John Paul the Great and Our Religious Family
Bl. John Paul II was truly a man who could say with St. Paul: Be imitators of me as I am of Christ. As a community born in 1984 under his pontificate, we have always considered this beloved Pope as a spiritual father.
Our charism of “prolonging the Incarnation” and our specific aim of “evangelization of culture” given to our founder Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela have been deeply formed by the teaching and the example of Bl. John Paul II. One of the most often quoted sources in our Constitutions and Directory of Spirituality is Bl. John Paul II as manifested in the documents, exhortations, letters and addresses of his lengthy pontificate. Several parts of the forumula for our vows are direct quotes or paraphrases from his encyclical Vita Consecrata. But our love for this man is far deeper than simply an intellectual appreciation.
John Paul II is a father in the fullest sense: a guardian, a provider, a guide, a friend, an inspiration. He is a clear and concrete example of the power of God working in our modern world. Simply to hear his name invokes a feeling of comfort and confident trust in the Providential hand of God, and inspires awe for the wonderful works of the Lord. We thank you John Paul II, for you holiness and example. JPII, we love you!
John Paul II and our Religious Family [Italian, 17 minutes]
This film includes orginal footage of the Pope as well as an interview and explanation by Fr. Gonzalo Ruiz, IVE, Vicar General of the Institute of the Incarnate Word.
To learn more about John Paul II visit our Catholic Culture page prepared in May to honor the occasion of his beatification, Blessed John Paul II(1920 – 2005):Totus Tuus ego sum, Maria, et omnia mea tua sunt!
A Liturgical Feast Day for Blessed John Paul
In anticipation of his beatification, last April the Church declared October 22 the official feast day of Bl. John Paul II. The liturgy in honor of this new Blessed includes special Mass prayers and the Office of Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours (Read the Office of Readings of John Paul II released by the Vatican). We are very grateful to be able to celebrate for the first time the life and works of John Paul II with the whole Church within the context of the most sublime celebration: the Holy Mass.
First Vows of the IVE Novice Brothers
In his apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata, John Paul II writes: “Consecrated life is one of the tangible seals which the Trinity impresses upon history, so that people can sense with longing the attraction of divine beauty.” [Complete text of Vita Consecrata] The life of John Paul II is a perfect example of this concrete manifestation of the beauty and goodness of the Trinity. For this reason it was so fitting that the brothers of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) made their first vows on October 22nd at the Basilica of the National Shrine to the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.
The Mass was presided by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE, the General Superior visiting from Rome, and concelebrated by various IVE priests as well as by Fr. James Swetnam, SJ, a visiting professor at the seminary. In his homily, Fr. Walker preached on the theology of vocations as taught by Bl. John Paul II throughout his writings and pastoral work. Beside the ambo was placed the image of Our Lady of Lujan, our special patroness, and reminder of our Fourth Marian Vow according to the method of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, the spirituality which inspired the papal motto of John Paul II: Totus Tuus.
Among the brothers who professed vows, two of them have sisters who are also professed religious sisters in our community. One remarkable manifestation of our desire to be a “religious family” has been the grace of many sibling vocations, first in our beginnings in Argentina, but also throughout the mission provinces including here in the United States. We have been blessed with various sister-sister, brother-sister, and brother-brother vocations. Just as Our Lord chose two sets of brothers among the Apostoles (Peter and Andrew, and James and John), so too the Holy Spirit has called many to consecrated life even from the same families (“flowers from the same garden”).
May the Lord bless the families of these multiple vocations and as well as all those parents who offer to the Lord their own children in consecrated life. Blessed John Paul II, you who so loved and ardously sought to promote and defend marriage and family, pray for our families and for the fidelity of those newly consecrated brothers on their journey towards the priesthood.