Trinitarian Family on the way (I): Something new is being born

“The great Trinitarian Family keeps the Trinitarian charism alive and current!” (Saint John Paul II, 7/4/1988). "Together, towards the future faithful to the charism, is how the Church wants us!" (Fr. José Gamarra, Salamanca, 08/31/1986).

The Trinitarian Family from Majadahonda (Madrid) 1986 to the present day, follows a path of luminous signals generating enthusiasm around the Trinitarian Charism. We begin these lines with a grateful memory for all the brothers and sisters (religious, nuns, sisters, lay people, confreres, volunteers and young Trinitarians) that throughout these years have made and make the journey possible, with an exciting motto: “We are family".

Saint John the Baptist of the Conception writes that we are chosen vessels to carry throughout the world the sublime and adorable name of the Most Holy Trinity (Complete Works, Volume III, 10). And in his writings, we also read that at the beginning of our Trinitarian Order the Spirit that was communicated was from heaven, and it was fire that burned our Fathers and set their hearts on fire in a charity so great that it led them to exercise themselves in wonderful works of charity. (Holy Reformer, Complete Works, III, 942).


After the the Second Vatican Council, the Order and the Trinitarian Religious Institutes quickly set out to update their own Constitutions, and this task had to be done with the participation of all, in a synodal manner. After the time of the ad experimentum Legislation, by 1986 the Order of Religious and Nuns, as well as the other Institutes of Trinitarian Sisters of Valence, Rome, Mallorca, Valencia and Madrid had approved the new Constitutions. It is worth pointing out a detail that facilitated the journey as a Trinitarian Family: all the new Constitutions after Vatican II, at their root, refer to the Rule of Saint John of Mata, Trinity and Redemption are the two common poles for all.

In order to facilitate the itinerary in view of the Inter-Trinitarian Assembly of 2023, we will make use of the Inter-Trinitarian Assemblies held ordinarily every six years. Arriving at the First Inter-Trinitarian Assembly in 1986 has meant a journey and previous commitment for years.

On the occasion of the First Centenary of the Restoration in Spain (1979), in September-October, the General Congregation was held in Pozuelo (Madrid). We point out a historical fact, because for the first time the General Mothers of the Trinitarian Institutes were invited to a General Congregation of the Order. From then on, the spirit of the Family grew visibly so much that a Trinitarian Formation Plan for the Family was carried out in Spain for a few years. An important Congress on the Redemptor Apostolate was held in Rocca di Papa, from September 26 to October 5, 1982, it was a Congress open to the participation of the Trinitarian Feminine Institutes and the Trinitarian Laity. Taking advantage of the beatification of Father Domingo Iturrate, the Congressus Familiae Trinitariae was held at the General Curia of the Order in Rome, October-November 1983. From this moment on, the Minister General of the Order, Fr. José Gamarra, would have to prepare the ground for a First Inter-Trinitarian Assembly.


It is evident that the family spirit has known a vigorous impulse in the different branches of the Trinitarian family in the post-Council period. From the beginning, there was a perceived need to return to our roots and to discover together the common challenges of the charism in spirituality, fraternity, apostolate, vocations, formation....

One challenge appeared immediately as the most urgent: the promotion of the Laity as an integral and essential part of the Trinitarian Family. The religious, the nuns and the sister had been brought up to date with regard to the Legislation requested by the Church, but the laity needed help. The formative themes (historical, biblical, theological, pastoral, human-spiritual, liturgical, economic, canonical aspects, aspects of our spirit and charism) and the Questionnaire, sent in four languages to the whole Family, with the free participation of all to prepare and hold the First Inter-Trinitarian Assembly, provided abundant light and generated much enthusiasm.

A good atmosphere and willingness to collaborate and share had been achieved. The important training topics with questions for reflection and the Questionnaire were open to everyone in the Family, in a synodal way. There was an admirable response from the Religious, the Nuns, the Institutes of the Trinitarian and Oblate Sisters, and the Laity Associations. The results of the Questionnaire revealed a strong desire to discover the Trinitarian spirituality together, then came the other important topics on fraternity, vocations and formation, the apostolate (persecuted Christians, prisons, shelters, educational centers, marginalized youth, hospitals, missions, parishes), and special attention to the Trinitarian Laity.


Related to Majadahonda, allow us an affectionate and grateful memory of Fr. José Gamarra Mayor, Minister General at the time (he died in the odor of sanctity in 2012), who encouraged and promoted the process of revitalizing the Trinitarian Family spirit, and with him to the Federal President of the Nuns (Mother Immaculate Melado); to the Mothers General of the Institutes of Valence (Mother Reine Marie Planchon), Seville (Mother Pilar Ormad), Rome (Mother Santina Villella), Mallorca (Mother María Camps), Madrid (Mother Celina Marcos) and Valencia (Mother María Nieves Pérez ); to the President of the Secular Institute “Oblatas de la Santísima Trinidad” (Maria Caldato) and to the Representatives of the Lay Trinitarians (Nicola Calbi and Arsenia Conde) who supported and committed themselves to the idea of celebrating the First Inter-Trinitarian Assembly with the motto: “ We are family". The Second Vatican Council promoting a process of "aggiornamento" of the Spiritual Families has allowed us to reach this exciting moment.

It was decided to make three equal parts (religious, sister and laity) for those 150 expected participants. And prevailed the criteria of giving a proportionate time for each of the many arguments presented in such a way that the listening of each of the branches of the Trinitarian family prevailed. A special time was dedicated to the topic of Trinitarian spirituality, which was the most suggested in the Questionnaire, and it was in charge of Fr. Ignacio Vizcargüénaga. The theme of the Persecuted for the faith was presented by Fr. Jean Paul Regimbal and was the subject of a special prayer led by Fr. Quirin Leeuw with the background motif of the Rescued Jesus of Nazareth present on the Mount of Crosses, symbol of the religious persecution in Lithuania.

In the Family Declaration of Majadahonda 1986, the modern foundations are laid for the process to follow as a Trinitarian Family, which rediscovers the "joy of being and feeling family." Here are the most significant common luminous signs: peculiar consecration to the Redeemer Trinity, source, model and goal of redemptive service and merciful service; Charismatic project sprouting from common roots in the merciful redemptive mission; Shared spirituality with diversity of nuances and own style of life; Family united by the gift of a common Mother, Mary, "mistress of listening", example on the path of redemption and guide towards the Trinity.

Some operational proposals of the Assembly

In this Assembly, significant proposals emerged for the journey: Related to the future Life Project of the Trinitarian Laity, according to the Canon Law of 1983, it is requested that for the time being some Essential Lines are achieved in which the groups that wish to call themselves and be Trinitarians can be recognized. While this is being done, the Assembly wishes that the particular Statutes continue to be elaborated, according to the diverse conditions and local or regional situations. In addition, the Assembly requests that "the Trinitarian Secular Order be revalued and revitalized (O.S.T.)”.

The Assembly, in order to grow in the spirit of "We are Family", affirms that "the creation of a Permanent Council of the Trinitarian Family is seen as opportune", that is, to create an Organism, within the Family (the COPEFAT), "in the that representatives of the same family participate. Said Council, with a minimum of operative structures, will begin to enter into dialogue with the whole family, and to promote in it communion, participation and the mission proper to our Trinitarian-Redeemer charism.

Some invitations from the Assembly

Collaborate in "possible common Foundations in the service of redemption"; Collaborate to design a development program valid for all, with fundamental theological lines, according to the Trinitarian charism; In this Assembly it is also desired “that a Council of Laity be reached at each of the levels: international, national and local”.

Special attention to current slavery

Among the challenges of the moment, the Assembly highlights one "that challenges the Trinitarian Family": poverty and marginalization in the third world. It also urges that "very special attention be given to today's youth, threatened by many forms of slavery”.

In this 1986 Assembly, special attention has been given to moments of prayer, the Eucharist, times of reflection and study, group work and the community atmosphere.

The Assembly closed in Salamanca in front of the relics of San Juan de Mata. There, the superiors, together with some representatives of the laity, signed the so-called “Madrid declaration on the Trinitarian Family” (31-VIII-1986), a driving force and reference point for the new family spirit. This Declaration of Madrid concludes with the following words addressed to the entire Trinitarian Family: “In a world that suffers persecution and oppression due to new and old slavery, hit in its fundamental values of justice, we want to embrace the desire for liberation, to be bearers of joy, signs of communion and witnesses of a new hope in the light and in the love of the Trinity”.

P. Isidoro Murciego