The gathering started with a prayer thanking God for the 100 years of missionary presence of in Llanada Alavesa.
Great vision, commitment and missionary passion of those first Claretians who determined to transform a flour factory to a great house and school of missionaries. For almost 50 years the house of Agurain served as the Novitiate House, in which many Claretians have been formed who have been or had carried out their mission in the different parts of the Congregation. In this house they rooted their missionary vocation, founded their love for the Heart of Mary and committed themselves, in the style of Father Claret, to be configured with Jesus Christ to be Witness-Messengers of the Kingdom of God. During these years 1,537 young people made their novitiate here, and among them 1,161 professed as Claretian Missionaries. A treasure for our Congregation.
The former Novice Masters were thanked and appreciated during the gathering: Fr. Antonio Fernández, Fr. Ladrón de Guevara, Fr. Donato Chávarri (Bética), Fr. Juan María Gorricho, Fr. Toribio Pérez, Fr. Manuel Garde and Fr. Domingo Jaurrieta.
The House of Agurain was transformed later into Claretian Seminary, where many young people were educated in the values of the Gospel, of which some today, also, are Claretian Missionaries. Already by the 60’s, the Claretians of that time decided to collaborate with the Diocese of Vitoria in the Evangelization Ministry of the towns around Agurain (Gebara, Etura, Audikana, Dallo, Heredia and Zuazo). This pastoral work is maintained today, with the community participating with the Pastoral Teams of Agurain and Araia, which stimulate the evangelization of this area of the Llanada Alavesa.
At the close of the seminary in 1978, this house was transformed into a Center for Encounters of the Province and a Stay-in House (Klaretar Elkartegia) for groups of young people from the Claretian ministry centers and from other places.
Today the community of Agurain, in addition to continuing with the pastoral commitments of evangelization in the area of Agurain and Araia, and being a House of Meetings and Encounters, also assumes the mission of serving in a special way those older brothers who can no longer render evangelizing commitments outside, so that, with relative autonomy, they can make a life of prayer and fraternity in a natural and peaceful habitat.
At dusk a Eucharist in Euskera was held in the chapel of the house, which was recorded by Euskal Telebista for broadcast on Sunday, November 18. A lot of people came from the town of Agurain, especially from the Barrio de San Jorge, to which the Claretian community belongs. It was another moment of thanksgiving shared with the people of Agurain, who, in their day and today, welcome, give hospitality and witness the presence and work of the Claretian Missionaries. With all the people of Agurain today, as a hundred years ago, they sing to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
“Thank you, O Mother, for the vocation received, give me the grace to be faithful to her all my life”.