On October 10, 2016, during a private audience with members of the General Assembly of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate—the society of priests and brothers St. Vincent founded, Pope Francis stressed that, “in this Holy Year of Mercy, I like to remember that Vincent Pallotti was blessed to recognize that Jesus is the Apostle of the Father, rich in mercy and full of mercy. He is the one who fulfills its mission by revealing to everyone the tender love and the infinite mercy of the Father.” During the audience, Pope Francis also urged St. Vincent’s sons to continue their special mission to help Catholics “rediscover the immense love of God.” Pope Francis’ affirmation of the special mission of the Pallottines clearly demonstrates how necessary Pallottine spirituality is today.
Additionally, our Holy Father also explained that one of the major aspects of Pallottine spirituality is rooted in a personal encounter with Christ’s infinite love and infinite mercy. The Holy Father said: “Your founder realized that in order to live in communion with God, Jesus Christ must be put at the center.” St. Vincent’s personal encounter with Jesus Christ’s infinite love and infinite mercy changed his life. It impelled him to action, to spread Christ’s love and mercy to everyone. St. Vincent spread Christ’s love by providing spiritual direction, spending hours in the confessional each week, promoting various Catholic devotions, and assisting all the baptized in coming to know their vocations to the apostolate. His encounter with Jesus Christ was truly at the center of his life. Like St. Vincent, a personal encounter with Christ can help us to revive our faith, rekindle charity, and assist all the baptized in understanding their vocations as apostles.
Sounds pretty awesome right? I think so too. I will now explain three practical ways to infuse Pallottine spirituality into your ministry.
- One way to incorporate Pallottine spirituality into your ministry is to pray with Find the God Who Seeks You, a daily reflection book on St. Vincent’s writings. The e-book is available free from the Catholic Apostolate Center here. You can also request a free hard copy of the book here. As you contemplate St. Vincent’s words each day, allow your growing relationship with Christ to animate your ministry.
- Another way to infuse Pallottine spirituality into your ministry is to intentionally collaborate with your staff and others in ministry. During his own life, St. Vincent prophetically recognized the value of “holy cooperation” in ministry by inviting people from all walks of life to join him in reviving faith and rekindling charity. Those who collaborated with St. Vincent also grew in holiness. One of his collaborators, Blessed Elisabetta Sanna, was just beatified on September 17, 2016. One example of collaboration in ministry is to involve your team in the decision making process. If you want to host a parish-wide reflection on Advent, for example, don’t just walk into your weekly staff meeting and tell your team that you’ve decided to hold an Advent reflection on December 18th at 6pm and they should try to be there. Instead, ask your staff members for input on what type of reflection might best benefit the parish and what dates work for them to participate.
- Finally, hosting programs in your parish that will help parishioners to understand their roles as apostles is a wonderful way to incorporate Pallottine spirituality into your ministry. If all of the baptized understood their apostolic mission to evangelize, our Church would look quite different today.
For more resources on St. Vincent Pallotti and Pallottine spirituality, click here.