The General Council of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, to celebrate the Centenary of our founding
GRATITUDE IS THE AIR THAT OUR SPIRITS BREATHE
Message 5 – the Centenary of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit
Message 5 /2010-2016
Of the General Council of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit
On the occasion of the Centenary of our founding
GRATITUDE IS THE AIR THAT OUR SPIRITS BREATHE
To all of you who are part of this celebration
To the Family of the Cross
To those whom our apostolate serves
To those who serve with us
To our relatives, friends, and benefactors
Dear sisters and brothers:
It is my prayer that Jesus Christ, born among us for our salvation, fill you with peace, joy, and hope.
- On December 25, 1914, our Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit was born on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City. In gratitude, we fondly remember Concepción Cabrera de Armida, Félix de Jesús Rougier, and Msgr. Ramón Ibarra. We also commemorate the first two novices, Brother Moisés Lira and Fr. Domingo Martínez.
We are celebrating our first one hundred years of existence. This anniversary is a historical landmark, but it is most importantly another beginning. As Pope John Paul II said to all religious, “You have not only a glorious history to remember and to tell, but also a great history to build! Keep your view toward the future, toward the Spirit who continues to inspire you to great things.” (VC 110).
- Last Christmas we began our Jubilee Year. Throughout the year, we have given thanks to the Father for all of the gifts he has given us as well as for all of the graces he has given to the Church and to the world through us. Also, we have asked forgiveness for our sins and weaknesses. We have asked the Father to give us the grace of conversion – of a deep renewal of our devotion to him, our communion with him, and our community’s mission.
We give you all thanks for having accompanied us this Jubilee Year, however you were able to do so: in prayer, thoughts, celebrations and/or activities.
- Our Constitutions ask us to be “a community of prayer, in dialogue with God, in praise and in gratitude for his gifts” (CD 139). What better occasion than this jubilee to express our gratitude. So, together, today “we give unceasing thanks to God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Col. 1:3).
In the message that Fr. Félix sent to the Congregation in 1937, he wrote, “Here is not the place to talk about the way that the Works of the Cross were born… the way that this privileged Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit was born. But we know how it was born, and so we all live in an atmosphere of gratitude. Gratitude is the air that our spirits breathe!” (EEC 76).
Yes, today, just as then, gratitude is the air that our spirits breathe!
- We celebrate this anniversary in the context of a globalized world where great scientific and technological advancements have taken place. But, this globalized world also sustains an economic system that promulgates grave inequalities, creates poverty, and even condemns hundreds of people each day to die of hunger. It is a world that seeks peace, respect for human rights, and respect for the environment, but also where there is violence, war, economic insecurity, corruption, unscrupulous spending, exploitation, discrimination, human trafficking, and other new forms of slavery. It is a world where each person desires happiness, but which, fragmented and angry, takes refuge in egotism, forgetting its spiritual dimension and even God, and closing its eyes, ears, and heart to those who suffer.
We celebrate this centenary in the context of a Church that, led by Pope Francis, wants to renew itself, enter the world, and transmit the joy of the Gospel. On the other hand, it resists change, clings to its privileges, and takes refuge in its safety. This is a Church that, since the first Sunday of this Advent, has been celebrating the Year of the Consecrated Life, but in many religious congregations – including our own – the average age of their members is rising while the number of vocations is falling. This is a Church that, in many countries, is being persecuted and martyred, but that, faithful to Jesus Christ and inspired by the Holy Spirit, gives witness to its faith. Thereby it is making present the Kingdom of God in the world.
In this world and in this Church, today “God is asking each Missionary of the Holy Spirit to be a living reminder of Jesus Christ, priest and victim, contemplative and compassionate, who gives new responses to the new problems that face today’s world” (XIV CG 68).
- As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of our congregation’s birth, we have 51 communities in nine countries: Mexico, the United States, Italy, Spain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, and Brazil.
- As we begin our second century of life, we are filled with hope, desiring to carry out God the Father’s project in us. This project can be summarized by three points: 1. “to radically follow Jesus Christ, priest and victim, contemplative and compassionate, in order to transform ourselves in him”; 2. To build “a genuine community of brothers who support one another”, and 3. “to expand the reign of the Holy Spirit by building up a Priestly People, creating processes of holiness and inspiring commitments to solidarity.” (CD 6, 470 & 13).
In order to carry out this work, we need your prayer. Please ask for our continual conversion, for us to be better Missionaries of the Holy Spirit each day. Through your prayers we can glorify our Triune God, and the divine grace will flow unencumbered through us to all those whom we encounter.
- We repeat today our commitment to serving the Church and the world, to serving you, for the rest of the years that God gives us. We hope to serve “in their movements toward holiness, so that they be filled with the Spirit of the Cross until they are transformed in Christ; so that they embrace, according to their vocation, the demands of the Spirit of the Cross in their personal, family, (ecclesiastical), and social lives; and so that they cooperate in the evangelical transformation of the world” (CD 193).
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we recommit to carrying out this work, with the certainty that, if we do our part, “Jesus will take care of the rest” (ECC 302).
~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~
We end our letter by wishing for you the continual presence of Mary, that she accompany you as she accompanied the first Christian community on their roads of brotherhood, evangelization, and martyrdom.
Fernando Torre, msps.
Miguel Mier, msps.
Vicente Monroy, msps.
Javier Moran, msps.
Joaquín González, msps.
December 25, 2014
On the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, and the 100th Anniversary of our Founding