Fr. Aloysius and Fr. Adolfo Silva, Founder of the Society of the Brothers of Jesus

While studying in the archdiocesan seminary in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico I met a member of a new religious community called the Society of the Brothers of Jesus. The seminarian was a year ahead of me, and he approached me with the story that his founder had been a spiritual son of Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F. and had been guided by Father Aloysius in his foundation of the “Hermanos de Jesús”. The seminarian spoke very highly of the spiritual influence Fr. Aloysius had had on his own founder, Fr. Adolfo Silva.

I had completely forgotten about this until I read the letter of Fr. Bernard O’Connor, C.M.F. dated May 15, 1973. The reference is clear. In Fr. O’Connor’s mind, Father Aloysius indicates in a letter of April 18, 1973, that he is on the point of leaving Fatima and returning to Mexico with Fr. Adolfo Silva’s group in Puebla.

Could this Fr. Aldofo Silva be the same as the founder of the community of the “Hermanos of Jesús” referenced by my seminarian friend? He had spoken so highly of Fr. Aloysius, in the sense that his founder received inspiration for the foundation of the Society of the Brothers of Jesus from Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F.

I had to find out. So this morning, after I had read Fr. Bernard O’Connor’s letter, I did a search for a priest by this name. At first I was unsuccessful. There was no clear reference to who this Fr. Adolfo Silva was. However, when I searched for the “Hermanos de Jesus”, I found a simple website in Mexico of the society, and the founder of the group had been a Claretian Missionary.

But there is more…

Adolfo Silve was born the 28 of September in 1917 in Morelia, Michocán, Mexico and was baptized as Miguel Adolfo del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús. In 1936 he entered the seminary of Morelia. Previously he had been a Postulant with the Claretian Missionaries en Coyoacán. In 1940 he was sent to study Philosophy at the Mexican seminary in Montezuma, New México.

Now things become very interesting.

In May of 1942 he entered the Claretian Novitiate in Silver Peak, Walnut, California. Who do you think is his Master of Novices? It was Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F. He studied Theology as a Claretian, and he studied Domínguez Seminary, in Compton, California. On the 16th of June, 1946 he made his Perpetual Profession of Vows as a Missionary Son of the Heart of Mary. He is ordained a priest, one year later, on the 17th of May, 1947.

He had various assignments with the Claretians including Master of Postulants and Novices for many year. He took part in Claretian Missionary activity.

In April of 1971 he received permission of “Exclaustraction” from the Claretian Missionaries so that he could participate in the foundation of the Society of the Brothers of Jesus.

On August 12, 1975, together with cofounder, Bishop Fidel Cortéz Pérez, he professed his religious vows as a Brother of Jesús. He wrote the Constitutions , he establishes the identity of the Society of the Brothers of Jesus, and he died on December 8, 1981, the same year as Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F.