Dear Brothers,

Warm greetings from Medellín, Colombia, where yesterday we began the second round of the interprovincial Spiritual Exercises of Colombia-Venezuela and Colombia Oriental-Ecuador.

As you will remember, on 24 July 2022 we will celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Venerable Fr Jaime Clotet, co-founder of our Congregation. Five years ago, we celebrated the “Xifré Year”, commemorating the bicentenary of the birth of another of our co-founders, Fr José Xifré. In the context of the current call of the Church to live from the key of synodality, we became aware once again that God not only made use of our Fr. Founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret, to transmit to us the gift of our charism but also counted on the Claretians of the first moments of our history, the five co-founders. In each of them, we discover a rich and particular way of living this gift. Clotet, his simple and profound interior life, in the presence of God, his great filial love for Fr. Claret and his fraternal love and interest in each one of the brothers in the community where he lived, his openness, sincerity, and respect for his superiors, his concern for the poor, in particular, in his case, the fruitful apostolate supporting the deaf.

On 4 February 2022, the anniversary of his death (1898), we inaugurated the “Clotet Year”. For this occasion, I am sending you the material for a community celebration prepared by CESC to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth. https://www.claret.org/bicentenary-of-the-birth-of-venerable-fr-jaime-clotet/ As in some places, the 24 July coincides with the holiday period, so please see when each Organism or community can hold such a celebration so that we can all remember, thank the Lord and celebrate the example of the life of this brother of ours.

In this regard, I am pleased to inform you that on 8 September of this year, the “Scientific Seminar to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Fr. Jaime Clotet, promoter of Catalan sign language” will be held at the headquarters of the University of Vic. As a Congregation, we will join this homage organized by the said University, in which Fr. Juan Carlos Martos, Director of the CESC, will give a lecture entitled: “An approach to the figure of Fr. Jaime Clotet, Claretian and pedagogue of deaf children in Vic”.

We will conclude the “Clotet Year”, on Saturday, 4 February 2023, joining again as a Congregation in the celebration-homage that every year the Pastoral Ministry of the Deaf of Barcelona offers to Fr. Clotet in the Sanctuary of the Heart of Mary, of that city, where his remains rest. In coordination with the Province of Sanctus Paulus, we will communicate the details of this celebration at a later date.

On the day of the announcement of the opening of the “Clotet Year”, I also sent you two articles on Fr. Clotet, that may serve to contextualize the various commemorative activities that may be held during this Jubilee period. The links are as follows:

https://www.claret.org/calendar/february-4-venerable-james-clotet-co-founder/

I wish you a joyful and fruitful celebration of this bicentenary of Venerable Fr. Clotet; may his memory and his intercession help us to live ever more rooted in Christ and ever more audacious in Mission.

Fr. Carlos Sánchez Miranda, cmf.

General Prefect of Spirituality and Community Life