Dear friends: The CESC website is just born. It is an old dream that finally comes true. Like any newborn, it will gradually grow up and get better equipped to meet its objectives. To start, we are offering a chart with some guidelines to make the most of our website. Not to disappoint anyone, we must advise that you are not going to find on this website news about the life of the Claretian Congregation, since a specific page for it already exists, or find daily news about CESC because the goals set for this page are different and we want you to know them so that you can enjoy this familiar corner within the ocean of the Internet.
- Site Structure
In the section “About Us” we present the identity and mission of the Center of Claretian Spirituality (CESC), so that everyone willing to know us may contact us and request our services.
In the section “St. Anthony M. Claret” we offer a public approach, basic but rigorous, to the historical and spiritual personality of Fr. Claret. You will find a brief biography of the missionary, a chronology setting him in his historical context and a presentation of the most significant places of his life and mission. You will also see an iconographic gallery. In this field there is plenty of material, but we want to show, gradually, the images that have the genuine author’s information, production date and place where they are located. If you can help us to complete this gallery, we will appreciate your sending us materials and information about them. Also, you will find a space devoted to presenting videos about Claret, the CESC and the missionary spirituality. The following section contains various testimonies of people who have encountered Claret at some stage of their spiritual way and of other individuals who have come as pilgrims to this house. Finally, you will find a Triduum to celebrate the festivity of our Founder; later we hope to add some novenas and other liturgical documents.
The sections “Resources” and “Studia Claretiana” are intended, specially, to researchers on Claretian topics. For the first time, you can access to sources that will allow you to get to know Claret better, as well as to materials needed to do some serious and thorough research without having to come to our archive or library. Of course we will be more than happy if you come personally, but we know that it is not always possible, so we will strive for increasing the number of resources available through this page. In the “Resources” section we have placed a PDF version of the basic materials for the study of the person of Fr. Claret: a) the 14 volumes of manuscripts of Fr. Claret, whose originals are preserved in Rome; b) the critical edition of the Autobiography published on the occasion of the bicentennial of Fr. Claret’s birth; c) the Epistolary Correspondence, both produced and received; and d) some original works edited and published, such as the Pastoral Writings (in the future we will include some other, such as the Spiritual Writings, Marian Writings, etc.). It is also at your disposal the book The Blessed Fr. Anthony Maria Claret, written by Fr. Cristóbal Fernández, which despite its date back in time it is still the most complete and critical biography of all. Finally, you will find some published guidelines for the main Claretian sites. In the “Studia Claretiana” section you will find the PDF version of all volumes of our official periodical, specialized in Claretian issues. In addition, three indexes (of articles, authors and subjects) prepared by Fr. Josep Rovira CMF, current director of the periodical, are shown. Thus we will make the most of the 368 articles published up to the latest volume XXX (2015).
The “Claret Archive” section is available to all researchers, even those from other ecclesial and social institutions outside the Claretian Family. You will find in it all the necessary information to know our various archival and library collections. The archive encompasses sections dedicated to Claret, the early Claretian Congregation and the co-founders, the Claretian martyrs of the 1936 Spanish civil war, the missions developed by the Claretians in Equatorial Guinea, Colombia and Panama and some Claretians who left their special footprint in history, such as Fr. Josep Maria Mir, a great Latin scholar. Our library contains specialized sections in Claret (a part of his personal library, the works written by him and publications dealing with his life and mission); the historical, social and ecclesial context of his time (especially Catalonia, The Canary Islands, Spain and Cuba and people and institutions most linked to Claret); also books from the nineteenth century and earlier, preserved by the missionaries.
You can access the materials available in our library collections through the catalogue online, which, for the moment, allows access only to articles published in the journal Studia Claretiana, books of Claret’s personal library as well as small books and books written by him. We hope, soon, to be able to expand access to the other sections and, sometime later, offer the catalogue of the archival collections.
- How to access the PDF documents
All materials are offered in PDF format and can be viewed online or downloaded to your computer. On each document you can search for keywords by clicking control and f keys, and then a rectangular window will appear where you can write down the searching word and go over all the references appeared on the screen. You can also mark with the cursor the part you wish to block and copy; you can also print specific pages instead of a whole document. To do this, you must select the print option and write the required page/s. In case you need a higher quality copy, let us know and we will send it directly to you, since the documents available online are standard definition for easy reading avoiding, however, too slow downloading processes. Some manuscript pages of Fr. Claret are not entirely legible because the originals are not quite legible either.
- Homepage periodical updating
While offering constant innovations is not the main purpose of this page, we will not fail to insert some new contributions on our homepage. On the left column some writings on Claret, the Claretian spirituality or CESC will be shown. If you have any contribution worth sharing, do not hesitate to send it to us. In the right side boxes there will be constantly renewed materials. In the box “travel companions” you will find testimonies from members of the Claretian Family willing to share their spiritual experience of encounter with Claret. A new one, at least, every month will be posted. The box “Claret with you” will be renewed every day, following the texts of the meditations book published by the CESC in 2013. The box “News of the CESC” will be used to present bibliographical or archival records that we consider noteworthy, either because of their novelty or their relevance. In the “Claretian Videos “box there will be some videos with explanations about Claret’s life, his spirituality or some aspect of the CESC mission. Through the bottom icons you will have direct access to the most popular sections. We could not leave out a vocational link, in case somebody hears, on this cyber corner, the Lord’s call to follow Him according to Claret’s style.
- A website in different languages
Our website appears in four languages: Castilian, English, French and Catalan. Only the first version is complete; the other will be gradually completed. We also hope to translate this website into other languages, such as Portuguese, Italian, German, etc. We just need the contribution of people willing to translate the texts. Any help or assistance will be much appreciated!
We feel grateful to all the people who have collaborated in the construction of this page: Marc Güell, designer; Joan Bove, CMF, for his technical and fraternal support; Maximino Cerezo, CMF, for the icons designed for the biography of Fr. Claret; Anton M. Vilarrubias, CMF, for his drawings; and translators: Lluís BALENYA, CMF, in French, Ramon Macià, in English, and Mr. Ricard Oliva and Mr. Joaquim Puigdemont in Catalan. We wish to express the latter our special gratitude for his invaluable task and constant support.
We hope this page will be an effective and attractive space to highlight the human and apostolic figure of St. Anthony Maria Claret so that we can delve into his valuable influence on the history of spirituality and evangelization and his original contribution to our world as a Missionary follower of Jesus. Let the encounter with Claret drive us to respond with creative fidelity and renewed enthusiasm to the call Pope Francis is making for us to go out into the peripheries of the world and communicate the joy of Gospel.
Vic, October 24, 2016