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The E.VOC.ANDO Cuba 2020 continues on track. On January 17th the group arrived in Havana to start the second part of the itinerary.
The experiences lived in Santiago are many, diverse and intense. From the depth of the sharing accompanied by Ana María, Lia and Soledad in what refers to reflection and interiorization in this “making the journey with the Founders” as the encounter with the places, spaces, persons who in one way or another speak to us of their lives in Santiago de Cuba: the dock, next to the Marina, where María Antonia and her companions disembarked, the journey to the first house in the Callejón del Carmen and the church of the same name, the school and the community where the foundation of the Institute took place and the arrival at the present community, full of emotion.
We visited the Church of St. Thomas, the Cathedral (which holds precious memories of Claret), the old seminary, the Church of St. Francis, the place of convocation in Claret’s time to hear his sermons. The visit to Holguín, Gibaras and the greeting to the Virgin of Charity (Barajagua) on the way back to Santiago.
We celebrated the Eucharist in the Cathedral of Guantanamo, where the Founder arrived on a pastoral visit, and we had the opportunity to see some books where there are marriage certificates signed by Archbishop Claret. All this with the pleasant and fraternal company of the Claretian Fathers of the Milagrosa and our sisters of the community of Guantánamo. On our return we visited La Maya where for a few years now there has been another community of Claretians who attend to a wide area of rural communities.
On the 16th we anticipate the celebration of the memory of the Mother Foundress together with a group of former students of our school of Santiago (which still functions as a state school) and coordinators of the Lay Claretian Family with whom we shared an emotional Eucharist presided by Monsignor Dionisio, who came to our house to share and thank together the charism that we have received as a gift and that with the grace of God, we are invited and committed to make grow where God himself has sent us.
Thank you, my God, for so much welcome!
On January 17th we celebrate the memory of Maria Antonia París, authentic, grateful woman with enormous maternal sensitivity.
She intuited her gifts and qualities, her limits and her poverty, her generosity and strength, and was able to offer herself in readiness for God to work wonders in her, empty of all pretense. And her fruitfulness is so great in God that she can cross seas and personal limits, generating an encounter with other cultures.
The acceptance of God’s gift, in Maria Antonia, is a constant in her life, as is also the total gift of herself. She, leaning on God and not on her own strength, nor on human powers, unfolds her maternal being in the following of Jesus, imitating the Apostles, with a deep sense of church and radically committed to renewing it.
This apostolic mission has no frontiers, neither geographical nor social, it is inspired by the same apostolic mission of Jesus. With a permanent attitude of obedience and availability, openness and above all audacity to let oneself be surprised by God himself, in every missionary journey.
Happy Day to all of you and to all those who share our mission with us day by day!
Today we begin the triduum of our Mother Foundress. On these days we unite as a religious family, remembering that we are called to be: joyful, simple women, open to all without distinction, living the charism of announcing the gospel; missionary communities “which goes forth”, welcoming, familiar, that promote the construction of fraternity in a divided world; apostolic body with Claretian identity, in constant adaptation to the signs of the times, in universal mission.
Let us all enjoy this time of reunion with our Mother Foundress, may her attitudes of discernment, her evangelical criteria and her intense search for the will of God inspire us to live in an attitude of faith and make us fruitful in our daily commitment and wise in making our path easier by working with others.
A group of Claretian Sisters with the desire to EVOKE the congregational origins arrived in Santiago de Cuba between January 2nd and 3rd.
Called by the Spirituality Itinerary E VOC ANDO Cuba 2020, Doralice Franco, Luz Stella Hernández, Gloria González (Province of Latin America); Carmen S., María Luisa G., Ángela M. (Province of Europe) and Annunciation I. (Province of Virgin of Guadalupe) met in the Retreat house of Cobre where, accompanied by Ana María and Priscilla, they have begun this experience evoking the vocational journey in the light of the experience of the Founders, in a particular way, in this case, the period of their stay in Cuba.
They were received by the sisters of the community of Santiago, who collaborated intensely in the logistics of this meeting, as well as, in other aspects, the community of Guantánamo.
For several an emotionally charged reunion, for others the joy of meeting sisters from different parts of the world, for all the great joy of being in the land of the cradle of the congregation.
Step by step, the initial moments were lived, interiorizing the dynamics of the Itinerary and walking its paths through reflections, prayers, sharing, above all, the contact with the experience of the Founders and their message for the today of our lives.
As we are making our way, we are grateful for the experience of fraternity that makes us family, the joy of following Jesus that gives meaning to life beyond all things and the charism of our Founders who give us this Claretian identity that we carry as a stamp engraved on our hearts.
We begin the year under the maternal gaze of Mary, Mother of God, whose solemnity we celebrate today. A day on which in a special way we join the day of prayer for peace.
The theme proposed by the Pope is “Peace as a journey of hope: dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion”, emphasizing that the path of peace is always a path of hope, is a “process thus requires enduring commitment. It is a patient effort to seek truth and justice, to honour the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance”.
In the congregational scenario of this year 2020, in which the celebration of 100 years of the unified Institute proposes us to revitalize our “being an intercultural community for the mission” these words of the Pope's message gain greater meaning: “The culture of fraternal encounter […] leads us beyond the limits of our narrow horizons and constantly encourages us to a live in a spirit of universal fraternity, as children of the one heavenly Father”.
Peace is not the absence of differences or conflicts. Peace is our attitude of friendship and brotherhood towards ourselves, others and creation. It is "a precious value and the aspiration of the entire human family.
A Happy New Year 2020, with the desire to make peace a reality throughout the world.