The Missionaries of the Holy Family (MSF) is a worldwide Roman Catholic men’s Congregation of over 900 priests and brothers with a special focus on supporting men discern their call to the priesthood or the brotherhood. Once a vocation as a new priest or brother is realized, there is a focus on caring for the needs of the Christian Family.
The worldwide leadership for the Missionaries of the Holy is the Generalate and it is located in Rome. There are 15 Provinces and numerous missions. The Missionaries of the Holy Family serve in 22 countries.
A letter from the Generalate of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Family
The founder, Fr. John Berthier, was inspired to give new missionaries to the Church. The words of the Bible: “The harvest is abundant, but laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for the harvest ” (Mt 9:37-38), moved Fr. Berthier deeply. At this time many people had not yet heard of Jesus Christ. He wanted to present many missionaries to the Church. For this reason he founded the Congregation in 1895. Through their Constitutions, the Missionaries of the Holy Family receive a threefold charism.
All members are missionaries and have to turn “to all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God may call” (Acts 2:39). Missionaries for people that are far away have a vast missionary field. According to the faith, people far away can be those who live in other continents as well as those that live nearby but are distant from God. Every individual province in the Congregation has to decide on a concrete missionary task for the members.
The second charism of the Congregation is the promotion of vocations for the Church. This is an urgent task as there is a lack of spiritual vocations almost everywhere. In some parts of the world the lack of vocations is becoming dramatic. In addition to looking for new candidates for service in the Church, the Constitutions say that members are to pay attention to the earthly and spiritual needs of those already working in the Church.
Another charism of the Congregation is to work in the pastoral care of families. With this charism the Missionaries of the Holy Family follow not only the Constitutions, but also the urgent appeal by Pope John Paul II to our community in a letter of 1995. In the mission of our time, in the promotion of vocations, and in the pastoral care of families we find guidance with the holy persons of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This leads us to the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus. The Father sent his Son into the world to bring all people of good will into the one great family of the heavenly Father. The meditation on the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and his long hidden life in Nazareth are a source of strength for us, the Missionaries of the Holy Family.
From Father Alois Hüging, M.S.F., Vicar General, Rome September 12, 2006