a claretian in seattle

i share my formal claretian letter to our superior general requesting to continue to live in seattle to help my mother. i believe the request will be valid for up to three years.


Father General Matthew Vattamattam, CMF


Curia Generalizia

Via del Sacro Cuore di Maria, 5

Rome,  00197   ITALY

Dear Fr. General,

I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to lead, guide, and inspire you and your ministry to our Congregation and People of God.  I ask permission through this formal letter to extend my current status of exclaustration as a Claretian Missionary.  

My mother, God willing, will be 99 years old next month and continues to need my daily, ongoing help.  My present intention is to extend the permission that you had granted me to live outside of the community to attend to her needs.  My ongoing intention is to live as a Claretian priest and return to the community once my time in Seattle, Washington comes to an end.

In these almost four years, I have learned that we truly live by the grace of God.  I am not naturally gifted to be a caregiver; my impatience and selfishness hinder my service to my mother.  But these four years have also taught me to see things from the perspective of a 98-year-old woman who is dependent on others to live.  In the U.S., our elderly brothers and sisters are too often categorized as part of what Pope Francis has described as our “throwaway culture”.  In our call to be with the people on the margins, I am being formed in a unique way with my time with my elderly mother.  

I will forever be in solidarity and an advocate for the elderly in future ministries

I believe that the Spirit will also use this insight from my lived experience to help me be a better Son of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the future.  Despite my countless failings in the various tasks of care giving, I believe that I am becoming a more compassionate person, Claretian, and priest.

Thank you for considering this formal request to live outside the community.

May the Lord bless and keep you Father General!  May you continue to lead us to the call of the Spirit to be ministers of God’s wondrous love– rooted in Christ and Audacious in Mission.  Through the intercession of Mary, St. Anthony, and the Claretian Martyrs, may we all spread the flames of that love wherever we go.

May this Holy Week bring you and the Congregation grace upon grace!

Sincerely in Mary’s Heart,

Arthur Gramaje C.M.F.

April 10, 2022    Passion Sunday

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