Spain. Organized by the General Prefect of Spirituality and the Centre of Claretian Spirituality (CSC), an Encounter with Claret was started in Vic on April 15. Its aim is “to provide the Claretian participants means to better know Saint Anthony Mary Claret and the Blessed Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro, through study, personal reflection, visits, etc.
This programme is developed around five questions that include the essential aspects of his personality: where, when, who and how did Claret live?
The present group is in English and will last from April 15 to May 5.
This Encounter with Claret was opened with a time of prayer led by Fr. Anthony Ejikeme, del CSC, in the crypt where the body of the Holy Founder is kept. Fr. Anthony exhorted everyone to be thankful for the gift of vocation and to be open to the Spirit, especially during this Easter time. After the prayer, in the lecture hall we received the welcome of the organizers of the CSC, Frs. Antonio Bellella, Anthony Ejikeme, Jesu Doss and Jesús Palacios. Sr. Eugenia Comas, MIC, directress of the Retreat House of Vic, also participated. Fr. Bellella stressed three points: We gather, not only to know, but also to appreciate what Fr. Claret is for us, the man elected by the Spirit to give us his charism, the vocation which is a gift of God to us, whence the brothers have to enjoy being Claretians; also that the brothers are not Claretians individually, but they form a community, a fraternity in which we share the Claretian vocation in unity.
Fr. Jesu Doss reads the introduction of the Encounter, which was followed by the reading by Fr. Ejikeme, of the message of Fr. Gonzalo to the brothers. Fr. Palacios explained in his usual sharpness, the practical questions related to the life during the Encounter with Claret.
Origin of the 15 participant Claretians: 7 from India: Abraham Pothiyittel and Jose Valliamthadathil (St. Thomas); Matthew Elanthanam and Thomas Thekkevattakkatt (Bangalore); Ignasimuthu A., Xavier A. and Xavier P. J. (Chennai); 1 from the Philippines: Antonino Eucapor; 4 from Nigeria: Anthony Agu and Ebenezer Okolo (East), Isaiah Olarewaju and Jude Anandaehie (West); 4 from the Delegation of East Asia: Desiderio Ching, Johan Leonardo Yoon, Julio Cesar Torres, and Paolo Chu; 1 from Sri Lanka: Francis Monfort K. S.