He dedicates all his life to the preaching of the Gospel and the celebration of the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist and Penitence. All his life is an intimate contact with God through prayer and meditation, the source of all his apostolic work.
Preaching is the first duty for the evangelization of culture. What the missionary priest has to preach is above all the Gospel, the “Good News”, the announce of the universal salvation in Christ, Word of God made flesh. It contains the Faith that he will preach to every person “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1, 8). This mission requires a deep knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. The simple study of the written work is not enough; the missionary priest should meditate the Scriptures and consider them his “daily bread”, especially the Gospel of Christ. He will remember that the nourishment of preaching is prayer: if the priest does not pray, he will not know Christ enough to preach Him.
The missionary priest is a spiritual director, who has to guide the souls to the perfection of Christian life. Spiritual Direction is a difficult skill; St. John of Avila defined it as “ars artium”, art of all arts, since it deals with the highest things regarding God and the human soul. The priest should improve his skills of spiritual director through the reading of the works of great Saints who have excelled in spiritual doctrine, such as St. John of the Cross or St. Therese of Avila and the classics of Spirituality of all times.
The power of removing sin from souls through Confession is, after the celebration of the Holy Mass, the highest gift that Christ made to His priests. Confession is like a second Baptism, in which a Christian soul who lost the grace of God due to sin can be forgiven and come back to the house of the Father like the prodigal son (Luke 15, 11-32). The missionary priest should dedicate a convenient time to Confessions, since a single person who recovers the grace of God is more valuable than any apostolate that the priest may do.
The evangelization of culture essentially consists in teaching the right Christian doctrine to the people, so that the Gospel may be applied to every aspect of human life. Catechism is the basic religious formation that priests provide in every parish and during the popular missions, with different means of communication and different styles according to the people and their culture. Some of our priests also work in universities or catholic schools as teachers and during the formation period, our seminarians may teach Catechism to the children in some moments of apostolate during the week.
As religious, the missionary priests of the Institute normally live in small communities made of two or more members. Community life is an essential point of our Spirituality. Every member supports each other and the community becomes stronger, a small ideal society where the Gospel reigns along with Christian Charity. The seminarians spend almost every moment together, especially their prayer and formation, to prepare for the future mission with another priest.
Preaching the Spiritual Exercises
The Exercises of St. Ignatius are a perfect mean to evangelize the culture, to delete our disordered passions and live according to God and His will. Our missionary priests will do exercises of thirty days every ten years, and during the formation time, every year for eight days. The priests of the Institute should be always ready to preach exercises to the people and become every time more and more experienced.
Prayer is a major duty of a missionary priest. Without prayer, every action becomes inefficient because the source of every apostolate is nothing but Jesus Christ. The Liturgy of the Hours is the basic prayer of a priest, in which he prays along with all the universal Church; the rosary is the best way to show our love for the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as the Angelus; The devotion of a missionary priest to the Holy Eucharist mainly consists in the Holy Mass and the Eucharistic Adoration.