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Your intentions, our prayers, rip, fr andy, we pray for the repose of fr andy o’sullivan, 92, who passed away on 31 st january. he was a model holy ghost father and missionary to africa. he is remembered by many as “gentle, full of fun but strong in his beliefs.” our prayers and most sincere condolences to the spiritan family, and especially fr andy’s community in carfin. may he rest in peace, for our new parish and the people of god facing challenges in their lives – that they might find strength, comfort and healing from our visits and friendship, and may we help one another carry our crosses each day, as we try to follow christ., prayer request, submit your prayer requests to the spiritans, sacred space.
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Religious Congregations of the Holy Ghost
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The Congregation of the Holy Ghost and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
This Congregation was founded on Whit Sunday, 1703, for the purpose of preparing missionaries for the most abandoned souls , whether in Christian or pagan countries. Its founder was a young, holy ecclesiastic of noble Breton birth and of brilliant talents, Claude-François Poullart des Places, who, three years previously, in the twenty-first year of his age, had given up the bright prospects of a parliamentary lawyer to embrace the ecclesiastical state . From the very beginning of his ecclesiastical studies he manifested a particular attraction for lowly and neglected works of charity . He became especially interested in poor, deserving students, on whom he freely spent all his own private means and as much as he could collect from his friends. It was with a dozen of these gathered round him that he opened the Seminary of the Holy Ghost, which afterwards developed into a religious society . The work grew rapidly; but the labours and anxieties connected with the foundation proved too much for the frail health of the founder. He died on 2 October, 1709, in the thirty-first year of his age, and in only the third of his priesthood . The portraits which remain of Father Poullart des Places depict a distinguished and intelligent countenance, combining energy with sweetness.
After the founder's death, the Congregation of the Holy Ghost continued to progress; it became fully organized, and received the approbation of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities . It sent missionaries to the French colonies, and to India and China , but suffered much from the French Revolution , and, when that scourge had passed away, only one member, Father Berout, remained. He had survived miraculously , as it were, all manner of vicissitudes — shipwreck on the way to his destined mission in French Guiana, enslavement by the Moors , a sojourn in Senegal, where he had been sold to the English, who then ruled there. On his return to France , after peace was restored to the Church , he re-established the congregation, and continued its work. But it was found impossible to recover adequately from the disastrous effects of the dispersion caused by the Revolution , and the restored society was threatened with extinction. It was at this juncture that there came to its relief Father Libermann , and his fellow-missionaries of the Society of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which he had founded in 1842. Since the object of both societies was the same, the Holy See requested the founder of the new society to engraft it on the older Congregation of the Holy Ghost. This was done in 1848. Ven. Francis Mary Libermann was made first superior general of the united societies , and the whole body became so impregnated with his spirit and that of his first followers that he is rightly regarded as the chief father and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, such as it exists today.
The first care of the new superior general was to organize on a solid basis the religious service of the old French colonies, by securing the establishment of bishoprics and making provisions for the supply of clergy through the Seminary of the Holy Ghost, which was continued on the lines of its original purpose — to serve as a colonial seminary for the French colonies. But the new superior general set himself to cultivate still wider fields of missionary enterprise. There had already been opened to him the vast domain of Africa , which he was, practically, the first to enter, and which was to be henceforth the chief field of labour of his disciples. It is a fact to be noted that the taking-up of the African missions by Ven. Francis Mary Libermann was due to the initiative of two American prelates , under the encouragement of the first Council of Baltimore . Already, in 1833, Dr. England , Bishop of Charleston , had drawn the attention of the Propaganda to the activity of heretics on the West Coast of Africa, and had urged the sending of missioners to those benighted regions. This appeal was renewed at the Council of Baltimore , and the Fathers there assembled commissioned the Rev. Dr. Barron , who was then Vicar-General of Philadelphia, to undertake the work at Cape Palmas. That zealous priest went over the ground carefully for a few years, and then repaired to Rome to give an account of the work, and to receive further instructions. He was consecrated bishop and appointed Vicar-Apostolic of the Two Guineas. But, as he had only one priest and a catechist at his disposal, he repaired to France to search for missioners. Ven. Francis Mary Libermann supplied him at once with seven priests and three coadjutor brothers. The deadly climate played havoc with the inexperienced zeal of the first missionaries. All but one perished in the course of a few months, and Dr. Barron returned in despair to America, where he devoted himself to missionary work. He died from the effects of his zeal during the yellow-fever epidemic in Savannah , in 1853, in the fifty-third year of his age. Father Libermann and his disciples retained the African mission; new missionaries volunteered to go out and take the places of those who had perished; and gradually there began to be built up the series of Christian communities in darkest Africa which form the distinctive work of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost. It has proved a work of continued sacrifice. Nearly 700 missionaries have laid down their lives in Africa during the past sixty years. Still, the spiritual results have compensated for it all. Where there was not a single Christian among the thirty millions of people who inhabit the districts confided to the Holy Ghost Fathers, there are today some hundred thousand solid, well-instructed Catholics . These Christians are spread over the Diocese of Angola and the eight Vicariates of Senegambia, Sierra Leone , Gaboon, Ubangi (or French Upper Congo), Loango (or French Lower Congo), on the West Coast; and Northern Madagascar, Zanzibar , Bagamoyo, on the East Coast. There are, moreover, the Prefectures of Lower Nigeria , French Guinea, Lower Congo (Landana), and missions at Bata, in Spanish West Africa, and at Kindou, in the Congo Independent State.
Besides the missions in Africa , the Congregation of the Holy Ghost has missions in Mauritius, Réunion, the Rodriguez Islands, Trinidad, Martinique , Guadeloupe , Haiti , and Amazonia. Moreover, the congregation conducts some very important educational institutions , such as the French seminary at Rome , the colonial seminary at Paris , the colleges of Blackrock, Rockwell, and Rathmines in Ireland , St. Mary's College in Trinidad, the Holy Ghost College of Pittsburg , Pennsylvania , and the three colleges of Braga , Oporto , and Lisbon in Portugal . The congregation is organized into the following provinces: France , Ireland , Portugal , United States , and Germany . These several provinces, as well as all the foreign missions, are under the central control of a superior general, who resides in Paris , and who is aided by two assistants and four consultors — all chosen by the general chapter of the congregation. The whole society is under the jurisdiction of the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda . Recently, houses have been opened in England , Canada , Belgium , and Holland , and it is hoped that they will develop into distinct provinces at no distant date, so as to supply the colonies of these respective countries with an increase of missionaries. The province of the United States was founded in the year 1873. It comprises today 74 professed fathers, 19 professed scholastics, 30 professed coadjutor brothers. It is equipped with a novitiate and senior scholasticate, at Ferndale, in the Diocese of Hartford , an apostolic college at Cornwells, near Philadelphia. The main object of these institutions is to train missionaries for the most abandoned souls , especially for the coloured people. The province has already established two missions for the coloured race, one in Philadelphia, the other at Rock Castle, near Richmond. Others will be established as quickly as missionaries are formed. Moreover, missions for various nationalities have been established in the following dioceses , at the urgent request of the respective bishops : Little Rock, Pittsburg , Detroit , Grand Rapids , La Crosse , Philadelphia, Providence , and Harrisburg . In all there are twenty-three houses.
The latest statistics for the entire congregation, published in April, 1908, give 195 communities, 722 fathers, 210 professed scholastics, 655 professed brothers, 230 novices , 595 aspirants. About half the professed members are engaged in the African missions. The congregation is slowly but steadily forming a native clergy and sisterhood in Africa . A dozen negro priests and about one hundred negro sisters are at present working in the several missions.
Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Ghost
This congregation was founded in Brittany, in the year 1706, by two pious ladies, Renée Burel and Marie Balavenne, under the direction of a zealous missionary, Father Leuduger. Its principal object is the education of children; but it also undertakes all kinds of charitable work. The congregation developed rapidly, and the "White Sisters", as its members were called, from the colour of their habit, became very numerous all over the northwest of France . It suffered the fate of all religious societies at the Revolution ; but it quickly recovered, and increased a hundredfold during the course of the nineteenth century. The iniquitous French anti-congregation legislation of 1902 has caused the congregation to disperse. While still in possession at its mother-house at Saint-Brieuc , in Brittany, and in several other of its houses in France , in the face of bitter persecution , several hundreds of the Sisters of the Holy Ghost have gone to England , Belgium , and the United States . The late Bishop Tierney invited them to his Diocese of Hartford in 1902, and from there they have already spread to Springfield , Providence , Fall River , Burlington , and Ogdensburg . There are 22 houses at present in these several dioceses and over 200 sisters. The provincial house is at Hartford .
Sisters of the Holy Ghost (Dubuque)
This congregation was founded in 1890, by the late Most Rev. John Hennessey, Archbishop of Dubuque . Its object is twofold, the cultivation of devotion to God the Holy Ghost , and the education of youth. The mother-house is in St. Anthony's parish, West Dubuque, Iowa .
Sister-Servants of the Holy Ghost
This congregation was founded at Steyl, Holland , in 1889, by the late Very Rev. Father Janssen , as auxiliary to his other foundation, the Society of the Divine Word. It was introduced into the United States in 1901, and has a convent at Techny, Illinois , and a school for negro children at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Sisters of the Holy Ghost (for Coloured People)
This congregation was first established in 1886 at San Antonio , Texas . So far, it has only two houses, one at San Antonio , and the other at Victoria, Texas .
I. LE FLOCH, Vie de Poullart des Places (Paris, 1906); PITRA, Vie du Vén. Père Libermann (Paris, 1876); GÖPFERT. Life of Ven. Father Libermann (Dublin, 1880); LE ROY, Les Missions des pères du St-Esprit in Annales de La Propagation de la Foi (Paris, 1904); LIMBOUR, La Congrégation du St-Esprit (Paris, 1909). II. Notice sur La Congrégation des Filles du St-Esprit (Saint-Brieuc, 1888). III. Catholic News (New York, 28 Sept., 1901); Constitutions of the Sisters of the Holy Ghost (Dubuque, 1908). IV. Die Missionsgenossenschaft von Steyl (Steyl, 1900).
About this page
APA citation. Murphy, J.I. (1910). Religious Congregations of the Holy Ghost. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07416a.htm
MLA citation. Murphy, John I. "Religious Congregations of the Holy Ghost." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07416a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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Spiritual daughter of archbishop marcel lefebvre. faithful to eternal rome. fighting with the spirit of st. joan of arc for the true faith..
Archbishop Lefebvre & the Holy Ghost Fathers (2)
Following up from the previous post, here is the second article, continuing the story of the early days of Archbishop Lefebvre & the Holy Ghost Fathers:
A Contested Superior As member of the Coetus Internationalis Patrum , the group of conservative conciliar Fathers who tried to counteract the progressivist schemes and resist the imprecision and erroneous opinions expressed in the aula, Archbishop Lefebvre did not have the unanimous support of his congregation. Many were disappointed to see the Superior General of their congregation take sides against the innovators. Especially since he was not the only Spiritan bishop participating in the Council. Forty-six Spiritan bishops participated in the sessions. Eleven of them, all French-speaking, expressed their growing unease as their superior’s position as a discordant voice became more and more pronounced. They drew up a document in which they mentioned the “disobliging remarks” from French bishops and cardinals in Rome, many of whom stayed at the French Seminary. On November 30, 1963, these eleven bishops presented their grievance to Archbishop Lefebvre, reproaching him for supporting Verbe , the journal of the Cité Catholique , for criticizing the newspaper La Croix , the press organ of the bishops of France, for his letter on wearing the cassock, that was not in keeping with the spirit of the times since it went against the dispositions of the French episcopate allowing clergyman suits, for Fr. Lecuyer’s departure from the Roman Seminary, and for his choice of the Canon Berto, who was not a Spiritan, as theological adviser to assist him at the Council. They also reproached him for taking a public stance at the Council (see Philippe Béguerie, Vers Ecône, Desclée de Brouwer, 2010, p. 255-257). His calls to order on the priestly spirit, the necessity of prayer, the religious and apostolic life, and his warnings against Communism, secularism, and materialism were scarcely in keeping with the spirit of the conciliar aggiornamento either. The time had come for a general reassessment of the methods of apostolate and the organization of missions. Besides the liturgical novelties and the unconditional openness to any and all experiments, the religious were quite taken with psychology and psychoanalysis. The magic word was seeking personal fulfillment, as Luc Perrin explains in his study (“ Mgr Lefebvre, d’une élection à une demission ”, in Histoire, monde et cultures religieuses , #10, June 2009, p. 165). The Spiritan province in Holland experienced an emblematic crisis: in a few years’ time, the scholasticates, novitiates and seminaries were emptied. The habit, the rules, the community prayers, the liturgy, the taking of and fidelity to the vows, everything was abandoned or transformed (see Côme de Prévigny, “ Mgr Lefebvre: d’un chapitre à l’autre ” in Fideliter , #244, p. 74). A revolutionary wind had blown in.
For a True Aggiornamento For the time being, after the promulgation of the decree Perfectae Caritatis on October 28, 1965, Archbishop Lefebvre loyally undertook to reform his Congregation. The letter he signed on January 6, 1966 ordered the local superiors to have their communities study the conciliar texts and collect the suggestions they inspired in preparation for an administrative General Chapter. To this end, he created four commissions to prepare the reforms of the legislation, the formation, the religious discipline and the apostolate. But he intended to conduct all these reforms in such a way as to bring about a “true aggiornamento of the congregation regarding the religious virtues.” Amidst all the talk of “independent learning and independent training”, Archbishop Lefebvre spoke up forcefully against this “abdication of authority in what is its essential role,” and against “the lack of realism which ends up causing chaos and indiscipline, represents a bonus to those who are daring and strong-headed, and leads to good, humble, and submissive religious being scorned.” “Let us have our aggiornamento not in the spirit of a destructive neo-Protestantism that ruins the sources of sanctity” but “driven by the holy desires that have inspired all saints who were involved in reform. They were reformers because they loved our Lord on the Cross, and practiced obedience, poverty, and chastity. There, they acquired the spirit of sacrifice, oblation, and prayer which made them into apostles.” (Bp. Tissier, p. 364). Despite his efforts to limit the effects of the conciliar reforms, a general slackness was spreading in the congregation. The first thing to go was the discipline of the religious life, but there were also many departures and a lack of perseverance among the candidates, and the life of prayer and contemplation was depreciated, giving way to activism in the accomplishment of the congregation’s works. To remedy this situation, Archbishop Lefebvre drew up an ambitious project in the beginning of 1967, hoping to implement a better formation for members and a better preparation to the priesthood and the missionary religious life. In the meantime, the preparations for the Chapter were well under way. He entrusted it to the prayers of Padre Pio, whom he visited on Easter Monday, 1967. The holy Capuchin took a very dim view of the changes that would soon lead his own religious family to write up new constitutions. On September 12, 1968, he would write to Pope Paul VI these revealing lines: I pray to our Lord that the Capuchin order continue its traditions of serious religious austerity, evangelical poverty, and observance of the rule and constitutions, while renewing its vitality and interior spirit according to the directives of the Second Vatican Council. One might as well try to make a circle square… This attitude reveals the torment so many Catholics experienced during those years. Already published: The Story of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Resignation (1)
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Formation is the work of God who forms us like a potter. It is a work of faith which transforms us. It requires continual discernment in order to answer the call we have received and allow the talents given to us by God to bear fruit.’ GSF N0 7. Formation in the Holy Ghost Fathers is a process whereby a candidate passes after feeling that God has called him to live a Spiritan Missionary Religious life to his death. Formation is an ongoing process. ‘Formation is the continual deepening of our ‘apostolic life’ under the influence of the Holy Spirit and in keeping with the spirit of our Founders, our living tradition, and the present needs of the world’ (SRL NO 100). There are two types of formation, initial formation and ongoing formation.
Vocation Promotion and Admission
Vocation animation office.
The office of Vocation is situated at the Spiritan Postulancy in Kilimambogo-Thika. The office does the work of coordinating and animating the young men who feel God is calling them in the Congregation. “Vocation animation consists in the fostering of awareness and the accompaniment of vocation to Spiritan life either as brother or as priest.” [GSF No45] Vocation animation brings question from young people such as “what should I do? Who are you?, where do you live?, what do you do? The answers are found only when we welcome them in the community for “Come and See” program.Spiritans we are Called, Consecrated , and Commissioned by the Spirit to the whole world.
Apart from the daily work, efforts are being made to ensure that many young men discern and submit an application to join the Congregation. We have printed new brochures and banner or posters are being prepared to ease publicity and efficiently support the action of animation. Together with other Animators from different Congregations in the umbrella of K.A.V.A (Kenya Association of Vocation Animators), we occasionally team up to and move from one secondary school to the other doing Vocation Promotion. We are invited in different dioceses and parishes to talk to the youth and also in different secondary and colleges in the country. It is a fruitful work.
We continue to thank God for plentiful vocations to religious life in Kenya. The qualification to join the Congregation is, one has to be of 18-30 years old, a baptized Catholic of male gender. He has to be physically and emotionally healthy with a secondary School Certificate of grade C+ and above or Sufficient University or College qualifications. When a candidate has applied to join the Congregation then the Director of Vocations works hard to know him, to guide him in his desire and help in his discernment. This helps when time comes for the Spiritan formation.
THE HOLY GHOST FATHERS (SPIRITANS) VOCATION DIRECTOR KENYA PROVINCE P.0 B0X 14621 WESTLANDS 00800 NAIROBI Cell Phone +254-729145631
Formations starts when candidates feels the call from God to serve Him in the Missionary Religious life.First stage is invitation in Postulancyfor come and see and then called to start One year in Kilimambogo . The student is introduced to the Spiritan life and the start of Missionary Religious life. This stage starts from September to May then candidates are sent to next stage. This first stage takes those candidates who have completed form four or college/ University studies and want to join Spiritan Missionary Religious Life.
The second stage is Philosophy stage which takes place in Arusha Tanzania for three years. This entire period that begins with Postulancy in Kilimambogo Thika to Arusha Tanzania is known as a Postulancy stage. This is a period of study of philosophy. The objective of this stage is aimed at allowing the candidate to come to a sufficient human and spiritual maturity in order to freely and responsibly enter the third stage of Novitiate.
Third stage is Novitiate stage. This stage takes place in Lushoto, Tanga-Tanzania and is one year course. The candidate deepens their sense of Vocation (SRL 110). “In their response to the Lord’s call, the novitiate guides them towards the moment when they will choose, freely and responsibly to consecrate their life to the apostolate in the Spiritan family or to opt for another way of living out their Christian life.” (GSFNO56). At the end of novitiate stage the candidate becomes the member of Spiritan family by professing the three vows.
The fourth stage is known as Period of Missionary Experience (PME) SRL N0 136.1-4. This stage takes two years. This stage is done in transcultural mission situation where Spiritans are working in the world. The objective of this stage is that ‘before taking up a professional activity, many young people undertake a time of internship or apprenticeship where good performance tis a necessary requisite before being taken on in full-time employment’ (GSFNO 69). This stage is very important to all confreres in the Congregation. After two years comes the fifth stage.
The fifth stage is Theology stage which takes four years in Nairobi Kenya. The objective of this stage is that ‘within the perspective of a life –long consecration to the apostolate this stage aims at giving the newly professed a sufficient maturity in all the areas required for Spiritan life.’(GSFNO62). Theology stage is a time of deepening spiritual and religious commitment with a missionary spirituality which includes study, pastoral or professional work, in line Spiritan Missionary Religious life. This stage ends with final professional to the Congregation for brotherhood and ordination to priesthood for those who take priesthood life
Spiritan House of Formation, Nairobi was founded in the 1970s by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit as the formation house for the second cycle of formation for the Eastern African region (Now Union of Circumscriptions of Eastern Africa, UCEAF).Being the scholasticate of the UCEAF, most of the scholastics are from the Circumscriptions of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. There is also a significant number of scholastics from the Provinces of Madagascar, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gabon, and India. Today, Spiritan House is one of the biggest formation houses of the congregation with an average of 40 scholastics a year.
The purpose of the Scholasticate is to enable the young professed continue their initial formation. It is a period of strengthening and growing in the awareness of and commitment to the Spiritan religious missionary vocation. The program of formation is a holistic one, giving proper emphasis to the religious, academic and personal development of each scholastic. During this time, the young Spiritan allows himself to be assisted by his formators as he progresses towards the decision of making his definitive consecration to the apostolate by perpetual vows in the Congregation as a Brother or to prepare further for Ordination to the priesthood in the Church.
Spiritan House is a formation community which differs from an “ordinary working community”. The scholasticate aims to meet the following goals:
- To have an in-depth study into the Spiritan way of life as one pursues studies.
- To focus more on personal identity and congregational identity.
- To graduate in theological studies.
- To make final commitment to the Spiritan apostolate.
- To be accepted into the order of Diaconate and Priesthood.
Internationality and inter-culturality define Spiritan house today. The scholastics and formators are from twelve different nationalities in Africa and Asia. They include, Congo DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda. They come from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and speak different language. Spiritan House is a place of encounter for nations and cultures where diversity is appreciated and celebrated. Our community is a testimony of what Spiritan community life and identity truly is. Our unity and harmony is a clear sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in this Spiritan family. Though many and diverse, but one Lord.
Since its inception in the 1970s, Spiritan House has produced over 250 missionaries. Many of these missionaries are ministering in the five continents of the world. Spiritan House is really the power house of the congregation. The community is lively and dynamic. The energy and vibrancy of youth are clear sign of hope for the congregation now and in the future.
Spiritan House contributes to the mission of the local Church in many ways. We share our faith through weekend pastoral to the neighboring parishes and communities. Spiritan House combines prayer, study, manual work, pastoral outreach and the integral human growth.
The following are the confreres living at Spiritan House this academic year 2015/2016.
- 1.1 Number of students on Pastoral Experience Program (PEP).
In our Spiritan Rule of Life (SRL) NOS 142-147 Calls all members to continue being attentive to call of God. This stage is for members who are in the vineyard of the Lord tending the sheep. Good shepherds needs energy to continue. “God’s call to come and work for the kingdom is not made to us just once for all. Our response has to be updated continually. So it is necessity for all of us to retain ourselves without fail if we are to remain true to our calling in the world and in the Church.”(SRL N0 142). Ongoing formation is a necessity in this contemporary life. There is a need to acquire knowledge in this changing and challenging times. It allows Spiritans to continually update our response to God’s ongoing invitation to be faithful to the signs of time. Ongoing formation addresses our human growth, spiritual growth, our apostolic commitments, our religious life and life in total. Fundamentally, ongoing formation is undertaken mainly during our Annual Retreats and Sabbatical leaves.
Ongoing formation finds concrete expression in three main forums: Annual retreats (held here in Kenya in the last week of November), renewal courses and sabbaticals. This formation is based on a conviction that God’s call to come and work for the Kingdom is not made to us just once for all. Our response has to be updated continually. So it is a necessity for all of us to retrain ourselves without fail if we are to remain true to our calling in the world and in the Church. Ongoing formation involves all aspects of our calling — human, spiritual, theological, professional and pastoral. It should help our thinking on our apostolic activities, our discernment of the signs of the times, and the changes of attitudes and of outlook that are imperative. Every member is earnestly exhorted to look for the support of a counsellor capable of helping him in his spiritual journey. Ongoing formation concerns, in equal measure, both the individual and the whole community. Consequently every member, community and circumscription, as well as the whole Congregation is expected both to participate in it and contribute to it.
The circumscription shall set up, independently or in collaboration with other organizations, regular renewal conferences or courses. Members are to be encouraged to take part in these. Superiors shall facilitate for each one, about once every ten years, a lengthy period of renewal to permit a real updating and a spiritual replenishment (F. ressourcement spirituel ). The members, for their part, shall be concerned about their own renewal and keep themselves abreast of events as they develop in their home Church. Members who have spent some years in a culture different from their own and who, for health or other reasons, return to their home circumscriptions, are given a fraternal welcome. They are helped to fit in again, especially if they must take up an apostolate that is significantly different from the one they have been used to. The General Council has the duty of helping and encouraging the initiatives of major superiors to provide for ongoing formation.
The Congregation shall help ageing confreres to take up activities in keeping with their years and their capabilities, and to prepare themselves for retirement. To our older members and those in ill health, the Congregation will willingly and cheerfully offer its care, to enable them in patience and in faith to take up this different form of the one same mission the Lord chooses to entrust to them. The retirement years when lived in faith are a time of growth in grace, both on the human and the spiritual planes. They are also a grace given by the Lord to the whole Congregation. So as to be more competent to help retired confreres, those who bear the responsibility for communities shall keep in mind what medical knowledge tells us of the frailties as well as the strengths that are proper to this age of life.