The members of the Institute are expected to cultivate the spirit of poverty that will make them witnesses to the world, as being able to live in the midst of material goods without being enslaved by them and without being hindered by them from being completely available. We strive to use our goods to convey the love and justice of God for all humans. Our detachment frees us to make a true gift of self to those most in need.
In professing the vow of poverty, Voluntas members commit themselves to:
- work for their livelihood (we are self-supporting);
- sustain the apostolic endeavors of the Institute;
- share in accordance with Institute directives.
Members retain the ownership of their personal property or belongings with full right to administer them and to draw benefits from them. In these acts, in conformity with the teaching of Christ to 'watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind' (Lk 12:15), they shall observe the duties of justice and charity. Members of the Institute are encouraged to go beyond the strict obligations of the vow of poverty by avoiding useless expenses and sharing their possessions with the poor, endeavoring to love them always more and more.
Each member shall take seriously his/her obligation of sharing in the District's financial burden so as to avoid overloading his/her confreres or paralyzing the District's apostolic projects. Once his/her contribution has been made, each member is free to administer the remainder as he pleases. In his/her personal administration, the member shall hold dear the living-out of his/her commitment to evangelical poverty while respecting his/her own needs as well as those of his/her confreres and of his/her milieu. (Cf. Statutes, Canadian District, Section 8).
Job was aware of the fact that everything he had and all he was came from God. Abraham did not hesitate to leave everything and let the Lord make good his poverty. With these two examples in mind, Voluntas members strive to glorify God and share to a greater degree with their brothers and sisters. All good things, whether spiritual or material, come from God. We want them to return to Him after having borne much fruit in and around us, as well as in each one of our brothers and sisters. It is not a question of being poor for poverty's sake; it is rather a question of being poor so as to be with God who will know how to give his friends a hundredfold; it is a question of being poor so as to enrich our brothers and sisters who will know how to respond richly in love and heap upon us the richness of their needs and problems.
Chastity is not living a life of repression; it is the ability to embrace one’s sexuality in a loving and life-giving manner. We open our total being to God’s love so that we may see and love others as God does. Our chastity is a gift that makes us available to love those most in need in our time and place.
Celibate members, priests and consecrated laymen, live joy-filled lives of radical availability, free to be where God and God’s people need them to be. Consecrated celibacy is a sign of a reality transcending earthly values. It is a sign of the Kingdom to come, the sincere and pure affection that members have for each other and everyone supports them in their struggle for an ever growing fidelity.
In the practice of commitment to chastity and in response to Christ’s special call to love in charity, associate members (married couples) commit themselves to live in conjugal chastity and sacramental fidelity in such a way as to render greater glory to God and help the world to grow in the true meaning of love. In a world where marriage and family life are questioned and even rejected by some, married couples in Voluntas preach through the example of their personal lives as couples who are happy to build a life in reference to the Gospel and the Church's directives.
“It is impossible to attain holiness through any other means…Jesus came to do his Father’s will. The Voluntas must carry out that same will." (Fr. Parent)
In imitation of the humble and obedient service of Jesus, we strive to listen and discern the will of God. Our obedience is courageously, joyfully, and eagerly to respond to God's will with our Fiat! By their spirit of obedience, members endeavor to witness to everyone that they are happy to do God's will as manifested in everyday life, without installing themselves comfortably in their own choices.
- making one's own the project of Jesus Christ;
- making one's own the projects of the universal and local Church;
- making one's own the projects of the Institute;
- making one's own the projects of one’s District;
- making one's own the projects of one’s Team.
Members have at heart the faithful observance of the Constitutions and the Rules of the Institute as well as the statutes of their particular District. Ordained members must obtain the written authorization of the local Bishop before engaging in any kind of pastoral work within a given diocese. In this manner, communion with the local and the universal Church shall be fostered. Regarding the commitment to obedience, associate members (married couples) of the Institute take into account those obligations inherent in the state of matrimony, which is the prime commitment in their lives.