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Fr. Tom's Page
"Do not suppose that God has any need of our works; what He needs is the
resoluteness of our will."
St.Teresa of Avila
Hello Everyone,This is Fr. Tom Fogarty, superior of the Holy Family Institute in the USA. Welcome to the Home Page of the Holy Family Institute ! Our hope is to make this Web site as interesting, attractive and informative as possible. We hope that you'll visit us often and tell your friends about us.
Now that we have given you some information about the Pauline Family and the Holy Family Institute in particular, I'd like to go over a few important points with you.
You are on earth to prepare for heaven; the better you prepare, the better the heaven.
But a glance at your past may show good resolutions, decisions, promises and plans to lead a better life…that faded away.Because you were weak and incapable? No! Because you were ALONE, no one to support you, to suggest a fresh start, to point out a faulty approach, to orient you in the right direction.
LET’S CHANGE THAT. RIGHT NOW! In the HOLY FAMILY INSTITUTE!
One of the big problems when you set out to improve your spiritual life is that you may be fascinated by…the monks, and the “hard” life they lead.
And some of the “Lives” of the Saints give the same idea: unless you fast, sleep two hours a night, scourge yourself and spend hours in prayer… forget about holiness. Right? WRONG!
Our Divine Master spent thirty years in Nazareth. In those years he lived exactly like everyone else. And so did his holy Mother and St. Joseph. And when he went public, the Pharisees complained that his disciples did not fast enough (Matt. 9, 14 – 17)-they were really getting at him, of course!
That is why the Institute tells you that a new program of improved spiritual life does not mean and cannot mean imposing extra prayers and penances to the extent that your family life or work is adversely affected.
Of course such an imposition can make you feel good. But that feeling might be misleading or even sinful.
The Institute shows you how to become really holy, and here’s what’s involved:
a reasonable amount of prayer taking into account your family or work duties;
frequent examination of conscience to find your principal defect;
a consistent effort to correct this defect;
great care in carrying out your family or work duties;
the other normal obligations of Catholic life.
ARE THESE BIG SECRETS?
No. They are standard Church teaching: the theory of a better spiritual life. Thousands know them and you have tried them. But they did not persevere, they lacked guidance at special moments, they lacked sound advice, they lacked the precious word of encouragement. They lacked, in other words, the help of the Institute.
BUT YOU HAVE FOUND IT!
AND YOU ARE GOING TO SUCCEED!
Now let us tell you about the Institute itself.
It is a branch of the PAULINE FAMILY, an international Religious Organization of Priests, Brothers, Sisters, consecrated men and women (single and married) and Diocesan Priests.
The work of the Family in the Church is to preach the Word of God using the
mass-media: books, magazines, audiovisuals, tv, the Internet, while supporting this activity by prayer in reparation for media misuse.
Is this work important?
It is not merely important – as all Church work is. It is ESSENTIAL. If the Church for some reason gave up the effort to spread her message as widely as possible… in a few generations THERE WOULD BE NO CHURCH!
THE BRANCHES OF THE PAULINE FAMILY
The Pauline Family has no less than ten branches!
Priests and Brothers – the Society of St. Paul – the priests help in parishes on an occasional basis but mostly concentrate on editorial work. The Brothers help on the managerial and technical side.
There are four different Congregations of Sisters.
The Daughters of St. Paul whose work is similar to the work of the Society.
The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, who devote themselves to the Eucharist, the Liturgy and the Priesthood.
The Pastorelle or Shepherdess Sisters who work in Parishes and run schools.
The Queen of Apostles Sisters for Vocations
Finally, there are four Institutes:
The Annunciation of Mary – single women
St. Gabriel the Archangel – single men
Jesus the Priest – Diocesan priests who also become members of the Pauline Family
THE HOLY FAMILY
The tenth branch of the Family includes many Cooperators laymen and women who support the Family financially or otherwise collaborate with the Family’s work.
Now, let’s concentrate on
THE HOLY FAMILY INSTITUTE
It is a branch of the Family like the others.
And so its members, like the others, are consecrated and vowed! A wonderful divine privilege.
What do we mean by “vow”?
St. Thomas Aquinas remarks that a vow is “an act of religion.” By “act of religion” he means any action which is totally directed to God, such as a prayer, fasting, penance, hearing Mass, a pilgrimage, etc.
Most people make acts of religion only a certain number of times in the day and some hardly any – even on Sundays.
But the whole life of the vowed member, not just an occasional part of the day, is totally directed to God! So it can be said that his or her life is radically changed even when there is no visible change in the married or family life or the work of the member.
What do we mean by “consecration”?
By consecration we mean that the member is “set apart” or “dedicated to” a specific goal. In our case members are dedicated to the goals of the Pauline Family.
HOLY FAMILY INSTITUTE VOWS
Are the Institute vows difficult to observe?
THE VOW OF POVERTY implies a modest lifestyle in keeping with the norm in our social circle, honesty in business dealings, avoidance of needless expenditures, care of our property and the property of others, prompt payment of debts.
THE VOW OF CHASTITY in practice means the observance of the laws of the Church in marriage.
THE VOW OF OBEDIENCE involves observance of Church and civil laws and, in the Institute, collaboration with directions on practical and spiritual matters.
In a word: to a large extent the vows involve what a good Catholic is already doing in normal life. That is because – as we mentioned at the beginning – it is our commitment to living our ordinary family life well which is important.
But, surely, vows should be more difficult than you say?
The meaning of vows is not to make life difficult (it already is!) but to concentrate our energies on our daily duties at home or at work.
BECOMING AN INSTITUTE MEMBER
You become a member in 3 stages.
POSTULANCY – a period of 6 to 9 months during which the candidate learns the history of the Pauline Family and gets initial spiritual orientation.
NOVITIATE – a period of two years during which the spiritual orientation is intensified. (The Institute is governed by Church Law which requires two years in this stage).
PROFESSION – the Novice joins others (if possible) at our Annual “Triduum” or 3 Days of Prayer and Friendship and recites the formula of the vows during the appropriate ceremony.
Vows are renewed each year for three years and then the Member may make Perpetual vows.
Candidates are free to leave the Postulancy or Novitiate at any time and may also not renew their Temporary vows.
FORMATION This takes place through a Course of instruction by monthly CD’s and literature. The candidate corresponds regularly to ensure personal guidance.
OFFERING: $5.00 weekly
Can you afford to let this blessing pass you by?
Our Divine Master has opened a door for you: NOT the door to being a cooperator, collaborator or helper; NOT the door to anything except the door to a new and exciting Church development which you can join as a "founder member" (and such members always have more merits than those who succeed them).
Other people have heard the Divine call - and answered it! Decide to join them. A few times in your life, your decision can make a RADICAL difference to your future. This is one such time.
Even if there are problems in your marriage, why not contact us anyway. We may be able to help.
May the Divine Master bless you and those you love.
Would you like more information about the Holy Family Institute?
PO Box 498
Canfield, OH 44406-9946
(Don't forget to include your postal address.)
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