Vocation ~ How is God calling you to live your life?

Introduction to a religious vocation

God calls people to many ways of life. As Spiritans, we believe that God has called us to Religious Life. We commit ourselves to a life of service in the church as missionaries.

The Spiritan charism and beliefs and the Congregation’s two founders

The Congregation of the Holy Spirit began life in Paris in 1703 as the Seminary of the Holy Spirit whose purpose was to train young men to become priests at the service of the poorer sections of society. The founder was a young and brilliant law student, Claude Poullart des Places, who gave up his career to dedicate his life to the service of the poor. He died at the age of thirty during an outbreak of pleurisy. Faithful to his wishes, his brothers in community buried him in the paupers’ grave.

In 1848 a young missionary congregation dedicated to the Holy Heart of Mary joined with the Spiritans to become the religious missionary congregation generally known as The Spiritans today. This group was founded by a convert from Judaism, Francis Libermann, and their first works brought them to serve in Africa and with freed slaves. So, from the beginning our religious community has been marked by a strong multi-cultural dimension where mission has been understood, essentially, as leaving one’s home and country to discover the presence of Christ in peoples of other cultures and traditions. 

Learn more about our founders…

Francis Libermann (1802-1852) – documentary

Francis Libermann (1802-1852) – documentary
A documentary by Fr. Jean-Yves Urfié, CSSp, about the life of a spiritual master and a man of vision for the mission of the Church.

Videos of Spiritans who answered the call:

Civilians bombed, famine used as a weapon of war, foreign interference, huge arms sales. It all sounds very familiar. Fifty years ago, Nigerian was embroiled in a brutal civil war. Irish missionaries defied a cynical international cartel to save millions from starvation, becoming international media celebrities in the process. At the end of the war, they were expelled from Nigeria, accused of prolonging the war, and the episode was wiped from the public memory of both countries. This film by Irina Maldea and Brendan Culleton sheds new light on a story that has been airbrushed from history.

To a Missionary Who Died at Home

Why did you go and leave your bones
in that to us and you a foreign place?
For we would have taken you with love
and sung and prayed night-long songs
and prayers, and we would have carried
you in triumph to your resting place
and we would have mixed our tears
with the holy sprinkling water, and dropped
our red-brown dusty soil upon you, for we would
have your dust as ours. And we would have
planted, each one of us, a living flower on top
so that you might know that all is not ended
here, or there…Life is. Life lives.
Tell us again, then. Why did you go?
Did you not know? We loved you.

Fr Cothraí Gogan C.S.Sp.