REV. JULIAN COLLELL, Founder of the Cordi-Marian Missionaries
Father Julián Collell y Guix was born on December 4, 1868 in Santa María de Corcó, in the Province of Barcelona and Diocese of Vic. He entered the San José School in the city of Vic. There he studied Humanities and his higher studies with remarkable use.
He entered the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 5, 1885, he made his religious profession on January 26, 1887 and five years later, on December 17, 1892 and in the city of Victoria, he received the priestly ordination.
After practicing in Spain for 10 years the positions and ministries of coadjutor and professor, in Aragón; Minister in Selva del Campo and Grace and Preacher in Sabadell, was assigned to Mexico on November 26, 1902, to join the community of Jesus Maria, in the capital of the Republic. In October 1906 he was assigned to the city of Puebla.
His delicate health did not allow him to dedicate himself to the missions, which was the main ministry attended by the Fathers of the Province, but he devoted himself with such perseverance and fervor to the teaching of the catechism, which, on his death,
was said to have been the other Congregation that would have cultivated this apostolate in equal proportions. With his zeal and self-denial he managed to communicate such a life to the work of the Catechism, directed by him, that a large number of children came daily to receive the Blessed Sacrament, duly prepared. He was not satisfied with attending to the children who attended the temple; He also went in search of those who lived abandoned in the suburbs of the city, reaching his apostolic request to neighboring towns.
And that concern was what gave rise to the founding of the Cordimarian Missionaries, which was the great work of Fr. Collell and of Mother Carmen Serrano y Rugama, who had so much glory to give to the Heart of our Mother and our Mexican Province.
His character was somewhat dry, iron and untamable, intrepid and tenacious, very passionate for his deep piety, love for Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity knew no limits and his ideal was to reproduce in himself the portrait of the Missionary as drawn by Saint Anthony Mary Claret. In spite of his sickly organism, he was also very vigorous and had declared war against idleness and lukewarmness.
He entered the Father’s house on May 26, 1937 in Toluca, State of Mexico
MOTHER CARMEN SERRANO, Foundress of the Congregation.
Our Foundress, Mother Carmen Serrano y Rugama was born in Puebla de los Angeles Mexico, on November 8, 1875. There, being a catechist in the Lord of the Works temple, she went to the most remote neighborhoods to look for children so that none of them would stay without knowing the Love of God. In one of those tours, a Corpus Christi Thursday in 1913, upon entering the chapel of the San Matías neighborhood to pray in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, she received the inspiration to found a Congregation of Catechist Missionaries that went all over the world to announce the Good News of Jesus.
Carmelita, as we affectionately call her, was a simple, humble woman, worker of a deep prayer in which she talked with God “face to face”, as she said, as a child she had a special gift to communicate with Him as a daughter with his Father, prayer was her support throughout her life. It was marked with the sign of the cross that from childhood he carried with gusto for love of Jesus. She had the ability to listen in her heart to the desire of God and of the Heart of Mary, making her more sensitive, close and attentive to the needs of society. Her physical health was not very good, but this did not stop her from giving up her life and being at the service of others, she lived an unlimited confidence that kept her happy in the midst of pain. It reflected a tender and motherly love in her dealings with the sisters. She wanted and was a missionary and mother of missionaries who would perpetuate in the Church, after her death, her longing for apostolate. She gave her spirit to God on August 16, 1961 in Mexico City.
MOTHER MARÍA DEL CONSUELO GAYÓN AND SOLÓRZANO, First General Superior
María del Consuelo Gayón y Solórzano was born in Mexico City on January 11, 1895.
In the month of October of 1920, she entered the house of the Countess with six other young ladies, starting from that moment on a life of work and prayer. In the absence of Miss Carmen Serrano, she remains at the head of the nascent Congregation. In January 1921, when the founder joined the community, she was given the position of superior.
She started the novitiate in September 1922 and in August 1923, being a novice, she was named again superior. On March 25, 1924, she made her first vows, and in February 1925 the small Congregation began its long pilgrimage where M. Consuelo would be the captain of the Cordimarian ship for the next 27 years, for which God had endowed her great qualities and virtues: enlightened piety, prudence and discretion to all test, energy and softness, firmness of character, humility without opaqueness, total dedication to the Cordimarian Obrite with a great apostolic zeal; an unlimited trust in God and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
As a teacher of novices, she was a true mother, tender and loving, who taught her formalists to put their eyes and heart on Him whom she loved and devoted all her life. Once the Congregation was placed in her hands, as Superior General, she knocked on doors and fought by all means to bring the Cordi-Marian Obrite to the mainland.