When I was in formation, I heard a Claretian priest say 'you cannot ignore whom you get to know; and for that, you have to listen'. Yet, this listening has to be deeper, loving, selfless; in other words, it has to be Claretian listening, which transcends language, culture, age and even words!
I see this in our Claretian ministries. My ministerial assignment is Vocations and because of that, I have to travel through different places in the US. There is an immigrant lady from Rumania who is our parishioner in Missouri, USA. Though her means, mobility and English are limited, this woman's dignity as a child of God has been affirmed and celebrated through the different Claretians who have served at this parish over the years. In fact, Sacred Heart, our parish in Missouri, is said to be the poorest one in the Diocese and we are there to love them, to serve them and to listen to them.
Because listening is the locus of evangelization. We are evangelized by the poor and the poor are evangelized through the Good News that they experience through the missionaries. Father Claret went many places, and I am sure he listened to a lot of histories from a lot of people; no wonder he was called pairito! My heart rejoices when I hear that this particular trait is still vibrant and shining like a star in our Congregation when I hear people like this Rumanian lady speak how the Claretians have been there for her and have accompanied her and listed to her. This is what she remembers, and this is how she experienced a Church going forth to the peripheries because, after all, you cannot ignore whom you get to know. ___ Byron Macias CMF [Assistant Vocation Director - Chicago, USA]
MS 1 (Cf. CC 2; Dir 26.)