Community Life

“WE JOURNEY TO THE FATHER AS ONE COVENANTED COMMUNITY, REFLECTING THE SPIRIT OF UNITY AND LOVE WHICH PERMEATED THE HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH”   

“Our Foundress, Frances Siedliska, Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd, discovered in the lives of the Holy Family a model of the Trinity’s total self-giving love.” Love for God and one another gathers us into one family in which we together experience the mystery of Nazareth. We want our community life to mirror the deep mystery of the Holy Trinity and the communion of persons.  The unity of the Trinity – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is the source of our communion with one another. It is a union of love both given and received. Such communion, in the fullest possible way, was celebrated by the Holy Family of Nazareth. Our charism, rooted in the mystery of the Trinity and the mystery of the Holy Family, calls us to a life of communion. It calls us to commit ourselves to live out our vocation in Nazareth’s communities.  The life of the Holy Family is our primary model on how to build mature relationships among ourselves. We want our community life to be imbued with the spirit of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

The life of spirituality of communion in our communities begins in the heart of each one of us. We strive to be in continuous relationship with God through constant conversion, by abiding with the Word of God, through prayer and the Eucharist. Only a personal union of each one of us with God creates a true community of Nazareth. Each one of us has the task of building it throughout our whole life. We believe that this is possible through the continuous exchange of gifts: drawing upon the gifts of the community and giving to the community in the spirit of love

We create a community based on love and unity as was the intent of our Mother Foundress: “O how ardently I desire that (…) the life of our Congregation should be divinely animated, lived in divine intimacy and love, and in mutual charity…” We are connected by the same call, the same spirituality of Nazareth, the same charism. Therefore, the task of building an atmosphere of unity in our communities, based on mutual love, is a life-long task for each one of us. We make efforts to foster spiritual unity which is the true antidote against individualism and alienation.  We are aware that the community that lacks unity among its members does not foster growth. The closer each of us are to Christ, the closer we are to one another; the deeper our mutual relationships, the more Christ is present among us.

Prayer and the Eucharist are the true schools where we learn to live the spirituality of communion. The Eucharist has played a central and dynamic role in community life since the beginning of our Congregation, “Our daily celebration of the Eucharist nourishes our life together and strengthens the bonds of caring among us.” We are conscious that we can only remain credible witnesses to unity when the Paschal Mystery of Christ has a central place in our lives.

Way of Love, Ratio Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth