Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Popular News

HomeNewsVaticanPope to La Mennais Brothers: be fathers to those you serve

Pope to La Mennais Brothers: be fathers to those you serve

On the occasion of their General Chapter, Pope Francis urges the Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploermel – known as the La Mennais Brothers – to be “fathers who reflect the loving and compassionate face of God”.

By Christopher Wells

Highlighting their charism of the evangelization of children and young people through education, Pope Francis encouraged the La Mennais Brothers “to be fathers to those t whom you are sent, fathers who reflect the loving and compassionate face of God.”

Returning to the insights of the founders

The 200th anniversary of their foundation, celebrated in 2019, is an occasion to “return to the fundamental insights” of their founders, the Pope said during an audience with participants in the congregation’s General Chapter on Monday.

“Today, their work is present in several countries of the world,” he explained, “because they believed that everything is possible for those who entrust themselves totally to the Lord and put themselves at the service of the integral human development of each person.”

The Pope noted that the vocation of the La Mennais Brothers is “to go where others do not go,” to the peripheries, and urged them “to be a source of hope” to those suffering from war, indifference, and our throwaway culture. 

These people, too, he emphasized, have dreams, but dreams that are often shattered. “May you help them to revive their dreams, to believe in them, and to realize them,” Pope Francis said.

He recalled, in particular, the children who continue to play even in the midst of war, but lamented that they have lost their ability to smile.

“One thing that strikes me,” the Pope said, “is when children from Ukraine come here to Rome. These children do not smile: they have lost their smiles.” He called on the Brothers to “work so that they regain the ability to smile.”

File photo: Pope Francis with a group of Ukrainian children shortly after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine

File photo: Pope Francis with a group of Ukrainian children shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

The Church is a family, working together

Explaining their place within the Church, the Holy Father said that the Church is a family, where everyone cooperates, with their various charisms and vocations, for the salvation of humanity.

The Pope said he counts on the Brothers’ “filial trust and attachment” to the ministry of the Pope, and called on them to collaborate in the Dioceses in which they carry out their mission. 

At the same time, he warned them to avoid any spirit of pride, closure, division, and gossip. 

Finally, he invited them, at the end of their General Chapter, to renew the consecration of their Institute to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying that she might help them “to cultivate the zeal to set out to serve, and to cultivate humility, trust in God, and the joy of being servants of His tenderness and mercy.”

Pope Francis at the Audience with participants in the General Chapter of the Brothers of Christian Instruction of  Ploermel

Pope Francis at the Audience with participants in the General Chapter of the Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploermel

Popular News

Pope at Mass with children: ‘The Holy Spirit accompanies us in life’

At a Mass in St Peter’s Square for the first World Children’s Day, Pope...

Pope to Mission Societies: ‘Be creative and tenacious”

Pope Francis receives in audience the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) gathered, in Sacrofano, near...

Pope celebrates peace with children gathered in Rome for first WCD

Pope Francis asks children gathered in Rome’s stadium for the first World Children's Day...

Catholic youth ministers meet near Rome to prepare for WYD 2027

The International Congress on Youth Ministry, organised by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family,...