Claretian Vocation Directory – Introduction

Claretian Vocation

Directory

 

Claretian Missionaries

 

english translation by Joseph C. Daries, C.M.F.

Santiago González Gómez, C.M.F.

Rome

2000

 

 

“All of our Missionaries should joyfully live

the gift of their vocation.Moreover, we should intensely desire

that others be granted the same gift and that our Congregation

may daily grow in numbers, to proclaim the Kingdom of God.

We should all regard these words of the Lord as addressed to us personally:

‘Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers to his harvest.’

We should also remember that the way we speak of our missionary life and live it

is the best invitation to others to accept the Lord’s call.

The responsibility for fostering vocations

rests with each and every one of us.”

(CC 58)

 

 

“Most Blessed Mother, may the courtesy of

your Immaculate Heart, in accepting us as your Sons,

be praised a thousand times!

Mother, make us cooperate with such kindness

by becoming daily more humble, fervent,

and zealous for the salvation of souls.”

(Aut 493)

 

contents

 

 

Contents …………………………………………………………….. vii

Abbreviations Used ……………………………………………. xvii

Presentation …………………………………………………….. xxiii

Historical Notes on Vocation Ministry in the

      Congregation …………………………………………………. 1

Introduction ………………………………………………………… 29

I. Vocation

1.   Human vocation …………………………………………….. 33

2.   Christian vocation ………………………………………….. 35

3.   Forms of Christian life ……………………………………. 38

      3.1.  Lay vocation …………………………………………… 38

      3.2.  Vocation to the ordained ministry …………….. 39

              3.2.1.  Minister of the Word …………………….. 40

              3.2.2.  Minister of the Sacraments …………….. 40

              3.2.3.  Minister of charity …………………………. 41

      3.3.  Vocation to the consecrated life ……………….. 41

              3.3.1.  The Religious Life …………………………. 42

              3.3.2.  Secular Institutes …………………………… 44

4.   The Claretian Vocation …………………………………… 44

      4.1. Claret …………………………………………………….. 44

      4.2.  The Claretian Congregation ……………………… 45

II. VOCATION MINISTRY

1.   Vocation Ministry in the Church ……………………… 51

      1.1.  God’s call and human collaboration …………… 51

      1.2.  Vocation ministry in the evangelizing

              action of the Church ………………………………… 52

      1.3.  Characteristics of vocation ministry …………… 55

      1.4.  General pastoral ministry and vocation ministry 56

      1.5.  Vocation ministry and youth ministry ………… 57

      1.6.  Vocation ministry and vocation guidance …… 59

2. Claretian Vocation Ministry …………………………….. 59

      2.1.  Nature and aim ……………………………………… 59

      2.2.  Situation of vocation ministry in the

              Congregation ………………………………………… 60

      2.3.  Characteristics of Claretian vocation ministry 62

              2.3.1.  Ecclesial ……………………………………… 62

              2.3.2.  Cordimarian ………………………………… 63

              2.3.3.  Claretian/Congregational ………………. 64

              2.3.4.  Connected with youth ministry ……… 65

      2.4.  Conditions for Claretian vocation ministry .. 66

              2.4.1.  A prioritized task …………………………. 66

              2.4.2.  Adequately oriented and organized .. 66

              2.4.3.  Centered on the person …………………. 66

              2.4.4.  Dynamized by the Word ………………. 67

              2.4.5.  Actively proposing ………………………. 67

              2.4.6.  Demanding …………………………………. 67

              2.4.7.  Spurred on by all adequate means ….. 68

      2.5.  Objectives of Claretian vocation ministry …. 68

      2.6.  Phases of the Claretian vocational process … 69

              2.6.1.  Proposing with a view to awakening . 69

              2.6.2.  Accompanying with a view to clarifying       70

              2.6.3.  Helping with a view to deciding ……. 71

III. THOSE IN CHARGE OF DIRECTING AND   ANIMATING CLARETIAN VOCATION MINISTRY

1.   The Congregation …………………………………………. 75

2.   Major Organisms ………………………………………….. 76

3.   Superiors ……………………………………………………… 76

4.   The Provincial Animator ……………………………….. 78

      4.1.  Identity ………………………………………………… 78

      4.2.  Aptitudes ……………………………………………… 79

      4.3.  Functions …………………………………………….. 79

5.   The Provincial Team ……………………………………… 81

      5.1.  Identity ………………………………………………… 81

      5.2.  Composition ………………………………………….. 81

      5.3.  Mission and Functions ……………………………. 81

6.   Local Communities ………………………………………. 86

      6.1.  Designating a vocation animator ……………… 86

      6.2.  Programming Prayer for vocations …………… 87

      6.3.  Cooperating in the activities of vocation

              ministry ………………………………………………… 89

      6.4.  Promoting activities to make the

              Congregation better known …………………….. 90

      6.5.  Welcoming vocations ……………………………… 90

IV. DYNAMISMS AND MEANS FOR ANIMATING VOCATIONS

1.   Dynamisms …………………………………………………. 95

      1.1.  Living one’s vocation joyfully ………………… 95

      1.2.  Desires to share the gift we have received … 96

      1.3.  Prayer for vocations ………………………………. 98

      1.4.  Life witness ………………………………………….. 100

      1.5.  The Word of God …………………………………. 101

      1.6.  Personal accompaniment ………………………… 103

      1.7.  The personal project of life …………………….. 104

      1.8.  Vocational discernment …………………………. 105

              1.8.1.  Discernment of vocation as call

                         and response ………………………………. 105

              1.8.2.  Discerning the signs of a vocation …. 106

2.   Means ………………………………………………………… 107

      2.1. Formation of agents of vocation ministry . 107

      2.2.  The Vocation Ministry Project ……………… 108

      2.3.  The Direct Proposal of a Vocation ……….. 108

      2.4.  Taking the needs of evangelization into

              account ……………………………………………… 109

      2.5.  Missionary commitment ………………………. 109

      2.6.  Group activities with a vocational thrust .. 110

      2.7.  Communications media and Internet …….. 110

V. SETTINGS FOR VOCATION MINISTRY

1.   The Christian Community …………………………….. 113

      1.1.  The Christian Community and Signs of the

              Kingdom that call forth and call together …. 115

      1.2.  Vocational Dimension of the Christian

              Community ………………………………………….. 116

2. The Parish …………………………………………………… 119

3. The Family ………………………………………………….. 120

4. Basic Ecclesial Communities …………………………. 123

5. The Educational Centers ………………………………. 124

6. Church Movements ……………………………………… 125

7. Youth/Vocation Ministry ……………………………… 126

8. University Ministry ………………………………………. 127

9. Itinerant Service of the Word ……………………….. 128

10. The Corps of Volunteers ………………………………. 128

11. Pre-vocational Residences …………………………….. 129

VI. PRINCIPLES AND CRITERIA FOR VOCATION DISCERNMENT

1.   Principles of vocation discernment ………………… 133

      1.1.  The vocation, a dynamic reality ……………… 133

      1.2.  The signs of a vocation should be positive .. 134

      1.3.  The signs of a vocation begin to manifest

              themselves in an elementary way ……………. 134

      1.4.  Quality is to be preferred to quantity in

              candidates …………………………………………… 135

      1.5.  We must carry out a careful selection ……… 136

 

2.   Criteria for vocation discernment ………………….. 137

      2.1.  Age …………………………………………………….. 139

      2.2.  Physical health ……………………………………… 140

      2.3.  Appropriate disposition …………………………. 140

      2.4.  Health and psychological balance …………… 142

      2.5.  Vocational motivations. Freedom and right

              intention ……………………………………………… 145

              2.5.1. Authentic and true vocational motivations     145

              2.5.2. Guidelines for discernment …………… 147

      2.6.  Intellectual ability …………………………………. 148

      2.7.  Moral and religious suitability ………………… 149

3.   The family and vocational discernment …………… 151

4.   Special cases ………………………………………………… 152

      4.1.  Vocation candidates who are converts to the

              Catholic Faith ……………………………………….. 152

      4.2.  Vocations from seminaries or from other

              religious congregations …………………………… 152

      4.3.  Situations of extreme poverty and of

              unemployment ………………………………………. 153

      4.4.  Illnesses and physical or psychological

              disorders ………………………………………………. 154

              4.4.1. Drug-addiction …………………………….. 154

              4.4.2. Aids ……………………………………………. 155

              4.4.3. Homosexuality ……………………………… 155

      4.5.  Family situations

              4.5.1. The only child ………………………………. 155

              4.5.2. Children of separated or separated

                       parents …………………………………………. 156

              4.5.3. Children of parents who are non-believers

                    or belong to other religions ……………….. 156

5.   Some practical guidelines …………………………….. 156

VII. WELCOMING VOCATIONS

1.   General principles ……………………………………….. 161

2.   Characteristics of the welcoming of vocations …. 162

3.   Addressees …………………………………………………. 164

4.   Formative objectives …………………………………….. 166

      4.1.  General objectives …………………………………. 166

      4.2.  Specific objectives ………………………………… 166

5.   Forms of welcoming vocations ………………………. 169

      5.1.  Institutional forms of welcoming vocations 170

              5.1.1. The Minor Seminary ……………………… 170

              5.1.2. Other institutional forms of welcoming

                   vocations …………………………………………. 171

      5.2.  Non-institutional forms of welcoming

              vocations ……………………………………………… 175

6.   Those in charge and collaborators of welcoming 181

      6.1.  Those in charge …………………………………….. 181

      6.2.  Collaborators ………………………………………… 182

VIII. CULTIVATING OUR OWN VOCATION

1.   Fidelity to vocation ……………………………………… 161

2.   Father Founder ……………………………………………. 190

3.   The tradition of the Congregation ………………….. 191

      3.1.  General Superiors ………………………………….. 191

      3.2.  The Claretian Martyrs ……………………………. 192

4.   Formative Dimension …………………………………… 192

5.   Pedagogical Guidelines ………………………………… 194

      5.1.  Personal responsibility ……………………………. 195

              5.1.1. Reflection on the signs of our vocation 196

              5.1.2. Prayer with a vocational thrust ………. 197

              5.1.3. A vocational and assiduous reading

                    of the Word of God …………………………. 197

              5.1.4. Fidelity to the dynamisms that animate

                   our missionary life …………………………….. 198

              5.1.5. Capacity to maintain the fundamental

                   option                                                        199

              5.1.6. The personal project and spiritual

                   direction ………………………………………….. 200

      5.2.  Responsibility of the Congregation …………. 201

              5.2.1. The “Fifth Year” ………………………….. 202

              5.2.2. Special personal situations …………….. 204

Appendixes

Appendix 1:     Documents of the Magisterium and the

                     Congregation on Vocation Ministry ….. 207

1.   Documents of the Magisterium ……………………….. 207

      1.1.  Vatican Council II ………………………………….. 207

      1.2.  Apostolic See …………………………………………. 207

      1.3.  Documents of other Organisms and

              Conferences …………………………………………… 209

2.   Documents of the Congregation …………………….. 210

      2.1.  Of Our Father Founder …………………………… 210

      2.2.  Of the Congregation ………………………………. 211

Appendix 2: Vocational Texts in the Bible ………….. 217

      1.     Old Testament ………………………………………. 217

      2.     New Testament …………………………………….. 217

Appendix 3: Vocational texts of the Congregation . 221

      1.     Father Founder ……………………………………… 221

      2.     Constitutions (1924). First Part ……………….. 221

Appendix 4:     Canons of the CIC on the requisites

                     and impediments for admission to the

                     Religious Life and Ministries …………… 230

Appendix 5:     Documents, Reports and Forms ……. 233

      Form 1

              Study of the Candidates on the part of the

              Team in charge. Characteristics of the

              Study (See Dir 175) ………………………………. 235

      Form 2

              Handwritten petition of admission on the

              part of the candidate ……………………………… 239

      Form 3:   Presentation of the candidate before entering

              the Congregation (See Dir 182, 188; 189; 199)        240

      Form 4

              Personal Declaration of the Postulant

              (See c. 597; CC 59; Dir 190) …………………… 245

Appendix 6: Plan of Studies ………………………………. 246

Appendix 7: Chart of Psychological Traits of a Normal

                     and Mature Person ………………………….. 248

Appendix 8: Chart of Abilities for the Claretian Life            251

Appendix 9: Chart of Psychic Illnesses or Disorders 254

Appendix 10:   Chart of Negative Psychological Signs          259

Appendix 11:   The Personal Project. Guidelines for

                     Carrying It Out ………………………………. 261

thematic index

Thematic Index ………………………………………………….            267

 

ABBREVIATIONS USED

 

 

 

Documents of Vatican II

AA      Apostolicam Actuositatem, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (18 Nov. 1965)

AG      Ad Gentes, Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity (7 Dec. 1965)

GS       Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (7 Dec. 1965)

LG       Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (21 Nov. 1964)

OT       Optatam Totius, Decree on Priestly Formation (28 Oct. 1965)

PC       Perfectae Caritatis, Decree on the Adequate Renewal of Religious Life (28 Oct 1965)

PO       Presbyterorum Ordinis, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (7 Dec. 1965)

SC       Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (4 Dec. 1963)

Papal Documents

Paul VI

EN       Evangelii Nuntiandi, Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization in the Modern World (8 Dec. 1975)

ET       Evangelica Testificatio, Apostolic Exhortation on the Renewal of Religious Life (29 June 1975)

John Paul II

ChL           Christifideles Laici, Apostolic Exhortation on the Laity (1989)

EERL        Essential Elements of the Church’s Teaching on the Religious Life (1983)

EiAf          Ecclesia in Africa, Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation (1995)

EiAm         Ecclesia in America, Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation (1999)

EiAs          Ecclesia in Asia, Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation (1999)

PDV          Pastores Dabo Vobis, Apostolic Exhortation (1992)

RD            Redemptionis Donum, Apostolic Exhortation (1984)

RM            Redemptoris Missio, Encyclical (1991)

VC            Vita Consecrata, Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation (1996)

Documents of the Holy See

AAS          Acta Apostolicae Sedis

CE             Catholic Education (1977)

CIC           Codex Iuris Canonici, Code of Canon Law (1983)

DPC          Development of Pastoral Care of Vocations in Particular Churches: Past Experiences and Future Projects (1981), 2nd International Congress of Bishops and others responsible for ecclesiastical vocations

DVM         Development of Vocation Ministry in Particular Churches (1992)

FLC           Fraternal Life in Community, Document (1994)

GCD         General Catechetical Directory (1998)

NVNE       New Vocations for a New Europe (1997)

PI              Potissimum Institutioni, Instruction (1990)

RC             Renovationis Causam, Instruction (1969)

RI              Religiosorum Institutio, Instruction (1961)

Documents of Conferences of Bishops

CVTE        Civilización del amor. Tarea y esperanza [Civilization of Love: Task and Hope], CELAM (1995)

DM            Documents, Medellín (1968)

DP             Documents, Puebla (1979)

DSD          Documents, Santo Domingo (1992)

PVCE        La Pastoral Vocacional en el Continente de la Esperanza {Vocation Ministry in the Continent of Hope], (1994)

Writings of Our Founder

Aut            Autobiography

CI              El Colegial Instruido [The Well-Instructed Seminarian], (1960, 1861)

EA             Escritos Autobiográficos, (1981)

EC             Epistolario Claretiano, (1970, 1987)

EE             Escritos Espirituales, (1985)

LMT          Letter to the Missionary Theophilus (1858)

RE (A)      Reglamento para los Estudiantes (Texto A), (1862)

RE (B)       Reglamento para los Estudiantes (Texto B), (1862)

SAW         Selected Autobiographical Writings (Translation of EA parts 2, 3 and 4), (1995)

SSW          Selected Spiritual Writings (Translation of EE), (1991)

Documents of the Congregation

1BB           Decree on Brothers (1967

1EC           Decree on Christian Education (1967)

1F              Decree on Formation (1967)

1G             Decree on Government (1967)

1RL           Decree on Religious Life (1967)

2BB           Decree on Brothers (1973)

2F              Decree on Formation (1973)

2G             Decree on Government (1973)

2RL           Decree on Religious Life (1973)

AG.CMF   Claretian General Archives

AP             Decree on Apostolate (1967)

CC             CMF Constitutions (1986)

CCTT        Constituciones y Textos CMF (1972)

ColCC       Colección de Circulares (1941)

CPR          The Claretian in the Process of Congregational Renewal (1985)

CVD         Claretian Vocational Directory (1999)

DC            Declaration on Charism (1967)

Dir             CMF Directory (2000)

GPF           General Plan of Formation (1994)

IPM           In Prophetic Mission (1997)

MCT          The Mission of the Claretian Today (1979)

MI             Decree on Missions to Non-Christians (1967)

OL             Open Letter to the Congregation (1973)

OSG          Ordo Studiorum Generalis (1929, 1959)

RDV         Resumen alfabético de las disposiciones vigentes (1897)

SH             Declaration on our Spiritual Heritage (1967)

SW            Servants of the Word (1985)

Circular Letters of General Superiors

CF             G. Alonso, Claretians in Formation (1990)

CMC         A. Leghisa, The Heart of Mary and the Congregation in the Present Moment (1978)

DEVO       P. Schweiger, De vocationibus cooptandis, seligendis, colendis et de dono propriae vocationis aestimando (1955)

FNE          N. García, Formación de nuestros Estudiantes (1932)

FRMC       N. García, La Formación Religiosa, Misionera y Claretiana (1947)

Her            G. Alonso, Los Hermanos y la Misión Claretiana hoy (1981)

HP             A. Bocos, Heritage and Prophecy (1998)

MB            A. Bocos, The Missionary Brothers (1997)

MT            A. Bocos, The Missionary Testament of our Martyrs (1992)

RDR          M. Alsina, Remedios del descontento en la Religion (1906)

SFV           J. Xifré, Ser fieles a la vocación (1891)

VM            N. García, La Vocación Misionera, Annales, 34 (1938).

VOR         C. Serrat, Vocación religiosa (1902

Other Abbreviations

DTVC       Diccionario Teológico de la Vida Consagrada (1992)

EsC           J. Xifré, El Espíritu de la Congregación (1880)

OPML       Our Project of Missionary Life: Commentaries on the Constitutions (1989, 1991, and 1997).

 

Notes:        1. Complete bibliographical references for most of the documents cited in this table of references are either found in Appendix I or are readily accessible in the case of well known documents of the Church and of the Congregation.

      2. For easier identification of each of the present documents, they appear in alphabetical order on p. 275.

 

PRESENTATION

 

Whenever we Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretian Missionaries) are talking with one another about vocations, we feel obliged to recall what is stated in n. 58 of our Constitutions. Hence I consider it a real “plus” to have it quoted whole and entire in the frontispiece of the Claretian Vocation Directory (CVD), which I now have the pleasure of presenting to you. This Directory gathers together the most important points of reference, objectives, criteria, attitudes and options that must be present in an adequate pastoral approach to Claretian vocation ministry.

1. The missionary nature of our Congregation, its concern for the growth of the Kingdom and its desire to keep alive Claret’s desire that God the Father be known, loved and served,1 has led many different generations of Claretians to devote a special effort to arouse, select and cultivate vocations. From the outset, our Fr. Founder himself, our General Chapters and Superiors General have been concerned with the quantitative and qualitative growth of the Congregation. Among the duties that our present Constitutions single out for the Superior General is “to promote vocations everywhere.”2

2. Throughout our history, we can point to moments of special concern for the number of vocations. In this connection, Fr. Claret told Fr. Xifré, “we have to make people”3 and “we mustn’t fall asleep.”4 In 1937, after the death of so many students during the Spanish Civil War, the General Chapter issued a pressing call for vocations. In the immediate postconciliar period, shaken by the strong upheavals of sociocultural, economic, political and religious change, we all began to experience a lack of vocations in countries that had formerly been their great seedbeds. In the measure that the culture of secularism and hedonism has kept advancing, it has become all the more urgent to take greater care of the sources and indicators of vocations within a renewed pastoral vocation ministry, especially in Europe and America.

Today the Congregation is experiencing a very unequal outcome regarding vocations in its different geographical zones. The statistics for 31 December 1999 tell us that the Congregation is presently made up of 3,005 members, of whom 722 are formandi. Most of them are in Asia and Africa. The imbalance that is occurring among us is obvious. Traditional Christian countries continue to suffer from a lack of new vocations. In contrast, in many countries where the Congregation has been implanted only recently, there is a progressive increase. Our Congre­gational Community is taking on a new face, with quite distinct features deriving from the diversity of cultures in which it is taking root, growing and making the missionary charism of Claret bear fruit.

3. But beyond mere numbers, the constant criterion that has always guided the Congregation has been to prefer quality to quantity. At all times, the Congregation has been clearly convinced that it is a work of God and of Mary, and that it has been entrusted with the mission of proclaiming the Gospel by all means possible and in all parts of the world, seeking the greater glory of God and the sanctification of its members. No matter whether there are many or few vocations, it is obliged to be painstaking in its care for the criteria for selecting, welcoming and accompanying vocations. The ideal of life that Claret traced out for us in his reminder or definition of the missionary is not suited for just any aspirant. Six years ago we drafted and published the General Plan of Formation (GPF), in which we precisely laid out the figure of the Claretian Missionary and the itinerary to be followed in his formation. Now, with the publication of the Claretian Vocation Directory (CVD), we have laid out the bases that must govern and orient the discernment of candidates who want to enter our Congregational Community. The criteria for discerning vocations form the basis for a fruitful renewal of the Congregation. The future of our mission in the Church and in the world is at stake in them.

4. I would not be adequate to regard this vocation directory as a merely practical tool for pastoral ministry. Underlying everything that is said in it is a way of seeing, presenting and living the ideal of our missionary life as followers, disciples and apostles of Jesus, in the style of Claret. In its pages, it is necessary to discover the beauty, harmony and boldness that the Spirit has poured into the vocation of a Missionary Son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a witness and servant of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Therefore, before using it as a pastoral guide, each Claretian should look at himself in it, as in a mirror, and face the challenge of what he sees in order to joyfully relive the grace he has received and gladly share it with others. Reliving one’s own vocation, which is always a charismatic, ecclesial and human co-vocation, is the secret dynamism of all renewal. We are all being constantly probed by the Word of God to open ourselves to the plan of salvation to which, from the outset, we were chosen and destined to be servants. Our communities must always be ready to issue the invitation, “come and see” (Jn 1:39). We need new vocations in order to renew and dynamize the Congregation in keeping with the charism we have received; conversely, we need to renew the Congregation in order to have new vocations capable of responding to the present challenges facing evangelization. Hence we cannot lower the level of requirements when we are selecting vocations, and we shouldn’t be afraid of having fewer to choose from if candidates do not live up to the required conditions.

In this context I would again insist on the need to pay special attention to vocations for the Missionary Brotherhood. “We form a Congregation of priests, deacons, brothers and students who share the same vocation.”5 A vocational proposal for the Congregation is not complete if it does not include the figure of the Missionary Brother.6

5. What we can rightly expect from the publication of the CVD is that all Claretian Missionaries may, from the standpoint of its expositions and guidelines, assume the responsibility that we presently have for vocations in the Church and in particular for those that may be inclined toward our own Congregation. We cannot close our ears to the repeated calls of the Church, and especially of the Holy Father, to discern the signs of the times in which we can hear the call to work for the Kingdom of God. For us, the theme of vocations is united with apostolic charity. We feel pressed by this charity when we see that “the harvest is great and the laborers are few” (Mt 9:37).

6. The CVD not only takes into account the Church’s new approaches and guidelines for vocation ministry, but also integrates the Congregation’s own rich heritage in this respect. Our Organisms and Conferences have a wealth of experience in the field of vocations. Their contributions have been taken into account, and suggestions that have come in from our distinct geographical and cultural areas have been incorporated. All of this offers a guarantee that the CVD is a shared work, both in its criteria and in its guidelines. We are confident that in a Congregation like ours, which is present in such diverse social and cultural contexts, it will become a point of reference and a wellspring of unity in selecting and receiving vocations.

It is presented as an adequate means for helping the Major Organisms, communities and members of the Congregation to encourage and promote vocations. It aims at animating and orientating our work in the field of vocations and at helping to draft provincial and local projects for vocation ministry. Because we are not dealing with a more or less important theme, but with a priority that takes precedence over other important matters, I invite all our Major Organisms to back this priority with generosity and daring. This means dedicating the necessary and best-equipped personnel to this function of animation, involving all the members of the Organisms in it: formandi, formators, superiors, the elderly and the sick. It means getting families, schools, parishes, basic ecclesial communities and youth centers to participate in it. We should spare no efforts and sacrifices in order to awaken, welcome, accompany and consolidate vocations.

7. The CVD is being published during the time when we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation. It can be considered as the fruit of this joyful commemoration. At the same time, it is an expression of our hope in the future. The continuity of life is possible when there are new vocations. And these vocations flourish in a climate of acknowledging and living the gift of the Spirit, who will in turn awaken in us the proper response of free and generous commitment. It is good for us to create spaces and times in order to allow the Spirit to be felt and to act. Let us, then, make room in our communities for new vocations, as bearers of a new sensibility, of new initiatives, and of new forms for expressing and serving hope for today’s world.

***   ***   ***

I conclude this presentation with a sincere act of thanksgiving to the Father and to Mary, the Mother and Foundress of the Congregation. During 150 years we have experienced God’s benevolence and mercy on our Congregation of Missionaries. We have been blessed with the vocations that God has seen fit to grant us. We have felt the motherly influence of Mary in many of these calls and in the formation of candidates. May we be worthy of her motherly kindness and concern.

I also want to express my wholehearted thanks, in the name of the Congregation and of all who will profit from this work, to Fr. Jesús María Palacios, Prefect General of Formation, who has put such a great effort into the Directory, as well as to all the members of the International Commission who collaborated in drafting it.

 

 

Rome, 19 March 2000

Feast of Saint Joseph, Patron of the Congregation.

 

                        Aquilino Bocos Merino, C.M.F.

Superior General.