CONGREGATION OF THE PRIESTS OF THE SACRED HEART
At the Heart of the World
Wherever our work takes us, we continuously discover a world troubled with evil yet ever seeking the fulfillment of its deepest aspirations: truth, justice, love, freedom (See Rule of Life, n. 36).
We recognize that our vocation is, as Pope John Paul II reminds us, "always compelling because more than ever, today's society needs to be prodded into contact with the Heart of Christ where peace, serenity, comfort and pardon can be found" (06-14-1989).
In living out our vocation, it is our desire to give witness to the primacy of love in the world and to bind ourselves without reserve to achieving a new humanity in the Heart of Christ (see Rule of Life, n. 3). We, the Priests of the Sacred Heart, often introduce ourselves as "Dehonians" in affectionate reference to our Founder, the Venerable, Fr. Leo Dehon, a genuine apostle of love and reparation to the Heart of Christ. We are committed to living out and sharing Fr. Dehon's charism, spirituality, and works in the church and in the world.
Our Congregation appeared in 1878 and spread quickly because its life reflected a continuous response to the social and spiritual expectations that people held. Our presence today in the world is somewhat modest when compared to the urgent needs that humanity has of faith and healing. But with the assistance of the saving love of Christ and the maternal protection of Mary, we are able to accomplish necessary and useful things wherever we are: missions, parishes, specialized movements within the church, teaching, youth work, the press and mass media, social apostolates and human welfare on behalf of the poor, the working class, and castaways.
We dedicate our life and our energy to the Lord to proclaim the Gospel of Love and to serve our brothers and sisters particularly in those situations and areas that are the most troubled and needy.
Our religious experience is at one and the same time a mission and an offering, perhaps an invitation, to anyone who is moved by the Holy Spirit and senses a call to give themselves totally to affirm the Reign of Love that exists among peoples and nations and to bring about the Reign of the Heart of Christ.
At the Heart of God
"I leave you the most wonderful of treasures: the Heart of Jesus. He belongs to all but has special tenderness toward those consecrated to him and are given over wholly to his love" (Spiritual Testament of Fr. Dehon).
"As disciples of Father Dehon, we want to make union with Christ in His love for the Father and for people the principle and center of our life" (Rule of Life n. 17).
In all that we are and do, in all the different situations and works we find ourselves, we Dehonians are called to enter into the advancement of redeeming love in a spirit of oblation so as to join our lives and the lives of all human beings to their origin: the Heart of God.
At the Heart of the Church
The vocation of a Dehonian, which is centered on the mystery of the Heart of Christ from which the Church takes its origins, puts us at the very heart of the Church as "prophets of love and servants of reconciliation." "By its very nature our Institute is an apostolic institute; and so we readily place ourselves at the service of the Church" (Rule of Life n. 30).
Our authentic service to the Church is based on a life of prayer and oblation. It is expressed through our ministry to workers, the lowly and the poor, our missionary activity, and our efforts in priestly and religious formation. According to the signs of the times and in communion with the life of the Church, we want to contribute to establishing the reign of justice and Christian charity in the world. We join our efforts to those of Jesus that the human family, sanctified in the Holy Spirit, might become an offering pleasing to God. (cf. Rom.15:16 and Our Rule of Life, n. 31-32)