Spirit and Mission

"All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer,
together with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus."

Acts 1:14

The mystery of the Cenacle expresses our mission in the Church and the significance of Mary in our spirituality. It is the mystery of prayerful expectation and waiting in retreat by the first assembly of the Church, with Mary, directed to that outpouring of the Spirit which sent the apostles to the ends of the earth 'clothed with power from on high' (Acts 1:8, Lk 24:49). It is the inspiration for integrating the three dimensions of our mission: prayer, community and apostolic service.

By entering this Congregation, we associate ourselves with the disciples, the apostles and the women who recalled their memories of Jesus, his words, deeds and promises. They continued steadfastly in prayer with Mary. Pondering these things, we open our hearts to the Spirit and ask light and strength for the Church and the world, for ourselves and for those to whom we are sent.

This vocation unites us in a community of faith in which we beg the Spirit of Love to lead us to that common vision which will make us but one heart and one soul. Our life in community, nourished by the Word and the Eucharist, should be a sign that it is possible to love one another as Christ has loved us.

This mystery in which we see the Spirit transforming the apostles into eager witnesses and messengers of Jesus Christ sheds its light on our whole life and orders it to the apostolic service of retreats and education in the faith.

Our aim is to make the Gospel known to the people of our time by the ministry confided to us. We must ourselves be caught up by the love of Jesus Christ since our lives, far more than our words, must speak clearly of Christ.

The heritage left by our founders is the fruit of their docility to the Holy Spirit. Father Terme and Mother Therese received a charism destined to give the Church a Congregation dedicated to awakening and deepening faith. We can continue this mission only by being rooted, as they were, in a deep interior life based on faith, humility and a charity which expresses itself in untiring zeal.

When our founders discovered the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, they found in them a most efficacious means 'to make Jesus known and loved'. Through the Exercises the founders introduced the Congregation to the great current of Ignatian spirituality which marks many aspects of our life. From these early days the Spiritual Exercises have been an essential element of our religious formation and our apostolic service. They prepare us to respond to the ever-recurring calls of Jesus Christ.

The distinctive spirituality of the Congregation has developed gradually from the beginning with the blending of the mystery of Mary in the Cenacle, the charism of the founders and the Ignatian influence. The insight of Mother Therese expressed in the text 'Self-surrender' and her letter on Goodness has given this spirituality its special character. By our very vocation God invites us to live it in depth. The Congregation also shares it with all who are led by the Spirit to the riches of this source.

(Text from the Cenacle Constitutions of 1983)