The Missionaries of the Precious Blood are a community of Priests and Brothers who have joined together to live their baptismal commitment by serving the needs of the Church as those needs develop from age to age and from place to place.
Rather than being bound by traditional vows, we are united by a special bond of charity or what may be called the "centripetal force of the bond of charity." Rather than being defined by one kind of work, our identity comes from a ministry of the Word of God and from a special devotion to the Precious Blood.
The ministry of the Word is the same as Pope John XXIII's call to the Second Vatican Council to bring contemporary culture into dialogue with the gospel, and the devotion to the Precious Blood is the celebration of the central mystery of all Christianity, the Pascal Mystery. There are three special words that communicate our particular charism and prepare the way for an understanding of our mission at Saint Joseph's College.
The Blood that Jesus shed for all humankind is the stupendous sign of the magnitude of God's love for each and every human being. In both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, God's saving acts form human community, and the covenants that bind those communities are sealed in blood.
So, although we are very different individuals, with very different talents, we strive to be living witnesses to the power of the blood to create just and loving community. [The connections between God's creative love and human dignity, between this characteristic of the C.PP.S. and the College's Core Curriculum, should not escape notice.]
The spirituality of the Precious Blood in not a secondary or a peripheral devotion within Christianity; it is nothing else but the central mystery of Christianity, the Pascal Mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Blood is a double symbol, just as the Pascal Mystery is the passage from death to live, for blood is shed, whereas blood coursing through the body is the very substance of life.
This Pascal passage from death to life is celebrated in all three forms of the primary Biblical uses of the symbols of blood: the blood that seals the Covenant (from conflict to community); the blood shed on the Cross (from suffering to salvation); and the cup of Blood in the Eucharist (from oppression to justice). In our campus life we need to make more resonant the symbols around us that proclaim the Precious Blood, such as the cross and cup insignia and our daily celebrations of the Eucharist.
Covenant, Cross, and Cup are all symbols of reconciliation, of making whole. In our times, in our country, the reconciliation that is most needed is the healing of individualism: the brokeness of our homes, of lives, of society, of churches. Those who are sent ("missionaries") to proclaim the good news of the magnitude and power of God's healing love must dedicate themselves to suffering with those who suffer for justice's sake, to restoring dialogue, to mending broken covenants, to calling people out of isolation into community and building solidarity.
Because the Church, in these times, must rely more than ever on the laity in continuing to build the reign of God, and its justice, we are here at Saint Joseph's College as Missionaries forming other missionaries; and we are joined in this endeavor by many colleagues, both Catholic and non-Catholic, on the faculty and staff, who contribute mightily to this mission.
We have a twofold purpose here: as a college, to develop the whole student into a competent professional who can assume a position of influence in society; and, as a Catholic college animated by the Spirit of St. Gaspar to develop fellow missionaries who will multiply many-fold our efforts to make effective in our world the Word of God and the message of the new and everlasting covenant sealed in Christ's Blood.
In the end, this marks us as faithful sons of Saint Gaspar who prayed that "God will allow me to bear much fruit from my devotion to Saint Joseph...I am, so to speak, sold on giving glory to the divine blood, the price of eternal salvation. I would like to have a thousand tongues to draw every heart intimately to it, and I wish my own soul would be totally penetrated with it."
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