Madrid, Spain. The missionary Samuel Sueiro seeks, wherever he goes, “to do something as Claretian as adding and doing with others”. Whether in different environments and institutions of the Church or in direct contact with the youth, the one that comes loaded with questions. He, recently doctorate in Theology by the Institut Catholique de Paris (France) and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), tries to respond, from his honesty, with his science and teaching. The same that has led him to publish his thesis, ‘La fecundidad del Cristocentrismo’ (Ed. Encuentro, 2021) and to direct a collection that will bring the reader closer to some of the most important works of the French Jesuit, Henri de Lubac. “With this project we hope that both Spain and America will be able to receive in a more adequate, more accessible way the theological thought of this great author.”
In your Claretian mission today, what do you dedicate yourself to?
I have recently finished my doctoral thesis in Theology, which I have been able to elaborate these last years in Paris, while I have been working in the Catholic Mission of Spanish Language of that city. I am currently a professor of theology at the Pontifical University of Comillas, at the Theological Institute of Religious Life (ITVR), at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family. I am also going to direct a collection in Encuentro editions translating some of the most important works of the 20th century theologian Henri de Lubac.
Why is this collection that you are going to direct important?
Encuentro editions is a very important publishing house in the Catholic world. Since its inception it has made the effort to make available to the Spanish-speaking reader great readings of Christian thought, of theology, and now it is going to make the effort to translate the critical edition of the complete works of Henri de Lubac, a thinker who has been gaining more and more importance – for example, a significant fact – in the pontifical magisterium of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI and now also of Pope Francis. A great thinker, a great teacher capable of offering the decantation of a whole theological tradition on topics such as belief in God or atheism. Also, on the Church and on other religions, such as Buddhism. Or on the contemporary world and the question of Grace and how God acts in us. A far-reaching and immensely fruitful author. With this project we hope that both Spain and America can receive in a more adequate and accessible way the theological thought of this great author.
For this, Encuentro has a scientific committee that endorses the collection and at the same time works on this Spanish edition of the works, composed of theologians of race, so to speak, such as Card. Luis Ladaria, Card. Ricardo Blázquez, Olegario González de Cardedal, Santiago del Cura Elena, Salvador Pié-Ninot, Jesús Santiago Madrigal and Ángel Cordovilla. All of them, who represent a mosaic of several generations and several places where faith has been thought and theology has been exercised, have enthusiastically and generously embraced this project, and will help us to make it possible among us.
How do you think this can help you in your mission?
My work in this sense is twofold. On the one hand, to dedicate myself to theology, that is, to be able to think about faith in different environments. To present that faith that seeks understanding and to show that reason that wants to believe. In environments such as the Pontifical University of Comillas, the ITVR, the San Dámaso Ecclesiastical University and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family. They are Church environments, but very different. Therefore, it is a matter of thinking about the faith in different environments and with others, with other people. Concretely, to think every day with those who are preparing for the world of Law and Business, for example, at the University of Comillas. Or to think with those students who are doing their specialization in Theology of Consecrated Life, in the ITVR or those who are specializing in Dogmatic and Fundamental Theology in San Dámaso. Or all this reality of how to think about the family and marriage in Christianity today in the John Paul II Institute.
On the one hand, I was saying, this task is to help to think and look at new ways, going to the fundamentals, nourishing the believing dimension with intellectual height, and framed in the times we live in. On the other hand, my work leads me to face a great challenge every day, that of being in front of different young people every day and asking them questions that would otherwise be impossible for me to imagine; and to be able to think with them. Questions that have to do with faith, with Jesus Christ, with the Church, with our mission and with our times.
And how can your mission help the Church?
I believe that it is an eminently ecclesial task, it is a task that the Church has always done, ‘ad intra’ and ‘ad extra’. That is, evangelization and formation. Collaborating in proclaiming the faith and proposing it, and helping to found, support, strengthen, think, and form ourselves together in the different vocations, be it the laity, the consecrated life, the priesthood, or marriage. Besides, it is something as Claretian as adding, as doing with others.
I have always been struck by those words that Claret rereads in Scripture, and that he explains in the ‘Autobiography’, at the beginning of the second part, when he speaks of the missions, where he feels the same as the prophet. He feels the thirst of the people and says: “the needy seek water and do not find it”. And Claret does not know what to do to be able to help others to quench that thirst. A thirst that is fundamentally of the Spirit, of humanity, of God.
What does it mean for you to live the mission in this way?
On the one hand, to live and reason the faith. On the other hand, to think about how to propose it to the world, and especially to many young people today. And finally, to collaborate with the institutions of the Church, and to continue the Claretian tradition of being inserted in the world in which we live.
In definitive, it would be something like what our Constitutions express when they speak of the mission of the Claretian, when they emphasize that our mission is to collaborate with all those who seek to transform the world according to God’s plan, according to God’s heart.
Taken from © Misioneros Claretianos Provincia de Santiago