The religious community of priests founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta with Fr. Joseph Langford, M.C. as co-founder.
"A priest is very tenderly loved by God, by Jesus who has chosen him."
The Missionaries of Charity Fathers is a clerical religious Institute of diocesan right, 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 Institute, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, is committed to carrying on her charism within the ministerial priesthood, exercised in the service of the Poor as privileged bearers of the mystery of Jesus' presence and passion in the world today.
Our name, MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY FATHERS, 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, 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. We are also known as...
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 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 spiritually:
- Priestly ministry where there is no priestly 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 MC 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 MC 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:
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 the prayer 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 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.