Rule of Life (extract from)

CHAPTER I

OUR CONGREGATION

1 Among the people of God we, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, form a religious apostolic Congregation dedicated to the ministry of reconciliation.

2 Our Congregation is made up of priests and brothers bound together by the same religious vocation. We are defined by the Holy See as a clerical religious institute of Pontifical right.

3 By our baptism we are incorporated into the Church and share in its mission. By our profession of the public vows of poverty, chastity and obedience we are consecrated in a new way to this mission and we bind ourselves to live in a religious community which is a sign of the Kingdom.

4 Moved by the Holy Spirit who prompted the Son of God to experience our human condition and die on the cross in order to reconcile the world to his Father we resolve, in the light of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, to be devoted servants of Christ and of the Church for the fulfillment of the mystery of reconciliation.

5 Faithful to our origins we profess a deep love for Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church. In our apostolate we follow the example of the handmaid of the Lord who was made reconciler particularly at the foot of the cross.

6 We emphasize the profoundly evangelical values of prayer, penance and zeal contained in the message of Our Lady of La Salette which calls us to conversion. We strive to live them ourselves so that, by the witness of our lives as well as by our words, hearts may be opened to the Good News which it is our mission to make known to all.

CHAPTER II

OUR RELIGIOUS CONSECRATION

7 Christ is the rule of our life.

8 Through baptism, we participate in the mystery of his death and resurrection. Responding, freely and entirely, to his call, we choose to imitate Christ, chaste, poor and obedient. We are consecrated to God by our profession of the public vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Lived in intimate communion with Christ our consecration will lead us to a total availability for his service and for our neighbor.

9 Drawn by Christ, we follow him in the way of chastity, vowing our person to God in perfect continence and celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom. In doing so we choose to give the Lord our preferential love in return for the great love with which he first loved us, and to witness to the Kingdom that is to come, where he will be all in all. We likewise continue to develop those affective powers which the Lord has placed within us so that, through relationships that are selfless and sincere, deeply human and open, we may become channels of the compassionate love God extends to all.

10 Desiring to be poor like Christ and in the tradition of the Apostles who left everything to follow him, we aspire to attain a spirit of evangelical detachment. Placing our trust in the Father's Providence, we want to be free from excessive concern for the things of this world in order to seek first the Kingdom and provide an effective response to the "cry of the poor". By our vow we relinquish the right to use and dispose of material goods independently of our superiors. We pledge to live simply and modestly and to share as brothers our talents, our time and the fruits of our labor for the sake of our common mission.

11 Walking in the footsteps of Christ, who became obedient even unto death on a cross, we live in profound communion with the saving will of the Father, submitting our entire life to it, This will is made known to us through the Church, our Congregation and our superiors; but we must also make every effort along with our brothers to discover it in the concrete circumstances of our life. By our vow we oblige ourselves to obey our lawful superiors when they command according to the constitutions, and to obey the Supreme Pontiff as our highest superior.

12 By our consecration we commit ourselves to a fraternal life which is approved by the Church and in which we share a common ideal. In observing our three vows we gain the freedom needed to give ourselves completely to our religious family and its apostolic endeavors. Our witness in complete truth to the primacy of the evangelical values hinges on the sincerity of our efforts to fulfill this ideal in company with our brothers.

13 Our life of religious consecration finds its inspiration in Mary, "whose life is a model for all" and whose unceasing intercession supports our efforts. Conscious of the challenge which the Apparition of the Lord's Handmaid continues to put before us, we resolve to devote ourselves entirely, as she herself did, to the person and work of her Son.

CHAPTER III

OUR COMMUNITY LIFE

14 In response to the call of God and in fulfillment of the prayer of Christ "that they may all be one... so the world may believe...", we pledge to live out together our apostolic vocation of reconciliation. Joined in the same faith, in the same hope and animated by the same Spirit, we form one mind and one heart in one religious family.

15 United through baptism, the profession of the evangelical counsels, our veneration for Mary, Reconciler of sinners, and the mission of our Congregation, it is as a community that we bear witness in the world to God's presence among us and to the Gospel's power to gather people of every language, race and nation into communion with one another.

16 In a genuine spirit of love, each one of us is responsible for the vitality of the community in which he lives, achieving personal fulfillment through active participation in a common effort to create a climate of truth, trust and cordiality.

17 The love for Christ that we share and our commitment to a single mission call for solidarity in our apostolic tasks.
We are impelled, therefore, to unite our efforts for the building up of the Kingdom of God.

18 Accepting, loving and forgiving one another in a spirit of Christian charity, we make every effort to assist one another even in the minor details that make up community living. We devote special care to our sick, infirm, and aged brothers, and provide for their every material, moral, and spiritual need. We faithfully remember our departed to the Lord by observing the prescribed suffrages.

19 Convinced that our personal faith life and that of the community are mutually enriching, we come together regularly to pray. Community prayer, especially the Eucharist, is the chief source from which we derive the faith and love we need so that we may be united as a community and carry out our mission.

20 To strengthen further the fraternal ties that unite us, we take advantage of those moments together that manifest human friendship and give tangible expression to our fellowship.

21 Our communities must be a living sign of Christ's love. They are open, and extend a warm welcome to all. Our hospitality thus reflects the desire we have to share our life and be of service to others, and the joy we experience in doing so.

CHAPTER IV

OUR APOSTOLIC LIFE

22 Our Congregation is called to be a sign and instrument of the work of Reconciliation accomplished by Christ and with which Mary, as she reminds us in her Apparition, is so closely associated.

23 Drawing our inspiration from the message of Our Lady of La Salette, we dedicate ourselves to:

- the reconciliation of sinners and the liberation of all people through submission to the will of the Father;

- the awakening and deepening of faith among the People of God so that every human reality may be illumined by the light of the Gospel;

- the proclamation of the Good News where it is not yet known;

- the promotion of mutual understanding among religions and their coming together in charity and truth;

- the struggle against those evils which now compromise the salvific plan of God and the dignity of the human person.

In these various apostolic commitments we stress the incomparable role Mary fulfilled in salvation history and which is still hers in the life of the Church.

24 As disciples of Christ we live in communion with him. As his apostles we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit, as he was, for the fulfillment of the
Father's loving design. Our life, like Christ's, comprises both prayer and apostolic activity in our service to people for the Kingdom of God.

25 Christ came to bring the Good News of freedom to all people while turning in a special way to the poor and the oppressed. Mary, at La Salette, while speaking to the lowly and the humble made her message known to all her people. We also direct our mission to the People of God as a whole, while turning more willingly in our apostolic endeavors towards those the world looks down upon and towards those who are alienated from God and the Church.

26 Responsive to the needs of the universal and local Church and in conformity with our charism, attentive to the signs of the times and after prayer and discernment, we generously undertake those apostolic tasks to which we believe Providence is calling us. We also willingly evaluate
our ministries and regularly renew our apostolic methods, adapting them to present needs and the requirements of our working conditions.

27 Through the different ministries and works we are called to engage in, all of us, Fathers and Brothers, share in the mission of Reconciliation the Church has entrusted to the Congregation.

28 To provide more effective service we work in close collaboration with the laity, the diocesan clergy and other congregations, under the authority of the Bishop and in keeping with the pastoral guidelines of the local Church.

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