“The Company is missionary by nature.” C 25
Created following the General Assembly of 1969 to respond to the directives of Vatican II, the International Mission Center (CIM) offers Sisters who have heard the missionary call to Ad Gentes the time and place to prepare for the new mission that the Company will entrust to them.
The particular mission of CIM demands that it is lived in reference to the vocation and spirit of the Company. The Center is also a place of spiritual and communal support for Sisters already on the mission Ad Gentes.
In 2004, after the approval of the Statute of the Quasi-Province, the International Mission Center became a legitimately constituted community. This community is composed of:
1. A group of Sisters, presently 6, assigned to welcome and accompany the Sister Missionaries. It is an international, intercultural community, which is formative in itself.
2. There are Sisters who arrive for immediate preparation for the Mission Ad Gentes. They are part of the local community of CIM and follow a special program according to the Formation Plan approved by the General Council. More than just a training program, it is a support in their becoming a missionary in the new environment that awaits them
1. To have the experience of living in an international community, gaining respect for different cultures as in their new mission.
2. To have a personalized program which allows the Sister integration of diverse areas: human, Christian, Vincentian and Missionary.
3. To have biblical, theological and pastoral formation for the Mission Ad Gentes; deepen their connection with the Church and the Company. (Taking advantage of institutions of doctrinal and professional formation in Paris and in France.)
4. To strengthen their spiritual life and vocation as a Daughter of Charity. To take advantage of the ambiance of the Motherhouse, place of cultural, spiritual, Marian and Vincentian heritage and of the missionary tradition of the Company.
It is an approach focused on the future: when the Sister receives her missionary mandate from the hand of the Superioress General, she undertakes the study of the cultural, religious, social and political nature of the country where she is being sent, gains knowledge of the reality of the province and, if necessary, an introduction to the study of the country’s language.
New issues, new challenges of the mission lead us forward with optimism. A crisis of vocations and the secularization of Western Europe meet the dynamism of the Provinces of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Fifty-two Sisters have passed through the CIM in the past 6 years having come from Poland, Spain, Vietnam, India, Brazil, Nigeria, Lebanon, Portugal, Uruguay and Columbia. Forty-five of those Sisters were sent to other provinces.
“The word of God constantly shows us how God challenges those who believe in him “to go forth”. Abraham received the call to set out for a new land (cf. Gen 12:1-3). …In our day Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples” echoes in the changing scenarios and ever new challenges to the Church’s mission of evangelization, and all of us are called to take part in this new missionary “going forth”. Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the “peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel.” (Évangelii Gaudium 20)