ANTONIO ROSMINI is known as a great philosopher, theologian, and spiritual master. He is less known as the Founder of the Institute of Charity (Rosminians) and of the Sisters of Providence (Rosminian Sisters).
In founding his Congregations, he followed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and used his greatest natural gift, the power of his intellect. The famous Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni said of Rosmini: “He is one of the six/seven greatest intellects God has granted to Humanity”.
Whereas nearly all other Religious Congregations or Orders have a specific mission for the Church, and for the world, the Institute of Charity has universal charity as its charism.
This means, first of all, that the initial path for its members is the contemplative life, that is, a life dedicated entirely to purification from vices and sinful inclinations, acquisition of all Christian virtues, and closest possible union with God.
However, whilst they are dedicated to this essential spiritual work, they are open to undertake whatever mission or works of charity which God indicates to them by means of obedience. All avenues are, therefore, open to the members of the Institute, in proportion to their gifts, talents, and generosity of heart. They are not called and formed for one particular mission, be it teaching, missionary activity, contemplative life, parish work, hospital work, education of the youth, etc. The spectrum for them is universal charity.
Hence, Rosminians may be involved in three different forms of charity, forms which encompass the whole of universal charity: temporal works of charity (corporal works of mercy, which include feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, for orphans, for lepers, for the blind, etc.); intellectual work of charity (teaching in schools, in colleges, lecturing in Universities, writings books, instructing, counselling, etc.) and spiritual works of charity (pastoral work in parishes, in the missions, in retreat centres, in hospitals, etc.).
In practice, since the time of Rosmini, the Rosminian Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters have been involved in all kinds of activities, from teaching in schools and Colleges, to caring for the lepers and the sick in Tanzania, from working in parishes to running Retreat Centres. There is no limit to the kind of work Divine Providence may call them to do. Like the young Samuel, they are always ready to say: “Here I am, Lord”; or like JESUS, they can say: “I have come to do the Will of my Father”, or, “My food is to do the Will of my Father in Heaven”.
It is a splendid vocation, since it opens the heart to universal charity, without restrictions, without limitations. If God calls, He will provide the means. Therefore, we abandon ourselves entirely in the hands of Divine Providence. loving God with all our might, and loving all our brothers and sisters in the world, thus fulfilling the Commandment of Love: Love God, love thy neighbour.
This is the reason why vocation to the Institute of Charity or to the Sisters of Providence is open to everyone. Everyone can be certain about his/her vocation, since the Lord addressed His invitation to everyone when He said: “If you wish to be perfect, sell all that you have and follow Me”.
Do you wish to follow JESUS? His invitation is open to you, it is up to you to answer it with all your enthusiasm and joy. He will not disappoint you! You will receive a hundredfold in this life and will possess eternal life!
There is a tendency to think that the word “vocation” refers only to young people. And indeed, young people are called, and we address each one of them. However, the same LORD who called the young JOHN to be His disciple also called the more mature PETER. The call can take place at any stage of one’s life, and we invite also adults and more mature people to respond to God’s call.
If you are interested, whether young or middle aged or a more mature person, please get in touch with us. You will be welcomed with open arms.
Fr Chris Fuse, Gentili House, Oak Street, Rugby CV22 5EL UK. Tel. +44 1788 542703; or e-mail email@example.com
Fr Provincial, Gentili House, Oak Street, Rugby CV22 5EL UK. Tel. +44 7947 639116; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
IS THE LORD CALLING YOU?