Every religious congregation possesses a charism, a grace, a gift, originating in the very heart of God, and given by the Holy Spirit for the building up of the Body of Christ. The charism of a religious congregation may be most often experienced as a living spirituality, a compelling, contagious, identifiable spirit that is expressed in an entire way of life, perhaps better caught than taught, better described than defined. It is relational and becomes real only when it is acted on, believed in, and shared with others.
The charism of our founder, Father Louis Florent Gillet, as passed to Mother Theresa and the founding community in Monroe, Michigan in 1845, is the spirit of the Father in the Son through the Holy Spirit. This charism is Love, which continues to manifest itself today in the sisters’ joyful service of God and his people. It becomes real in kindness and compassion, availability, approachability, and accessibility It responds with acute sensitivity and large-heartedness to human need. In a special way, our Charism of love directs our love and concern to God’s poor among us.
This charism is Creative Hope, which puts all its confidence in God’s loving Providence. It seeks to make a way where there seems to be no way. It engenders hope in the young and the most vulnerable and seeks to find alternatives to negativity and despair, looking to the future with fresh eyes. It never gives up on anyone.
This charism is Fidelity, which inspires fervor in one’s vocation in Christ and in one’s mission in the Church. Our Charism of Fidelity calls for perseverance, for courage, for faithful commitment over the long haul. It fosters integrity in words and deeds and challenges us to remain steadfast in the mission entrusted to us. It calls forth an enduring love.