Closing of the Bicentenary of Fr. Clotet in Barcelona

Feb 6, 2023 | Jaume Clotet, Founders

Barcelona, Spain:  The closing of the bicentenary of Fr. Clotet, co-founder of the Claretian Missionaries, was celebrated on February 4, 2023.  The day focused on the most unknown aspect of him, his role as missionary and educator of deaf children, whose passion for Catalan sign language he discovered in 1848 in Civit. The Heart of Mary Shrine in Barcelona brought together experts on the figure of Clotet. They shared their knowledge and reflections on his legacy, including his work to promote and write down Catalan sign language. The trailer for the documentary “El logos en las manos” was also presented and a mass was held in Clotet’s honour. The day was organised by the Claretian missionaries, the Pastoral del Sordo and the Casal dels Sords de Barcelona.

Fr. Juan Carlos Martos CMF, director of the CESC (Centre of Claretian Spirituality) in Vic, was the first speaker of the day with a conference entitled: “approach to the figure of Fr. Jaume Clotet, Claretian and educator of deaf children in Vic”. The second talk was given by Xavier Moral, head of the LSC (Catalan Sign Language) promotion area at the Generalitat de Catalunya. This was entitled: “Jaume Clotet, discoverer and describer of Catalan Sign Language”.

The day ended with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Sanctuary. It was presided by Fr. Carlos Sanchez Miranda, General Consultor of the Congregation and according to him “Father Clotet has been very important because he has been one of the co-founders and perhaps the one who most identified with Father Claret and was most passionate about his life, his spirit. Moreover, when Father Claret died, whom he accompanied in Fonfroa, he began to dedicate himself to collecting all the testimonies and materials that could be useful for the cause of beatification of Father Claret, as he was convinced that he was a saint and a model for the whole church”.

The celebration concluded with a reflection by Fr. Juan Martín Askaiturrieta, CMF, Major Superior of the Province of Sanctus Paulus (Claretian Province that includes the territories of Catalonia, Basque Country and Navarre, France and Italy).

Fr. Juan Martín highlighted Fr. Clotet’s attitude as a model for pastoral care, as Clotet did not wait for those he served, particularly the deaf community, to come to him, but instead adapted himself to them. He believed that effective evangelization requires effective communication and emphasized that it’s not just about transmitting the message, but also ensuring that the recipient is able to understand and accept it, as there can be no revelation without acceptance.

In conclusion, the anniversary of Father Clotet’s birth was an opportunity to rediscover his personality and his legacy.

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