CPalau realised that his work could not remain confined to the islands. He encountered various obstacles. One was too much dependence on the prelate. -Already mentioned. Another, no less important, was the attitude of the islanders, who were overtaken by things outside their borders. .... In Palau's phrase: the great alarms and frightens them. Finally, the insistence on intensifying the contemplative life of the community. To the point of renouncing all forms of activity.
In conclusion, Palau initiated the women's foundation of Vallcarca, 1862. He wanted it and planned it as an alternative to that of Ciudadela, yes, because he took into account the requirements of the national laws in force. He also took into account the apostolic horizons that he considered indispensable. If Joan remained in the initial position, he could not count on her. Palau had no intention of repeating his failures. Reflections and decisions are to be applied to life, aren't they?
Its first rules delimited the double field of teaching and health care. The bishop of Ciudadela approved the project. The St. Teresa of Jesus School was opened in the city. Without delay. And other charitable works, designed by Father Palau, were planned. There was an internal conflict with Teresa Jornet, which was a pity! As the problem increased, Juana left Ciudadela in 1864. And the community's stay in Menorca ended on the same date. -That is to say, it remained from 1861 to 1864.
Vallcarca was the first women's community on the peninsula. The land - Francisco's property - was part of his family estate. With a good eye, he hastened to overcome the interim of Ciudadela. He arranged the possessions of Vallcarca, according to his plans, of course! And he placed his daughters' home next to the Brothers' house. Els penitents or Sta. Cruz was their home. Today, the name of the area is interesting to say the least, isn't it?
The foundation was carried out with great diligence. By the middle of the same year it was up and running. It was a pioneering foundation in the direction outlined by Palau. For this reason, it was a model for those that were to follow. Not a few. Yes, yes. He saw the Sta. Cruz complex as the centre and matrix of his foundational work.
With the creation of the women's teacher training college in Barcelona, the Founder's intention was strengthened, and he directed his efforts towards the proper training of the Sisters. Palau continued on the frontier, admirable! Education was an urgency demanded by society. Soon, the Sisters would throw themselves into it. To other services of apostolic action, too.
Es Cubells had previously received another request for a foundation. The Brothers' community life was being consolidated there. The project did not come to fruition. Father Palau could not accept it, despite the protection offered him by the authorities. It was about the ambitious evangelisation project - already outlined - in direct relation to his missionary campaigns. And in accordance with the pressing needs of the country: health care and education.
We rewind. It was conceived as a double centre in the capital. From there, some of the sisters would spread their pastoral work to specific parts of the island. A vast and ambitious project. It ran up against a lot of interference. In particular, that of the rector of the Ibizan seminary, a considerable mistake! From collaborator to dissident. Admittedly, the documentation on the matter is limited to isolated data. Taken from Palau's correspondence. Which does not allow for an exhaustive knowledge of the approach. Small groups and isolated individuals carried out charitable work. Among them were the Sisters Evidente! From 1866 onwards, all trace of them disappeared from the island.
This painful failure in Ibiza, a land steeped in Palautianism, had excellent compensation elsewhere. Francis' missions in Upper Aragon in 1864. They opened the doors to new presences. Breaking the grid of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands was a providential decision for the female family of Fracisco Palau. No doubt about it!
Our Founder always handled discernment with precision. He thought and prayed what he thought. In this way, he then acted correctly. And if he made a mistake, he prayed about it again. In this way he acted on the new step taken. Life interwoven by prayer. Through discernment, too. A singular point of reference for all of us. Her children.