The year 2020 that we have just begun is full of Claretian anniversaries. On January 25, the commemoration of the 150 years of Claret’s death will begin in Chile. It will conclude in Vic on October 24, nine months – period of pregnancy- to gestate a more authentic and updated way of being Claretians. In January we will also celebrate the 150 years of the arrival of the Claretians in America, specifically in Chile. A few days later, on February 11, we will remember the 150 years of the definitive approval of the Constitutions of the Congregation. Throughout the year we will celebrate the 125 years of arrival in Brazil and the 50 years of our presence in India and Cameroon. Since January 1 we are traveling together in the spiritual and formative itinerary called “Claretian Year. To deepen the knowledge of our Founder, we will have three editions of the program “Encounter with Claret“: in French (May), English (June) and Spanish (September).
Before this flood of commemorations and programs, we can ask ourselves about their true meaning and effectiveness. In all of them there is a triple movement: towards the past, the present and the future. We remember the past to thank God for the path we have taken, but also to learn from our successes and mistakes. We open ourselves to the present to ask ourselves if we are responding with lucidity and fidelity to what God wants from us today. We contemplate the future with the hope that Claret’s dream will continue to produce fruits of missionary vitality in the new geographical and cultural contexts in which the Congregation is present.
If all these initiatives do not help us to respond better to our vocation to holiness, we are wasting time and money. In the apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis reminds us that “we need a spirit of holiness that permeates both solitude and service, both intimacy and the task of evangelization so that every moment is an expression of love given under the gaze of the Lord. In this way, every moment will be a step in our journey of sanctification” (n. 31).
May all the Claretian commemorations of this year 2020 be steps that will help us to ascend with a determined step in our journey of sanctification and, therefore, of credibility and missionary efficacy!
Gonzalo Fernández Sanz, CMF
General Prefect of Spirituality