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1871 Valladolid, early December (by Teresa Zugazabeitia, fi)

December 5, 2017

It is already cold. Without intending to, I am surprised by the conversation of two Jesuits who are very concerned about the well-being and conduct of the Society [of Jesus]. They are already suffering enough from the political ups and downs: they are dispersed without being able to live in community. And on top of it all, that young man who came from León. I do not know what is going on between him and these four young women.
   – …you are right. 
He has hired a stagecoach and they leave on the 6th, after lunch.
– For Zamora?
– Yes, but in passing; they will spend the night there. Because on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, they want to be in Salamanca. I dont know. This Herranz … is going with four young women: three from here and another, Basque, I think; she is the one that leads the lot. They are intending to make a foundation of nuns …
   – Come on! 
What goes with Herranz? These young people … And does the Provincial know?
   – I do not know. Since we are dispersed because of the revolution, he is in his brother’s house and hears confessions in the church of Rosarillo. After how well he was doing in León… he was even Socius to the Provincial.
– And minister and consultant of Colegio Máximo.
– You well know that he has always had a very apostolic spirit. He was already a lawyer when he entered the Society. He is very concerned with the way things are taking place … not even the Catechism is allowed in schools. And he knows well the value of education. Look at us … Suppressed! Fortunately, we can continue to do good to our neighbors, even if we are dispersed, without a community. Each one surviving as he can.
– Ah! And in that church he must have known the Basque.
– No. That young woman is a servant in the house of the Sabater family who are very close friends of José, Herranz’s brother. And she confesses to him, as you say, in the Rosarillo.
What is he getting into … I do not know what the Provincial will say; besides, it is not our way of proceeding. Because our Fr. Ignatius did not want the Jesuits to mess around with nuns’ foundations …
– And why are they going to Salamanca?
– That’s another one. Do you know Bombardó? Well, he is a close friend of Herranz. He is in Salamanca because he has a very good relationship with the Bishop, Lluch y Garriga. Note that he has entrusted him with nothing less than the Seminary, the apple of his eye. Of course, both are Catalans … Another coincidence that will be used for the confounded foundation.
– This Herranz worries me. He is a man of God, effective, worth a lot. But,
he has been a priest for just nine years in the Company. Who is going to stop him?
A servant girl as a Foundress! And the others, what about them? Few in number … and in quality, even worse! Well, they say that one is a teacher … but the others?
– Well, he has taken it very seriously: since he is a friend of the Sabater family, he has managed to free Juana Josefa, the Gipuzkoan, from domestic chores, and he teaches her every day. He is teaching her to read and write.
– Don’t tell me! And … with a young woman like that, he is going to found a Congregation dedicated to the education of women? Through teaching? Oh my God! What things do we still have to see? And the Provincial does not say anything?
– Well, what a coincidence. As some of us are here and others there with this confounded revolution, perhaps he has not even heard about it. After how well he was doing in León, he had to come to Valladolid. It was also quite a coincidence that he should meet with these who were going to be nuns.

To be continue…