Yesterday, Friday September 11th, the meeting of the representatives of the Monastic branch with members of the General Council and some provincial superiors in El Pueyo was concluded.
In the afternoon of Thursday, September 10th, some particular projects concerning the presentation of proposals to the next General Chapter were completed. At night, after Adoration and the singing of Evening Prayer, Fr. Alejandro Robledo, Superior of the Monastery in Canneto, Italy gave the Good Night in which he related the history of the monastery and the particular activities which are realized there.
On Friday the closing Mass was celebrated in the chapel of the relics of the 51 Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro and solemnized by the singing of the choir of El Pueyo, which was assisted by some of the other visiting monks. The Mass ended with the singing of the hymn, “Jesús, ya sabes,” which is the song of the martyrs. Presiding the Mass was Fr. Alberto Barattero with Fr. Juan Manuel Rossi preaching about the praise given to God by the monk through his death, giving the martyrdom of the Benedictine Martyrs of El Pueyo, patrons of the Monastic Branch of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, as an example.
After the mass the priests of the Conference were able to visit the Museum of the Claretians where many of the texts written in the prison by the martyrs are still conserved. Pope St. John Paul II compared these testimonies to those written by the first Christian martyrs. The pilgrimage continued after the morning visit to the Museum with a stop at the Cathedral of Barbastro where one can find the tomb and small museum of Bl. Florentino Asensio, bishop martyr of Barbastro. Next the fathers went to the School of the Piarists in the civic center which served as a prison for the Claretians, Benedictines, and bishop in that summer of 1936. Finally, the pilgrimage concluded by going to two locations where many blessed martyrs were killed: the cemetery of Barbastro and the Road from Barbastro to Berbegal (an adjoining town). The entire time was an incredible blessing and lived with an authentic spirit of pilgrimage by all the fathers.
Back at El Pueyo in the afternoon, the voting for the representatives to the next General Chapter was conducted. Fathers Pablo Di Cesare and Diego Fuentes were nominated as capitulares with Fathers Luis Martínez and Enrique González as suplentes.
Today, on the 12th of September, feast of the Holy Name of Mary, the Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Marcelo Gallardo who was celebrating his 29th anniversary of priestly ordination. Fr. Elvio Fontana preached about the Holy Virgin Mary as Sea of Graces by means of her omnipotencia suplicante.
Already the majority of the participants of the conference have returned to their missions. Thanks be to God, and the prayers of everyone, these days have been filled with abundant graces for the contemplative branch and we hope that many more might come from this. Above all, we pray for the fidelity through which each monk may realize his monastic offering in the Institute where God wants him. The great charity and truly family atmosphere which was lived during these days, along with the unity of spirit in the criteria to assume, are the factors which manifest the real assistance and blessing of the Holy Spirit. It is He who compels all of us to be faithful for our own good, that of the Institute, and of the whole Church.
Fr. Juan Manuel Rossi