The Superior at the University College in Barcelona proposed Mother Félix some reforms in order to make the residence more attractive to the residents and to young people form the Marian Congregation. Mother Félix answers her letter addressing the center of the issue: the true concerns in the hearts of young women.
Madrid, 7 – 10 – 1953
Very beloved Mother:
In the early days of the Residence and the Congregation of university students we thought that some “attractions” such as tennis and other entertainment, would increase the number of Congregants and, consequently, we repaired the tennis court. Well, only a few of the residents with very little enthusiasm ever used the court. We thought that, since only a few players could intervene in this game at the same time, it would be better to install a basketball court, and we did, obtaining the same result.
Our university students are girls who have a great deal of work and at the same time two concerns: an intellectual one about the TRUTH, that is, God, and they do not know that that is restlessness of Him; and another, an emotional one, about the destiny that they will give their hearts.
If you give them a good library, classes and teachers, these will fill one of their needs. You will help them to fulfill their obligation and they will accept your offer the more efficiently it results to them. Likewise, they will accept, while making it compatible with their occupations; conferences and courses that will help them discover the TRUTH that concerns them. Moreover, since the majority of them, thank God, already possess glimpses of that Truth, they will accept with pleasure any act that entails an adoration and an allegiance to God Our Lord.
They will also attend those activities that will somehow quench their emotional thirst, accepting visits to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. as long as those do not deprive them of their study, because their obligations are naturally hierarchized, as is anything that comes from God.
The rest, those “attractions”, do not fill any need in them,
unless you add the male component, in which case their affective interests will drive them strongly, without a doubt. However, since sometimes the devil takes part in these matters, the terms might be upset and their obligations might drop from the top of the hierarchy. Now, if you clearly see the success in the installation of these attractions, you will not find any opposition on my part.
Nevertheless, if you are not sure, but believe there might be a likely benefit, you could start by taking advantage of what you have already or start working on projects that involve little spending. Anyway, I leave it to your good judgment and discretion.
Whatever solution you choose, do not lose sight of the fact that private conversations showing - and feeling - interest in their problems
problems and their things and showing them love and the desire for their good is the greatest attraction for young people, and it is what they really need. Prayer, which works miracles, self-denial and setting an example, are also infallible attractions.
Together with these spiritual elements, we can add the natural ones, and here is where we can include the courses, the charity works and as any other means you deem effective.
Do not let the Congregation die. It should not die having 30 to 40 residents at home. Have you thought about what it means to have 30 or 40 young people in your home some hours a day? It is a field where you can reap many fruits for the greater glory of God.
Turn the light on them, even if you can only achieve it with 2 or 3, and they will subsequently turn the light on their colleagues. Give them clear, determined, solid objectives in accordance to their youthful needs and you will see how the grace of God helps with that contribution of human character, blessing your efforts and sacrifice; because, yes, there will be effort and sacrifice and bitterness and humiliation if it is to produce the fruit we desire.
Do not let the Marian Congregation lose. This Congregation will never be of quantity: it must be a congregation of quality. Put this idea inside the Congregants. Quality because of the category of our Congregants from the intellectual perspective and, by God’s desires and our inclinations, quality from the spiritual perspective, because of their soulfulness.
For now nothing more. I think I answered your letter. Pray for me.
Yours in Jesus and Mary.
María Félix, C.S.
(General Archive of the Company of the Savior - E 30,074)