Today is the Anniversary of the death of Claude François Poullart des Places, Founder of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. It is the day the General Council has chosen to launch the Animation plan of the Congregation on the theme of Spiritan Identity and Vocation.
Here are some propositions for the liturgical celebrations on this occasion.
1. Novena: Communities are invited to prepare the feast with the Novena of Poullart des Places (cf. Novena Booklet 2012-2020).
2. Vigil Service: The Vespers could take the form of an extended liturgy which will include the following:
• Meditation on the implications of Spiritan vocation based on Luke 4:18-19(SRL 1). This text was at the center of the retreat Poullart des Places had before the inauguration of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit on 27 May, 1703.
• Proclamation/watching of the message of the Superior General for the Animation Year.
The following prayer could be said
God of Life and Love:
we praise and thank you
for the wonders you work among us,
and for gathering us here together
to remember the mission and ministry
of our founder,
Claude–François Poullart des Places.
Be with us as we gather in your name.
May we be renewed in our baptismal call
to build up your kingdom of peace, love and justice.
Grant that as your Word speaks to our hearts,
our lips may never cease to proclaim your glory
and our life in common
may become a communion in your love.
We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.
(Cf. Liturgical Resources for Spiritan Celebrations, p. 15)
3. Eucharistic Celebration
• The mass of the day will be adopted: Memorial of the Guardian Angels.
• Where it is not possible to watch or read the message of the Superior General during vespers, it could be read during the mass after the homily.
• Confreres will renew their Spiritan Missionary Commitment, using the following act of renewal or any other appropriate one.
Act of Renewal (Cf. Liturgical Resources for Spiritan Celebrations, p. 22-23)
Presider: In our religious profession, we promised to live out our Christian life as baptised persons by following the Spiritan religious missionary way of life. Let us now, in a spirit of thanksgiving to God, recall our religious commitment and renew our resolve to live fully our baptismal call in the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
(all pray this together)
Rejoicing in my life as a Spiritan missionary:
I wish to thank God for having blessed me with loving presence in my life:
– for God’s fidelity to me even when I was less than faithful to God;
– for being able to work through my weakness, so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ be witnessed to;
– for leading me ever more deeply in his inscrutable ways;
– for the Kingdom of Christ which I glimpsed in the lives of Christian communities [in loco, and loco and other parts of the world];
– for the healing and reconciliation brought by God to people among whom I was privileged to live and minister;
– for the justice and love of God which continually bursts forth at the most unexpected times and in the least likely of places and events;
– and for the presence of the God who saves
in the lives of people everywhere
calling them to ever greater closeness and union in Love.
I ask for forgiveness
– for those times when I have not listened for the living Word of God among God’s people;
– for when I blocked God’s movement towards people or gave a diminished picture of God’s merciful love;
– for when I used my ministry to impose my way on people rather than discern God’s will;
– for the times when I failed to see the presence and workings of the living God in the lives and beliefs of people of other religions.
I promise to continue, with God’s help, to live fully our Spiritan mission:
– that through my witness, in common with other Christians, God’s bounty and love be known;
– that evangelical witness may liberate those enslaved by their sin and the sin embedded in society.
– to be sensitive to the voice of the Spirit in my living of the Gospel;
– to reach out and share in the lives of those who are marginalised in society;
– to try, to the best of my ability, to bear witness to an alternative life–style, taking God’s kingdom as my only rule and guide;
– and to live my life fully, rejoicing in all the good things that God has given, but yet relying solely on the hope which is founded in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I am happy to renew my commitment to the Spiritan way of life.
In the presence of God’s holy people
gathered together with us,
to glorify God for the great mercy shown towards us,
we dedicate ourselves once again
to our ministry
and declare our loyalty to Christ
as witnesses to his new covenant.
We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen