Claretians elect new USA provincial and council
Claretian Missionaries held their first USA Provincial Chapter during the third week of August in Chicago. The USA province was born on February 2, 2011 during an assembly of 80 Claretian Missionaries serving in the United States. The new province is the fruit of efforts of Claretian Missionaries who arrived in this country from Spain and Mexico in 1902. The missionaries served Mexican immigrants in San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Illinois.
Today, the Claretians serve in seven states, faithfully continuing to minister to recent immigrants. They also serve in campus ministry, youth evangelization, preaching ministries, publications, and other ministries. The reorganization process was facilitated by four joint gatherings for all members, a joint province plenary committee, and the use of professional facilitators. The first assembly of the new province highlighted the missionaries concern for the international congregation, revitalizing their present ministries, and looking to the future with openness, creativity, and faith as men on fire with God’s love.
The first USA Chapter began with the blessing of the Superior General, Fr. Josep Abella. The new provincial superior and provincial council was elected on August 25. Fr. Rosendo Urrabazo, CMF is the Claretians’ USA provincial, while Fr. Mark Brummel, CMF; Fr. José Sanchez, CMF; Fr. Bruce Wellems, CMF; and Fr. Len Brown, CMF were elected to the provincial council. The new council took their oath in the presence of 72 members of the Chapter.
Below: the Provincial Council and Superior General of the Claretians, Fr. Josep Abella:
New Beginning for Claretians in the USA
This February is a turning point in our history, when a single new province is inaugurated for the entire USA, and five young Claretians are ordained to the service of God’s people.
After 109 years of ministry in the US, the Claretian Missionaries make a new beginning with a single province for the entire country on February 2nd, 2011, and ordain five new missionaries for service on Thursday, February 3rd, at 6:30 p.m., at the Mission San Gabriel in San Gabriel, California.
Texas-born former Vicar General Father Rosendo Urrabazo, C.M.F. has been appointed transitional superior for the new US province, to be based in Chicago, along with several members of the former governments to his council.
The new priests and deacons to be ordained are Fathers Heherson “Niño” Balabbo of the Philippines, Manny Lopez of Miami, Florida, Peeter Pedroza of Colombia, and Deacons Alex Gaitan and Benjamin Romero of Colombia.
They will join another 105 missionaries of the U.S. Province who are already at work in Georgia, New Jersey, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, California, Nigeria, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea to help pioneer new undertakings at home and abroad.
San Gabriel Mission
428 S. Mission Drive
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Heherson “Niño” Balabbo
DOMINGUEZ ALUMNI ~ 2010 REUNION REPORT
More than 120 alumni gathered with family members at Dominguez Memorial Seminary Saturday, August 21st, 2010, for what must be the 24th time to savor old friends and acquaintances, and recount the treasured experience of shared seminary life and ministry as Claretians.
During mass in the old seminary chapel, Father Jim Curran took us through a touching reflection on the way God has graced us throughout life, for our own benefit and that of others, no matter what direction we took. Afterwards, Father Richard DeTore brought everyone up to date on the present condition of the Congregation, and the steps that are being taken toward unification of the two provinces with a new administration in February.
The East was represented by Charles Ingram, Jim Curran and Dick Farrell. Nino Balabbo served as deacon. Seminarians Eloy Escamilla and Ray Alcantara attended with Father Theo Fuentes. Arizona and Texas were represented by John Fessler, Gabriel Perez, and Jim and Bill Springer.
The number of younger men present was remarkable. Our eyes strained to recognize the guys we hadn’t seen since school days. Chef Richard Gomez slaved for days over a melt-in-your-mouth brisket. Our own opera star, Miguel Rios, led the classic hymns and songs of our mass.
The networking of old classmates, who are even more determined to turn out in greater force next year, is what made the day a big success. Sons and daughters, grandchildren too, were amazed to have a chance to see the old seminary that has impacted their own lives in so many subtle and not so subtle ways.
History was reconstructed as facts were remembered and old secrets shared. All were more convinced by the end that God has always had a hand in our lives, and that we are part of something much bigger than we had ever realized, something Claret had already envisioned: a Congregation, composed of all kinds of members, lay and ordained, dedicated to the salvation of the human race through the holiness and apostolic work of all the baptized.
It was a very happy day on many levels, and ended with hopes of more like it.
FATHER RICHARD DETORE, C.M.F.
I hope this message finds you well in anticipation of Advent, and the promise that the birth of our Lord brings to us every year. I want you to know how blessed the Claretians are to have your continued support, especially during this time of economic turmoil, and we give thanks to God every time we think of you and remember you in our daily prayers. This year, thanks to your generosity, the Claretian Missionaries are able to continue to share God’s good news with all those that thirst for the grace of the Lord while we support our senior priests and Brothers at Dominguez Seminary and Casa Claret.
This has been an exciting year for us, and we are happy to have you by our side as we continue our important work in the United States and around the world. Our recent general chapter document, “Men on Fire with Love: Called to Love our Missionary Vocation Today” and a fresh autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret continue to point us forward. Currently, we have a burgeoning international Congregation, 17 seminarians studying with us in Chicago and several experienced missionaries joining us from other countries as we move toward a new, united Province for the entire United States, anticipating a new administration in place within a couple of years.
Please don’t forget, for us to continue with all we have done, we need your continued support. All donations you make are tax deductible to the furthest extent of the law. Other ways to offer your support include remembering the Claretians in your will or offering a Perpetual Mass for a loved one. You may send your donations to Claretain Missionaries - 414 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel, CA 91776.
Once again, thank you for your continued support. I know that the Lord will reward you with an abundance of graces and blessings! I pray that 2010 will be a year of renewed faith and commitment as we continue our journey together in God’s Spirit!
XXIV General Chapter of the
On August 27, 2009, the General Chapter of the Claretian Missionaries completed the election process of the new General Government which will serve the Congregation for the next six years. On August 234, 2009, the new Superior General, Father Josep M. Abella, C.M.F., was re-elected, and now, the General Government is complete with the newly elected consultors.
L-R: Rev. Jose Felix Valderrabano(Secretary),
Fr. Mathew Vattamattam(Prefect of Formation),
Fr. Paul Smyth(Vicar/Consultor),
Fr. Josep M. Abella (Superior General),
Fr. Domingo Grillia (Prefect of Economy),
Fr. Gonzalo Fernandez (Prefect of Spirituality),
Fr. Emmanuel Edeh (Consultor),
Fr. Agustin Monroy (Prefect of Apostolate)
Click Here for more information about the XXIV General Chapter.
BARRIOS UNIDOS EN CRISTO
A CLARETIAN PROJECT IN THE CITY OF JUAREZ
Social condition of Barrio Youth
As in underdeveloped contries, the situation of Latin America youth is hetergeneous: urban, rural, indigenous, coastal, black, mestizo, worker, student, unemployed and so on. It is not acceptable to view youth only as social sector which society, as a system, is training for a productive adult life. (read more...)
CLARETIAN JOINT ASSEMBLY OF U.S. EASTERN AND WESTERN PROVINCES
The Eastern and Western U.S. Provinces gathered together during the week of June 8-12, 2009. The theme for the Joint Assembly was "The Mission of the Claretians in the United States" - The Love of Christ Impels Us! 86 Claretians from around the U.S. gathered to further discuss the future of the U.S. Claretian Mission, including Fr. Rosendo Urrabazo, C.M.F., Vicar General from the General Government in Rome.
100 YEARS OF CLARETIAN SERVICE AT SAN GABRIEL MISSION
In the spirit of St. Anthony Mary Claret, the Claretian Missionary Priest and Brothers would like to thank all the people that made the Anniversary Mass in honor of St. Anthony Mary Claret on October 24, 2008 possible; as well as the Centennial Celebration on October 26, 2008 honoring the Claretian Priests and Brothers who served at San Gabriel Mission since 1908. (read more...)
Richard DeTore, C.M.F., Provincial
WITH CLARET INTO A
CENTURY OF EVANGELIZING
is a wonderful feast and this
is a big one for Claretians
around the world. Three-day-old
baby Anthony was baptized on
Christmas exactly two hundred
years ago, and ever since, his
missionary spirit has spread
throughout the entire world
in new little Clarets who are
setting it on fire with God's
love. You yourselves are very
much a part of this movement
of grace because of your share
in the work of the Gospel.
are about 3,100 Claretians in
66 different countries throughout
the world, and doing great things
on the local level with people
of every kind to ensure the
human dignity and abundant life
that our common humanity demands.
Our American and European communities
are a source that enables us
to accomplish wonders in poorer
areas, so we must remain strong
in order to be able to continue
supporting others. That is why
we come to you year by year,
and in a very special way this
time, with this sweet burden
that you and I bear with joy.
has appeared on earth as a tiny
child, and all of us have become
much more protective of children,
following the recent settlements
that have been made with victims
of child-abuse. To raise money
for this we, like others, have
had to liquidate many of our
assets, and so are not able
to do all that we used to do.
We will soon no longer be able
to use our present address,
as we must sell our home of
sixty-two years to help pay
for those settlements. What
pains us most is not that we
lose our home and assets, but
that we can no longer help those
who need us most, at home and
abroad, where we have so many
who are dependent on us - our
seminarians, seniors, and sick.
have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
to join with us, in a way never
expected, and build up again
the financial base that once
allowed us to do so much in
previous years, but which has
now been severely limited. I
am asking if you, or someone
you know, can help us with a
donation, grant, living trust
a dear friend, you have been
a big support to us over the
years, and we have never really
thanked you sufficiently, or
dared to press you for more.
But now that our desperate situation
is something we cannot hide,
we look to God who provides
and come to you with our need.
We trust that with partners
like you, we can once again
be a source of strength and
hope for those we serve on your
behalf, and for the glory of
you very much for your loyal
companionship, prayers and encouragement!
Our Claretian Missionary Quyen
Nguyen, C.M.F., was ordained
to the Priesthood on Saturday,
August 4, 2007, at San Gabriel
Mission, in San Gabriel, California.
The very special multi-lingual
Eucharist, presided by Bishop
Placido Rodriguez, C.M.F., of
Lubbock, Texas, took place at
11:00 a.m. We are very happy
for Father Quyen and thank God
and the Immaculate Heart
of Mary for his vocation
as a Claretian Missionary. Please
remember Father Quyen, and our
Province and Congregation, as well
as vocations to our Congregation
in your prayers. Read