I was working as a priest-econome in a small town in the diocese, very satisfied with my position. But since it seemed to me that an assignment in a charitable institution would be more suited to my inclinations and character, I consulted Doctor Jaime Passarell. He said I should go to the bishopric secretariat as soon as possible.
Arriving there, he and Mr. Soler asked me to meet Rev. Fr. Anthony Claret without telling me why. Having done so, the Servant of God [Claret] told me:
“Some of us priest-friends, have decided to live together with a life project: to devote ourselves to prayer and study, to go and preach wherever the prelate sends us, and, in the months of the year when it is not customary to preach, to retire to our home and spend time resting, praying and reviewing the sciences. Would you like this method of living?“
“What would you do with,“ I replied, someone with a feeble physique, short stature, monotonous voice, lack of oratorical talent, and short intelligence?”
“Don’t mind the qualities,” he replied, “and just answer my question.”
“Well, I would say that I like the plan.“
“In this case,” he continued, “be sure that on July 15, you can be in Vic. They will soon send you a replacement.”
It was June, and time was very short; I still managed to be there on the appointed day. After informing him of my arrival, he said:
“Tomorrow at 3 p.m. I will be waiting for you at the seminary.”
I went there, they took me to the highest floor and, opening one of the seminarians’ rooms, they said:
“Here is your room.“
I went in and saw a bed, a small table, a chair, a washbasin, and a small pitcher of water.
Soon they called me and said:
“Would you like to come to our conference and oratory room?“
“With pleasure,“ I said.
It was another seminarian’s room. A crucifix on a small table, a picture of the Mother of Divine Love painted in oil, which is still kept in the mission house in Vic, a very modest chair for the president and the small community, two benches without backrests, made up the entire set-up.
There was Rev. Fr. Stephen Sala, an exemplary priest of vast knowledge and a great preacher. There was Rev. Fr. Jose Xifré, a man of extraordinary activity, great enterprise, and currently Superior General of our Congregation. There was Rev. Fr. Manuel Vilaró, who had followed the Founder on several missions and accompanied him as his secretary when he went to Cuba as archbishop. There was Rev. Fr. Domingo Fábregas, also a preacher remarkable for his zeal, simplicity, and clarity of ideas. After a brief conversation, some left, and others stayed. One of these was the Servant of God, who told us:
“Today, we begin a great enterprise.“
Fr. Vilaró replied with a smile:
“What difference can it make since we are so young and so few?”
“You will see,“ said Fr. Claret, “and if we are few, the mighty power of God will shine brighter.“
Excerpt from VIDA EDIFICANTE DEL P. CLARET – Jaime Clotet