THE CLARETIAN MISSIONARIES
The parish was founded and is still staffed by the Claretian Missionaries – officially known as the Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are a religious community of priests and brothers founded in 1849 near Barcelona, Spain by St. Anthony Mary Claret, who was canonised by Pope Pius XII on 7th May 1950.
The Claretians have a particular love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in the words of our Founder they are to be “people aflame with the love of God who spread this fire wherever we go“. The whole world is to be their mission field and they are to make themselves “the helping hands of the bishops of the world”.
Today they number some 3,000 and continue the work of their saintly Founder in over sixty countries of the world. They are to be found in many of the poorest and most under-developed parts of the globe. They run parishes, schools and colleges; they serve as university chaplains; they work in radio, television and journalism . . . their work is unlimited.
In England, while their numbers are few, they continue their ministry working in Hayes (Middlesex); Leyton (East London) and Buckden (Cambridgeshire), where they also run a Retreat House and Conference Centre.
In 1969 they undertook the responsibility, together with American Claretians, for a large territory in Guatemala, Central America. British Claretians continued with this work until 1996. Now there are Guatemalan Claretians to carry on and the Mission is thriving, a tribute to the priests and people from the UK who worked there, and to the spiritual and temporal support they received from parishioners and friends in Claretian parishes in England.
The Claretians pray for, and encourage you to do likewise – that more young men will answer the call and follow in the footsteps of St. Anthony Mary Claret to “spread the fire of Divine Love wherever they go“.
You can find more about the Claretians worldwide on: www.claret.org