|A group of friends from Hong Kong during the feast day celebrations in Macau|
There is a lot of talk about Claretian identity these days.
The superiors even provide us with our congregational DNA.
We Claretians are . . . .
Well, let me add my personal thought to this discussion. When our founder was preaching missions on
the Canary Island, gold was discover in California. That news
was officially announced to the Congress on December 5th, 1848
and ‘gold fever’ descended on the entire country. By early 1849,
it was an epidemic. Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly
young men, sold possessions, mortgaged farms, borrowed money, or banded together with others to form joint stock companies. They said their goodbyes and
streamed west to take their chance on gold. They were called “Forty-Niners”, because they left home in 1849. Their dream? To become rich.
On July 16, 1849, six people in Vic, unaware of gold fever on the other side of the Atlantic, gathered in a seminary building for a retreat. During that time, they found something more precious than gold, a new charism for the Church. It was a gift of the Holy Spirit and its DNA was and remains this simple phrase: setting the whole world on fire with God’s love. Most of the Forty-Niners ended up broke and sick with no legacy whatsoever. Gold, instead of benefiting them, ruined their lives.
On the other hand, fathers Claret, Sala, Xifre, Fabregas, Vilaro, and Clotet passed on their newly found charism to others. We are spiritual descendants of that FortyNiners, Cordis Mariae Filii.
We try to set the whole world on fire with God’s love, including China and nothing daunts us. We delight in privations, welcome work, embrace sacrifices, smile at slander and rejoice in suffering.
The San Francisco Forty-Niners were ready to dedicate one year of
pain chasing after lifetime riches. We live daily on the front lines of mission in pursuit of the greater glory of God and the salvation of people.
|Fr. Jose and Fr. Jojo with Bishop Stephen Li, |
during the feast day celebrations in Macau
|From the Festal Mass in St. Lawrence Church in Macau|