We are members of:
We have an ecumenical communion with the Byzantine Catholic Orthodox Church Canonic. Eglise de France du Patriarcat Orthodoxe des Nations
"The Missionaries of Charity Secular Franciscan Order, was founded Catholic Mission by Bishop Markuz Muresan. On 1 February 1980, Pope Paul VI granted the Decretum Laudis which established the Missionary Sisters of Charity as a Congregation of Pontifical Right. Since then, the Missionaries of Charity Family has produced abundant fruit, as God has raised up contemplative Sisters, active and contemplative Brothers, Fathers, Missions, Lay Missionaries and the Co-workers of Mother Teresa; and a great host of people - of all beliefs and none - have become involved in this work of love which has spread throughout the world under the inspiration and direction of Mother Teresa. "This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes" (Ps 117:23). , The International Secular Order MCSFO is constituted by the organic union of all the Catholic Secular Franciscan fraternities in the world. It is identical to the OFS. It has its own juridical personality within the Church. It is organized and it functions in conformity with the Constitutions and its own Statutes. The International Fraternity is guided and animated by the Minister or President with the International Council (CIOFS) that has its seat in Rome, Italy. Reconized by American government by Federal Number: Document Number: N15000010657. N15000010821. N10000003518. FEI/EIN Number: 27-2309244. We profess the faith of Catholic Church to help and support the Roman Catholic community in the world, and carry out social work, Missionary, Medical, Humanitarian around the world, to promote the faith and perseverance of the Catholic community. Whose members bind themselves to the Lord and to the service of His Church by the profession of the Evangelical Counsels of Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience, and the Fourth Vow of Wholehearted and Free Service to the Poorest of the Poor.
Our Mission, founded It was founded in memory of our Mother Theresa and Saint Francis of Assisi, is committed to carrying on her charism within the ministerial priesthood, Lays exercised in the service of the Poor as privileged bearers of the mystery of Jesus' presence and passion in the world today.
"A priest is very tenderly loved by God, by Jesus who has
chosen him. And the work that the priest has been entrusted
to do is only a means to put his tender love for God in living
action. And, therefore, the work that he does is sacred."
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Christ's mission is ours, His person is our identity. "There are such riches in the priesthood, if we can only help them to realize." It is the joyful living of this gift - the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and the Jesus Christ of the gospel - which the Holy Spirit, the world, and the poor ask of us.
Our name, MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER, expresses both our identity and activity in the Church:
We continue the mystery of the Father's sending of Jesus to save and sanctify the world, bringing His glad tidings to the Poor. (Lk. 4:18)
It is above all God's love for us, His "thirst" for us and our love, that we are to proclaim.
As priests Lays, we are to allow Jesus to continue seeking out the Poor, the suffering, and those who hunger for God, binding their wounds through our presence and sacramental ministry: in mission areas, hospitals, prisons, soup kitchens, shelters of our Sisters and Brothers, in homes, in the slums and on the streets.
Our particular mission is to labor at the salvation and sanctification of the Poorest of the Poor by:
a) The witness of our consecrated life;
b) Our priestly service to the Poorest of the Poor, both materially and
- Priestly ministry where there is no priestly and Lays presence: in mission areas,
hospitals, prisons, soup kitchens, shelters of our Sisters and Brothers,
in homes, in the slums and on the streets; personal, one-to-one
evangelization, bringing the bread of God's Word into their lives.
- Going in search of the neediest; welcoming the Poor in Jesus' Name;
forming the Poor as disciples; and sending them out as apostles.
c) Our spiritual assistance to the MC Family:
- Serving the MCSFO Family through retreats, seminars, conferences,
confession, and spiritual guidance according to our common charism.
d) Our service to Mother's message in the world:
- As priests within the MCSFO Family, we have also been entrusted
with the mission of propagating Mother Teresa's charism and message.
We are therefore called to contemplate, study, and preach this message,
in a ministry of outreach to all who would hear us.
- While convinced of the great importance of this mission of
evangelization in God's plan for our Society, it will always be but the fruit
of our direct contact with Jesus' thirst in and for the Poorest of the Poor.
Our community life consists in a daily sharing of life. By living together in the simplicity and fraternity of the Twelve, gathered together in prayer by and around Our Lady, sustaining each other in the bond of our common call in charity, we render visible the unity of Jesus' one Priesthood and of His Church.
We seek to live a simple life in solidarity with the poor whom we serve.
We emphasize a fraternal spirit in our houses that includes:
- Common recreation.
- Shared possessions.
- As an international community, our members need to learn to speak English
and the language of the country where they reside.
As we desire to seek God with our whole heart, we have the minimum of possessions; consequently, we don't use televisions, radios, and appliances of convenience. We don't smoke nor drink alcoholic beverages.
As we seek as well to depend on God's providence, all of our priestly work is done freely. We don't accept life insurance and we beg for our food.
We don't take annual vacations and we make a home visit once every five years.
The Holy Spirit wishes us to live - to allow Jesus to live in us - His gospel and His priesthood - combining theprayer and poverty of His hidden life, and the ministry of preaching and compassion of His public life, especially among the poor and the lowly.
We will "leave the ninety-nine " and go "in search of souls," especially the last, the least, and the lost - carrying in our "vessels of clay" both the tenderness and the power of Jesus' priesthood. In the Poorest of the Poor we are privileged to serve the unseen presence of the Lamb who was slain - for it is the poor and suffering who particularly bear "that which is remaining to the passion of Christ." Together with Mother Teresa, we have come to see that indeed " the mystery of Christ is hidden in the poor ." To the service of this mystery we dedicate our priesthood.
These two presences of the Lord - in the poor and the priesthood - complement and complete each other, as they merge in the mystery of Christ's passion. At the foot of the Cross, the poor and the priest are brothers.
In the depths of his being, and by the nature of his vocation, every priest is himself "poor". Every priest experiences that same hunger, the same emptiness only the Lord can fill.
In the lives of his people he sees time and again that the Lord " rich in mercy " does indeed fill their poverty and emptiness. And so often the Lord does so through the ministry of His priest . In those precious moments the priest senses and shares something of the very interiority of Jesus. Every priest is allowed to experience - and hopefully to channel - in some mysterious but real way the sentiments of mercy and compassion in the heart of Jesus in the face of human sin and misery. And so, in the words of St. Paul , "caritas Christi urget nos. " - "the love of Christ impels us."
All the world's poor, even the "wealthy poor," are above all hungry for God - and therefore hungry for us to be men of God. The world is in need of holy priests, for the world is in need of Christ.
The Georgian Catholic Church (or Catholic Church in Georgia), since the 11th century East-West Schism, has been composed mainly of Latin Rite Catholics; Georgian Catholic communities of the Armenian Rite have existed in the country since the 18th century.
A Georgian Byzantine Rite Catholic community, though small, has existed for a number of centuries but does not, however, constitute an autonomous ("sui iuris") Church. Canon 27 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches defines these Churches as under a hierarchy of their own and recognized as autonomous by the supreme authority of the Church. "No organized Georgian Greek Catholic Church ever existed", though, outside of Georgia, "a small Georgian Byzantine Catholic parish has long existed in Istanbul. Currently it is without a priest. Twin male and female religious orders 'of the Immaculate Conception' were founded there in 1861, but have since died out." This was never established as a recognized particular Church of any level (exarchate, ordinariate etc.), within the communion of Catholic Churches, and accordingly has never appeared in the list of Eastern Catholic Churches published in the Annuario Pontifici
Christianity in Georgia began in earnest with the evangelization by Saint Nino in the 4th century. Georgian Christianity then developed in the Byzantine Orthodox tradition, although contact with Rome did occur. The East-West Schism did not immediately end contacts between Georgia and Rome, although the break was recognized by the mid-13th century.
Around this time, Catholic missionaries became active in Georgia, setting up small Latin communities. A Latin-Rite bishopric was established in 1329 at Tbilisi, but this was allowed to lapse after the appointment of the fourteenth and last of its line of bishops in 1507, owing to a lack of support among Georgians.
In 1626, the Theatine and Capuchin orders established new missions in Georgia. In the following centuries a community of Latin Catholics began to form, members of this community commonly being referred to as "French", which was the dominant nationality of the missionaries. Both orders were expelled by the Russian government in 1845.
However, an agreement between Pope Pius IX and Tsar Nicholas I in 1848 permitted the establishment of the Latin-Rite diocese of Tiraspol. This was based in Russia, but all Transcaucasian Catholics, including the Georgians, were aggregated to it. The Russian part of that diocese is now called Saint Clement in Saratov.
Towards the end of the 19th century, some Georgian Catholics wished to use the Byzantine rite traditional in Georgia, but were thwarted by the outlawing of Byzantine "Uniate" groups. Accordingly, since the tsars forbade their Catholic subjects to use the Byzantine Rite, and the Holy See did not promote its use among the Georgians, some of them, clergy as well as laity, adopted the Armenian Rite. There existed at that time the Armenian Catholic diocese of Artvin, which had been set up in Russian Transcaucasia in 1850. It is now a merely titular see, listed as such in the Annuario Pontificio.
Outside the Russian Empire, in Constantinople, Father Peter Karishiaranti (Pétre Kharistshirashvili) founded in 1861 two religious congregations of the Immaculate Conception, one for men, the other for women. These served Georgian Catholics living in the then capital of the Ottoman Empire. They also served in Montaubon, France. These congregations are long extinct, although some of their members were still alive in the late 1950s. The building that housed the male congregation, Fery-Quoa, still stands inIstanbul, now in private ownership. Their clergy gave Georgian Catholics in Constantinople the possibility to worship in accordance with the Georgian Byzantine rite, but they were under the authority of the local Latin Catholic bishop. The Georgian Catholic priest Michel Tamarati was the first to study the history of Catholicism in Georgia, eventually producing the oft-cited L'Eglise géorgienne des origines jusqu' à nos jours in French in 1911.
Only after the granting of religious freedom in Russia in 1905 did some Georgian Catholics resume the Byzantine rite, without reaching the stage of having a separate diocese (particular Church) established for them.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Georgian Catholics were some 50,000. About 40,000 of these were of Latin rite, the others mainly of Armenian rite. Canonically, they depended on the Latin diocese of Tiraspol, which had its headquarters at Saratov on the Volga.
In the brief period of Georgian independence between 1918 and 1921, some influential Georgians expressed an interest in union with the Church of Rome, and an envoy was sent from Rome in 1919 to examine the situation. As a result of the onset of civil war and Soviet occupation, this came to nothing.
In 1920 it was estimated that of 40,000 Catholics in Georgia, 32,000 were Latins and the remainder of the Armenian rite.
Some sources state that, in the 1930s, an exarch was appointed for Byzantine-Rite Catholics in Georgia. This statement is not backed up by objective evidence, and it would have been indeed astounding if the Holy See had chosen that period, when the Soviet government was forcing all Byzantine-Rite Catholics in its power into union with theRussian Orthodox Church, to name for the first time a bishop for the extremely few such Catholics in Georgia, instead of appointing one for the Latin or Armenian Catholics in the country.
Present situation of the Georgian Catholic Church.
St. Peter and Paul cathedral, Tbilisi
After the collapse of the Soviet Union an apostolic administration (of Latin Rite) of the Caucasus was established on 30 December 1993, with headquarters in the Georgian capital, but with a territory greater than that of Georgia. It estimates the number of its faithful as 50,000, a number very similar to that given for Georgian Catholics of all rites in 1914. Georgians of Armenian Rite are in the care of the Ordinariate for Armenian Catholics in Eastern Europe, which was established on 13 July 1991. This ordinariate, which covers an area, including Russia and Ukraine, much vaster than Georgia, has some 400,000 faithful in all (Annuario Pontificio 2012).
Kevin R. Yurkus [Crisis Magazine, July 2005] provides the following pertaining to the Georgian Byzantine Catholic Church:
The Georgian Church began in 337 and used the Syriac Rite of St. James. When the neighboring Armenians rejected the Council of Chalcedon, the Georgians accepted the conciliar decrees and adopted the Byzantine Rite.
Theatine and Capuchin missionaries worked for reunion in Georgia, but under Imperial Russia in 1845, Catholics were not allowed to use the Byzantine Rite. Many Catholics adopted the Armenian Rite until the institution of religious liberty in 1905, which allowed them to return to the Byzantine Rite. In 1937 the Georgian Catholic exarch was executed by the Soviets.
At present, the Georgian Catholic Church has no organized hierarchy. Zugger does not state that the Georgian Byzantine Catholics were ever formally established as an autonomous particular Church, and no mention of the erection of such a jurisdiction for Byzantine Georgian Catholics exists in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official gazette of the Holy See. There is no evidence therefore that the Georgian Catholics of Byzantine Rite constituted at any time an autonomous ("sui iuris") Church, since canon 27 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches defines these Churches as under a hierarchy of their own and recognized as autonomous by the supreme authority of the Church.Until 1994, the annual publication Catholic Almanac used to list "Georgian" among the Byzantine Rites or autonomous particular Churches. This was corrected in 1995.
There are approximately 80,000 Catholics in Georgia - around 2% of the total population. They are mostly found either in Tbilisi or in the southern region of the country, where exclusively Catholic villages exist. There are two Catholic churches in Tbilisi; the Cathedral of Our Lady in the old historical part of Tbilisi, and the parish church of St Peter and St Paul. A Neocatechumenal Way Mission involving priests, families in mission and lay persons has been present in Sts Peter and Paul church since 1991, helping and leading the parish.
The Catholics in Tbilisi are mostly Georgians and Armenians, as well as a small Assyrian community of the Chaldean Rite.
This church also provides mass in English, catering for the growing Catholic expatriate population of Americans, Europeans, Indians and Maltese. There are only about 1000 practising Catholics in Tbilisi. Many other Catholic churches were confiscated by the Georgian Orthodox Church after the fall of communism when the state gave all church property back to the Georgian Orthodox church. Recently, a new seminary has been completed on the outskirts of Tbilisi
A Catholic church is also present in Sukhumi, in Abkhazia. Other Catholic Churches are found in Vale, Gori and in Batumi.
“The priest today is the one who has been sent also,
to be that living love, God's love for the world today.
The priest is that sign, he is the living flame, he is the
sunshine of God's love for the world…
He is another Christ.”
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
The religious community of the Missionaries of Charity Fathers was founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta with Fr. Joseph Langford in 1984, to combine the beauty of the Missionaries of Charity vocation with the grace of the ministerial priesthood.
On September 10th, l946, Mother Teresa of Calcutta experienced a special grace that she called a “call within a call”. This inspiration was the beginning of the Missionaries of Charity Family.
In 1948 she founded the Missionaries of Charity Sisters to be a channel of God's love to Calcutta's Poorest of the Poor, convinced that they were a presence of the suffering Jesus who has said: “…I was hungry…I was thirsty…I was a stranger…I was naked…I was sick…I was in prison…” and “…you did it to Me.” (Mt. 25:35-41)
Soon the attraction of this Gospel way of life brought new members and new foundations, both in India and abroad.
As the work developed, new branches of the MC Family were founded. The Brothers began in 1963, and in the 1970s separate branches for Contemplative Sisters (1976) and Contemplative Brothers (1977) were started.
The Missionaries of Charity Fathers were founded in October 1984. We seek to complement and complete the work of the other branches of the Society.
In 1979 Fr. Joseph Langford, then a Priest and an Oblate of the Virgin Mary, asked Mother Teresa that priests be given the opportunity to share spiritually in the charism of the Missionaries of Charity.
In 1980, after prayer and discernment she began the Priest Co-Workers which she later renamed as Corpus Christi Movement for Priests.
The Priest Co-Worker movement received the blessing of John Paul II on November 1, l980. The following year, on June 26, Feast of the Sacred Heart, the Holy See gave its approval of the first statutes of CCM. By 1983, as the movement continued to grow, Fr. Joseph asked Mother to found a group of priests to oversee and direct the expansion of CCM. As a result Corpus Christi Fraternity was approved as a Pious Union of the Archdiocese of New York, on August 22, 1983 , by Cardinal Cooke.
After a year of prayer and reflection, Mother Teresa and the members of CCF, agreed to seek recognition as a religious institute. Mother Teresa accepted the group as part of her religious family and on October 13, 1984, gave them the name Missionaries of Charity Fathers.