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Intellectual Apostolate - Teaching

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[1] Those religious dedicated to education will try to be immersed in the absolute and total love for truth. They will work so that the principles of the Gospel may effectively influence the lives of men. In the middle of a world that believes that error possesses the same rights as truth, they will combat errors with all their strength. They will give to the Magisterium of the Church, to the doctrine of the Church Fathers and to the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas the privileged place that the Popes, the Second Vatican Council and the Code of Canon Law give to them in theological disciplines. In philosophy they will teach the contribution of Greek antiquity received from Catholic tradition which has rightly been called the “philosophical heritage that is perennially valid.”[2]

[3] Those who are dedicated to the theological, philosophical, scientific and cultural research, as well as to other fields, should have a very clear understanding that though seemingly distant, this intellectual work is not only for the greater glory of God, but also for the greater good of souls. They must understand that it fully belongs to the charism of our Institute. Saint Thomas says: “In the spiritual edifice there are some like manual workers, who in particular way take care of souls, that is to say, by administrating the sacraments or by doing some similar work. Subsequently, the Bishops like main architects are the ones who govern and decide in which way the workers must accomplish their work. That is why these are called Bishops, that is, superintendent; similarly the doctors in theology are dedicated to investigate and to teach the way by which others should procure the salvation of souls. Therefore, it is better to teach the sacred doctrine and it is more meritorious if it is done with good intention, than to procure the particular salvation of this or that individual soul… this reason shows that it is better to teach those things that pertain to salvation to those who can benefit from it themselves as well as for others, instead of teaching the simple ones who can only benefit themselves.”[4]

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[5] Keeping in mind the special advantage of the intellectual apostolate, we will give special attention to the propagation of the Gospel through articles in magazines of investigation, periodicals, essays, books and other kinds of publications. What is written remains and is more widely disseminated.

 

Teaching in Schools & Catechism Programs

We consider that some of the most important means of reaching the established purpose are to work with the key areas of the culture, namely; families, education (in schools, colleges and universities), mass media and the thinkers or intellectuals.  Ragarding the latter, we will work in the initiation, calling, development, discernment, formation, consolidation, accompaniment and the further exercise of the vocation to the intellectual apostolate. [6]

In particular, we will work to proclaim the word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12) in all its forms. In the study and the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, Theology, the Holy Fathers, the liturgy, catechesis, ecumenism, etc..

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"They need to be educated to love the truth, to be loyal, to respect every person, to have a sense of justice, to be true to their word, to be genuinely compassionate, to be men of integrity and, especially, to be balanced in judgment and behavior.”[7] Education for the love of truth must be realized by way of an extensive intellectual formation, which is ordered to the truth and is not satisfied with knowing the mere opinions of theologians. It must be a philosophical formation, in the way Saint Justin understood it. This formation will include theorizing, intellectual leisure and sincere debating – which is a shared search for truth. Classes need to be moments where true teaching and learning take place. “A simple and demanding program for this human formation can be found in the words of the apostle Paul to the Philippians: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Phil 4:8)"[8].[4]


[1] Constitutions, 178

[2] Cf. CIC, c. 251.

[3] Constitutions, 179

[4] Saint Thomas Aquinas, Quodl. I, VII, 2.

[5] Constitutions, 180

[6] Cf SSVM Constituciones 29.

[7] PDV, 43.

[8] PDV, 43; cf. FIR, 29.

[9] Cf SSVM Constituciones 199.