Bearing in mind the nature of Saint Paul University as a “catholic, bilingual and ecumenical institution,” the pastoral team will continue to make every effort to pursue the mission of the Risen One with the university community.
As disciples called to the ministry of humanisation, we suggest that we look at Saint Eugene de Mazenod as a model that we can relate to. De Mazenod is the founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a missionary and apostolic congregation which founded Saint Paul University. The specific charism of this religious community of French origin is the evangelisation of the poorest of the poor, the abandoned. This charism continues to be embodied in the particular needs of this catholic university milieu.
In the spirit of Saint Eugene, we set forth three priorities for the Pastoral Services. Both, implicitly or explicitly, these priorities reflect the thinking and practice of Saint Eugene de Mazenod, this man of action with a generous apostolic heart.
Welcoming: Welcoming is the foundational act of the Church. It is there that people discover God’s hospitality, the breath of his love for each one of us and for the whole humanity. When Eugene of Mazenod addressed his brothers, he asked them to “always welcome each person with inexhaustible charity.” Further, he reminded the members of his institute to “specifically cultivate gentle mercy and to strive unfailingly to become gentle.” The greatest act of welcoming is manifested through compassion and listening.
Serving: Serving is a way of selflessness that invites us to surpass ourselves generously, striving to be close to one another. One of the fundamental characteristics of Eugene was his apostolic zeal. He recognized the needs of others and with other men that shared his values he responded with eagerness. “One who will want to be with us, must strive for his own perfection, be inflamed by the love for our Lord Jesus Christ and his Church and live an ardent zeal for the salvation of souls.” Generosity in the service of the most vulnerable stems from the awareness that they are particularly and profoundly loved by God.
Celebrating: Celebrating is an art practiced both in one’s own life and in community. The purpose of the celebration is to give thanks for what we received and for what we live as gift from our God. Eugene of Mazenod was a man of prayer who allowed himself to be touched by God. He knew how to live and express his spiritual awareness with ease. Either during his dramatic conversion on Holy Friday, after communion or prayer before the Blessed Sacrament or after his priestly ordination, he was continually imbued by the love of Jesus in the Eucharist. His gratitude for his life and for the life of his brothers throughout the world sprung from the depth of this experience.