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The Light Illumines the Piarist Fathers’ Community

August 24, 2017
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” – Psalm 133:1

What is the key of life of the Piarist Fathers? How do we live as a community?

The Piarist Fathers are dedicated to the education of children and youth, especially the poor, and the Holy Founder of the Pious Schools, St. Joseph Calasanz, established in Rome in 1597, the first public, popular and free school in Europe. Giving the greatest importance to education, Calasanz wrote:  “The teaching profession is truly a most deserving ministry; most noble; most meritorious and beneficial; most useful; most needed; most natural, reasonable and gratifying; a most attractive and glorious one! Furthermore, Calasanz maintained that, "If Children from their earliest years are instructed diligently in piety and learning, it must undoubtedly be expected that their whole life will be a happy one."he Piarist Fathers are dedicated to the education of children and youth, especially the poor, and the Holy Founder of the Pious Schools, St. Joseph Calasanz, established in Rome in 1597, the first public, popular and free school in Europe. Giving the greatest importance to education, Calasanz wrote:  “The teaching profession is truly a most deserving ministry; most noble; most meritorious and beneficial; most useful; most needed; most natural, reasonable and gratifying; a most attractive and glorious one! Furthermore, Calasanz maintained that, "If Children from their earliest years are instructed diligently in piety and learning, it must undoubtedly be expected that their whole life will be a happy one."
The community life of the Piarist Fathers is one of the most important keys in the order. It is written in our Constitutions that the four vows help us to live in community, always seeing Christ as our center of our lives. For example, our first vow, chastity, moves us to love the brothers in fullness; secondly, poverty, invite us to share everything that we have; then obedience, to unites us to accomplish the will of the Lord and then gives us the opportunity to live faithfully and together. Finally, the vow of education, help us to see the face of Jesus in every child that we teach.
We are called by the Word of God to live in community, taking the example of Jesus to serve the other with love. Consequently, the center of our religious life is the Eucharist. Every community has foundations in faith and is consolidated through interpersonal relationships. When we accept one another with an open heart, love grows and only then can we give a faithful response to one’s vocation. Also, community life is not only a way of living together, but more importantly, it leads us to a more fraternal communion with sincerity, affability, and the respect of the other brothers, without becoming judges.
In addition, Christ must always be our center, because He gives to every religious the charity to follow a simple way of life base on mutual respect, and in that way, we forget about ourselves and receive fraternal correction with love. That same Christ is the one who help us to unite with our brothers when we participate together in community prayers, in meetings, and also in our pastoral activities. Moreover, we encourage every religious to take time for personal prayer as a means of having a continuous renewal of one’s spiritual life. Also, we live in authentic communion with the church, having a fraternal relationship with the dioceses; parishes; and different congregations, Orders and religious institutions, especially those who are also involved in education. Our founder Saint Joseph Calasanz wrote in the Constitutions that, “Our community, as part of the whole human family and always ready to serve, shares willingly and fervently our joys and hopes, grief and anguish with all, especially the human group in which we live.” Also, he maintains that, “We answer the call of the Lord more easily by our community way of life, which, with the help of God, will best recommend our Institute and will attract more efficaciously to the harvest of the Lord those who are in close contact with us, especially children and youth.”
Thus, we are called today to continue this legacy of love that St. Joseph Calasanz taught us so many years ago, and in this way, we can bring joy and peace to a world which has so many needs. By the example of Jesus and St. Joseph Calasanz, we can respond with faith and love, always looking at and for the face of Jesus.

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