The Nature, Character and Aim of the Congregation

The joy of religious life.

The Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Benedict, founded by Mother Hedwig Kulesza, is a religious institute, ratified by the Holy See (November 1, 1979), in which each sister strives for perfect love of God and neighbor through the way of professed evangelical counsels. Through a complete gift of herself, made through an act of profession and realized in her life, she glorifies God constantly according to the intention of Saint Benedict: “That in all things God may be glorified,” Ut in Omnibus Glorificetur Deus (Rule of Benedict — RB 57, 9).

The fundamental and highest norm of life of every sister is the teaching and life of Christ as shown in the Gospel, filled with zeal for the glory of God the Father and the saving of souls. For the special norm and the particular law of the Congregation, the sisters accept the Rule of St. Benedict, which shows how one must constantly return to God, following the Gospel (cf. Prl RB 21) as well as the Constitutions and the Directory.

Realizing the charism of the Foundress, the sisters, through their example of life and apostolic activity, which is the real aim of the Congregation, join in the saving work of the Church.


Holy Communion class taught by the sisters.

Since the love of God and people aims spontaneously toward the building of the Mystical Body of Christ, that is the Church, the Missionary Sisters of St. Benedict realize this task through their apostolic and missionary work. This obligation rests on each individual sister and the whole community.

The basic form of the apostolate of the sisters in the world should always be a life deeply united with God, faithful to the ideal of our Congregation, to Saint Benedict and to the charism of our Mother Foundress, filled with prayer, a spirit of sacrifice and love toward every person, giving witness to the relevance of Christ’s Gospel in every epoch (cf. Can. 673).

Following in the footsteps of our Mother Foundress and the tradition of our Congregation, the sisters engage in the following forms of Apostolic works:

a) Education and care of children and youth, especially those, who because of various reasons, are deprived of care. In this way, the Congregation shares in the realization of the mission of the Catholic Church, who like a Mother desires to assure the bringing up of the children in the spirit of Christ (GE, 3).

b) Catechizing and preparation of the Holy Sacraments. The sisters will carefully teach the truths of the faith to children, youth and adults so that their faith, enlightened with learning, will become alive, clear, and practical. The sisters will base their teaching on the Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Liturgy as well as on the Magisterium and life of the Church, taking into consideration achievements and directives of sound psychological and pedagogical studies (CD, 14).

Teaching in a local parish school.

c) Influencing girls and women, the sisters will use every possible way of trying to reach out and keep in touch with girls and women. By including them in apostolic and charitable works, they will try to encourage them to cooperate with the sisters in different forms of charitable works.

The sisters will be sensitive and open to actual needs of the Church and the people and will try to recognize the signs of the times and situations. They will be ready, taking into consideration the character of the Institute, to take up every form of apostolate. The sisters should not, however, take on works and assignments beyond those of their Congregation without the permission of the Superior General (Can. 671).

In situations concerning pastoral ministry, public worship, or any other apostolic works, the sisters will be subject to the authority of the bishops, to whom they ought to show obedience and respect (Can. 678, p1). In performing an active apostolate beyond the Congregation, the sisters are subject to their Superior and also remain faithful to the discipline of the Congregation (Can. 678, p2).

The sisters have the duty of fostering Benedictine spirituality. They will extend it to all the people who need help, especially the poor and the suffering, because it is especially in them that Christ is received (RB 53, 15).

The Spirituality, or Charism of the Congregation

The sisters cherish with a special devotion the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The spirituality of the Congregation is developed on the Rule of our Holy Father Benedict, which is the perfect reflection of the Word of God contained in the Sacred Scripture, both in the Old and New Testament.

In accordance with the words of the Rule “May they prefer nothing whatever to Christ” (RB 72, 11), the sisters, following the example of our Mother Foundress, should cherish with a special devotion the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the abode and symbol of God’s love for us. According to the words of Jesus: “Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt 11, 29). The sisters imitate the Sacred Heart of Jesus, especially in His humility and meekness.

To be full of love in imitation of Christ will secure for the sisters an inner tranquility and peace which conforms with the Benedictine saying Pax Christi (Peace of Christ).

Imitating Jesus in His zeal for the glory of the Father, in conformity with the Benedictine motto Ora et Labora (Pray and Work), let the sisters praise God with the Liturgy and every kind of work.

Filled with the spirit of the Heart of Jesus expressed in the words, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth and I desire it would be alight” (Lk 12, 49), the sisters should be concerned about the salvation of souls with great apostolic fervor.

May Mary, Mother of the Church always remain for us a model.

May Mary, who most deeply penetrates the desires of God’s heart, remain at the head of our Community and draw us closer into the presence of Her Divine Son. As Mother of the Church, always faithful to God and aware of the needs of the people, may she always remain for us a model of interior life and apostolic fervor.