Commemorating the birth of the founder

Commemorating the birth of the founder

“In the legacy left to us by Fr. Dehon, with the limits of each person and culture, we can recognize a genuine ‘school of perspective,’” wrote Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú, SCJ, superior general, in his letter for March 14, the anniversary of the birth (1843) of Fr. Leo John Dehon. “He found the best patrimony: the Heart of Christ! With Him he learned to love the Father’s plan and to go out of himself to observe the Church and the society of his time with authentic passion. This was how Fr. Dehon, rooted in the most cordial of possible perspectives, discovered a horizon of faces to love and repair. However, the interior and apostolic dynamics that characterized him was not improvised. It was the result of intense research and continuous discernment that characterized his life: ‘It is a state of mind that must form in us, a disposition to go to the men, to the people, with all the means available’.

“The memory of our Founder pushes us to deal with this ‘state of mind that must form in us’ (DRD 16/7). Throughout his life we learn that, from beginning to the end, it is a question of disposing ourselves to the reception of divine action in a permanent way: ‘Cor Iesu, quid me vis facere? Heart of Jesus, what do you want me to do?’ (NHV 5/2). Only with questions like this does personal and community existence manage to maintain itself in the fruitful dynamic of the Spirit, who continues to present in our different ‘here and now’ so many realities to love and so many situations where we can share our reparative vocation: ‘Have we loved contemporary society enough not to maintain an attitude of discontentment?’”

Click here to access the full letter in a variety of languages. At the same link you can also download a prayer service and a poster for the day, each with a focus on vocations.

“March has always been a special month for members of the Dehonian Family: we celebrate the feast of the Annunciation, the feast of the ‘Ecce Venio’ and the ‘Ecce Ancilla’, and joyfully remember the birth of our Founder and his baptism,” write members of the general administration on the congregation’s website. “It is precisely in this month that we celebrate a day for Dehonian vocations, an occasion ‘to remember a man who, through his approach to God and his understanding of the Kingdom of God, generated a movement that continues today” (Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho, 2015).

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