We keep walking… and evoking…

15 January 2023

In this framework of beauty and nature that surrounds us, in Sasaima, accompanied daily (with rare exceptions) by the rain, we continue walking and evoking in our formative itinerary.

Shortly after starting, we delve into the life and vocational experience of the Founders and that of each participant, deepening the historical context of the nineteenth century in which Claret and Paris were born, grew up, and gave their Yes to the call to life and vocation. Our brother Carlos Sánchez Miranda, cmf was guiding us through the twists and turns of Spanish history and the world context, helping us to understand its importance in the configuration of the personality and decisions that each person makes as a son, daughter of his time, of his history and how this works in identifying us in a particular way.

The difficulties and vicissitudes of those times did not prevent Anthony Mary and Maria Antonia from listening to the voice of God and beginning their journey of following Jesus, at the service of the Church. They taught us a particular way of following, which we were rediscovering in our own lives because their charism, God’s gift, has been given to each of us, so that we can develop it from our personal vocation. We have made this journey accompanied by Priscilla Latela, rmi, who guided our reflection with a deep Claretian spirit and sisterly affection.

The apostolic disposition of the Founders sealed their lives. Love for Christ put into action takes them to Cuba, the cradle of our congregational origins. Place of apostolic fruitfulness, growth, and vocational consolidation of the Founders. Maria Antonia, Foundress, marked by a deep love for the Church; Anthony Mary, Bishop, was a true Apostolic Missionary, in every place and step he took. They enlighten us not only with their tireless dedication “to the salvation of souls”… but also from their struggles and process, strengthening their identity, following the Inner Master and growing in configuration with Christ. Amilbia Penagos, rmi, was guiding this walk with dynamics, readings, dialogue, prayer that motivate the encounter with oneself in the today as seekers of meaning and fullness.

In the middle of this process we stopped and went to Bogotá where the Claretian Fathers Darío and Raúl received us at the Basilica of the National Vow. They told us the history of the temple as well as the history of the Claretians in Colombia, their apostolic fruitfulness, and the mission for peace that they develop from this temple dedicated to the Heart of Jesus, where so many Colombians come imploring peace.

Our sisters from the communities of Bosa, home for the elderly and school, were waiting for us for lunch (a delicious barbecue) and then told us how the Claretian women arrived in Colombia, the missionary growth of the province, their shared steps with Venezuela (today part of the Province of Latin America) of the internationality of their missionary options and vocational emergence, and above all of the passion for the proclamation of the Gospel that always marked their lives at the service of the Kingdom. Blessed be God for so much kindness!

Carlos Sánchez Miranda, cmf
Priscilla Latela rmi
Amilbia Penagos rmi
Bosa Community
Darío and Raúl cmf – Basilica of the National Vow
Group work
Group work

During these days, the text “María Antonia París, friend and companion in the journey” is being distributed.