Some religious congregations are very focused on specific ministries, but the Congregation of the Resurrection, not without focus, has always remained open to the calling of God’s Spirit, at any time and in any place. We are reminded of the words of Pope Pius IX in 1850 to our General Chapter: “Organize yourselves in a way that will do most good for the church”.
At the very beginning, our founders found themselves working in Paris France, assisting Polish immigrants, and helping to create a better society for them. In 1857 Father Semenenko tried to clarify the ministry of the Congregation indicating that the members would be involved in the administration of parishes and the education of youth.
For many years these were the primary ministries of the Congregation of the Resurrection throughout the world. Our members taught and ran many high schools, universities, colleges and seminaries in North and South America and in Europe. As well, other members ministered in parishes as pastors and associates.
In 1981, following the Second Vatican Council our rule was rewritten, maintaining the spirit of the founders along with the spirit of the council. The following powerful statement about our ministry is found in the new rule:
“We believe that God calls us to work together for the resurrection of society, bringing his live and love to all: through our personal witness, through the witness of our life in community, and through our community apostolates, primarily through parish work and teaching. This also requires that we build, and teach others to build, a Christian community in which we all can experience the hope, joy, and peace of Christ's Resurrection.”
Many of our members have branched out into a variety of ministries – some working for the Vatican, others working in marriage tribunals, hospital chaplaincies and other individualized ministries approved by the community at large. Clearly, though, they are working in a spirit of service to the church, where they are needed, and they are working toward the resurrection of society, as our constitutions call us.
Today you will find members of the Congregation of the Resurrection working in almost every continent of the world. Some teach, some run parishes, some are evangelists in mission work (Africa and South America), others proclaim God’s word through youth ministry, adult ministries and in various other ways. Our community is at the service of the church, listening to God’s spirit call us wherever God should will, and always working for the resurrection society and the building of God’s reign here on earth.