Our mission puts us on constant call to respond to the most urgent needs of the Church through various forms of witness and ministry, but especially through proclaiming the Word of God which finds its fulfilment in the celebration of the sacraments and in service to others.
CC&RR, Constitution 7
The value of acts of service speaking louder than words was stressed to Tempier when the missionaries had gone to help the inhabitants of a neighboring village to put out a fire:
If only I had been with you on the day of your noble behaviour at Saint-Etienne. From here, I see you in the midst of the flames giving aid everywhere and intelligently, which must have saved a great number of persons. I am not surprised that people do not cease to speak of this splendid devotedness.
Four missionaries engaged in such an exercise of charity preach better still than in the pulpit, at least they are better understood.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 29 June 1819, EO VI, n. 45
Preaching the Word of God finding its fulfilment in focused service is prescribed in our Rule of Life:
Preaching missions at home and sending missionaries abroad have been traditionally central to our apostolate. There is no ministry, however, which is foreign to us, provided we never lose sight of the Congregation’s primary purpose: to evangelize the most abandoned.
CC&RR, Rule 7b
“The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not ‘What a lovely sermon,’ but ‘I will do something!’” Francis de Sales