The International Misericordia Family
The International Misericordia Family (IMF) is a mission of the Catholic Church. In keeping with the movement toward ecumenism, we welcome Christian men and women who desire to adhere to this spiritual Family, to commit to living and perpetuating the Charism of Mercy by following in the footsteps of Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, foundress of the Misericordia Institute, by living the specific mission to accompany and support single-mother and mothers living a difficult, distressful pregnancy and motherhood while supporting her children and those close to her.
The IMF New Illustration
Because of the transformation of the International Misericordia Family, the “Lighthouse” best represents the charism and its three pillars in the Church and society. It depicts who we are, our spirituality, and our mission. The Lighthouse represents the light of love, hope, and accompaniment of a person, especially the mother experiencing a difficult pregnancy.
All of the elements identified in this illustration are inseparable and will remain meaningful over time. They will serve as clear points of reference for those who will become the guardians of our spiritual heritage.
Represents the official recognition of the International Misericordia Family by the Catholic Church.
The Lighted Lantern
Represents the founding Charism of the Misericordia Sisters Institute entrusted in 1848 by Bishop Ignace Bourget to the foundress Rosalie Cadron- Jetté.
The Two Rays of Light: two vocations of the founding Charism:
➢ A Mission of the Catholic Church: To be God’s face of Mercy by living Mercy in the world and in the Church.
➢ A Specific Humanitarian Mission: To be the face of Mercy particularly for the mother experiencing a difficult pregnancy, her child, and those close to her.
The Grey Wick: three theological virtues essential to the practice of Mercy:
➢ Faith: faith in oneself, faith in God, and faith in the one you are with
The Gold and Purple represent the spirituality and humanitarian missions of the Charism wich are the two foundations:
➢ (Purple): A humanitarian community life: everyone working together to build a better world.
➢ (Gold): A spiritual community life: includes the sharing groups, training, and spiritual renewal groups in the IMF’s different environments who promote the spiritual journey. To live Mercy in our relationships, it is necessary to grow and reach spiritual maturity.
In the Lighthouse we have the core group considered to be the future guardians of the founding charism. The core group is represented by:
The Main Door
This is the Rosalie-Cadron-Jetté Centre, guardian of the charism at the heart of the life of the International Misericordia Family, in the Church, and Society.
The Two-Tiered Base
➢ The first level of the base founded on the “Rock” represents the Family Council, Governing Body of the International Misericordia Family.
➢ The second tier of the base represents also the guardians of the Charism including the various committees with a mandate, the Mission-Liaison people; the directors of the organizations, the members of the Board of Directors; the various foundations of the IMF.
Represents the third tier of the founding charism: The International Misericordia Family –The Community.
➢ This is all the lay people identified in the illustration of the Lighthouse that represent the community and who are the bearers of the Charism from generation to generation.
➢ Included in this community is a group of lay people who have taken the vow to live Mercy in response to a particular call from God.
The IMF Structure
The humanitarian community life of the IMF
In the illustration the humanitarian mission of the Family is represented by the purple color in the tower.
As we know, the specific mission that flows from the founding Charism is to live Mercy by the spiritual and human accompanying of mothers living a difficult, distressful pregnancy and motherhood while supporting her children and those close to her.
This mission of Mercy is lived within a relational family milieu that is loving, secure and imbued with the values of Mercy to support the mother in her maternity by caring for her pain and brokenness.
With the new face of the IMF, we no longer speak of “works and twin-works.” We will no longer distinguish between the two because we are all heirs of the founding Charism and are united by the same common mission.
The humanitarian community life of the IMF includes a number of organizations, some of which were founded by the Misericordia Sisters and others not. They are all composed of men and women who espouse the founding values of the Charism and who work together for the advancement of society and the specific humanitarian community life of the IMF.
Although not all of the participants in this mission identify with the Catholic dimension of the IMF, they all have a burning desire to be at the service of the humanitarian cause of the Charism. They adhere to the values of Mercy, compassion and non-judgment that are inherent to the Charism. The values of Rosalie that arise from the IMF spirituality become the primary means for them to live their commitment to humankind. That is the reason for the purple color in the tower while the line of gold symbolizes the spiritual approach of the mission.
The spiritual community life of the IMF
In the illustration the spirituality of the Family is represented by the color gold in the tower.
Today, more than ever, Christian men and women are searching for a place of belonging in the Church. They are looking for a place to grow in their humanness, develop their spirituality, and bring fulfillment to what they feel they are being called to become. They have the opportunity to use their gifts for the Church and for society. The spiritual community life of the IMF gives an important sense to live their engagement. By so doing, the Family becomes a living cell of the Church. It offers Christian men and women a spirituality of Mercy that they can practice in the world, and more particularly with the mothers and their family. Those who adhere to our spirituality community make a commitment of faith to the Church that they renew yearly.
The spirituality of the Charism is maternal; it carries within it the specific flavour of the mission lived with the mothers in difficulty and their children. This aspect is represented by the purple line running through the gold part of the tower.
The International Misericordia Family – the Community
The Rock is the Community ‒ everyone committed in the whole Family are considered the third key of the Charism. The life of the International Misericordia Family has been built and sustained by the rock.
The International Misericordia Family is a community of people who inherited the founding Charism of the Misericordia Sisters. Some members, represented by the Rock and imbued with a family spirit, profess their belonging to the Family by making a commitment in the Church within the spiritual community life of the Family. Others make a commitment to live the mission at the heart of the humanitarian community life of the Family. Therefore, we have some lay people engaged in living the two aspects of community life, while others choose to live one of these two aspects.
Regardless which aspect of the Charism we are committed to, we are all united by the Charism of Mercy. We are all called to live edifying relationships within the Family and unite our strengths to work for the building of a better world.
In the organization of the IMF we believe that there will be a vital place for a group of laity who has made private vows in response to a particular call in the Church. This community of consecrated laity is called to exist and be the heart of this Family. The Holy Spirit will guide us as we seek to offer the possibility of a particular vocation to those lay people who wish to commit to a life of Mercy through this special form of consecration.
Members with a mandate in the International Misericordia Family gather annually at the FIM Annual Gathering.
Celebration is present in the life of the Family. During the year, different groups gather together to celebrate on special occasions, for example on the feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, September 24th; on the second Sunday of Easter for the feast of Divine Mercy and on the feast day of Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, privileged witness of mercy.
The Motherhouse of the Misericordia Sisters is the gathering place where we find the venerated mortal remains of the ‘ancestor’ of the Family, Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, whose cause of canonisation has been introduced in Rome.