February 11, 1870, Pius IX gives final approval to the constitutions. We became Religious congregation.

          July 26, 1870, Holy See approves the Formula of Profession written by the founder.

III CHAPTER :

FROM THE DEATH OF FR. CLARET TO FR. XIFRE’S DEATH

1870 – 1899.

  1. 1)On May 8, 1871, the foundation in Thuir, France, took place. In Prades the funds were limited, the maintenance difficult. Persecution reached Prades, so the community moved to Thuir. There the scholasticate and novitiate were installed. It became the see of the General Government. Fr. James Clotet became the superior and Fr. Clement Serrat the novice master. The number of students, Brothers and Priests increased considerable. In 10 years, the congregation increased from 100 to 400 members. This was due especially to the great evangelical missionaries who besides preaching were recruiting and sending candidates from Spain to the cenacle of Thuir. Special mention goes to Fr. Gavin, Fr. Genover, etc. and Fr. Bech, the official recruiter. The community of Thuir was dedicated mainly to the formation of our candidates and to preach popular missions.
  2. 2)On September 24, 1875, a royal order authorizes the re-establishment of the Religious Orders and Congregations in Spain. Fr. Xifre sent a copy to the community of Thuir telling his missionaries to return to Spain and occupy our former houses.
  3. 3)On July 9-13, 1876, the IV General Chapter in Gracia. During this chapter Frs. Xifre and Clotet were re-elected Superior General and Sub director respectively. As consultors Frs. Serrat, Fonts and Sola. Visitorships are introduced in the regime of the Congregation. Chile is created Visitorship.
  4. 4)On August 19, 1876, the first house is opened in southern Spain, in Cordoba.
  5. 5) (a) In 1876, the first Minor Seminary of the congregation was established in Barbastro, Huesca. The house of Alagon, Zaragoza, was founded in this year, becoming for a time the Congregations wide seminary. Another Minor Seminary will be established in Segovia.

(b) On September 1, 1877, the first foundation in Madrid, Spain, at Toledo street. The General Government had great interest in founding in the capital of Spain being a strategic center. Ten years later the missionaries would move to Bueb Suceso Street.

  1. 6)On June 19, 1880, the unfortunate, disastrous foundation of Santiago de Cuba took place. It was accepted at the request of the Archbishop of Cuba. The acceptance was motivated by a sort of sentimentalism in order to continue the work of the fonder. Fr. Xifre sent the first expedition of missionaries consisting of 6 priests and 5 Brothers. After a few months in the span of three days 3 members of the expedition died victims of the “yellow fever”. After two seeks, 2 more died. Fr. Sola got discouraged and began to complain requesting Fr. Xifre to allow the remaining survivors to return to Spain. Fr. Xifre issued the order in a letter. In the meantime Fr. Xifre received a telegram: “Sola, Sassoliver, Perez died”. This left 1 sick priest (Xuriach) and 2 recovered Brothers. They wrote again, asking: “now, quid”? Fr. Xifre’s answer was: “Come all first steam”. – Only 2 remained alive.
  2. 7)On October 26, 1880, the General Secretyary of the civil government with some policemen went to the mission-house of Thuir giving the Congregation a few days to get out of Thuir. As a consequence of this expulsion, the novitiate, scholasticate and General Curia was transferred to the mission-house ofHowever, Thuir was not totally closed. Fr. Martin Alsina continued there for several years as superior of the much-reduced community.
  3. 8)In July, 1881, the First General Assembly of the congregation took place at la Selva DelFr. Xifre presided over. 37 agreements were taken.
  4. 9)On November 13, 1883, the congregation accepted the first mission territory entrusted to it: Fernando Poo in Equatorial Guinea, Africa. This mission was taken from the Jesuits. They left in 1872 due to political matters, old age and financial difficulties. In 1880 the Apostolic Nunitiature in Madrid invited Fr. Xife to take care of so difficult mission ofThe first expedition consisted of 6 priests and 5 Bropthers. During the first three years they established in Sta. Isabel. They opened a school of arts and trades, and went to the far island of Annobon. Soon a second expedition followed. Among those sent in the first two expeditions, 6 or 7 died of “malaria”. The expeditions continued. At the end of 1884 the missionaries were 54 working in 8 centers. Traditionally, Fernando Poo has been considered “number 1” mission in terms of volume of work and hardships. It was a British colony; then was put under Spanish administration with the Spain language. The population was divided into three main groups: Cubans, penal colonists with the tradition of cohabitation that Fr. Claret had tried to correct in Cuba; the native Bubis and the Protestant colonists. Maintenance was difficult, so the missionaries began to acquire large cacao lands. The of Fernando Poo became the richest in the congregation and paid the largest amount of money for the international Votive Temple of Rome to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The bishops were always Claretians. The first Apostolic Prefect was Fr. Ciriaco Ramirez.
  5. 10)On August 3, 1884, the first mission-house in Mexico was established at Toluca. There the first school of the Congregation was opened.
  6. 11)On December 30, 1884, the foundation of the mission-house in Rome took place. To found in Rome is the dream of every Congregation with desire for expansion and agility in official affairs. It started holding the direction of the Colegio Espanol of Rome, which would become afterwards Sapnish-roman seminary transferred to Via Giulia.
  7. 12)On July 3, 1885, the foundation of the first of the Major Seminaries of the congregation took place at Sto Domingo de la Calzada. The theologians transferred fromBasis of the foundation were the church and Colegio-University of the Franciscans. Fr. Serrat became the first superior, and Fr. Pablo Valier, back from Chile, Prefect of the students.
  8. 13)On July 1, 1887, the foundation of the second Major Seminary took place at the ex-University of Cervera, Lerida. When Sto. Domingo de la Calzada could no longer handle the numbers, the ex-University of Cervera became the wide seminary of the Congregation, while Sto. Domingo became the theologate of its Province.
  9. 14)On June 8-10, 1888 , the fifth General Chapter took place in Madrid. Fr. Xifre is re-elected Superior General, and Fr. Clement Serrat, Sub-Director. It deals also with the internal regime and expansion of the Congregation. The Congregation had at that moment three Visitorships: Chile, Fernando Poo and Mexico. ( Visitor is one who goes in place of the General bearing his authority). Fr. Clottet embodies the tendency to form Provinces, but the Chapter rejects it.
  10. 15)In 1889, the first issue of “Annales Congregationis” is published, exclusively for the Claretian missionaries. During that year the publication “Iris de Paz” (rainbow of Peace) starts for the relatives and friends of the missionaries.
  11. 16)Besides the above mentioned foundations, 23 more foundations took place up to 1895, in Spain.
  12. 17)On September 3 – 16, 1895, the VI General Chapter is celebrated in Cervera. The topic of forming Provinces is taken again. This time everybody unanimously agreed. The congregation is divided into Provinces. Two Provinces are created:

          Catalonia comprising Catalonia, Visitorship of Mexico and regions of Aragon, Murcia, Valencia and Canary Islands.

          Castile comprising the rest of Spain and Portugal, vistorship of Chile and Visitorship of Brazil.

The Visitorship of Fernando Poo will depend directly from the General Government.

  1. 18)On November 1, 1895, the mission-house of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is founded.
  2. 19)On March 15-28, 1896, celebration of the VII General Chapter in Sto. Domingo de laThe main purpose is to define the boundaries of the Provinces and to clearly define the powers of the Provincials and mutual relations among the Major Superiors. Actually, little was clarified – majority of people were accustomed to the style of Fr. Xifre having all absolute power. One of the two Provincials – Fr. Burgos – began to move for a new Chapter in order to:

          Obtain decentralization of government, and

          Ask Fr. Xifre to resign from office since he was already exhausted due to age.

  1. 20)On May 12, 1898, foundation at Aldeia da Ponte, Portugal.
  2. 21)On November 3, 1899, Fr. Xifre dies in Cervera, Lerida, Spain. He had been Superior General from 1858 to 1899, that is, 41 years. He left the Congregation strong, vibrant and growing.

Statistics:

            1858:

Houses – 1

Members – 9

1876:

            Houses, 14

            Members, 157 ( 90 Priests, 50 Brothers, 15 Students)

            Novices, 60

1899:

Houses – 60

Members – 1368

Provinces – 2 (Catalonia and Castille)

Visitorships – 4 (Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Fernando Poo)

Novices – 108

Countries:

Spain – 1849

France – 1869

Chile – 1869

Algiers – 1869

Cuba – 1880

Equatorial Guinea – 1883

Mexico – 1884

Italy – 1884

Brazil – 1895

Portugal – 1898

IV CHAPTER

GENERALATE OF FR: CLEMENT SERRAT

(1899 – 1906)

  1. 1)On December 19-27, 1899, VIII GENERAL CHAPTER, in Vich. Fr. Clement Serrat was elected Superior General. Fr. Martin Alsina, Sub-Director. The Chapter deals with internal observance. Also, it is decided that each Province will have its own novitiate.
  2. 2)On August 15, 1901, the first Provincial novitiates are inaugurated: Catalonia will have e its own in Cervera. Castile will have its own in Cervera. Castile will have its own in Segovia. This decision was pushed by the Provincials who were opposed to Fr. Xifres centralization perpetuated by Fr. Serrat and later on by Fr. Alsina. The Provincial Chapters of 1901 demanded also to have separate scholasicates, at first denied by the General Government.
  3. 3)On December 4, 1901, the first foundation is made is Argentina, at Buenos Aires.
  4. 4)On September 18, 1902, First Claretian foundation in USA, at San Antonio,It was considered part of the Visitorship of Mexico, which depended from Catalonia.
  5. 5)On April 24 – May 18, 1904, the IX General Chapter is celebrated in La Selva delIt deals with regular observance. The provincials demand again to have separate scholiasticates. The third Province is crated in Spain: Betica which will comprise the regions of Andalucia, Extremadura and Canary Islands. Fr. Candido Catalan became the first Provincial . the four Visitorships: Mexico (including USA), Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Fernando Poo are converted into Independent General vicariates (The old Visitor was completely dependent on the Provincial of the mother Province; the new structure is dependent on the General Government but independent from the Province.) A Pastoral course is demanded for the three Provinces and it is approved.
  6. 6)On May 3, 1904, the Apostolic Prefecture of Fernando Poo is elevated to an Apostolic Vicariate. The first Apostolic Vicar was bishop Armengol Coll, first Claretian bishop after Fr. Founder.
  7. 7)On October 15, 1905, The “Pastoral Year” course for the newly ordained priests was inaugurated at Aranda de Duero. Classes on Pastoral and Moral theology were combined with pastoral work especially during Lenten season. This course in Aranda de Deuero would be held until 1958.
  8. 8)On January 6, 1906, Fr. Clement serrat died in Segovia. He had authorized 19 new foundations. At his death the Congregation had: Houses – 79; Members-1.486; Provinces-3; Vicariates-4

V CHAPTER

GENERALATE OF FR: MARTIN ALSINA

(1906-1922)

  1. 1.On June 5-7, 1906, the X General Chapter is celebrated in Aranda. Fr. Martin Alsina is elected Superior General. Fr. Antonio Naval, Sub-Director.
  2. 2.On September 19, 1906, the third Proncie – Betica – is constituted in fact – decreed in 1904 GeneralThe first Provincial Superior was Fr. Candido Catalan.  
  3. 3.On March 5, 1908, the first foundation in Uruguay takes place at Penarol.
  4. 4.On April 29, 1908, the “German Postulancy” started at Cervera.
  5. 5.On February 14, 1909, the Congregation accepts the 2nd mission territory, the Prefecture of Choco, in western Colombia. Fr. Alisisna accompanied the first expedition to the newly crated Prefecture: Fr. Juan Gil – Apostolic Prefect – with 2 priests and 2 Brothers. In three years, 3 of them died victims of tropical diseases. The other 2 returned to Spain. New expedition composed of 3 priests and 2 Brothers was sent. After three years only one survived.
  6. 6.on June 26, 1909, the first foundation in Peru takes place at the Seminary of Lima.
  7. 7.On November 18, 1909, the first foundation in Bolivia, at Cochabamba.
  8. 8.In 1910, the missionaries are expelled from Portugal during the Portuguese revolution.
  9. 9.On February 22, 1912, the Congregation founds in Trieste. At that time part of Austria, now part of Italy.
  10. 10.April 20, 1912, the first foundation in England takes place, at Harlington (Hayes)
  11. 11.On April 28-May 31, 1912, the XI General Chapter is celebrated in Vich. Fr. Martin Alsina is re-elected Superior General. Fr. Isaac Burgos, sub-Director.

          The Chapter studies the accommodation of the constitutions to the recent norms of the Holy See previous to the promulgation of the new Canon Law.

          The Coat of Arms of the Congregation is changed from “Caritas Christi urget nos” (Claret’s) to “surrexerunt filii ejus and beatissimam praedicaverunt” (Her sons rose up and proclaimed her most blessed”)

          As all Congregations were seeking a distinctive trait, we took the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Even setting up a special Commission to foster devotion to the Immaculate Heart.

          The translation of the Constitutions from Latin to Spanish started.

          “Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” is abbreviated to “Missionaries”.

          Means of fostering love for the Congregation is discussed.

  1. 12.On June 20, 1912, a rescript from the Holy See is issued demanding that the temporary vows be introduced in the Congregation, (until this time, vows were perpetual after the novitiate).
  2. 13.on December 9, 1912, the first community at Bogota, capital of Colombia is established.
  3. 14.On September 19, 1913, the decision is taken to transfer the General Curia from Aranda to Madrid.
  4. 15.On November 20, 1913, the “Spanish mission” for Spanish immigrants is inaugurated in Paris (“Rue de la Pompe”) France.
  5. 16.On June 21, 1915, Colombia becomes “Quasi-Province”.
  6. 17.in 1914, the Mexican revolution takes place. Brother Mariano Gonzalez becomes the second martyr of the Congregation.
  7. 18.In 1917, the European War and the Russian revolution of 1917 affected the Congregation economically.
  8. 19.On June 26, 1918, the Holy See published a Decree ordering all religious Institutes to adapt the Constitutions to the new Code of Canon Law. The Congregation does this by publishing “Addenda” – attached to the General dispositions.
  9. 20.In 1918, the Claretian missionaries returned to Cuba, founding at Palma Soriano.
  10. 21.On February 27, 1920, the Congregation returns to Portugal and founds at Freineda.
  11. 22.On March 2, 1922, Fr. Martin Alsina died at Zafra, Betica. His mandate was prosperous in religious life and rapid growth especially in America. He was very similar to Fr. Xifre – energetic, strong. He personally visited several times the whole congregation.

He authorized 78 new foundations and 11 suppressions. When he died the Congregation had:

Houses, 154

Members, 1.852

Provinces, 3 (Catalonia, Castille, Betica)

Quasi-Provinces, 7 (Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, USA, Argentina, Fernando Poo)

During Fr. Alsinas mandate new Claretian Publications appeared:

          “Illustration del Clero’ (Enlightenment of the Clergy a forthnight magazine for priestly formation. It survived until the 70’s, which was changed to “Mission Abierta” (open Mission).

          “Commentarium pro Religiosis” – dealing with religious life matters, stressing the canonical aspects.

          “El Misionero” (The Missionary), dealing with missions and missionaries and intended for CMF families and friends

CHAPTER VI

FIRST GENERALATE OF FR: NICOLAS GARCIA

(1922 – 1934)

  1. 1.On August 15 – October 15, 1922, the Congregation celebrates the XII General Chapter at Vich. Fr. Nicolas Garcia is elected Superior General. Fr. Francisco Naval, Sub-Director.

          the constitutions are totally revised and accommodated to the new Code of Canon Law Which will last until Vatican II.

          The Quasi-Provinces of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Fernando Poo, Mexico and USA – Canada are elevated to Provinces.

          Decision is taken to transfer the General Curia from Madrid to Rome.

          Promotion and cult to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is fostered in the whole Congregation.

          Revision of the mission to “fidels’ and “infidels” is taken stressing the mission to “infidels”.

          It is declared that the Quasi-Provinces have their own minor seminary and major as well.

          Special stress is given to the Christian Education – Schools as complementary aspect of our missionary charism.

  1. 2.On December 5, 1923, the first foundation in Venezuela takes palace at San Casimiro.
  2. 3.On March 5, 1923, the Claretian missionaries take charge of the seminary at Sto. Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
  3. 4.On November 21, 1923, the Claretians enter Panama with a foundation in the Capital.
  4. 5.On May 13, 1924, the constitutions accommodated to the new Code of Canon Law receive Pontifical approval.
  5. 6.On July 16, 1924, the first foundation in Germany at Spaichingen takes place.
  6. 7.On July 16, 1924, Pope Pius XI through the Brief “Iinter religiosas familias” gives special total and solemn approval to the Congregation on its 75the Anniversary of Foundation. This was the greatest moment of fame and prestige for the Congregation, especially though Fr. Felipe Maroto.

On the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of the congregation:

          the Constitutions adapted to the new code of Canon Law were promulgated.

          “Codex Juris Addititii” (Code of additional Law) or “CIA” was promulgated.   It was an interpretation of the new Code of Canon Law at the practical level.

          Extraordinary issue of “Iris de Paz”: graphical exhibition of the works of the Congregation: houses, schools, seminaries, churches and missions was presented, with statistics, pictures, maps.

  1. 8.On June 1, 1924, the first stone of the International Votive Temple of Rome to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was blessed. On January 11, 1923, Pius XI sent a document to Fr. Garcia by which the Pope entrusted to the General and his Congregation to build up a monument in Parioli dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
  2. 9.On May 5, 1925, the Quasi-Province of Peru is created.
  3. 10.In 1925, the Apostolic Vicariate of Darien, Panama, was entrusted to the Claretian missionaries by the Propagation of the Faith. It was 3rd mission territory entrusted to the Congregation. Bishop Fr. Juan Maiztegui was the first Apostolic Vicar. The recipient subjects of evangelization would be the Kunas Indians.
  4. 11.On July 11, 1926, The Prelature of San Jose de Tocantins is formed in Brazil and entrusted to the Congregation; 4th missionFr. Francisco Ozamis was the first Apostolic Prefect.
  5. 12.at this time, the Holy See entrusted to the Cognregation two new Bolivian Dioceses:

          Diocese of Oruro bishop of which was Fr. Abel Antezana.

          Diocese of Tarija bishop of which was Fr. Ramon Font.

  1. 13.in 1926, persecution of the Church outbursts in Mexico under President Calles. Fr. Andres Sola was killed. They knew that he was a priest when they saw a picture with the priestly vestments giving the first communion. Four Claretians were sent to exile and some others expelled.
  2. 14.On March 7, 1927, the Claretian missionaries take charge of the diocesan seminary of San Miguel in the Republic of El Salvador.
  3. 15.On August 30, 1927, the 5th mission territory is entrusted to the Congregation at Villa Trinidad, in Sao Tome.
  4. 16.On August 30, 1927, the Visitorship of Panama is created, dependent from the USA.
  5. 17.On March 22, 1929, the Quasi-Province of Choco is erected.
  6. 18.On November 12, 1929, the “Orodo Studiorum Generalis” is promulgated. OSG = General order of Studies. It regulates the studies making them uniform throughout the Congregation: authors, subjects.
  7. 19.On November 2, 1929, the regional seminary of Honam, in Kai-fen, China, is offered and accepted by the Congregation. Thus, the door to China is open.
  8. 20.On October 10, 1930, the Quasi-Province of Italy is elevated to Province.
  9. 21.On May 12, 1932, the foundation in Miedary, Silesia, then under Germany took place. First house in what is today Poland.
  10. 22.On November 30, 1932, the Visitorship of Germany is created.
  11. 23. On May 2, 1933, Fr. Jose Fogued arrives at Tunki, China, and takes charge of the 6th mission territory entrusted to the Congregation.
  12. 24.On October 14, 1933,the first expedition of missionaries arrives in China. Four more expeditions would be sent: 20 priests and 5The Visitorship of China was created. Soon the Apostolic Prefecture of Tunki was separated from Wuhu (under the Jesuits) and given to the Claretians.   In 1937, Fr. Jose Fogued was named Apostolic Prefect with residence in Tunki.   In our Prefecture of Tunki Brother Jose Ma. Torres became well known as a Doctor.
  13. 25.on February 25, 1934, our Founder was proclaimed Blessed by Pope Pius XI.
  14. 26.At the end of the first mandate of Fr. Nicolas Garcia the Congregation had (with the new 82 foundations and 30 suppressions):

Houses, 203

Members, 2.375

Provinces, 11

Quasi-Provinces, 1

Visitorships, 3.

VII CHAPTER

 

GENERALATE OF FR: FELIPE MAROTO (1934-1937)

 

1) March 15-April 30, 1934, the XIII General Chapter is celebrated in Rome.

      Fr. Felipe Maroto is elected Superior General.

      Fr. Nicolas Garcia, Sub-Director.

      Fr. Maroto was considered by the Roman Curia as the greatest canonist.

      The Claretian were known in Rome as “marotini”.

      He was as virtuous and humble as bright.

      During this Chapter he following main topics will be discussed:

          Government in the Congregation.

          Religious observance

          Ministries

          Studies

          Teaching

          Finances.

This will be the pattern for discussions in the coming Chapters up to Vatican II.

            Since the Canon Law made the Claretian missionaries more conventuals than apostolics, religious observance became priority. Special emphasis is given to the missions and popular missions. This chapter decided to transfer the General Curia from Madrid to Rome, at Via Giullia.

2. On July 16, 1936,t he Visitorship of England is formed.

3. from July 18, 1936 – March 31, 1939, the civil war in Spain takes place. 271 Claretian Missionaries were killed by the reds, that is, 111 priests, 90 students in theology and 70 Brothers.

Here it is in detail the numbers, status places:

a)

CATALONIA Province

Priests

Students

Brothers

Barbastro

8

38

5

Barcelona

8

2

7

Berga

2

2

Cervera

19

30

21

Lerida

8

1

Sabadell

4

3

Sallent

3

2

Selva del Camp

5

4

Tarragona (Solsona)

3

1

2

Valencia – Jativa

5

1

Vich

7

1

8

72

72

55

b)

BETICA province

Priests

Students

Brothers

Ciudad Real

5

17

5

Don Benito

5

2

Jaen

4

1

Madrid

11

4

Siguenza

4

1

Ubeda – Almendral

4

33

18

12

c)

CASTILLE Province

Priests

Students

Brothers

Castro Urdiales

4

3

San Vicente Barq.

2

6

3

This was the hardest blow the congregation has ever received.   Aw hole generation of theology students was eliminated – 90 in al.   Philosophers, novices and minor seminarians were sent home. Some of them would rejoin later, but things did not get back to normal until about 1945. The material loss was very great, too. Besides the Claretian missionaries, 13 Bishops and 7.933 priests were victims of the reds.

4. in 1936, the foundation of the first house in Puerto Rico took place at la Carolina.

5. On February 22, 1937, the Apostolic Prefecture of Tunki, China was erected. Fr. Jose Fogued was the Apostolic Prefect.

6. On July 11, 1937, Fr. Felipe Maroto died in Rome of a sudden death. During his short Generalate there were 18 new foundations and 8 suppressions.

VIII CHAPTER:

SECOND GENERALATE OF

FR: NICOLAS GARCIA (193-1949)

  1. 1.On November 20- December 7, 1937, the XIV General Chapter is celebrated in Albano, Italy. Fr. Nicolas Garcia is elected Superior General again. Fr. Ezechiel Villarroya, Sub-Director. The mainly purpose of this Chapter was the lections. During this mandate the Congregation would be still affected by the continuation of the civil war in Spain.
  2. 2.On November 10, 1939, the Visitorship of Antilles (West Indies: Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico) is formed.
  3. 3.In 1939, the Visitorship of Portugal is constituted.
  4. 4.In 1940, the foundation of the “Spanish Mariological Society” takes place.

During 1939, four great maroiologist theologians meet often in Rome. They planned to propagate Marian doctrine and devotion to Mary. The II world war, however, scattered them.

Fr. Roschini continued in Rome publishing his magazine “Marianum”.   Fr. Strater published three volumes of “Mariolgoia Catolica” in Germany.

Fr. Carol returned to USA where he was the soul of the mariological American Society. He yearly published his “Marian Studies” culminating in his “Mariologia”, a “theological Encyclopedia on the Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary”.

Fr. Narciso Garcia Garces, C.M.F., in 1940, invited some Spanish Mariologist theologians and founded “Sociedad Mariologica Espanola” of which he was President for several terms. They published yearly one or two volumes of the collection “Estudios Marianos”

Besides, Fr. Garcia was the fonder of the specialized magazine “Ephemerides Mariologicae”

  1. 5.From 1939 to 1945, five months after the Spanish civil war, the II world war began by Germany’s invasion of Poland. Poland, Italy and Germany were isolated and no communication could be possible with them from 1941 to 1945.
  2. 6.In 1942, the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Pius XII took place. The first Consecration was on October 8, 1942 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Fatima’s apparitions. The second Consecration took place on December 8, 1942 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary – asking God for peace in the world. From that moment an explosion of consecrations went on over the world: countries, archdioceses, dioceses, parishes, Religious congregations were consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Claretian Congregation contributed very efficiently to materialize the marvelous dream in honor of our Mother. From 1944 on to those consecrations, the coronations of images of the Immaculate Heart of Mary followed. The diffusion of Fatima’s message was spread everywhere. The Claretians carried about the Pilgrim Statue of our Lady of Fatima throughout Spain and Latino America, especially, Colombia. The Confraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was established wherever the Claretians were. The first Saturday’s devotion and practice were much fostered. The scapular of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was propagated, as well as images of Fatima and Immaculate Heart of Mary, medals, novenas, stampitas. It was the explosion of “Cordimarianism” in the Congregation.
  3. 7.On January 9, 1947, the first foundation in the Philippines took place at Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan by three Claretian missionaries from USA. On December 26, 1946, Fr. Ramon Catalan, Superior, arrived in the Philippines with two companions.
  4. 8. On February 24, 1950 Fr. Nicolas Garcia died in Rome. During his second mandate there were 51 new foundations and 17 suppressions.

CHAPTER IX

A NEW CENTURY STARTS

FOR THE CONGREGATION

GENERALATE OF

FR: PETER SCHWEIGER

1949 – 1967

  1. 1.From April 30 – May 21, 1949, the XV General Chapter takes place in Castelagandolfo, Italy. Fr. Peter Schweiger is elected Superior General. Fr. Candido Bajo, Sub-He was the first non-Spanish Superior General. Highly gifted and master of several languages. His motto was: “Ad majora and ampliora”. During the Chapter Fr., Agustin Lobo, Provincial of Castille, died.
  2. 2.on June 14, 1949, the Visitorship of Germany was elevated to Quasi-Province .
  3. 3.on July 16, 1949, the Congregation commemorated the first Centenary the Congregation celebrated the event with great optimism and hope for the future. Pope Pius XII blessed and exalted the Congregation in its first Centenary with a congreatulatory letter “Auspicato sane”. At that moment the Congregation had:

Houses :

240 (97 Europe; 124 America; 8 Asia; 11 Africa)

Members:

2,621 (1,454 Priests; 676 Students; 501 Brothers.)

Novices

160

Minor seminarians.

1,500

Archbishops

3

Bishops

8

Apostolic Prefects

8

Apostolic Vicar,

1

Provinces

11

Quasi-Provinces

4

Visitorships

5

Counties

27

Missions

6

  1. 4.On August 30, 1949, France-Belgium is formed into a Visitorship.
  2. 5.On May 7, 1950, Canonization of our Founder, ST. Anthony Mary Claret, by Pope Pius XII. This extraordinary event marked the climax of the history of the Congregation. From then on we started to refer to ourselves as “Claretians”.
  3. 6.On May 31, 1950, Portugal is elevated from Visitorship to Quasi-Province.
  4. 7.On July 12, 1950, the fourth Province in Spain is created; Cantabria, cut out from Castille.
  5. 8.On August 28, 1950, the Visitorship of Venezuela is erected.
  6. 9.On January 14, 1951, the Claretians start new foundations in Zamboanga and Basilan, Southern Philippines.
  7. 10.In August 1951, the first foundation in Austria took place at Vienna.
  8. 11.On October 29, 1951, the arrival of the first missionaries in Japan. On January 2, 1952, the foundation of the first house at Imaichi took place.
  9. 12.On November 3, 1951, the foundation in Costa Riva took place at Mercedes de Heredia.
  10. 13.On February 11, 1952, the Independent Visitorship of Panama is created.
  11. 14.On November 14, 1952, Choco is divided into two Vicariates of which the northern one – Quibdo – remained entrusted to the Claretians being Bishop Peter Grau the Apostolic Vicar.
  12. 15.In 1952, the inauguration of the Votive Temple to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Rome took place and completion of the new General Curia beside the Basilica.
  13. 16.In 1952, the Claretian missionaries are definitively expelled from China by the communist revolution. In 1949 and 1950 the Marxist revolution led by Mao-tse-Tung tookSome of our missionaries went to the new foundation in Japan, some went to the Philippines, and some returned to Spain.   In 1953, the Visitorship of China was suppressed.
  14. 17.In 1952, the General Curia is transferred from Via Giulia to Parioli, adjacent to the Votive Temple.
  15. 18.on January 15, 1953, the first foundation in Canada takes place at Victoriaville, Quebec.
  16. 19.On August 17, 1953, the Philippines is constituted into an independent Visitorship.
  17. 20.ON August 22, 1953, the USA Province is divided into two major Organisms:

Western Province with curia in Los Angeles, and

Eastern Quasi-Province with curia in Chicago.

  1. 21.On April 24, 1954, the Brazil Province is divided into two major Organisms:

Meridional Province with curia in Sao Paulo, and

Central Quasi-Province with curia in Rio Janeiro.

  1. 22.On October 11, 1954, Japan is erected in Visitorship.
  2. 23.In 1954, The Independent Visitorship of Central America is formed comprising the houses of the Central American Republics. The curia is in Panama.
  3. 24.In August 1955, the foundation of the first house in Ecuador is established at Guayaquil.
  4. 25.On September 14, 1955, the creation of a house in Holland takes place at Reuver.
  5. 26.On February 8, 1956, the Visitorship of England is elevated to Quasi-Province.
  6. 27.On May 16, 1956, the Quasi-Province of Portugal is elevated to Province.
  7. 28.In September 1956, the second “General Assembly” of the Congregation is held at the General Curia in Rome. It was a meeting of the General Government with all Major Superiors of the congregation.
  8. 29.On November 10, 1956, the Quasi-Province of USA East is elevated to Province.
  9. 30.On December 10, 1956, the Visitorship of Bolivia is created.
  10. 31.On May 20, 1957, the Quasi-Province of Central Brazil is elevated to Province.
  11. 32.On October 1, 1957, the Visitorship of Antilles is elevated to Quasi-Province.
  12. 33.On August 1, 1958, the foundation of the house in Zurich, Switzerland takes place.
  13. 34.On December 14, 1959, Fr. Arcadio Larraona, an expert in Canon Law and Religious Life, is created Cardinal. He is the first Claretian made Cardinal.
  14. 35.On January 13, 1960, the Visitorship of Central America is elevated to Quasi-Province.
  15. 36.On June 21, 1960, the Visitorships of France-Belgium, Venezuela and Philippines are elevated to Quasi-Provinces.
  16. 37.On October 23, 1960 the Province of Mexico accepts the mission of Tlacoapa.
  17. 38.In 1960, the first foundation in Nicaragua, at Jinotepe takes place.
  18. 39.On April 23 – May 16, 1961, the XVI General Chapter is held in Rome. Fr. Peter Schweiger is re-elected Superior General. Fr. Maximo Peinador, Sub-Director.
  19. 40.On June 30, 1961, the Quasi-Province of Germany is elevated to Province.
  20. 41.On April 22, 1962, the Province of Aragon is formed, the 5th in Spain.
  21. 42.On August 3, 1962, a foundation near the university of Louvain, Belgium takes place.
  22. 43.On October 6, 1962, the foundation, mission territory, in Kingandu, Zaire, is entrusted to the German Province.
  23. 44.On October 11, 1962 (Divine Maternity of Mary) to December 8, 1965 (Immaculate Conception) the Vatican Council II takes place. It was convoked and begun by Pope John XXIII and closed by Pope Paul VI. St. Anthony Mary Claret was chosen the Patron Saint, since he was among those who attended Vatican Council I the only canonized. The main purpose of this extraordinary event was the renewal of the Church and of the Religious Life. All the work done is consecration complied in 16 Documents. Some Claretians took part as Fathers-Bishops-, some others as “periti” and Consultors.
  24. 45.On October 12, 1963, the Prelature of Isabela, Basilan, Philippines is created. The first bishop was Fr. Jose Ma. Querexeta.
  25. 46.In 1963, the mission territory of Ibarreta, Argentina, is accepted and entrusted to the Province of Argentina.
  26. 47.On December 10, 1964, The Province of Colombia is divided into two: Oreintal Province with curia in Bogota, and Occidental Province with curia in Medellin.
  27. 48.On January 10, 1965, USA Eastern Province founds the mission territory of Izabal, Guatemala.
  28. 49.On August 9, 1965, the Vicariate of Rio Muni is created, separated from Fernando Poo. Bishop Raphael Nze is named first Apostolic Vicar of Rio Muni, and Administrator of Fernando Poo.
  29. 50.On Septermer 21, 1965, Canada is made Quasi-Province and is separated from USA Easter Province.
  30. 51.A

At the end of August, 1967, Fr. Peter Schweiger would end his second term as Superior General (1949-1967 = 18 years). During his time, 162 foundations took place and 56 suppressions. In 1967, the congregation has:

Houses – 351

Members – 3,607

            Fr. Peter Schweiger would die in Germany, on August 18, 1980.

Other important events during this period:

          in 1957, the Juridic Insitutue called “Juridicum” is founded in Rome.

          In 1958, New Interprovincial Theologate and House of Studies is founded at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D:C.

          In 1959, the International Claretian Theologate is founded in Via Aurelia, Rome – “Claretianum”.

          In 1960, the Inter-provincial Theologate in Salamanca, Spain, is founded, for all Provinces in Spain and Portugal, and other students from other Provinces of the Congregation.

 

 

CHAPTER – X

GENERALATE OF FR.ANTONIO LEGHISA

(1967-1979)

 

  1. 1.On September 1 – November 14, 1967, the XVII General Chapter took place in Rome. Fr. Antonio Leghisa is elected Superior General. Fr. Jose Ma. Vinas, Vicar General. Its main purpose was to accommodate the life and legislation of the Congregation to the Vatoican Council II norms (It was the second time within the 20th Century)

1967 Chapter was one of theologians, setting the norms for the new Superior Generals (to be less canonically and observance oriented).   Fr. Leghisa was the first modern General in this line. The Chapter was divided in two strong blocks: conservative with Fr. Augusto Andres Ortega as candidate, and liberal with Fr. Antonio Leghisa as candidate. Fr. Leghisa won by a narrow margin.

The work of this Chapter is reflected in a collection of “Declarations and Decrees” imitating the Council Texts:

          Declaration on the Charism of St. Anthony Mary Claret as the Founder of the Congregation.

          Declaration of the spiritual Heritage of the congregation.

          Decree on Government

          Decree on the Coadjutor Brothers

          Decree on Religious Life

          Decree on the Apostolate of the Congregation

          Decree on Missions to non-Christians

          Decree on Christian Education

          Decree on Formation

          Decree on Administration.

Another task would be the new working of the constitutions according to the principles given by Vatican II, which would be published in 1971 with a hotchpotch of biblical texts and quotations from our Founder used uncritically.

            The best and newest contribution of 1967 Chapter was the charism of our founder.

  1. 2.On December 3, 1967, the Independent Visitorship of Austria is created.
  2. 3.On January 1, 1968, The Declarations and Decrees of the Extraordinary General Chapter go into effect.
  3. 4.On April 7, 1968, the creation of a new Province in Spain –Leon-takes place, cut out from territory of Castille and Cantabria. It is the 6th Province in Spain.
  4. 5.On June 17, 1968, the Inter-provincial Conferences of Claretian Major Superiors in Latino America are created: Central Region and Cono Sur.
  5. 6.On September 14, 1968, the Inter-provicial conference of Claretian Major Superiors of Spain and Portugal is created.
  6. 7.On October 23, 1968, The mission territory of Humahuaca in North Argentina is accepted and entrusted to Betica Province.
  7. 8.On October 23, 1968, the first foundations in Honduraas takes place at La Ceiba and Tela, entrusted to Castille Province.
  8. 9.In 1968, the mission territory of Sao Felix de Araguaia in Mato Grosso, Brazil is accepted and entrusted to Argon Province. Fr. Peter Casaldaliga is the first bishop.
  9. 10.On April 4, 1969, formal agreement between Castille Province and Central America for mutual assistance takes place. Castile Province takes charge of the missions of San Blass and Colon.
  10. 11.On May 27, 1969, USA Western Province signs a formal agreement with the PrelatureBas8lan, Philippines, to help the Philippine Province.
  11. 12.In 1969, Argentina Province accepts another home mission in Pilcaniyen, Argentina.
  12. 13.In 1969, the first foundation in Angola, Africa, takes place at Luso. It is entrusted to Portugal Province.
  13. 14.On March 4, 1970, the Congregation is established in India though the help of the German Province which takes charge. Minor seminary and Novitiate are opened at Kuravilangad, Kerala.
  14. 15.in 1970, the mission of Juanjui, Peru, is accepted and entrusted to Leon Province.
  15. 16.In 1970, the mission of Akono, Cameroon (West Africa) is founded and entrusted to Canada province.
  16. 17.In 1970, official approval is given by the Holy See of the Claretian Institutes of Religious Life:

          In Rome, as part of the Lateran University, and

          In Madrid, as part of the University of Salamanca.

  1. 18.In 1971, the foundation in Nigeria begins. The first novitiate is organized on November 20, 1973.
  2. 19.On April 27, 1972, the Sacred congregation for Religious approves the new Claretian Formula for Profession, although the definitive approval will take place on December 20,1973.
  3. 20.On September 1 – October 24, 1973, the XVIII General Chapter in Rome.

Fr. Antonio Leghisa is re-elected Superior General.

Fr. Alfredo Esposito, Vicar General. (In 1976, Fr. Theodore Cirone will replace Fr. Esposito)

In 1967 Chapter was one of theologians, this chapter was composed more of practically oriented people.

The Chapter decided to modify the new constitutions promulgated in 1971 “ad experimentum”. The modified Text will be published in 1974. this chapter takes the work of revising also the Directory which will officially be promulgated in 1975.

A Commission was formed to work on the Constitutions.

The General Chapter came out with a series of Documents – lines of Action – eminently practical:

          the govenement in the Congregation.

          The Missionary Borhters

          Religious Life.

          The Apostolate of the congregation.

          Formation

          Economyn

          Associates of the congregation

          Appendix I : Prayer in the congregation

          Appendix II: Norms for Provincial Chapters.

Heading these Documents was an “Open Letter to the congregation’ presenting the present priorities for the congregation . This was first Chapter admitting Brothers as Capitulars.

Appendix I on “Prayer” responded to the general disorientation experienced in the congregation after Vatican II on this aspect, by eliminating practically the traditional prayer in our communities. To meet this general situation, the Chapter, after examining the possible causes and making some clarifications, adopted the following format for the whole congregation:

  1. A.As the required minimum for community prayer:

Supposing daily Mass, as required by the constitutions:

  1. 1.Daily prayer in community: at least 30 minutes (Divine office or any other. Creativity is encouraged)
  2. 2.Each month, if possible, concelebrated mass.
  3. 3.Monthly recollection and yearly retreat.
  4. B.As the required minimum for individual prayer:
  • A daily hour of personal prayer or mediation, and half an hour in exceptional cases.

In order to foster the missionary dimension in the Congregation, the Chapter encouraged each Province to take a mission territory. However, the missionary availability of the Provinces was stressed with the option of a Province to give up members for a Congregation wide vision.

  1. 21.On October 13, 1973, the mission of Humahuaca is elevated to Prelature. Bishop Jose Ma. Marquez is the first Prelate.
  2. 22.on November 20, 1973, the house of Owerrri, Nigeria, if founded.
  3. 23.On December 2, 1974, the three houses of Poland are re-organized to form only one community. Wroclaw is the principal nucleus, house of formation.
  4. 24.On April 1, 1975, the mission of Norte de Potosi, Bolivia, is accepted and entrusted to Cantabria province.
  5. 25.On May 28, 1975, Peru Province in formation is reduced to independent Delegation.
  6. 26.On June 7, 1975, France Province-in-formation is reduced to Independent Delegation.
  7. 27.on August 7, 1975, the mission of Gabon, West Africa, is accepted and entrusted to Italy Province.
  8. 28.on October 15, 1975, Catalonia Province and Central Brazil sign a missionary contact of cooperation.
  9. 29.in 1975, the second Claretian Cardinal is created in the person of Fr. Arturo Tabera, Archbishop of Pamplona, Navarra, expert in Canon Law and Religious Life.
  10. 30.In 1975, Fr. Alfredo Esposito – vicar General – is made bishop of Zarate – Campana, Argentina.
  11. 31.On March 17, 1976, the Philippine province-in formation is reduced to Independent Delegation. In 1979, it will again be elevated to Province-in-formation.
  12. 32.On June 22, 1976, India is made Dependent Delegation of Germany Province.
  13. 33.On November 15 – December , 1976, the III General Assembly of the congregation meets in San Jose de Costa Rica.
  14. 34.On January 11, 1977, the house of Ljubljana is formed in Yugoslavia as General house composed of three sites.
  15. 35.On June 14, 1977, Cuba is made a General house, one community spread out in three locations.
  16. 36. in 1977, the International commission on Justice and Peace is organized in the Congregation.
  17. 37.On September 29, 1978, the Philippine Independent Delegation is elevated to Province-in-formation.
  18. 38.On August 3, 1979, a “coup detat” in Equatorial Guinea ends Macias persecution of the church and expulsion or imprisonment of the Claretians beginning in 1970
  19. 39.In 1979, Fr. Fernando Sebastian, Rector of the Pontifical University of Salamanca is made bishop of the diocese of Leon, Spain.
  20. 40.In April 1979, the first international meeting of Claretian Associated takes place.
  21. 41.During the Generalate of Fr. Antonio Leghisa there were 92 new foundations and 37 suppressions.

On January 1, 1979 the membership in the Congregation was of 2,748 professed Claretians.

CHAPTER XI

Generalate of Fr. Gustavo Alonso (1979 –    )

  1. 1.September 3 – October 13, 1979, the XIX General Chapter is celebrated in Rome.

Fr. Gustavo Alonso is elected Superior General.

Fr. Antonio Vidales, Vicar General.

Fr. Alonso is well prepared and specialized in theology, spirituality and with long experience in formation.

The chapter approves the definitive text of the Constitutions for presentation to the Holy See.

The Chapter prepares the Document “Mission of the Claretian Today” refined and promulgated by the new General Government.

The priority of vocations and their formation is reaffirmed.

The lay missionaries promotion is much encouraged and is   urged the putting up Centers for their training.

  1. 2.in 1979, the foundation of the mission in Paraguay takes place at Yhu which is entrusted to Aragon Province.
  2. 3.On August 25, 1981, Fr. Carlos ma. Ariz, Rector of the Catholic University of panama, is appointed Titular bishop of Negre Maggiori and Apostolic Vicar of Darien, Panama, by Pope John Paul II.
  3. 4.On January 21-24, 1982, the Claretians in Asia, ASCLA, meetin Bangalore, India. Present were Fr. Superior General, Fr. Malony, Fr. Todd, Provincial Superiors, Superiors of Delegations and Delegates.
  4. 5.On February 11, 1982, the Decree of approval of the renewed text of the constitutions by the Holy See is received.
  5. 6.On June 1-30, 1982, a Course on Claretian Spirituality for Claretian Brothers is given at “Claretianum”, in Rome.
  6. 7.On June 23-July 6, 1982, the International Meeting of missionary Claretian Brothers is held at the ‘Claretianum” in Rome.
  7. 8.On June 23, 1982, bishop Fernando Sebastian is elected General Secretary of the bishops conference in Spain.
  8. 9.On September 8, and on September 12, 1982 arrived at Seoul, Korea, Fr. Jose Ma. Marquez and Fr. Manuel Tardio respectively from the Philippines with the purpose of establishing the Congregation in South Korea.
  9. 10.On November 16, 1982, Poland is created Independent Delegation with 4 houses, 18 priests, 17 students, 1 Brother and 10 novices.
  10. 11.On January 8-22, 1983, the General Assembly of the congregation at Los Teques, Venezuela, takes place.

General Assemblies are not decision-making bodies. They are extraordinary occasions for consultation, interchange and expression of co-responsibility among Major Superiors.

The principal object is the evaluation of how the directives of the previous General Chapter have been put into practice.

  1. 12.In May-June, 1983, the Course on Claretian spirituality for members of Provincial Governments takes place at the “Claretianum” in Rome. 12 bis. In 1983, the congregation founds in Australia through the Philippines Province, at Darwin.
  2. 13.On July 3-10, 1983, the second World Congress of Lay Claretians takes place at Villa de Leyva, Colombia. The main objective: to have the definitive elaboration of the “Ideario” (Statutes) of the Lay Claretians and its organization at world level.
  3. 14.In August-September, 1983, the Course on Claretian Spirituality for Formators is held at the “Claretianum” in Rome.
  4. 15.On June 20, 1983, the residence of Surabay, Zamboanga Sur, Philippines is founded.
  5. 16.On June 28, 1983, Fr. Jorge Ivan Castano is named Apostolic Vicar of Quibdo, Colombia. Consecrated on August 6, 1983.
  6. 17.On November 14-18, 1983, International Claretian Encounter in Africa, at Luba, Equatorial Guinea, on the occasion of the first centenary of the arrival of the Claretian missionaries in Africa.
  7. 18.On December 13, 1983, Consecration of Fr. Placido Rodrigue ordained bishop, Auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is the first Chicago Hispanic bishop.
  8. 19.On January 10-12, 1984, first Meeting of Asian Claretian Formators in Osaka, Japan.
  9. 20.On January 29, 1984, Responding to the invitation of bishop Federico Escaler, S.J. to work in the Prelature of Ipil, Zamboanga Sur, Philippines, the Claretian missionaries accept to undertake the formation and pastoral care of the new parish of Sto. Nino comprising the municipalities of Surabay and Tungawan in the western part of Mindanao.
  10. 21.On February 2, 1984, Fathers Anastasio Gutierrez and Xavier Ochoa are appointed by the Pope John Paul II members of the commission for the interpretation of the Code of Canon Law.
  11. 22.On February 2, 1984, The Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes issue a Decree on the adaptation of Laws proper to Religious Institutes to the new Code of Canon Law.
  12. 23.On February 2, 1984, The Sacred congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes issue a Decree on the adaptation of Laws proper to Religious Institutes to the new Code of Canon Law.
  13. 24.On May 5, 1984, Nigeria is created Independent Delegation.
  14. 25.On May 7, 1984, India is elevated to Province-in-Formation. It takes effect on June 10, 1984. Those of Tamil origins and Sri Lanka will remain under the jurisdiction of the German Province.
  15. 26.On May 8, 1984, the General Government meets to adapt the constitutions to the new Code of Canon Law. On May 9, 1984, it will meet to adapt our Directory to the new Code of canon Law.
  16. 27.On June 5 – July 15, 1984, the Course on Claretian Spirituality for personnel working on vocations and youth pastoral takes place at the “Claretianum” in Rome.
  17. 28.On August 21 – September 29, 1984, the Course on Claretian spirituality for personnel working in mission territories takes place at the “Claretianum” in Rome. There are 34 participants, representing 28 missions.
  18. 29.On October 9-24, 1984, the First world Encounter of the Claretian Family takes place at the “Claretianum”, in Rome. The different branches of the Claretian Family participate: 45 in all from 11

a. The four original born from the initiative of Claret himself:

          Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

          Religious of Mary Immaculate (Claretian Sisters)

          Cordimarian Affiliation (Secular Institute)

          Lay Claretians

b. In addition those institutes in the founding of which some Claretian played a role and which in some was find inspiration in Claret’s spirituality and in his apostolic concerns:

          Cordimarian Missionary Sisters, founded in Mexico City on March 19, 1921 by Fr. Julian Collell and Mother Carmen Serrrano. They are established in Mexico and USA

          Missionary Sisters of the Claretian Institute, founded in Vich, Spain, On May 29, 1951 by Fr. Luis Pujol.

          Missionary Sisters of St. Antony Mary Claret, founded in Londrina, Brazil, on march 19, 1958 by Archbishop Geraldo Established in 10 countries.

  1. 30.On December 23, 1984, the Pope John Paul II names Fr. Jesus Torres Sub secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes.
  2. 31.On January 1, 1985, The Province of Venezuela accepts the mission territory of Imataca, Venezuela.
  3. 32.On January 28-February 2, 1985, the ASCLA Provincials and Superiors of Delegations meet in Osaka, Japan.
  4. 33.On February 26, 1985, the residence of Seoul, South Korea, is constituted as part of Japan Delegation.
  5. 34.On August 26 – September 24, 19085, the XX General Chapter is held in Rome.

Fr. Gustavo Alonso is re-elected Superior General.

Fr. Theodore Cirone, Consultor and Vicar

Fr. Peter Schutz, Consultor

Fr. Joao Megale, Consultor and Prefect General of Apostolate

Fr. Jesus ma. Palacios, Consultor and Prefect of Formation

Fr. Aquilino Bocos, Consultor

Fr. Enrique Arenas, Consultor and General Prefect of Economy

Fr. Santiago Gonzalez, Secretary General.

The objectives of that Chapter besides the Elections:

  1. 1.Examine the state of the Congregation.
  2. 2.Adapt our ligislation (Constitutions and Directory) to the new Code of Canon Law.
  3. 3.To promote the renewal by offering concrete programs: the special theme of the consecration Chapter.
  4. 4.To study the suggestions and proposals that individuals and organisms of the Congregation will have sent to the Chapter.

The Chapter came out with a Document: “The Claretian in the Process of Congregational Renewal”.

Contents of the Document:

            I WHERE WE ARE IN THE RENEWAL PROCESS

1. Lines of thrust that have spurred our renewal

  • Apostolic lifestyle
  • Missionary dimension of community
  • Our missionary activity
  • Formation for mission

2. Lights and shadows in the renewal process

  • Renewal of the Constitutions and Directory
  • Spirituality of the Claretian missionary
  • Missionary community
  • Formation in the renewal process
  • Style of mission and revision of positions
  • Revision of economic structures

3. Validity of the renewal process

4. Principal challenges that face us.

II ANOINTED TO BE SENT – A PROGRAM FOR THE FUTURE

            1. The individual Claretian facing the future

  • Personal spirituality of each Claretian
  • The Claretian in missionary community
  • The Claretian in an ongoing process of formation

2. most urgent mission commitments

  • Reaffirmation of “programming our missionary Action” (MCT 181-239)
  • Revision of our apostolic structures
  • Our collective witness of poverty

At the chapter time the Congregation has:

Communities         -378

Members               -2,931

Bishops   –   14

Priests     -1,931

Students –   472

Brothers –   362

Deacons –     3

Novices   –   149

Countries –     44

 

  1. 35.On February 26, 1986, the house of Seoul, South Korea, so far General house, is made residence and incorporated to the Delegation of East Asia.
  2. 36.on December 18, 1986, Fr. Jose Fernando Tobon is named General Consultor and Prefect of apostolate replacing Fr. Joao Megale.
  3. 37.ON May 15, 1986, the approval of the texts of the Constitutions accommodated to the new Code of Canon Law takes place.
  4. 38.In July 1986, the ASCLA Formators meeting takes place in manila, Philippines.
  5. 39.on September 15 – October 4, 1986, the Course-Encounter of Claretian Major Superiors takes place at the “Claretianum” in Rome.
  6. 40.On April 15, 1987, Fr. Domingo Andres is named Consultor of the congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes.
  7. 41.On May 26, 1988, Fr. Jose Saraliva, is appointed Archbishop of Tibunica and Secretary of the Congregation of Catholic Education.
  8. 42.In July, 1988, Bishop Fernando Sebastian is appointed Archbishop of Granada, Spain.
  9. 43.on September 16 1988, Fr. Luis Gutierrez is appointed auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Madrid – Mcala, SPAIN
  10. 44.October 1988, New mission in Peru, at Paramonga – Geign, by the Delegation of Peru.
  11. 45.September 1-9/1988 The second symposium of the Claretian Family takes place at Vich. 39 participants participated from 10 countries.
  12. 46.December 19, 1988, Fr. Romulo Emiliami, CMF New Apostolic Vicar of Darwin, Panama.

MAJOR ORGANISMS IN THE CONGREGATION

 

Provinces

Provinces in formation

Independent delegations

Aragon

Antilles

Bolivia

Argentina –Uruguay

Cental Brazil

East Asian Delegation

Castille

Canada

France

Catalonia

Central America

Nigeria

Chile

Equatorial Guinea

Peru

Occidental Colombia

India

Poland

Oriental Colombia-Ecuador

United Kingdom – Ireland

Germany

Venezuela

Euskalerria

Philippines

Italy

Leon

Mexico

Portugal

USA East

USA West

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