The Holy Spirit in Spiritan Life

by Administrator

In the Year of Consecrated life (2015), Pope Francis asked all Catholics to pray that religious priests, sisters, and brothers would “wake up the world” through their joyful witness of life. To fruitfully “wake up the world,” Spiritans must first be “awake” – we cannot give to others what we do not have. We must have personally experienced the transforming power of the Gospel, the wellspring of our words and actions, and then only are we able to bring God to others. Among the numerous and varied vocations in the church which the Holy Spirit inspires, we participate in the mission of Christ by evangelizing the poor. “We live out our mission in willing obedience to the Holy Spirit, taking Mary as our model” (SRL 5).
It is the Spirit of Pentecost who guides Spiritan life and mission. Spiritans are consecrated to the Holy Spirit, the author and source of the apostolic spirit, and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the most perfect participant in the life and mission of Jesus Christ and a perfect model of fidelity to the Holy Spirit.1 In this paper, I first point out the workings of the Holy Spirit in the life and mission of our founders and the meaning of consecration to the Holy Spirit. Secondly, I discuss the role of the Spirit in Christian life and in the prophetic dimension of religious missionary life. Then, I highlight the work of the Holy Spirit in the context of the Vietnamese Church. Finally, I humbly give some indications for the renewal of Spiritan life and mission and for promoting availability to the Holy Spirit in the contemporary world.

The Holy Spirit in the Founders and the Spiritan Rule of Life

What does it mean for our Congregation to be consecrated to the Holy Spirit? From the very beginning, the Holy Spirit has had a central role in our spirituality and in our vision for mission. Poullart des Places and Libermann were driven by the same Spirit to make themselves available for the urgent needs of the poor and oppressed. At the time of Poullart des Places, there was a strong devotion to the Holy Spirit in his home province of Brittany, and he must have been influenced by this context of docility to the Holy Spirit. Des Places discovered the loving plan of God calling him to commit himself to a life of holiness through a progressive conversion to the gospel. To respond to God’s call to go further in his spiritual journey, he had to leave behind his social status, the mentality of family and culture, and a possibly brilliant career in parliament.
In Poullart des Places’ time, there was a great shortage of truly committed priests to serve the poor, the abandoned, and the marginalized. The clergy was seeking wealth and honors and many of them had not received good training. He wished to imitate Christ and allowed himself to be led by the Holy Spirit at the service of the church. “Being a priest was for them an evangelical availability in obedience to the Spirit for the service of the poor and abandoned in voluntary personal poverty.”2 This was the driving force that impelled Poullart des Places and his group to be ready and available to serve the poor wherever the needs were most urgent. By listening to the Holy Spirit, he recognized the emerging needs that required new responses.

“As soon as he arrived in Paris, he found the places where he felt called to by the Spirit: the sick to be visited in the hospital, the immigrant Savoyards and the poor students who needed help and encouragement.”3
Being conscious of God’s mercy and goodness to him, he, in turn, responded to God’s love by gathering poor seminarians and accompanying them in their vocation. On Pentecost Sunday 1703, the small group of students gathered in the side chapel of St. Etienne des Grès in Paris around Claude Poullart des Places and consecrated themselves to the Holy Spirit and to the Immaculate Virgin Mary conceived without sin. The Rule states that “all the students will adore, in particular, the Holy Spirit to whom they are devoted.”

Father Libermann was the son of the Rabbi of Saverne who wanted him to succeed him as Rabbi. Before conversion to Christianity, Libermann went through a faith crisis. He fell “into a kind of religious indifference”4 which after a few months, developed into a total loss of belief. He was anxiously seeking the true religion and asked for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Illuminated by interior helps from the Holy Spirit, who penetrated his mind to see the truth, his heart to feel interior peace, his will accepted Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life (cf. John 14:6). He told Fr. Gamon: “I was enlightened. I saw the truth and faith penetrated my mind and heart. Reading Lhomond, I had no trouble accepting everything he said about the life and death of Jesus Christ.”5 With the help of the Holy Spirit, he was enlightened to go beyond reason and to open himself to the dimension of Mystery. He had to move beyond what his father’s strongly held conviction considered valuable and important to see the bigger picture of reality. For Libermann to be able to accept the mystery of Christ regardless of the severe friction and tension in dealing with his father, he had to listen to the Holy Spirit manifesting himself in the concrete situations of life. The Holy Spirit touched, opened, and turned his heart towards God – the Spirit who gives “joy and ease to everyone in assenting to the truth and believing it.”6 In a letter to Jerome Schwindenhammer, Libermann confirmed that the Lord helped him to stand up to his father who wanted him to renounce the faith and that he renounced his father rather than the faith.7 For him, what counted was total trust in the providence of God and unconditional availability before God. When he felt called by the Holy Spirit to dedicate himself to serving the Negro slaves, he was willing to give up his position as assistant novice master of the Eudists. We can see his openness to the Holy Spirit in his attitude toward the poor and neglected. When Libermann heard the cry of the poor, he founded his Congregation not only for foreign missions but also for social work.8 This was the genesis of that “Work for the Blacks” that took the members of his missionary band of the Holy Heart of Mary to Haiti, Reunion, Mauritius, and West Africa.9 A few years later, in 1848, after discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit directing him and his followers, he gladly accepted as God’s will the merger of the Society of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. Years after that, Libermann “restored that Congregation to its original fervor in obedience to the Holy Spirit and evangelical availability.”10 Because he was flexible and docile to the Holy Spirit in all situations of life and saw everything in relation to God, his contemporaries “venerated him as a saint…a man animated by the Spirit of God.”11 M. de Brandt said, “I cannot doubt that this holy man was animated by the divine Spirit.”12

Father Libermann used several images to describe this spiritual reality. In our Spiritan Rule of Life, there are over
40 references to the Holy Spirit in relation to our Spiritan life and mission in the contemporary world. “We who come from different cultures, continents, and nations … are brought together by the Spirit of Pentecost into one larger community, the Congregation” (SRL 37). As a special gift, the Spirit calls us to a life of chastity in the single state (SRL 60), of poverty
(SRL 63) and of obedience (SRL 76) to follow Christ in order to witness to the kingdom of God in the service of the gospel.
Consecrated by the Holy Spirit (SRL 6) who is the author of all holiness, the source of our talents and gifts (SRL 43), of our apostolic zeal (SRL 9), we “live our mission in willing obedience to the Holy Spirit, taking Mary as our model” (SRL 5). Mary is the perfect model for us of faithful obedience to the Holy Spirit. In our community life, the Spirit who is the source of unity binds us together (SRL 42), calling us to continual conversion and shaping our personal and community lives (SRL 10; 95). Every day we put into practice the dynamic of prayer and apostolate. We ask the Spirit to give us his understanding to help us discern the will of the Father (SRL 76), through the church, our human environment, and the world in which we live (SRL 44.1). Thus we are invited to live every experience in the Spirit of God – our joys, our hardships, and our pains, the works we undertake in our zeal, and even our failures (SRL 88).

The Meaning of the Congregation being Consecrated to the Holy Spirit

All students will adore in a special way the Holy Spirit, to whom they have been specially consecrated. To this they will add a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin, through whose protection they have been offered to the Holy Spirit. As their two principal feasts, they will choose Pentecost and the Immaculate Conception. The first they will celebrate to obtain from the Holy Spirit the fire of divine love, the second to obtain from the Blessed Virgin an angelic purity.13

The small community consecrated itself to the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This means that Spiritans are totally willing to follow the way of the Holy Spirit, with the Blessed Virgin Mary as their model. We are to be in-dwelt and governed by the Holy Spirit who is “the source of [our] desires, impulses, inclinations, affections, feelings, attractions, insights, zealous energy, impressions, enthusiasm, intentions, sentiments, dispositions.”14 We are willing to abandon entirely our own will and satisfaction to follow his divine will. In a spirit of docility, we Spiritans offer our whole being to “belong to him by constant fidelity to his inspirations and to receive from him the fire of divine love.”15

At the same time, the Congregation also consecrates itself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who gives herself over totally to God, and manifests fidelity to the Spirit of holiness. We also want to obtain from her the gift of purity of heart and body through the action of the Holy Spirit. Renouncing our own wishes and affections, we let the Holy Spirit direct our senses and powers in every moment of our life. Faithful to and animated by the Spirit of holiness and Pentecost, and under the maternal protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we can spread the fire of divine love and bear fruit in our apostolate. The Holy Spirit sets us apart for mission, molds us, and makes us holy and God’s chosen instruments to “bring the good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18).

The Spirit in Christian Life and the Prophetic Dimension of Religious Missionary Life.

In the Nicene Creed, the church professes her faith in the Holy Spirit as “the Lord and Giver of life.” This life has its origin in the Father and we receive it through the Son. Through baptism, Christians are reborn as children of God and sharers of divine life by the Holy Spirit. “It is the Holy Spirit who constitutes the baptized as children of God and members of Christ’s Body.”16 Created in the image and likeness of God, humankind becomes a dwelling place of the Spirit raised to the dignity of divine adoption. As the personal expression of God’s love, the Holy Spirit becomes the source of sanctification and adoption as children of God. He reveals to us what God wants us to do (1 John 2:27), enables us to respond to God’s offer of divine life, draws us into God’s life, and sends forth into our hearts the spirit of God’s Son which cries out “Abba, Father!”
(Gal 4:6).

As Jesus immersed himself in the depths of his Abba’s life and love, so Christians have to immerse themselves in the life of the Trinity, so that they can share the life and love of the Triune God with others. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). This love testifies to the presence of the Holy Spirit and makes believers visible instruments of the Spirit’s unceasing activity. The Holy Spirit who dwells in the hearts of the faithful as in a temple (1 Cor 3:16), continuously encourages them to place their life at the service of the gospel so that his inspirations can well up like springs of living water (John 7:38). Those who allow themselves to be led by the Spirit produce fruits of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23).

“The holy People of God shares in Christ’s prophetic office” (Lumen Gentium 12). Jesus promised that the end of his life will not be the end of his Spirit-empowered work. That work will continue in his disciples in the power of the same Spirit. “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you always” (John 14: 16). As a Counselor of the Christian life, he will teach us all things and bring to remembrance all that Jesus said and did (John 14:26). Pope John Paul II adds that the Holy Spirit who inspires Christians to proclaim the gospel will help people to understand the message of salvation and ensure that the church will always continue in the same truth in the midst of changing circumstances and situations.17
The Holy Spirit is the principle of unity and service in every Christian community. He brings about the “communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the church’s unity”18 and makes the church grow in communion as one body made up of different parts (Eph 4: 11-16). The presence and work of the Holy Spirit lead Christians to the mystery of Trinitarian communion and makes every member of the church participate in a community of sharing and fellowship, of solidarity and co-responsibility, of witness and service. This unity in loving service is made possible through the Spirit’s manifold gifts and charisms (1 Cor 12:4). Gathering into unity different people with different cultures, customs, resources, and abilities, the Spirit enables the church to be a sign of the communion of all humanity under Christ the Head.19

The Prophetic Dimension of Religious Missionary Life

God takes the initiative to call persons to become instruments of God’s love and mercy. In every generation, the Holy Spirit always calls persons from among the People of God to be His witnesses in the world and to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ to build church and society. Like the prophets and the apostles, religious are set apart by God to become leaven in the world and fulfill their prophetic role in calling the attention of people in society to the importance of following Christ radically.20 Religious life has a prophetic dimension that is communicated by the Holy Spirit and given to the church. Religious need to be faithful to this prophetic charism. They live their baptismal consecration more radically and intentionally follow Jesus in consecration through “the proclamation of the good news, the practice of the evangelical counsels, and a life in a fraternal and praying community.” (SRL 3)

Religious are specially chosen, not because of their talents or merits, but because of God’s unconditional love, “It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit” (John 15:16). We Spiritans are called to proclaim the Good News, especially to “those who have not yet heard the gospel message or who have scarcely heard it” (SRL 12). This consecrated vocation is “a special gift of the Holy Spirit, inviting us to give ourselves completely in the Congregation, in the service of the church” (SRL 51). Pope John Paul II expresses the importance of prophetic witness: “prophecy derives a particularly persuasive power from consistency between proclamation and life…Thus will they be able to enrich others faithfully with the charismatic gifts they have received.”21 They have an important responsibility for involvement in social reality and transforming unjust social structures. On the other hand, through the practice of the evangelical counsels, their lives shine with joy and passionate love for God and people. When willingly embracing the life of poverty, obedience, and chastity in a radical way, religion inspires the people of God and “constitute a closer imitation and an abiding re-enactment in the church of the form of life which the Son of God made his own when he came into the world to do the will of the Father.”22 At the same time, authentic living of the counsels challenges the modern world that is facing a wave of hedonism, consumerism, and individualism. Religious become like salt that adds flavor to the ordinary activities of daily life, the lamp put on a stand that sheds light in the darkest corners of conscience, and leaven in a world in great need of mercy and compassion.

In order to make their prophetic witness authentic and credible, religious, guided by the Holy Spirit, have to become women and men of deep spirituality through their life of communion, prayer, and fidelity to the word of God. Religious dedicate themselves to evangelization, but it is the Holy Spirit who is “the principal agent of evangelization.”23 To be women and men of communion is a credible sign of the presence of the Spirit; fraternal life is a sign of Trinitarian communion and unity.

Contextualization of the Topic in the Life and Mission of the Local Church

Since Christianity entered the Vietnamese soil, the Holy Spirit never ceased to give missionaries and people the courage and power to bear witness to the value of the gospel. In the context of persecution, the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to bear witness to their faith even at the cost of living. The church in Vietnam has about five hundred years of history, with Blessed Andrew Phu Yen as the first Vietnamese martyr and another hundred and seventeen martyr saints. They are just a small number among anonymous martyrs who shed their blood to attest to the strong faith of the Vietnamese Church. With the power of the Holy Spirit, many Christians have been following in the footsteps of the martyrs to bear witness to Jesus Christ in one way or another. The Spirit helps believers not only to understand and accept the gift of faith but also to live their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in severe circumstances.

Spiritans in Vietnam will never forget the witness of Fr. Brian Fulton, C.S.Sp. who arrived in Vietnam in 2002 to learn the difficult Vietnamese language and culture and who worked as an NGO representative. He decided to establish a Spiritan community in Saigon in 2005. His mission was brief; Brian suddenly passed away from a heart attack on February 2nd, 2006. The confreres did not abandon their efforts in God’s mission, rather entrusted all projects into the hands of divine Providence. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, on 24th September 2007, Fr. Patrick Palmer from the Irish Province, Fr. Frédéric Rossignol from Belgium, and Fr. Antony Trinh who had joined the Spiritans in the US, arrived in Ho Chi Minh City to establish a Spiritan community and to look for vocations in this communist country.24

Vocation is always from God’s mercy and goodness calling some people to dedicate themselves to serving God and his people. In spite of facing challenges and difficulties, vocations to religious life and to the priesthood have been growing in significant numbers from different areas of the country. By God’s favor and by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the first three Spiritan priests started their mission in this communist country as witnesses of hope. So far, students from all parts of the country have joined the formation program to the tune of 35 persons.

Like Jesus, who became flesh and lived among human beings in love and service, the Church in Vietnam follows the way of Jesus in difficult situations. In these circumstances, in the light of the gospel and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Church in Vietnam recognizes that her primary task is to establish and foster unity at the heart of the church as she faces the challenges and difficulties of the times. This unity is the inner strength from the Holy Spirit that helps the church overcome struggles and stand firm. Spiritans in Vietnam integrate into the life and mission of the local church. They live a life of witness, proclaim the gospel in the heart of the nation, and make an active contribution to the reconstruction of the country and the building up of the church.25

In Vietnam, religious are taking up apostolates and committing to themselves the weakest, discriminated, and underprivileged in society, such as HIV victims, street children, and drug addicts. By their selfless service and authentic life, they can awake social structure, guide people in their crises, and lead them to conversion. They become a prophetic voice reminding people to be more involved in the social reality of the country. The Holy Spirit makes Christians today “more conscious of their own responsibility and inspires them to serve Christ and the church.”26 Spiritans also became involved in social projects for poor families in the province of the south of the country, and projects for the education of poor Vietnamese children in the center. Through this unconditional commitment to the poor and marginalized they will be able to energize and empower people to be more responsible towards God and his people. True dialogue and sincere encounters with people are authentic signs and fruits of the active presence of the Holy Spirit. Gradually people appreciate goodness and learn to be more open to one another to promote whatever leads to justice, harmony, and love. This reality is seen as a sign of the Spirit who touches people’s lives and leads them to the truth of the gospel in due time.

Renewal of Spiritan Life and Mission and Promoting Availability to the Holy Spirit in the contemporary World

In our modern world, there is a great need to awaken awareness of the sacredness of human life. The primary call of the religious life is witness to love. There are other values in religious life, but love is the center and goal of all. To be sent out in love to others by Jesus is the very identity of Jesus’ disciples.

If mission means love, how do we encounter other people whose cultures and customs are different from ours? In the face of differences, we sometimes fall into the mentality of reducing or creating the other according to our own image. Father Libermann gave us clear directives not to replace the local culture with that of ours:

Forget about Europe, its ways of thinking, its customs, its conventions. Be African with the Africans… Be a Negro with the Negro so as to form them …according to their way of being. Relate to them as if you were their servants and they were your masters… and to raise them up from their oppressed state to become a people of God. 27

Spiritans need to be open to the world and “strive in every way for a fruitful coming together of local cultural and religious traditions with the gospel of Christ.” (SRL 16.1). This demands that we be open to learn from others, understand the social context and the needs of the people we serve. At the same time, we share our own values and beliefs. Our mission of the evangelization of the poor is not just a matter of doing things for people, but of being with people, listening to them, and sharing with them.

Our mission is to promote people’s participation in the paschal mystery in the cultures to whom we are sent. We need to ask ourselves how we find the Paschal Mystery already present in those cultures. Even when we are unable to proclaim the gospel because of health or age, we need to remember that we can partake of the Paschal Mystery through our prayers and through bearing our fragility for the sake of the kingdom of God. Forming “one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32), we Spiritans
“live out our mission in willing obedience to the Holy Spirit and taking Mary as our model.” (SRL no. 5), she who like the “the ones who, when they have heard, bear fruit through perseverance” (Luke 8:15). Our mission will be effective and bear much fruit to the extent that our hearts burn with the fire of divine love and the experience of Jesus Christ, for “a fire can only be lit by something that is itself on fire.”28 And remember that “modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”29

Nowadays people are thirsty for peace and harmony. Christ “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped but emptied himself” (Phil 2:6-11). Spiritans are invited to witness Christ’s kenosis among their sisters and brothers. In order to live out the kenotic spirit, we must be willing to live in simplicity and self-donation, dialoguing with others through kenotic behavior in openness, respect, collaboration, and humility.

Availability to the Holy Spirit in the contemporary World

Father Libermann taught us to be like a feather before the wind. The wind blows wherever it pleases (cf. John 3:8) and
“The Holy Spirit is the wind and he blows on your will and your soul in the direction that God wants you to go.”30 Spiritans are called to open themselves up to respond to new opportunities and challenges in the contemporary world. In some countries, human resources are remarkably deficient. The challenge is to create new spaces for new ways of mission and creative ministries. Are we willing to leave our comfort zones or places to which we have become too accustomed? Our availability in the Holy Spirit makes us “accept to free ourselves from an engagement in order to respond to new and different calls from the local church or from the universal church” (SRL 25)
To be available to the Holy Spirit in the concrete situation of life, we Spiritans have to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying through our interior life of union with God. The missionary is contemplative in action.31 The source of power and effectiveness in the mission of Jesus was his communion with the Father through daily prayer. Spiritans follow in the footsteps of Libermann to “put into practice this dynamic of prayer and activity that is the heart of all Christian living, a ‘practical union’—a habitual disposition of fidelity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.”32 For this, “Let your interior be in silence before him, the Spirit cannot be heard when we are in interior commotion.”33

Conclusion

The superior general in his 2014 Pentecost Message, “When I am weak, then I am strong….” (2 Cor 12,10), reminded us  that “the mission to which we are called is God’s mission, not ours, and that our role is simply to be docile instruments at God’s service.” A true Spiritan needs to place himself at God’s disposal and offer no resistance to the movement of the Holy Spirit. “Divine Spirit, I wish to be before you as a light feather, so that your breath may carry me off where it wishes and that I may never offer it the least resistance. For Spiritans, our mission necessarily means opening up to the Spirit in all situations of life, letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit’s promptings. For the more the Holy Spirit becomes the principle of the movements of our soul, the more he influences our sentiments and dispositions, the more we follow him, the more perfect also will be life in us and so much more holy shall we be.35

Our availability before God’s love sharpens our availability towards people and the world. When someone encounters us, they ought to leave joyfully because they believe that they have just met a man of God. Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium wants all to be “missionary disciples.”36 Encountering and continually re-encountering Christ, we deepen our relationship with him and live a transformed life. From that discipleship, we can emerge as missionaries and invite others to encounter Christ. Spiritans dedicate themselves to bring good news to people. However, we may not forget that mission starts in our communities and our workplaces. Every Spiritan should always keep in mind the last words of Father Libermann,
“above all charity…charity above all…charity in Jesus Christ. Charity through Jesus Christ…charity in the name of Jesus Christ; fervor…charity…union in Jesus Christ…the Spirit of sacrifice…” (SRL 38; N.D. XIII, 659-660).

Rev Phung Manh Tien, C.S.Sp.

Endnotes
1Notes et Documents (henceforth, N.D.), X, 586.
2Koren, Henry J., Essays on Spiritan Charism and on Spiritan History. Bethel Park, PA: Spiritus Press, 1990, 48-49.
3Savoie, Jean, 15 Days Prayer with Claude Poullart des Places. Translated by Marc Whelan. Dublin: The Columba Press, 2009, 82. 4A Spiritan Anthology. Writings of Claude-François Poullart des Places
(1679-1709) and François Marie-Paul Libermann (1802-1852). Chosen and presented by Christian de Mare, C.S.Sp. Rome: Congregazione dello Spirito Santo, 2011, 56.
5A Spiritan Anthology, 66
6Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, no. 5
7Cf. A Spiritan Anthology, 73. Also N.D. VIII, 202-204.
8Koren, Henry J., Essays, 27.
9Eke, Casimir, C.S.Sp, “Re-Inventing The Spiritan Charism for Contemporary Mission,” in Spiritan Horizons, no. 1 (Fall 2006), 40-46.
10Koren, Henry J., Essays, 12.
11Malinowski, Francis X., “The Holy Spirit in Francis Libermann,” Spiritan Horizons 10 (Fall 2015) 7-18, here 9, citing N.D.XIII, Appendix 20, testimony of Marie-Madelaine-Victoire de Bonnault d’Houet, foundress of the Faithful Companions of Jesus.

13Claude Poullart des Places, Rules for the Community of the Holy Ghost, Critical Edition. Rome: Spiritan Sources, 1991, articles 1-2. 14Malinowski, Francis X., “The Holy Spirit in Francis Libermann,” 14. 15Gilbert Alphonse, “The Holy Spirit and Mary in the Spiritan Tradition,” Spiritan Papers, no 22 (December 1988) 48-74, here 49. 16Saint Pope John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World Christifideles Laici. 30 December 1998, no. 11.
17Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Dominum et Vivificantem On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World. 18 May 1986, no.4.
18Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 2.
19Cf. Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, no. 13.
20Francis Cardinal Arinze, Radical Discipleship: Consecrated Life and the Call to Holiness. Ignatius Press, 2015, 70.
21Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata. Nairobi: Pauline Publications, 1996, no. 85.
22Lumen Gentium, no 4.
23Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 75.
24Cf. Brian McLaughlin C.S.Sp, “Spiritan Mission in South- East Asia – Ten Years On,” Spiritan Horizons, no. 4 (Fall 2009) 66-76. 25Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, Pastoral Letter, Evangelization in the Heart of the Country. Hanoi: Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, 1980, 9-10.
26John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio Pasay City: Paulines Publishing House, 1999, 71-72
27A Spiritan Anthology, 287. Letter to the Community in Dakar. N.D. IX, 330.
28John Paul II, Ecclesia in Asia. Pasay City: Paulines Publishing House, 1999, no 42.
29Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 41.
30A Spiritan Anthology, 197.
31Bishop Bui Tuan, “Missionary Spirituality,” LOR, 20 May 1998, 11. 32SRL no 88.
33LS 1.294, Sept 1837 to M. Gamon, seminary director, N.D I.394. 34Libermann’s “Commentary on the Gospel of Saint John.” A Spiritan Anthology, 120.
35Ibid., 116.
36 Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, Apostolic Exhortation to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World. Pasay City: Paulines Publishing House, 2013, no. 120.

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