Rule of Life
Community of Apostolate: Witness, Common Vision
24. Building Community
We grow in the spirit of brotherhood
through a common search for God.
Together we discover the Lord and his gifts
building up the community
through people and events.
and listening together to the Scriptures
reinforce our bonds of friendship.
Our celebration of the Eucharist,
the efficacious sign of our unity in love,
makes us more aware of our presence
at the heart of the Christian community.
Strengthened by the bread of life,
broken and shared,
we go out as a team of apostles
to those who seek our presence and our help.
27. Discernment and Progress
Christ is present among us
whenever we gather for community meetings
to deepen our faith
and our sense of mission.
We direct our apostolic effort first of all
toward making our own community dynamic.
We periodically meet to review
our community attitudes and actions.
In the presence of God and of one another
we are willing to examine
our apostolic objectives,
projects, and availability.
28. A Service of Animation
The director animates the local community.
He sustains and coordinates our efforts
to reach the fullness of love.
He works at maintaining
unity of thought and action.
We all help him to create
the religious atmosphere
and the human conditions
conducive to seeking and doing
the will of God.
29. An Open Community
The local community is not turned in on itself.
Rather, it adopts as its own
the spiritual and apostolic goals
of the province
and of the whole Institute.
Furthermore, a true fraternal community
sensitizes its members
to the needs of the world
and leads them to give of themselves
in carrying out the mission of the Church.
30. Community Witness
The life-giving love and the worship given God
within our communities
can have a positive influence
on the other members of the Church.
Our community life in brotherhood
reveals the communal dimension
of the call to be a Christian;
it becomes a sign of God's presence
in the world.
Our communal lifestyle
is the most effective invitation to others
to embrace the religious state.
Community of Apostolate
47. The brothers live in community to support one another and to have an influence for good on the people among whom they live and work.
48. Whether they work within the community or outside of it, the brothers give witness to a life wholly consecrated to God and neighbor.
49. The brothers have a preference for communal apostolic works, in which they develop a team spirit to increase their effectiveness.
50. The brothers actively support the interests of the poor, the oppressed, and the neglected.
51. The brothers generously respond to the missionary needs of the Church and make efforts to interest the Christian community in these needs.
93. The brothers are attentive to the less-favored parts of the Institute, as well as of persons, groups, and peoples who are suffering. In preparing budgets at every level they take into account the demands of the poverty they profess and of the witness to be given to the people in the area where they live.
156. School Community
Christian education cannot easily be realized
without the witness of a school community
which is built on close relationships
among teachers, parents, students,
and the local people.
We wholeheartedly support the establishment
of programs for participation and animation
which give dynamism
to the school community,
especially through the search
for a common educational vision.
157. Christian Mission of the School
We share with the lay teachers
the responsibility for the religious
and moral formation of the students,
creating an atmosphere
of understanding and generosity
which awakens in young people
a sense of community
and a desire to serve others.
In this way, we are helping
to form a dedicated laity
and to develop religious,
priestly, and missionary vocations.
We are also supplementing
the formation given in the family
and carrying out
the educational mission of the Church.
158. Education in the Faith
Christian education is often associated
with schooling and cultural development.
It fills the school with the spirit of the Gospel.
We carry out our role as educators in the faith
especially through the teaching of religion,
which leads the young
to an enlightened and close union with Christ.
To accomplish this goal and to kindle
in our students a desire for the interior life,
it is essential
that we cultivate a dynamic relationship
both with them and with the Lord.
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Formation Guide of the Institute
Brothers of the Sacred Heart
Formation according to a spirituality
1. Our spirituality is Christocentric, that is, centered on the person of Christ. Therefore, it is, for us, Christian, distinctly apostolic, and nuanced by its own specific character: the love that reveals to us the open Heart of Christ.
For us, it is a matter of living according to a spirituality of love that flows from the contemplation of the mystery of the Heart of Christ in the Gospel. We are motivated and inspired by the spirituality of the Heart of Christ.
Our vocation in the Institute of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart has its origin and development from the Heart of Jesus (172). Christ, in his mystery of love, thereby holds a primordial place in our lives as Brothers of the Sacred Heart. He is at the center of our motivations and he is our reference point, just as he is at the origin of our total self-giving and apostolic action (113).
The spirituality of the Institute flows from contemplating Christ, whose opened side signifies and manifests the love of the Trinity for the human race (14).
Our consecration is an answer of love to the kindness of God. It is a life completely oriented to the meek and humble Christ (14).
The fraternal community is a setting of life and charity (23). Love for our brothers and for the young people entrusted to us thereby takes root in the love of Jesus for us (119).
Our apostolic life issues from an impulse of love towards God and neighbor (150). Our life bears witness to the compassion of the Heart of Jesus for the world (64).
Christ's Spirit opens us to contemplation of the mysteries of God and to a true apostolic vision (133). Jesus went to pray by himself often spending the night in prayer (Lk 6:12). He taught his disciples how to pray, "This is how you should pray" (Mt 6:9). From our prayer flows good works: "My children, our love is not just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth" (1 Jn 3:18-19).
85.3 Mission of the Institute
- He is responding to a call of the Lord and not to an imaginary vocation.
- He shows interest in the Christian education of youth.
- He shows interest in the poor, the abandoned, the unprovided for.
- He shows family spirit and an interest in the universal Institute and its missions.
- His personal plans fit in well with the mission of the Institute.
- He will help the congregation to carry out its mission of education in the faith.
- He believes in the love of God and responds to it with the particular characteristics of the spirituality of the Heart of Christ.
- He takes the Rule of Life into account in his decisions and initiatives.
85.4 Communal apostolic life
§ He gladly participates in communal life.
- He is evidently concerned for others and for the common good.
- He shares his talents in the apostolic project of his local community, respects and encourages those of his brothers.
- He willingly shares his concerns, ideas, and joys with the community .
- He has a sense of apostolic teamwork; he works well with others.
- He gives evidence of faith when in a communal apostolic setting (apostolic phase of the novitiate).
- He exerts a positive influence on the unity of the life of the community.
132. The brothers strive continually to live together the fraternal communal way of life described in our Rule of Life (chap. 3) while keeping in mind that the local community should support each brother in his formation and that each brother should support the community's formation program. To achieve this ideal of communal life, the brothers take the following measures, which are given in ascending order, each subsequent measure supposing the preceding ones.
135. Community of co-responsibility. The community fosters an atmosphere in which each member feels like an appreciated and valued participant (25).
- Consultation of each brother by the superior in interview.
- Communal Eucharist and get-together on birthdays and holidays.
- Sharing of work, of objects, and other things. Apostolic teamwork (50).
- Fraternal presence and mutual acceptance between young and old (36, 39).
- Specific acts of service and brotherly support (103).
- Prayer for one another.
- An active and responsible obedience inspired by an attentive and respectful superior (105).
137. Community of relationships. The community, in dealing with tensions and conflicts due to different ages, mentalities, and personalities, forges bonds of solidarity (15, 25).
- Fraternal meetings to check up on the things-to-do that had been decided upon, on the way of acting, on availability (27).
- Direct communication and honest relations (33).
- Fraternal correction (25-c).
- Intervention of authority to prevent abuses and correct errors (210).
- Communal celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation (135).
- Apostolic witness of the communal aspect of our vocation (30).
- Open discussion on the communal mission, starting from the orientations of the Church, the Rule of Life, and the Gospel (29).
- Hospitality towards others and prayer with others (149).
139. Community of communion. The community cultivates the spirit of trust, honesty, and brotherhood.
- Examen before God and before the brothers (27).
- Sharing of the Word of God and deepening of our faith, mission, and brotherhood together in the line of P AC (25-27, 133, 136).
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André Coindre: Writings and Documents
Vol. I: Letters 1821 - 1826
[Monistrol, December 18, 1823.]
My very dear Brother,
I am sending you a fine young man as brother tailor. He wishes that some of his time be given over to lessons in reading and writing. Please see to this for him. Here the brothers have four novices who are to be teachers. The brother carpenter is not suited to the work, so he has been assigned to the kitchen, but as soon as we have someone to replace him, we could send him to you, if you want him. He has no dowry. Brothers Louis and Pierre are holding their own for the moment.
The young man recommended by Father Dufêtre left yesterday. He thought he could get his training here, and then go to join his sponsor and to do the same sort of job which Brother Bernard does here. I told him that I had not been informed of this and that no brother would be sent on his own anywhere: there must always be at least two or three so as to form a community.69 So then he asked to go to Lyon to consult his family and sponsors. He said he wished to resume the trade he had already practiced for six months. He is not at peace with himself. I doubt that he has the makings of a brother, rather he will learn a trade and eventually make enough money to support himself.
Be sure that he pays for his room and board in advance, as well as for the five weeks he spent here. However, if he asked to join us and his god-mother were to refuse to pay for him, Father Dufêtre offered to pay his expenses. I will immediately inform him of the change of situation of his protégé.
A heartfelt embrace to you all in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.70 I suggest that you stop your sulking and lamenting as to whether you are working for me or for the community. Serenity, peace and trust. Providence will in time give you the grace to see that it is not in vain that I am your father,
Monistrol, December 18, 1823.
Best wishes to Brothers Xavier, Delon, Mathieu, Maurice, Gonzague, etc. Don’t forget to give word of me to my mother and my sister who will not be unhappy to learn that I am in good health and that they are in my thoughts. Praised be Jesus Christ.
The Honorable Brother Borgia,
director of the brothers of Pieux-Secours,
3 Montée de la Butte, Lyon.
69 The principle of an apostolic community is clearly established by the founder from the very beginnings of the congregation.
70 The remainder of this sentence and the following one have been crossed out, seemingly after the receipt of the letter. This appears to be yet another example of the deletions which Brother Borgia would have made to certain documents which portrayed him in a bad light.
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The Memoirs of Brother Xavier 1801 – 1861
It was on the 30th of September, 1821, that good Father Coindre established us as a congregation under the rule of Saint Augustine and under the constitutions of Saint Ig- natius.10
Having established us as a community, Father Coindre earnestly desired to give a great impetus to his charitable work. He sent out notices to all the churches in Lyon that there would be, on such and such a day, a talk given by himself in the church of Saint-François to promote his new work. He urged all the benefactors of the foundation to attend. They came in droves. The business community and the nobility seemed to make it their duty to respond to the call. He spoke movingly on brotherly love, on the pressing need to save the street children of Lyon who were a constant prey to all sorts of depravity. He put it to them that they might each sign a covenant of several years’ duration so as to assure the future of the work. What is more, he urged them to establish a committee which would be responsible for collecting the contributions and be the overseers, and to advise the brothers who were to conduct the establishment.11 He was listened to with the utmost attention. A collection was taken up after the talk and a large number of people signed covenants in the amount of twenty-five francs per year for a five-year period. A committee was formed, with a chairman, treasurer, secretary, two auditors, not to mention several hangers-on. The group committed itself to the support of thirty poor boys in the institution at a cost of three hundred francs per year and per pupil. The commitment was for five years only. The name Pieux-Secours was given to the institution. Paying pupils were also accepted. At that time the number of silk manufacturing machines was increased and a shoemaking workshop was added. As there was then no brother qualified in this trade, a supervisor by the name of Jassoné [?] had to be hired. The equipping of the school and the setting up of the workshops had cost eight thousand francs which was met in large measure by the money that Father Coindre paid into the coffers of the institution.
1822. – The pastor of Valbenoîte had had second thoughts at the handing over of his house to us for our work. This was because he could not control things as he had thought he would be able to do. He wanted the institution in his parish to become independent. However, at the same time, he turned to Lyon for help. Father Coindre replied saying that it would not be possible to lend any support to a work which sought to go its own way and thus, be of no help at all to us. If he was unhappy at having given over his house to us, then he was welcome to take it back, as no contract had yet been signed. He did just that and the brothers who were there, became discouraged and left, each in his own direction.
10 The Rule of St. Augustine and the Constitutions of St. Ignatius which are referred to here must be understood in the sense that they served as a general inspiration or background relative to the basic principles of the religious state and of common life. Itwould be impossible to find any direct influence of these works in the articles of the rule which were left us by our founder .
11 The thirty-two page brochure, entitled Pieux-Secours, Charitable Foundation for Young Boys, printed by Périsse Press in 1823, of which a copy is still preserved in the archives of the city of Lyon, were provided after the Prospectus and the report presented at the annual general meeting of the covenant holders held on 30 October 1823, the membership of the administrative council and the list of all the covenant holders for the charitable work from its foundation up till then.
The Abbey of Valbenoîte