‘We promote the continued development of new forms of association with the Congregation.’- Constitution S 1.1.
“Where are you going? I suppose to the church to mumble your prayers before the statues; and then you will be highly pleased with yourselves thinking you are very devout. You would do better if you would build a house for these poor girls who will be lost for want of direction and resources.” It was these words, spoken by Madeleine Lamy to St. John Eudes, which led to the establishment of the Order of Our Lady of Charity on November 25, 1641, in Caen.
The words of Madame Lamey lead to St. John Eudes establishing the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge.
The challenging words from a lay woman impelled the establishment of a Congregation that was to evolve to where and who the Congregation of our lady of charity of the Good Shepherd is today. This is where the story of partnership begins!
From Madame Lamey to Countess Genevieve D’Andigne de Villequier and Count Augustin de Roy de la Portherie de Neuville, to every person who has lent a hand with genuine charity, compassion and zeal is today acknowledged as Lay mission partners or partners in mission.
They have worked, sweated and journeyed closely with the Sisters in bringing the mission where it stands today; as inspiration, sounding-boards, challengers, well-wishers, benefactors, co-workers, resource persons and objective counsels.
Sisters and Lay working collegially together for mission are called as Mission Partners.
CHARISM is defined as a gift, talent or potential from God given to an individual of any gender, faith, nationality or stature, for the good and selfless service of others.
Good Shepherd lay mission partners are endowed with the gift of Good Shepherd charism – a gift which reflects the Good Shepherd values of compassion, merciful justice, integrity, zeal, reconciliation and the dignity of persons.
These are ordinary people with ordinary lives and problems, called to do extraordinary things for the greater glory of God and salvation of the ‘least and lost’ in today’s world.
Charism cannot be imposed, but only awakened… It cannot to be learnt, trained, inherited or ‘caught on (from a Sister)’, but to be said ‘yes’ to, through an intimate calling from God to Mission.
Directive: That the CLT establishes a working group to peruse the full engagement of partners.
- 30th Congregational Direction Statement.
Mission Partnership is now a congregational directive to make the Good Shepherd mission more far-reaching and vibrant.
What is Mission Partnership?
Good Shepherd Mission Partnership is a vocation of lay people who are drawn to the purpose and values of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, committing themselves to work co-responsibly for the development, effectiveness and sustainability of the Good Shepherd mission.
They may include Sisters, co-workers, employees, staff, volunteers, benefactors, board members, associates, companions, “Friends of the Sisters”, etc.
Levels of Partnership:
GOOD SHEPHERD CO-WORKERS: All those employed in Good Shepherd ministries are co-workers in taking the mission forward, even though they may not know (or choose not to know) the much about the Good Shepherd Mission, Values or Spirituality.
GOOD SHEPHERD VOLUNTEERS: Benefactors who, attracted by the mission of the Good Shepherd, volunteer their time, resources and talent to help out periodically as-and-when required. They may not ( or may choose not) to know about the Good Shepherd heritage and spirituality.
GOOD SHEPHERD PARTNERS-IN-MISSION (or lay mission partners) are people who are attracted to the values, spirituality and mission of the congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. They are committed to living the values of the Good shepherd as a lifestyle and choose to ‘say yes’ to living in co-responsibility for the development , effectiveness and sustainability of the Good Shepherd mission now and into the future.