Publication of “Fernando Rielo: a three-voice dialogue” French translation

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Last March was published the French edition of the work Fernando Rielo: un diálogo a tres voces with the title Fernando Rielo: Un dialogue à trois voix. Entretiens avec Marie-Lise Gazarian. The publishing house is Saint-Léger Editions and the translation has been done by the team of the Idente School of France.

The book is prologued by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, archbishop emeritus of Paris, who states in the book that in Marie-Lise Gazarian’s conversation with Fernando Rielo one discovers “a spirituality of high flight, a humanism of great culture and an original philosopher. Fernando Rielo is all that at once, besides being the founder, in 1959, of the Id Institute”. The Cardinal’s words reflect not only an understanding of the breadth of Fernando Rielo’s figure but also of the scope of his life and thought.

In this sense, he affirms that although Rielo is heir to the great mystics of the Spanish Golden Age, of the language of Cervantes or of the passion of the Spanish poets and thinkers of the 20th Century, “the richness of this deeply Catholic personality defies all classification and could no longer remain inaccessible to the French-speaking reader”.

After inviting the reader to savor his mystical poetry and to discover his deep metaphysical thought, Cardinal Vingt-Trois ends his gloss by underlining the essence of Fernando Rielo’s charism: “We can only hope that this “three-voice dialogue” will be for the reader an invitation to maintain an ever more intimate relationship with the divine Persons and to follow the call to holiness received from the Father by the young Fernando on his 16th birthday, a call that would resonate universally in the heart of the Second Vatican Council a few years later”.


March 30th is the deadline for the VIII Fernando Rielo International Prize for Sacred Music

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The deadline for submitting works for the VIII Fernando Rielo International Prize for Sacred Music ends on 30 March. The prize, worth €5,000, is aimed at composers from any country, with no age limit. The score must be original, unpublished, never presented in another competition or performed in public and lasting between 10 and 15 minutes. The text to be set to music is The Beatitudes.

The works submitted for the prize must be written for mixed choir and chamber orchestra, with a minimum string orchestra team: 5 violins I, 4 violins II, 3 violas, 2 violoncellos and 1 double bass. The following can be freely added to the orchestra: 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 horn, 1 trumpet and 1 trombone.

This competition, created by Fernando Rielo, aims to promote contemporary sacred music by inviting composers to express their deep spiritual experience or the need to live the transcendence that human beings possess. This language is a manifest expression of man’s intimate relationship with the Supreme Being.
This Prize is not limited to the liturgical music of a particular creed. It is addressed to the composer who experiences musical expression from his inner silence, from which flows -attracted by transcendence- his own language.

The Jury, made up of musicians of recognised national and international prestige, can choose up to four finalist works to be premiered in a concert, after which the winner is proclaimed. It may award special mentions to the other finalists or declare it void.
More information can be obtained at: + 34 91 575 40 91.

Antonio Martín de las Mulas from Spain wins the 38th Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry

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With the poetry book Viernes Santo (Good Friday), Antonio Martín de las Mulas Baeza (Madrid, Spain, 1977) has won the XXXVIII Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry, awarded on December 13 in New York, at the Instituto Cervantes. The prize is € 7,000, publication of the work and a commemorative medal. The Laureate is a lawyer by profession. As poet he has received several recognitions and his poems have been published in some literary magazines and anthologies.

Of the work Viernes Santo the jury has said that the voice of the poetic I expressed in its verses is the voice of Jesus in Golgotha, that from the heights of the cross, regards with unique vision the littleness of the poet, transformed now in the lyric you.  From that view the crucified makes his own the situation of humanity, its weaknesses and its fears: “My blood is being poured out throughout the world, my heart dreams you in the eternal city”.  There is a special sensitivity regarding loneliness and human suffering, that the poet assumes out of the total disposition of the crucified one, that is no longer a passive victim, but an omnipotent maker for one who the cross is a throne, unconquerable rock, a saving altar.  It expresses, not without a certain/ apocalyptic bent, a profound theological content full of salvific hope through which Christ brings humanity to the Father:  He will come like a torrent wind in the fields/ like a wind that agitates green crests / opening the entire soul to the intense love of the Father.”

Honorable mention has been granted to the poetic work Desnudando el alma of the Spanish writer Desamparados Escriva.  A work of great beauty and sensitivity proper of an enamoured soul.  It is composed with excellent verses full of expressive recourses that spring forth from the wound of love: “No, it was not I who found Love, / it was He who found me…/ I got lost in that encounter / and I meander lost in its sea.”  The experience of absence and presence is not missing, just as that of the final union: “With You there are moments in which I do not know if I am / I do not know if You are / I only know that we are.”

The other finalists were: Antonio Bocanegra (Cádiz), Miguel Sánchez Robles (Murcia); Adela Guerrero Collazos (Cali); Theresia Maria Bothe (Sicilia, Italia); Pilar Elvira Vallejo (Madrid, España); María del Pilar Galán García (Valladolid, España); Marcelo Galliano (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Fernando Raúl Matiussi (Tucumán, Argentina) and Desamparados Escrivá Vidal (Tarragona, España).

The Jury was composed of: Jesús Fernández Hernández, president of the Fernando Rielo Foundation; José Mª. López Sevillano, literary critic and permanent secretary of the Prize; Annalisa Saccà, poet and professor of Language and Literature at St. John’s University of New York; Hilario Barrero, poet, prose writer, translator and professor at the City University of New York; Marie-Lise Gazarian-Gautier, professor of Spanish and Latinoamerican Literature at St. John’s University of New York, and David G. Murray, literary critic and philologist.

The President of the Fernando Rielo Foundation, Fr. Jesús Fernández Hernández, in his message in the award ceremony recalled the words of Fernando Rielo: “Mystical poetry begins where religious poetry ends. The referent of mystical poetry is a divine personal relationship with the Most Holy Trinity and what in this life can be conceived of a life eternal, familiar, intimate. (…) He also expressed that “mystical poetry, far from any ideology or manipulation, is empowering, inclusive and dialoguing; for that reason, it can cover all the registers and forms of literary expression. Nothing is opposed to the creative freedom of the mystic.”

The event featured a harp concert by the famous María Rosa Calvo-Manzano, which has more than three thousand concerts across five continents and numerous awards, in addition to being a member of several Academies of Fine Arts and World History.

The prize is for unpublished works in Spanish or English and has been awarded in venues such as the UN; the UNESCO; the French Senate and the Roman Campidoglio. Every year, it has the support of a wide Committee of Honor composed of Academicians of Language, History and Moral and Political Sciences, as well as writers, poets, university professors and university rectors.

The ecumenical nature of the prize has made it possible for it to be awarded to poets from different Christian confessions -as a matter of fact in most cases-, but also non-Christian, demonstrating how mystical poetry can unite cultures and religions.

Biographical data of Antonio Martín de las Mulas Baeza (Madrid, 1977)Antonio Martín de las Mulas (Spain, Madrid, 1977) graduated in Law at the Universidad CEU-San Pablo in Madrid, although he had a vocation as a philosopher, a career in which he studied for two years. He devoted himself freely to law with considerable success for nearly fifteen years until 2015 when he decided to move to Medellín (Colombia) and dedicate himself, as a father of a family, to missionary life. He is a catechist for children in one of the most underprivileged neighborhoods of the town of Bello, and is also part of the group “Queen of Peace” of Medellín, linked to the Catholic spirituality of Medjugorje. As a poet, he has received several recognitions, including the first prize in the XII Rodrigo Caro Poetry Contest in 2003. His poems have been published in various literary journals and anthologies.

Fragments of the poetry book Viernes Santo

Oigo vuestras respiraciones,

estáis aquí conmigo respirando

en los huecos eternos de los aires,

las almas de los siglos y las noches sin dormir,

las largas descendencias asumidas,

estáis aquí conmigo


Hoy muero por vosotros de esta forma,

atravesados somos,

también en esta altura de las respiraciones.

Esta es la respiración del Hijo del Hombre,

mi respiración de muerte en este campo abierto,

mi forma de vivir

en este cuarto lúgubre del mundo,

en esta vida

cuando uno llega a lo alto de la Calavera,

y ve;

cuando uno llega, expuesto al sol, erguido

en una cruz

sobre el monte interior de vuestras vidas

y ve,

y ve


Hoy contemplo tus párpados vencidos,

su desplomarse solos ante el golpe del mundo,

su visión recogida

contra las grandes puertas de la noche.

Contemplo que has perdido las ganas de vivir,

que te comen por dentro

esos viejos abismos de un silencio cerrado.

Yo sé que no le ves una salida a todo esto,

que te desplomas pronto, que tus fuerzas

se disuelven humanas como el humo de un fuego

que asciende por la altura.

Alienta pequeñuelo, toma mi mano, y tenme,

ten coraje en el vilo de las grandes caídas.

Estoy en el martirio de los hombres, donde llevo

la piel sacada a tiras por tu desolación.

Quiero injertar tu vida en la esperanza

de un mañana infalible entre mis brazos.

Mírame,… no desfallezcas, hijo,

Yo estoy contigo,

creo en ti

Parish of San Pedro and San Pablo in Soa: patronal feast with baptisms and first communions of university students

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As every year, the month of June has been for the San Pedro and San Pablo de Soa University Parish (Cameroon), a great celebration to celebrate its patron saints with liturgical, cultural and sporting events. It all began with the Open Day, held on June 2 and, the next day, Sunday, with the Baptisms and First Communions of our young people. The Day is a way to close the school year, celebrating the patrons of the parish, San Pedro and San Pablo, as well as making ourselves known to many young people and friends of our students, with a program of sports competitions, artistic performances and a Lunch with typical Cameroonian meals made by themselves. All this also serves as a tribute to the new baptized.

The new catechumens were the protagonists, the next day, Corpus Christi, of an emotional Holy Mass and Procession with floral carpet.

On June 24, the Confirmations of the second year students of the Catechesis took place and were received by the Archbishop of the Diocese, Monsignor Jean Mbarga.
As a finishing touch, like all the sisters and brothers of the Institute, we closed the month with the celebration of the anniversary of our Foundation on June 29 (although for program reasons it was held on Sunday, July 1); In addition to reading the lesson that our President, Father Jesus Fernandez, sent us, we had a pleasant moment of coexistence before saying goodbye. 

I Exhibition of School of Painting of the Idente Monastery of Constantina (Seville)

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The past July 25 was inaugurated the I Exhibition of the School of painting of the Idente Monastery The Victory of San José, in Constantina (Seville), which is in charge of the artist and teacher Carmen Meléndez, member of the Idente Family. This school, which has been based in the monastery for seven years, has already become a benchmark for the beautiful Sierra Norte de Sevilla. The success of this exhibition is guaranteed by the large audience that attended the event and which these days does not stop visiting it. The paintings of the children and adults that make up the school can be found in the auditorium that the Town Hall of the town has for this kind of events.
Congratulations Carmen Meléndez and thank you very much. We know well that at the origin of this project was to fulfill the dream that our Father Founder Fernando Rielo had for our monasteries, as cradles of spirituality, art and culture. That commitment of yours has already borne fruit.

October 15: Deadline for submission to the
 37th Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry

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The deadline for submitting works to the 37th Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry is October 15, feast of St. Teresa of Jesus. The Prize is organized yearly by the Fernando Rielo Foundation ( Here below is an excerpt of the Rules, that can be downloaded in full from the Foundation’s website:

Characteristics: The poetic works presented for the Prize should be unpublished, written in Spanish or English, or translated into one of these two languages, and their length should be no less than 600 lines and no more than 1,300.

Endowment: 7,000 euros and the publication of the prize-winning work.

Subject-matter: The content will be mystical poetry, that is, the kind of poetry expressing the spiritual values of man in their deep religious significance.

Requirements: Poetic works will be sent by e-mail in a single document in PDF format (no other format will be admitted). The first page must show: the title of the work, the author’s name and surname, full postal address (including town, city, country), email address, and telephone number. Therefore, the use of a double envelope or a pseudonym is prohibited. The address to which the document should be sent is:

Deadline: October 15, 2017.

Jury decision: It will be announced in a solemn ceremony in Rome on December 13, 2017.
For more information, to ask for the rules and to send works, please contact: or at tf: +34 91 575 40 91

”Poetry is the form of a culture that goes through a truly incorruptible spirit; without that condition, it cannot give us the fruit of peace. This cultural function gives us a definition: culture is wisdom that raises the intuitions of life to a system. Its language is poetry; its fruit, peace. “
Fernando Rielo, UNESCO Headquarters, 1985

Filial Testimonial in Honor of Fr. George F. McLean, O.M.I.

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Fr. Robert Peter Badillo, M.Id

St. John’s University, New York
Parish of Our Lady of Solace—St. Dominic, Bronx, New York

A Bit of Context Prior to Meeting Fr. McLean

Ever since I was a youngster, born of Puerto Rican parents in the South Bronx, I had a precocious fascination for the meaning of human life. To learn from my pious mother and the Dominican Sisters at St. Luke Church about God the Father and the Son and Mother Mary, in preparation for my First Holy Communion furnished me with answers that were intimately confirmed in my spirit: that I was a child of the eternal Father, brother of Jesus Christ, who died for me and nourished me with his very own life in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and a son of Mary my loving Mother, who cared for me, my family and everyone who walked on the earth. At St. James School, experiencing puppy love firsthand when I first beheld youthful Julie by the church schoolyard, I read with delight Dickens’ Great Expectations to the last page wondering whether poor Pip would gain the hand of the so-aloof Estella. Then came Cardinal Hayes High School with Mr. Kroczak, who introduced me to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and world literature, including the Greek tragedies; indeed we read, among others, Oedipus Rex and Antigone, and discoursed about whether she was right or wrong in burying her brother notwithstanding imperial decree.

By the time I went to Fordham University, I was an earnest disciple, a romantic with a tender heart for human tragedy. There as a freshman I chose to study psychology in the hope of accompanying (empathizing with) those without clear meaning in their own lives, equipping myself so that I might help others to perceive and experience the aperture to transcendence. Yet to my consternation, I discovered that the pioneers in psychology, Freud and Watson, to name but two, were atheists, chained within an intellectual cavern and bereft of the passageway that leads to the contemplation of the supernal Light beyond. It was during this time that I met at Fordham Rose Calabretta, a well-traveled graduate of the Jesuit university, who had encountered a new religious institute of consecrated life in Munich, the Idente Missionaries, that was founded in Spain by Father Founder, Fernando Rielo, who proposed a new metaphysical model that sought to provide rational support for Christ’s revelation of the Godhead as constituted by relational persons rather than by the typical philosophical conception of God in terms of an identity-laden conception of the Divinity. In association with members of the Idente Missionaries, there arose in me a vocation to learn the Christian philosophical tradition such that by mid-spring semester of my freshman year, I decided to see the philosophy chairperson, the genteel Fr. Gerald McCool, S.J., and express my desire to be admitted as a philosophy major.

Providential Meeting of Fr. McLean

That same spring semester, on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1974, I professed private vows in the New York residence of the Idente Missionaries in Astoria, Queens, and was subsequently sent by Father Founder, Fernando Rielo, to continue my philosophical studies at The Catholic University of America. At the time I could not have known what wonders Providence had in store for me but this became abundantly clear when Fr. McLean entered the classroom and began to teach. I knew that I was before a consummate master who would lead me to fulfill my stated vocation as a student of philosophy. My eternal Father placed me under the paternal solicitude of my mentor and friend: Reverend Father George McLean, O.M.I., who was to guide me through the labyrinth of Western philosophy and, especially, metaphysics, explicating with the greatest deference the philosophers and their worldviews, discovering at every turn nuggets of truth, goodness and beauty in the immensity of the philosophical landscape, both classical, modern and contemporary.

While completing MA courses at Catholic University, my teaching schedule at a DC multicultural high school for immigrant students, especially from war-torn El Salvador, made it difficult for me to take courses with Fr. McLean such that we were not communicating regularly then. Yet, in prayer, when it came time to write the MA thesis, it became clear: Ite ad Fr. McLean. That same afternoon I boarded a bus to the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, next to the campus of the Catholic University, and as I walked up the winding path to the Shrine, there, at that very moment, Fr. McLean was exiting the doors of the Shrine. We embraced, he with paternal affection and I with filial affection. I confided to him that I wanted to be a metaphysician, that I wanted him to teach me how. He invited me to dinner across the street from the Shrine, to Oblate College where he lived. There he spoke of two possible thesis directions: either to do a critical review of Alexander Mourelatos’ work on Parmenides, the so-called “father of metaphysics,” titled the The Route of Parmenides ; or to do a study on Jacques Maritain’s The Degrees of Knowledge. Without hesitation I opted for the former: to delve into the reasoning of the originator of the Western metaphysical tradition. At the end, even though I was critical of the identity-ridden implications of Mourelatos’ speculative predication, for which Fr. McLean had a more favorable reading, Fr. McLean walked with me and supported my reading with simplicity and meekness of spirit.

Later, after having completed my doctoral studies at The American University, where I adventurously sought new challenges, when it came time for the writing of the dissertation, I again sought the wise counsel of Fr. McLean, and this in the light of the challenges of postmodernist thought. He then introduced me to Jürgen Habermas, a modernist philosopher who championed communicative reason without yielding to the vagaries of irrationalism. For the dissertation, I read Habermas’ ideal speech situation, as reminiscent of a Platonic ideal, whose formal rules for discursive engagement purportedly provided orientation for adjudicating truth and normative claims without appeal to metaphysical groundings. Though Fr. McLean urged me to then make the move to show how the formality of the ideal speech situation can be harnessed in terms of the classical metaphysical One and the transcendental properties of Being, I went, rather, in the direction of Fernando Rielo’s Binitarian notion of the metaphysical One, as consisting at the metaphysical level of two personal and hence dialogical beings who would de facto be the existing realization of the exigencies of the ideal speech situation and its demand for transparency and equanimity. Indeed, Fr. McLean supported this critical approach to Habermas and encouraged me to read the writings of Kenneth Schmitz who most incisively indicated the philosophical relevance of the study of the Christian Trinity: “[the] disclosure into the inherent ‘sociality’ of the divine life has not yet been cultivated in philosophy to the degree that it needs to be done.” Later he asked that I read Habermas in the light of St. Thomas’ transcendental properties of Being, which gave way to a book which he published under the title of The Emancipative Theory of Habermas and Metaphysics, i.e., for the purposes of this work, Thomistic metaphysics.

Fr. McLean’s raison d’être

Then, in October 12, 1991, Fr. George McLean, while in Budapest, happened to meet late that night Fr. Jesús Fernández Hernández, Apostolic President of the Idente Missionaries; and María del Carmen García, General Superior of the sisters’ branch of the Idente Missionaries, whom I had previously introduced to him. There, in a residence for visiting professors, they discussed possible avenues of collaboration. The next morning, before his early departure, he wrote a manuscript letter dated October 13, 1991, addressed to Prof. Jesús Fernández and Prof. María Carmen, the body of which I transcribe below in its entirety for it reveals the raison d’être of this man of God with a universal heart.

It was a great pleasure to meet you last evening and to find that Providence is guiding us along the same paths: I hope and pray that your work will be of great success in bringing the spirit of Christ and the Holy Trinity to new life in Eastern Europe.

In trying to discern God’s plan in bringing us together, it occurs to me that it is probably related to Dr. Badillo. As I mentioned, I consider him my prime continuation in metaphysics especially as it is a spiritual mission. At present I am getting older and wonder about God’s plan for the work I have been doing. It has always seemed to be that of a catalyst to bring to life the Spirit in the work of philosophers. Now it appears more complex, to take a longer time than my life, which raises the question of how it might be continued as part of a broader project such as yours.

All of which brought to mind during the night that I might suggest/request/invite you to have Robert Badillo work with me in Washington for some years as an alter ego doing everything I do, learning everything I know, meeting everyone I meet so that he might link our efforts and put our contacts and teams and works at each other’s disposition.

I do not see this as simple repetition as my efforts have been to serve as a catalyst to raise the issues and stimulate the efforts through which the Spirit might come more to the consciousness of philosophers and their cultures in our times. It might be called the evangelization of culture or being at the service of Christ as He works in the history of people in their pilgrimage toward Him. My sense is that this is coherent with the concerns of the Idente School, though without the proximate goal of uniting Christians or being formally Church; but rather with the sense that all are moving toward Christ in their many modes and through their many crucifixions, that Christ is working in their history and thus that there is much to be done to promote the emergence of the image of Christ, not only in the baptized but in all and entire peoples as their cultures evolve and as they structure and implement their social and community and personal lives now, and not just at some future time, and doing this at the level of the fundamental reflection on being at the level of metaphysics.

Please do take this suggestion/request/invitation into your prayerful concerns and considerations. I will be in Washington from December 18th and can be contacted via my address there at any time.

With all of God’s blessings in your work,

George F. McLean

This masterful piece of literature, written in the very early hours before his departure from the residence, provide insight into the spiritual depths that moved this charismatic master who lived to foster the plenitude of truth and goodness and beauty in all of God’s children. In the next section I will provide a concrete direction in which his concerns may be approached.

Suffice it here to say that with respect to working with Fr. McLean, the Father Founder, Fernando Rielo, in late October of 1991, directed me to relocate from Philadelphia, where I was teaching at the time at Villanova University, to Washington to work with Fr. McLean while completing my theological studies for priestly ordination at the Oblate College. By January 1992 I was in Washington, where Fr. McLean, retired from teaching at the philosophate at Oblate College, recommended to the authorities there that I teach, in his stead, his courses in Metaphysics and Natural Theology, while completing the Master of Divinity for priestly ordination. But two years later, in November 1994, the Idente Missionaries received the care of their first parish for the Archdiocese of New York, Santa Maria, formerly an Italian national church in the Bronx. Fr. Fernando Real, an Idente Missionary, was assigned as pastor, and my superiors indicated that I was to leave Washington in order to prepare for priestly ordination with a view toward assisting Fr Real. With heavy heart I departed from Fr. McLean, who, of course, wholeheartedly acquiesced to the will of the superiors. Arriving in New York in January 1995, a few months later, on the occasion of my ordination to the diaconate on April 8, 1995, I asked Fr. McLean to come to Santa Maria Church so that he could perform the ceremony of investiture at which he would help me vest with the dalmatic of the deacon before His Excellency Patrick Sheridan, Auxiliary Bishop of New York. There are no words to describe the ineffable reverence and veneration that I bore this holy priest and spiritual father.

Promising New Directions

During the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, Fr. McLean and I met in Rome where we both participated, with others of his collaborators, including Juan Carlos Scannone, Kenneth Schmitz, Hugo Meynell, Tran Van Doan, William Sweet, and Oliva Blanchette in the Metaphysics for the Third Millennium Conference, organized by the Idente School as part of the official Vatican events celebrating the stated Jubilee. There Fr. McLean, a plenary speaker, presented a seminal paper titled “Metaphysics and Culture: the Bridge to Religion,” in which, among other insightful directions, he articulated, especially to Christian philosophers in view of their religious sensitivity, the need for more work on two fundamental areas of concern, viz.: first, reflection on a God who, in contradistinction to the Aristotelian Prime Mover, indeed “does know and love us”; and, second, reflection on human persons in view of their sacredness as constituted in relation to God and others. These two areas, as further understood as a function of the letter above in which he discloses his vision of the peoples of the world permeated by a divine presence that orients cultures and their varied expressions in the direction of a unifying summit of fraternity, demands serious reflection, and, I believe, should animate future studies furthering his worldwide project consisting of both symposia and publications. His integrating and non-reductive vision, endeavors to unite all the peoples of the world with a common supernal origin/destiny and sacred nature.

Please allow me to provide some indices of how Fr. McLean’s concerns can be addressed. I previously examined these same concerns succinctly in a paper titled “McLean’s Millennial Vision in the Light of Rielo’s Genetic Metaphysics,” that proffers Rielo’s call for substituting the vacuous and tautological pseudo-principle of identity, as Rielo terms it, for the living genetic principle or more properly the genetic conception of the principle of relation. Briefly put, Rielo contends that all putative metaphysical proposals advanced within the history of philosophy share a common deformity. All incorporate, either explicitly or implicitly, the so-called Original Sin of metaphysical speculation contained in the Parmenidean principle of identity, purporting that A is A or that every being is itself and nothing other than itself: such a being therefore being utterly in itself, with itself, by itself, about itself, for itself, and hence wholly without intrinsic or extrinsic relation. To apply this so-called principle to the Absolute would be tantamount to elevating to absolute a hermetically-sealed Being, a logical tautology, in itself and with itself, and hence absolutely bereft of intrinsic and extrinsic relation that, as such, would render it unable to serve as an agent of creation, for creation necessitates that the Creator be eminently relational first within and then without, i.e., in relation to what it creates and to what it maintains in existence.

Rather, Rielo contends, his relational conception of God provides the ground for a God who “knows and loves us.” The metaphysical Absolute cannot be constituted by one self-same absolute, the unum simpliciter, bereft of inner relation or distinction, as the classical Parmenidean conception holds, or as an absolute ego, if such an “absolute” is conceived as conscious, as the Aristotelian conception contends; but, instead, by an Absolute that is formed intrinsically by two complementary relational beings that, constituting the metaphysical One, the unum geneticum, is accessible to reason without the aid of theological faith. Rielo sees his work as explicating what he takes to be Christ’s original metaphysics, implicit especially in the Gospel of John, when he declares: “Pater et ego unum sumus,” (Jn 10:30). If the metaphysical Absolute is ultimately constituted by two beings, two persons—given that for Rielo the person is the highest expression of being—then with certainty these two persons in an intrinsically complementary and loving relationship would, in turn, reflect this loving complementariness in creation.

Moreover, regarding the issue of the sacredness of human persons, this resides, for Rielo, precisely in the fact that the human person, as in the case of the Absolute, cannot be defined identitatically, i.e., as a human being in, with, by and for itself, but genetically as “human person (+),” the more referring to the term which serves to define it. Since the notion of person is the supreme expression of being, the human person cannot be defined by anything inferior to a person. Whereas the divine persons mutually define each other, for Rielo the human person is defined by the divine constitutive presence, i.e., the ad extra indwelling presence of the Absolute in the human person. This indwelling presence renders the human being, a replica of the divinity, a mystical deity of the metaphysical Divinity.

Fr. McLean always expressed great interest in how his major concerns for the relationality of the Divinity, the mystical sacredness of the human person (expressing something more than human being) and the inter-relatedness of peoples and their cultural expressions, and bridge-building between cultures and traditions are enriched in the light of Rielo’s Binitarian metaphysical view and mystical aperture of humans to God. In 2002, when I was in India for missionary purposes and teaching at the Sacred Philosophy College (Kerala), he prompted me to pursue these inter-relationships in the organization of the First Asian Regional Conference of the International Institute for Metaphysical and Mystical Studies (Rome), and, thereby placed me in contact with Dr. Warayuth Sriwarakuel of Assumption University in Bangkok, where associates of Fr. McLean—Tran Van Doan, Ranilo Hermida, Sr. Marian Kao, Manuel B. Dy and Edward Alam, presented papers on the theme of the metaphysical ground of religious experience, with the subsequent publication of the papers. The following year, Dr. Edward Alam organized an international conference at Notre Dame University, Beirut, on Christian Mysticism, in which, among others, William Sweet and I presented papers on mystical foundations in the work of Edith Stein and Rielo respectively. Indeed, for decades Fr. McLean proposed that seminar themes be developed in the light of the spiritual, human, philosophical, cultural, artistic expressions proper to peoples in their own context. Why not now propose worldwide symposia where the various study groups would be dedicated to studying in-depth Fr. McLean’s twofold concerns with the resources rooted in each cultural group’s multifaceted endowments. What a great and enduring testament this would be in honor of Fr. George McLean.


Be praised ever living God and Father for thy holiness and glory untold
Be praised for the human family which Thou hast fashioned and in which Thou dwells and which Thou hast destined to be eternally with Thee.

Be praised expressly for creating one such as George McLean
abounding in thy ineffable attributes:

loving and merciful,
quiet servant,
whose volumes spoke in deeds
with an adventurous spirit soaring high

ultimately to Thee
who are our wings and our tears for release
like Keat’s noble Ode to the Nightingale to rise to Thee
to be with Thee and the likes of Thee:

our sacrificial Oblate ascending
regal son of Mary the Immaculate.


New York, the 29th of June of the Year 2017
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
88th Anniversary of the Birth of George F. McLean
LVIII Anniversary of the Foundation of the Idente Missionaries

Presentación de un libro de Fernando Rielo en el Ateneo de Cádiz

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El pasado 28 de marzo se presentó en el Ateneo de Cádiz el libro póstumo de Fernando Rielo: “Cristo hoy. El criterio de credibilidad y el don de la fe”. El acto corrió a cargo de Juana Sánchez-Gey Venegas, profesora titular de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid y Procuradora General de las misioneras identes, además de gaditana. También intervino introduciendo a la conferenciante Eloísa Marín Fernández.

La profesora Juana Sánchez-Gey habló del origen del contenido del libro, que fueron unas conferencias impartidas por Fernando Rielo en varias universidades españolas en el año 1977 sobre el don de la fe.  Destacó la original forma en la que el autor presenta a Cristo ante un auditorio contemporáneo, invitando a descubrir la relación personal del ser humano con Dios, y de qué manera actúa. En este sentido Fernando Rielo invita a adentrarse en la vivencia de la unión mística, que junto con el gozo, asume el dolor y hace suyo el mandamiento del amor dado por Cristo.

Al finalizar el acto hubo un ameno coloquio, comentarios y agradecimientos, que dejaron palpable un gran interés por parte del público.


Fernando Rielo mystic poetry award gathers great poets in Rome

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With the book of poetry entitled Triptych, the young Spanish poet Izara Batres (Madrid, 1982) has been awarded the Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry, in the ceremony held on December 14th at the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See. The Prize endowment consists of Euros 7,000 as well as publication of the winning work and a commemorative medal. The winner holds a doctorate from Madrid’s Complutense University, has published five books and poetic anthologies that include works that have already received several literary prizes. Her unpublished collection Triptych soared above the remaining nine finalists, among whom were renowned poets, including an academician of the Spanish Language, who presented poetic works notable for both technical expertise and intense lived experience.

According to the Prize Jury, “her work transfigures the experience of suffering, using precise poetic language, free from useless expression, bare and transparent, to convert it into the channel of encounter with a God to whom the poetess clings feverishly: “It was necessary to die in love / and in pain / to see you, to see me, / to know who I was.” Her lyrical voice maintains a firm, forceful, sincere tone, without falling into either uprooted lament or despair, because the intensity of the suffering is transformed into imploring and trusting expressions of love: “I feel your hand, blue and sweet, over my wound.” In the end, the tenderness of love overwhelms the suffering, the purification, in a pure ecstasy of lights: “I look for the heaven of your virtue in the dazzling tenderness / of the springtime / that is born in your hands.” It also makes us partakers of inspiration in the intimate experience of grace: “I know that God is dictating my verses, / I know that you are here / and beyond this body and this pulse, the bond imposes its meaning, / I feel you in the soul.”

The names of the remaining finalists are as follows: from Spain, Alfonso Crespo Hidalgo
(Córdoba), Antonio Díaz Tortajada (Valencia), Francisco Jiménez
Carretero (Albacete), Elena Martín Otín (Madrid), and Virginia Sánchez Nuño
(Ciudad Real); from El Salvador, Carmen González Huguet (Cuscatlán), and
Claudia Lorena Parada Turcios (San Salvador); from Argentina, Cledia Teresa
Báez (Bahía Blanca); and from Poland, Elzbieta Buczkowska (Zabrze).

The Jury was presided over by the literary critic José Mª. López Sevillano (Spain), Permanent Secretary of the Prize; Rafael Fernández Hernández (Spain), tenured Professor of Literature at the University of La Laguna; Arnaldo Colasanti (Italy), poet and literary critic; David G. Murray (U.S.A.), literary critic and specialist in English philology; and Alberto Giralda Cid (Spain), literary critic.

During the Award event, after the greeting of the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See, His Excellency Eduardo Gutiérrez Sáenz de Buruaga, there was the address by the President of the Committee of Honor, His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who underscored the importance of the Prize as a message of hope to contemporary human beings, presently divided among so many discordant languages ​​and unable to hear the cry of their own heart thirsting for God. He stated that mystical poetry promotes Truth, Goodness, and Beauty and is realized in an absolute way in God, but is present in every person, apart from geographic, ethnic and religious boundaries.

The President of the Fernando Rielo Foundation, Fr. Jesús Fernández Hernández, also spoke, recalling the words of Fernando Rielo, creator of the foundation and prize bearing his name: “Today, more than ever before, our society needs mystical poets: those able to elevate to artistic expression their own experience of God. This fact should not go unnoticed by those who recognize themselves as Christians or Jews or Muslims or Buddhists, or simply believers of any religion.” He also recalled the words of the Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, who predicted that the Christian of the future either will be a “mystic” or not be a Christian at all, adding that the spirituality of the future would not depend on convictions or widespread religious environments, but rather on the experience of God and one’s personal decision.

The event was crowned by a concert of duo violins Marco Fiorini and Biancamaria Rapaccini, members of the Quartetto di Roma, with a repertory of Jean Marie Leclair, Henryk Wieniawski, and Louis Spohr.The Prize for unpublished works in either Spanish or English has held its award ceremonies in venues such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the French Senate, and the Roman Campidoglio. Each year the Prize enjoys the support of an ample Committee of Honor comprised of academicians of the Spanish Language, of History and the Moral and Political Sciences, as well as writers, poets, hispanists, and rectors of universities.The ecumenical character of the Prize has occasioned its being awarded to poets of diverse Christian confessions and also non-Christian confessions, demonstrating that mystical poetry is capable of uniting cultures and religions. Bio-data of Izara Batres (Madrid, 1982)Izara Batres holds her doctorate in Literary Studies from the Complutense University of Madrid.In 2004 she received the Prize of the Siruela Publishing House for her essay on “The World of Sofia.” In 2007, she received the first Prize of the newpaper El Pais as the winner of the competition of narratives of EP3 “Talents,” with her work “The Patient.”

She is the author of five published books: the poetic collection Avenues of Time (Vitruvio, 2009) and Fire toward the Light (Sial, 2011), the book of narratives Confessions to the Psychoanalyst (Xorki, 2012), the novel ENC or The Dream of the Firefly Fish (Xorki, 2014), and her doctoral thesis published as essay: Cortazar and Paris: Last Round (Xorki, 2014).

She is a professor of Creative Writing, and also of Language and Literature. She collaborates with various cultural publications and with a Madrid-based publishing house.

She has been interviewed about her poetry in the communications media, such as Cadena SER (where she recited her poems on Madrid Today), La Cope (on the program El laboratorio), Spanish National Radio (on the programs Continuum y Viaje al centro de la noche), RVK (on the programs La autopista y Poetas en el aire). Her poems have been included in anthologies such as Poesía Hispanoamericana actual, Los poetas de la senda o Poetas siglo XXI.