Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Claretian Missionaries of Antillas celebrated with great fervor the centenary (1923-2023) of their presence in the Dominican Republic, from February 28 to March 5, 2023. During this week of celebrations, a series of commemorative activities were carried out, culminating with a well-attended thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration at St. Anthony Mary Claret Parish in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic).
Msgr. Rubén González Medina, CMF, Bishop of Ponce presided over the Eucharist, joined by Msgr. Francisco Ozoria Acosta, Metropolitan Archbishop of Santo Domingo and Primate of America. Members of the Delegation Government of Antillas, headed by its Major Superior, Fr. Fausto Cruz Rosa, CMF joined them as well as Claretians residing in the country, a large representation of the different members of the Claretian Family, and parishioners who came from the different apostolic posts in Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, San Francisco de Macorís and Jimaní-Descubierta. A significant and large representation from the Claretian parishes in Caguas and Bayamón (Puerto Rico) also attended.
In his homily, Bishop Ruben Gonzalez exhorted those present to live this event, remembering the past with gratitude, living the present with enthusiasm and looking to the future with confidence in the style of St. Anthony Mary Claret:
“we want to remember the past with gratitude, not to remember with nostalgia what has happened, because nostalgia has no hope, but to remember with gratitude what has happened, and so from what we have lived, we launch ourselves to live the present with passion, looking to the future with hope, because Hope does not disappoint“.
At the end of the celebration, the Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Ozoria Acosta, gave some words of appreciation to the Congregation for these years of presence in the country, valuing in a special way the apostolate it carries out in the Church.
After the Mass, the amphitheater of the parish hosted artistic performances prepared for the occasion by students of the Claret School of Santo Domingo and the Folkloric Ballet of the Ministry of Tourism of the country.
The commemorative activities held from February 28 to March 5 included a historical-graphic exhibit: “100 Years of Missionary Presence in the Republic”, and a conference entitled “History, Challenges and Challenges of the Claretian Presence in the Dominican Republic”, which took place on March 3. Both activities were very much appreciated by the community.
On March 5, 1923, the first Claretan Missionaries arrived at St. Thomas Aquinas Conciliar Seminary in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Its mission was the moral, intellectual, and adequate formation to the needs of the times of the future ministers of the altar from all over the country. During this century the Claretian presence expanded and opened to new missionary horizons (Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, San Francisco de Macorís and Jimaní-Descubierta) making possible a contribution of great value to the Church following the legacy left by its holy founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret.
Source: Jairo Antonio Pérez, CMF, Provincial Secretary.