From our Constitutions
The following paragraphs are direct quotes from our 1982 Constitutions and reflect the central role community plays in the lives of Religious of the Sacred Heart.
30. Gathered together in community in the name of Jesus Christ, we are sent to proclaim, by our very lives and activities, the Good News of the Kingdom. From His Heart we draw the love which enables us to live in communion, among ourselves and with others. Whatever the service entrusted to us, we stand together, united in our common mission.
31. Through our mutual trust, the sharing of our prayer and life-experiences, through our love and loyalty towards one another, we come to find real joy in living together, welcoming our gifts and our differences of culture and mentality. Our desire to live in mutual love helps us to overcome our egoism, and to work through our moments of tension, open to forgiveness and reconciliation.
32. We want to be discerning communities, living in awareness and sensitivity to the Spirit. This attitude makes us responsive, in our mission, to the sufferings and aspirations of our sisters and brothers. It helps us to respond better to the calls of God in the world around us, and it enlightens us to make choices more true to the spirit of the Gospel.
33. Our life together is a celebration of the paschal mystery. As such it calls for a certain self-restreaint and asceticism which places the needs of others before our own: a life which, through prayer and conversion of heart, in accordance with the discipline of the Church, unites us with Christ's offering to His Father; a life of joy in which we celebrate together significant moments and feasts which remind us of Christ's presence and steadfast love for His people.
34. We wish to live simply so as to express our solidarity with those who are poor. Openness, welcome and sharing with others will make the community a sign of communion. We help one another with simplicity, discretion and realism to live out our relationships with family and friends. No matter how important the time spent with others may be, we shall respect the demands of living in an apostolic community, sincerely seeking to be faithful to all commitments. We shall reserve some parts of the house for religious and we shall create in our community life space for silence, times and places conducive to reflection, prayer and renewal. To be better fitted to serve, we take responsibility for our on-going formation and use the means of social communication with prudence, discretion and a critical sense.
35. We are particularly attentive to our sisters who are sick trying to ease their suffering. Through the Sacrament of the Sick, they experience the strength and peace of God. Our elderly sisters by their wisdom and their tenderness bear witness to God's faithfulness and the joy of belonging to Him. Each one receives the encouragement and the affection of the community, enabling us all to live out our mission to the end.
36. All through life we show our care for one another, in full activity and in sickness, in situations which make us painfully aware of our helplessness, and at the moment of death. When one of our sisters is called to the fullness of life, we confide her to our Creator in our prayers and in the celebration of the Eucharist with hope and faith in the resurrection.
37. The Eucharistic presence in our communities is a constant reminder that Christ is the center of our life, inviting us to adore Him individually and in community. Through the Eucharist we are committed to live united among ourselves, to build communion in a divided and unjust world, and to give ourselves wholeheartedly to others.
38. The local superior is at the service of the life and mission of the community in a relationship of mutual trust with her sisters. She is careful to foster communion and co-responsibility, and to encourage enthusiasm for the apostolate. She sees to it that community discernment is exercised; she herself then takes final responsibility for decisions. With love and simplicity she fulfils her service of authority and her role as animator.
39. Each community draws up its plan, presents it to the provincial and her council for approval and is accountable to them once a year. Periodic evaluations of this plan help us as a community to review together the quality and integrity of our life.
40. Communication with other communities and provinces makes us aware of the needs of the whole Body and more ready to serve wherever we are sent. Wherever we are, we participate actively in the life and mission of the Society; we remain united to all our sisters in the joy of being called and sent forth to love as Jesus has loved us.