With a letter to the Superior of the Province of Argentina-Uruguay, the Superior General, Fr. Josep María Abella, greets the Province in the first centenary of the Claretians’ arrival in Uruguay.
This is the text of the letter:
Rome, March 2, 2008
Very Reverend Father Javier Fernández, cmf.
Dear Fr. Javier
With this letter I wish to join you in the celebration of the first centennial year of the foundation of the first house in Uruguay. I do not know exactly the day in which you will celebrate this jubilee date, but my remembrance and the communion of all the members of the General Government will certainly be with you. It is a moment to thank God and remember the missionary history written by so many of our brothers.
As early as the time of Fr. Genover there was a first invitation for the Congregation to make its appearance in Montevideo. The narrative of an encounter of Fr. Genover during a trip from Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires with an “excellent Uruguayan Catholic” who, moved by the preaching of our brothers, wanted them in Uruguay is very interesting. Years later, at the request of the Archbishop of Montevideo, that dream became a reality and the first community was installed in Peñarol on march 4, 1908.
From that moment on, the Claretian Missionaries have been offering their missionary charism to the Uruguayan Church. This presence has been marked mainly by the exercise of the itinerant ministry of the Word to which, with the course of time and in response to new pastoral challenges, the attention to parishes, the ministry of Christian education and the service to popular religiosity were added. Our missionaries have always kept their eyes open to the needs of the people and have looked for the best way to respond to these needs.
We all join in a thanksgiving song to the Lord because we have felt his blessing during these years. We ask him to continue blessing our community with good and numerous vocations. We renew our commitment of service to the church and people of Uruguay.
We place our history in Uruguay in the Heart of Mary and we ask her blessing so that we may continue to be credible signs of the Father’s love in the midst of this people. The experience of feeling that we are sons of her Heart is going to help us in this thrilling mission.
Dear Fr. Javier and brothers of the Argentine-Uruguayan Province, may you be able to joyfully celebrate this anniversary and may you continue writing in Uruguay a truly missionary history.
Your brother in C. M.