VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II urged the Sacred Heart Missionaries, founded by St. Frances Cabrini, to be an expression of God’s love for every man and woman, especially emigrants.
The Pope’s proposal was included in a letter addressed to Sister Lina Colombini, the superior general of this religious family, on the occasion of the General Chapter being held in Rome from July 4-31.
The Pontiff urged the missionaries to go “with renewed ardor toward the frontiers of charity in order to make the merciful and compassionate love of the Lord visible, and make the proclamation of Christ resound there, where Providence has placed them.”
John Paul II suggested that the Sacred Heart Missionaries “follow in the footsteps” of their founder, who lived her life “totally dedicated to taking Christ’s love to all those who, far from their homeland and family, ran the risk of also distancing themselves from God.” St. Frances is the patroness of emigrants.
In the “changing conditions of human mobility,” the Holy Father reminded Mother Cabrini’s daughters that they are called “to offer an attentive and sympathetic welcome to the migrants of our time who often carry along with a burden of suffering, loneliness and poverty, a rich baggage of humanity, courage and hopes.”
He called for special care to be given “to the promotion of woman, especially in areas where she is threatened and defenseless,” but also to the education of children and adolescents, and catechesis and pastoral care of youth, “privileged ways of evangelization and Christian formation, channels for the transmission of faith that will affect culture and life.”
John Paul II also urged the religious to “safeguard the great value of community life.”
“More than ever before, it is important to construct fraternal communities, which will evangelize, in the first place, with the testimony of their life,” he said.
There are about 460 Sacred Heart Missionaries in all today, including the novices.