Barcelona, Spain. On Saturday, May 27, 2023, the Heart of Mary Parish in Barcelona celebrated the 50th anniversary of its creation with a Eucharist presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop of Barcelona, Joan Josep Omella, accompanied by the Claretians Fr. Shinto Thomas, CMF (Parish priest), Fr. Juan Martín Askaiturrieta, CMF (Provincial Superior), and other members of the provincial government of Sanctus Paulus Province. Also present were Fr. Joseph Mbungu-Mutu, CMF, General Prefect of Formation, who is currently doing a canonical visit in the Province, and the Archpriest Mn. Josep Maria Turull.
The presence of the Claretians in the Gracia neighborhood dates back to 1860 and is one of the first foundations outside Vic. However, the present church of the Heart of Mary was not built until the early twentieth century. In 1972, 50 years ago, it became a parish run by the Claretian Missionaries. At present, it forms a parish unit with that of St. Thomas Aquinas.
In his homily, Cardinal Omella thanked the Claretians for their mission in this parish and focused on what their service should be today. He spoke of the parish as “an oasis where everyone can meet,” using John XXIII’s simile of the Church as a fountain where everyone can come to drink.
During the conclusion of the Eucharist, Fr. Shinto Tomàs, CMF, recalled the eight Claretian rectors who have served the parish. The Virolai was sung, and all those present entrusted themselves to the Heart of Mary. The celebration proceeded in the parish premises with refreshments, allowing parishioners and those responsible for various parish activities to engage in conversation with Cardinal Omella.