Chapter 1 - Apostolic Activity

From Vincentian Encyclopedia
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Apostolic Activity

Article 10

10.--The Congregation of the Mission from the time of its Founder, and under his inspiration, sees itself called by God to carry out the work of evangelizing the poor. In its own way, it can, with the whole Church, state of itself that evangelizing is to be considered its own grace and vocation, and expresses its deepest identity (cf. EN, 14). Furthermore, the members, individually and collectively, can rightly make use of the words of Jesus: "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God for which I have been sent"(Lk 4:43).

Article 11

11.--The love of Christ, who had pity on the crowd (Mk 8:2), is the source of all our apostolic activity, and urges us, in the words of St. Vincent, "to make the Gospel really effective"(SV, XII, 84). According to the varying circumstances of time and place, our work of evangelization in word and action should strive for this, that all, through a process of conversion and celebration of the sacraments, should be faithful to "the kingdom, that is to say, the new world, the new order, the new manner of being, of living, of living in community, which the gospel inaugurates" (EN, 23).

Article 12

12.--These are the characteristics to be kept in mind in this work of evangelization which the Congregation proposes to carry out:

1 clear and expressed preference for the apostolate among the poor, since their evangelization is the sign that the kingdom of God is present on earth (cf. Mt 11:5); 2 attention to the realities of present-day society, especially to the factors that cause an unequal distribution of the world's goods, so that we can better carry out our prophetic task of evangelization; 3 some sharing in the condition of the poor, so that not only will we attend to their evangelization, but that we ourselves may be evangelized by them; 4 genuine community spirit in all our apostolic works, so that we may be supported by one another in our common vocation; 5 readiness to go to any part of the world, according to the example of the first missionaries of the Congregation; 6 striving to live in a state of continuous conversion both on the part of each individual member and on the part of the whole Congregation, according to the mind of St. Paul, who counsels us: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Rm 12:2).

Article 13

13.--The provinces themselves will decide the forms of apostolate to be undertaken so that, faithful to the spirit and example of St. Vincent, their apostolate may be incorporated into the pastoral activity of the local Church in conformity with the documents and instructions of the Holy See, the episcopal conferences, and the diocesan bishops.

Article 14

14.--Popular missions, so dear to the heart of our Founder, are to be earnestly promoted. Therefore we should undertake the work of the missions according to circumstances of time and place, searching for all possible means to give this work new vitality, both to renew and to build up a true Christian community and to awaken faith in the hearts of unbelievers.

Article 15

15.--The formation of clerics in seminaries, a work of the Congregation from its beginnings, is to be effectively renewed where needed.

In addition, members should afford spiritual assistance to priests both in the work of their ongoing formation and in promoting their pastoral zeal. They should work to encourage in them the desire of fulfilling the Church's option for the poor. They should also devote themselves to motivating and suitably preparing lay people for the pastoral ministries necessary in a Christian community.

Finally, members should teach clerics and laity to work together and to support one another in the process of forming a Christian community.


Article 16

16.--Among the apostolic works of the Congregation, the foreign missions and missions to people in a similar stage of evangelization have an honored place. In building up a new ecclesial community, missionaries should pay special attention to the "seeds of the word" which may be found in the cultural and religious practices of the people (cf. EN, 53).


Article 17

17.--Since the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity share the same heritage, members should willingly give them assistance when asked, especially in the matter of retreats and spiritual direction. They should also show a brotherly spirit of cooperation in those works which have been undertaken together.


Article 18

18.--Following St. Vincent, who, like the Good Samaritan of the gospel parable (Lk 10:30-37), gave effective help to the abandoned, provinces and members should earnestly strive to serve those rejected by society and those who are victims of disasters and injustices of every kind. We should also assist those who suffer from forms of moral poverty which are peculiar to our own times. Working for all of these and with them, members should endeavor to implement the demands of social justice and evangelical charity.


Constitutions