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In the biography of Euphrasie Barbier, foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame des Missions, Sr Marie Bénédicte Ollivier RNDM wrote of Communion, a characteristic of our missionary spirituality, “ Communion is “to be with”; to be with those who are suffering——–where there is real distress, abandoned or maltreated children, young people left to themselves in the suburbs of the huge cities, victims of drug addiction, prostitution, AIDS, women who are exploited, those on the fringes of society and foreigners without documentation.”
Add to this list being with people who are house-bound, the sick and elderly, the handicapped those grieving the loss of a loved one, those hospitalised, or in prison, and we find a good description of the ministry of Pastoral Care for RNDMs.
RNDMs are missionary in all the above. Our Foundress, Euphrasie Barbier, never tired of reminding her Sisters that because of our understanding of Mission as a participation in the divine missions, all RNDMs are missionary, wherever they are, and in whatever apostolate they serve. The raison d’être of all our striving is to proclaim the Good News, God’s love, to whatever we are doing.
“The Spirit of the Lord has been given me,
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor
To proclaim liberty to captives
And to the blind new sight,
To set the downtrodden free. Luke 4:18
Our constitutions ask us to do all our missionary work in humility, simplicity, love and great zeal for God’s kingdom. Pastoral Care ministry challenges us to live these virtues. We go with great reverence, remembering the ground of our activity is holy ground, believing that God is there before us and that we are part of Christ’s body, His church , “ All of us, in union with Christ, form one body, and as parts of it we belong to each other.” Romans 12:5
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