After two and a half months, on Saturday, July 2, the Forge-25, in which a group of Claretian missionaries from different provinces participated, came to an end. We share a short chronicle of Juan Carlos Martos cmf, director of the Centre of Claretian Spirituality of Vic:
On Saturday, July 2 of this year 2022 we concluded the Forge-25. We arrived at this flying goal with good sensations. We have completed two and a half months fully dedicated to getting to know our charism a little better, praying for a longer period of time, going on pilgrimage to holy places, reflecting together on fundamental aspects of our vocation, sharing experiences and celebrating in faith and fraternity all that we have seen and heard.
Was it worth it? It is too early to say. By their fruits you will know them… or not, if the light is hidden under the bushel of forgetfulness or neglect. The missionary life does not usually run through astonishing mutations, but through very slow transformations that test patience and hope. We are left with the certainty of knowing that we will reap what we have sown. And while God may allow an exception to that rule, He usually adjusts to our processes and to our greater or lesser personal cooperation.
If there is any characteristic sign of this Forge-25, as expressed by the Claretian participants themselves, it has been the degree of fraternity lived among us, even though we are only a temporary community. Precisely one of the most marked deficiencies in our Congregation has been our achievement (modest, eh?) of this now almost concluded experience of renewal. We recognise this without any kind of smugness, but why was it so? Possibly because we have put interest and dedication into giving an appreciative approach to the conversational dynamic that has run through our activities from beginning to end.
We return once again to our communities of origin, with the desire and longing to be able to recount what we have experienced and, more than anything else, to bear witness to it by our humble and visible example. We thank all those who have collaborated to make this experience possible, which has not managed to avoid the COVID, nor the complicated procedures of visas and permits. The gratitude is great and is directed to many: To the General Government, especially the Prefecture of Spirituality and Community Life; to the Province of Santiago, to the various Governments of the Organisms represented here; to the local communities committed to supplying their members in time of Forge; to all the people who have been involved in the logistics, various services and functioning; to those who have welcomed and served us; to those who have repeatedly shown us their prayer and support. We thank God that our brother Daniel Monje arrived in time to be physically present at his father’s Easter. And, above all, thanks be given to God our Father now and forever for as much as he continues to give us, whether we realise it or not. And to Mary, Immaculate Heart that protects and sustains us.
Juan Carlos Martos cmf