We arrive at the destination of our itinerary. Traditional devotional pilgrimages end at an illustrious sanctuary named for a saint or martyr — James at Compostela, Peter and Paul in Rome, Becket at Canterbury — where arriving pilgrims light votive lamps to signal their conversion and prayers
of gratitude. Our voyage concludes not in a church, but in service to our contemporaries in what the General Chapter 2006 called “the sanctuary of mission.” Where is that? Every place where we welcome young people — as did Andre at Pieux-Secours and Monistrol, Alphonse at the Mobile boys’ asylum, and Albertinus in Metuchen — is a sanctuary of mission. So are our community houses, our schools and formation centers, our dormitories and camps, as well as our projects of outreach and mission to the periphery.
Although the sanctuary of mission in all its incarnations in our Institute is not a church building, it is no less a spiritual haven where we hear and answer Jesus’ prayer to receive children in his name. It is where we strive to rid of their demons youths whose rescue can only be made through prayer and compassion. Although our sanctuaries might not burn tapers to honor the presence of Jesus in a gold tabernacle, within every child and all young people we perceive the glow of the risen Christ. We may not genuflect before them, but we reverence their divine origin; we cherish the gifts of their baptism; and we believe in their infinite possibilities.
The general chapter’s ordinance commissioned us: “Brothers and lay people together are to light the fire in the sanctuary of mission. That sanctuary is a place for encountering God in others.” It’s not just the chapter assembly of Brothers commissioning us, it is the whole Church. In her official approval of our map, she exhorts us, using language as stirring as that of the general chapter, to “continue to spread in the world the fire of redeeming love whose source is the Heart of Christ.”
It is clear, then, from both our chapter and the Church that the ultimate goal of our spirituality is to create places of sanctuary for youth where the light we burn is fueled by the desire of Jesus: “I have come to bring fire to the earth. How I wish it were blazing already.” That fire is our desire to grow in love for them. That desire, first expressed in line 11 of our map, is repeated in every one of the Rule’s twelve chapters. Kindling fires of love is our routine day-to-day way of life in the places of sanctuary where we live and serve.
The Five Loves of Sanctuary
A careful reading of our map and of the entire the Rule shows that when it speaks of the fullness of love it has in mind five distinctive loves, that is, five relationships, to cultivate as critical in the sanctuary of mission.
— Love of God
— Love of Self
— Love of young people, especially the wounded.
The spirituality that lights our sanctuary of mission is one in which all five relationships matter as we make our schools, communities, and centers places of true communion:
— We make our love of God real and tangible through public and personal prayer and by giving a prominent place to the Word and the sacraments.
— We empower self-love in two ways. We model the development of our own personal spiritual gifts and specific competencies as well as those of the young.
— We contemplate how precious each person is in the light of God’s baptismal gifts of divine life and favor; we discover the sacred dimension of their heart.
— We foster community through teamwork, mutual respect, forgiveness, and acceptance of one another’s vulnerabilities. Brother Maurice writes eloquently of the importance of the adult community in creating a spirit of sanctuary:
“How can we create a sanctuary for youth if there is not a climate of love among ourselves as brothers and partners? Only charitable relationships among us adults will create the atmosphere of sanctuary indispensable to evangelize young people and give them a taste of the heartfelt love that surrounded Jesus during his active life.
“The contemplation of Jesus living in community with his disciples can teach us to be open to the spiritual needs of our colleagues, especially those who are suffering physically or in spirit, those who are experiencing failure, and those who bear a heavy cross. Caring for the companions at our side week in and week out is our first ministry.”
— We facilitate the growth of lasting friendships among the young as well as among ourselves through our affection, honest relationships, closeness to one another’s families, and the sharing of our interests and leisure.
— We carefully nurture relationships with the young people we welcome by listening to them, challenging them to develop their gifts, forming them to act according to Gospel values, praying for them, and serving as protective mentors.
— We show special love to those among them who are suffering any of the five wounds of ignorance, neglect, dechristianization, misery, or injustice. And we work side-by-side with them in direct service to marginalized and neglected people in the wider community through generous outreach.
When we think of enkindling in our sanctuaries the interplay of the five relationships, Brother Albertinus comes to mind as a model. All of us probably know Father Pedro Arrupe’s imperative “a man for others.” Albertinus showed us how to be “a man with others.” He had the personal charism of being able to spark instant rapport with gestures of hospitality and respectfulness. Young brothers loved him, as did older confreres, neighbors, clergy, and the accumulation of persons he met in his travels. His biographer said, “No one doubted that he was moved by anything but feelings of pure thoughtfulness.”
Brother Albertinus’ life was a testament to what Pope Benedict believed and wrote:
“Human beings are relational. We possess our lives — ourselves — only by way of relationship. I alone am not myself, but only in and with you am I myself. To be truly a human being means to be related in love.” [In the Beginning,” p. 72]
Albertinius’ love of self was evident from his confidence as a public–and alas, often long-winded–speaker as well as his ability to laugh at himself when teased about embarrassing absentmindedness or naive faux-pas. Stories abound, like the time he walked into the packed Metuchen chapel and knelt reverently to pray, oblivious to the fact that his cassock was hilariously inside-out.
He cultivated a great number of long-term friendships. The close personal ties he developed with Brother Arthème during their years together on the general council was touching and inspiring, especially as the older man’s health deteriorated. When the general house was moved to Rome, he stayed in Paradis to be with his failing confrere until the end. Albertinus had a motto about friendship that he lived with real passion —“Loyalty everywhere and forever.”
His loving loyalty to God was legendary. We’ve already seen his devotion to the sung liturgies at Metuchen in his younger years. After taking his retirement in the U.S. at the end of his long term at the head of the Institute, he sailed back to Rome to the general chapter in his role as a former superior general. When asked how the ocean crossing went, he called it “a very enjoyable trip on the calmest of seas, with the incomparable privilege of attending four or five Masses every morning.”
We give the final word about growth in the fullness love — in the five loves — to Brother Maurice Ratté, guide and model throughout our voyage.
“Through the spirituality of the Sacred Heart which we inherit from our founder, we strive to radiate to the lost the love that the Lord first ignited in the hearth of our communities. Warmed by gathering around the communal fire, we can bring warmth to others. All of our local and school communities, as diverse as they are, find ways to recall that Jesus Christ has come to reignite love among peoples and between persons, to bring fire to the earth, as Andre Coindre never tired of repeating. Brother Polycarp added, ‘You must burn with the same fire that consumes the heart of Christ.’
“Communities of brothers, school communities, and formation communities, along with boards and working groups, should make efforts to spread the fire of love which they discover burning in the heart of God. They should carry the fire first to youth in urgent need wherever they can, be it near or far, parish or diocese, school or city. To echo the Rule of Life, our contemporaries have urgent questions and pressing needs. Concerned about their happiness and salvation and supported by community life, we unite ourselves with them in the heart of Christ.”
Prayer of Brother Maurice over the world
Jesus, we know you best under the title Sacred Heart. You are the center of the universe (Eph. 1:10) In you everything in heaven and earth was created and holds together. (Col 1: 16-17)
From your heart swells the love that bonds us as Christians and draws us all to the Father. When I come into your presence, Lord, I can’t block out what I’ve been seeing and hearing going on around me. I bring with me the persons and experiences that have marked me.
I carry with me, Lord, a vast number of people and an immense procession of needs. Show us how to hearten those who are suffering. Enable us to drive out despair and hatred. Make us instruments of the reign of love you set into motion in your own heart and intend for the world. Point out to us the way to reach those who have the greatest need for you.
Litany of the Sacred Heart prayed with Brother Albertinus as members of the Mystical Body of Christ
|Lord, have mercy||Lord, have mercy|
|Christ, have mercy||Christ, have mercy|
|Lord, have mercy||Lord, have mercy|
|God our Father in heaven||I trust in you|
|God the Son, Redeemer of the world||I trust in you|
|God the Holy Spirit||I trust in you|
|Holy Trinity, one God||I trust in you|
|Heart of Jesus, like you I was born of the eternal Father||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, like you I was formed by the Holy Spirit in my mother’s womb||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, in you I am one with the eternal Word||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, you share with me your divine life||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, my heart is a holy temple of God||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, with you I am a tabernacle of the Most High||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, you make me a house of God and gate of heaven||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, you set me aflame with your love||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, you give me to drink from your source of justice and love||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, you fill me with goodness and compassion||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, from me flows the virtue you pour into me||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, worthy of all praise, you make my life praiseworthy||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, center of all hearts, you draw mine to you||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, from your treasure-house you fill me with wisdom and knowledge||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, abode where God dwells in fullness||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, beside you I am pleasing to the Father||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, from whose fullness I have received||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, you sharpen my desire for eternal life||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, you place in me your patience and mercy||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, you make me generous to all who turn to you||Make my heart your own|
|Heart of Jesus, you are the fount of my life and holiness||Make my heart your home|
|Heart of Jesus, atonement for my sins||Touch my heart and make it like your own|
|Heart of Jesus, I spurn your love out of indifference||Touch my heart and make it like your own|
|Heart of Jesus, broken for my sins||Touch my heart and make it like your own|
|Heart of Jesus, obedient even to death||Touch my heart and make it like your own|
|Heart of Jesus, like you, I bear the scars of my wounds||Touch my heart and make it like your own|
|Heart of Jesus, victim of my sins||Touch my heart and make it like your own|
|Heart of Jesus, you fill my heart with consolation||I trust in you|
|Heart of Jesus, you give me new life through your resurrection||I trust in you|
|Heart of Jesus, you send me as a sign of your peace and reconciliation||I trust in you|
|Heart of Jesus, you saved me so I can save others||I trust in you|
|Heart of Jesus, you fill me with hope to die in you||I trust in you|
|Heart of Jesus, my delight and delight of all the saints||I trust in you|
|Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world||have mercy on us|
|Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world||have mercy on us|
|Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world||grant us peace|
|Jesus, gentle and humble of heart.||Touch my heart and make it like your own|
Contemplate young people expressing through song their desire for God
Pray the Via Lucis of Young People
— Contemplate young people at the Millennial Youth Days Rally in Rome.
— Ask for the grace to see the risen Lord in them.
— Ask for a share of the charism of Andre Coindre to regard young people with his gaze of trust and hope.
Pray the Via Lucis:
Link to Via Lucis [Hold SHIFT key then click on link]
 A Pilgrimage of Hope, 34th General Chapter of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, (Rome, 2007), p. 17
 Matthew 18:5, Mark 9:29
 A Pilgrimage, p. 24
 Franc Cardinal Rodé, CM, prefect; Archbishop Gianfranco Gardin, OFM, secretary, Decree of Approbation (February 7, 2007–80th anniversary of the definitive approbation of the first constitutions by the Apostolic See)
 Luke 12:49
 Articles 5, 17, 28, 61, 66, 72, 133, 170, 270; Part IV title page
Cf. Present to them…,
 Annuaire 54:23-61
 We are Present to Them, par. 11-17
 Letter of August 20, 1852