The Holy Spirit guides the Church in all truth and unifies her in communion and works of ministry. He equips and directs her with hierarchical and charismatic gifts, and adorns her with His fruits (LG, 4). As a charismatic reality, consecrated life is a free gift of the same Spirit to the Church expressed in the apostolate. As a matter of fact, the variety of charisms among institutes of consecrated life manifests the Spirit’s work in the life of the Church. In effect, consecrated life belongs to the very life and holiness of the Church.
God calls persons to consecrated life through the practice of the evangelical counsels (vows of poverty, chastity and obedience). In whatever diversity of spiritual endowments, they truly devote themselves in a special way to the Lord. They imitate Christ, the virgin and poor man, who by an obedience, which carried Him even to death on the cross, redeemed men and made them holy. Impelled, therefore, by a love which the Holy Spirit poured into their hearts, these Christians spend themselves increasingly for Christ and His body the Church (PC, 1).
In the same way, by virtue of baptism, the Lord calls us, Rogationists, to be inserted in the Church. We firmly acknowledge that the Church received from the Holy Spirit through our Founder, the special charism which is THE UNDERSTANDING AND ZEAL OF THE WORD OF JESUS, THE ROGATE: “The harvest is great but the laborers are few, pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send workers into his harvest” (Mt. 9:38, Lk. 10:2).
This charism is the distinctive character of the Congregation, which involves a particular style of sanctification and holiness, creating a particular tradition. Through this, one may readily perceive the aim of the same consecration, giving concrete measures and evaluation of activities and ministries. Accordingly, the same charism is the enlightenment to understand a particular need of the Church, subsequently revealing aspects of the life of Christ and the Church. It is the inspiration in establishing a community to guarantee continuity for the good of souls. In other words, it is the reason and foundation of the congregation; the force of renewal and thereby of authentic spirituality; and the specific character of service and mission in the Church.
To this effect, St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia wrote: “To penetrate the Sacred Side of Jesus, to live within His Divine Heart, to feel in there His very love, to be espoused to all His interests, to suffer all His pains, to share in His sacrifice, to console His Divine Heart with one’s holiness and winning souls for Him, especially by obeying the Divine Command that sprung forth from the zeal of His Divine Heart when He said ’The harvest is great but the laborers are few, PRAY therefore to the Lord of the harvest that he may send workers into His harvest’. All these are done with the exercise of Mary and Martha, namely: with interior life and active life’.” (ADIF, Scritti, Vol. 2, p. 151).
As a response to this invitation, we, Rogationists live in chastity, poverty, and obedience in the spirit of our fourth Vow of the Rogate, which commits us to live, witness, and spread this specific charism. We realize our identity in the following mission:
I. Praying daily to obtain good laborers of the Kingdom of God:
“The Rogationist will long for the sanctification and eternal salvation of all souls, no one excepted. To reach this goal, he will ask the Lord for numerous, elect priests, numerous saints of heroic virtue, at least two saints for a thousand people on earth. Meanwhile, he will sacrifice himself for the glory of God and the salvation of souls” (ADIF, Rules for Superiors).
II. Propagating this spirit of prayer and promoting vocations:
“Following our Constitutions, I will see to it that our Lord Jesus Christ’s command, so far underestimated, be known and obeyed everywhere. Specifically, I will strive so that the two clergies, the Holy Church’s prelates, the pious souls, the virgins consecrated to Jesus, the seminarians, the poor, and the children pray to God that He will send out numerous perfect workers in the priesthood and laity for the sanctification and salvation of all peoples”(ADIF, Rogationist Anthology, Chapter 21).
III. Being good laborers in the Church
by committing ourselves in the works of charity, in the education and sanctification of the children and the youth, especially the poor and abandoned, in evangelization, human promotion, and help of the poor:
“Since the world is full of souls that are being lost, you shall not seek your salvation only, but you shall snatch as many souls as you can from eternal ruin. Please gather the abandoned orphans. Teach, educate, and feed them. Each soul you save is a seed of eternal salvation for many others, who will become your glorious crown in heaven…Be not indifferent in the face of the ruin of even one soul, for Jesus Christ paid out his blood for that soul that is as precious as all souls are together” (ADIF, Speech Feast of St. Joseph, 1908).
As it was clear in the mind of the Founder, this charism distinguishes the Congregation: “Now, here is a new community just being born, which comes forth in the Church…It needs intelligent generous people, who understand not only its sacred mission of charity towards the neighbor, like all the other modern institutions but also of that divine holy word that makes it unique and special: Rogate ergo” (ADIF, Letters).