Against the background of the secular traditions of other religious institutes, the history of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate-lasting only 170 years- is relatively brief. Saint Vincent Pallotti founded the society as a community of priests and brothers in Rome in 1835. It is worth knowing that many other religious congregation and communities were also born in the 19th century (e.g. The Congregation of of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.). In1846 the community of priests and brothers which was gathered around Saint Vincent Pallotti received a new home at the church of San Salvatore in Onda
Among the first collaborators of Pallotti were representatives of different nations (Italy, France and Portugal). This group of collaborators was the first to make their consecration as Pallottines.
The history of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate is an interesting example of how the ideas and intentions of founders take on the form of a social life within in the Church. The dynamic and uncertain history of the Society after the death of the Founder in 1850 can be summarized as follows:
1854- the Holy See recommends changing the name to “the Pious Society of the Missions”.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the Pallottines experience a rapid development and in that time new communities were born in Europe, Africa and the Americas.
1947- at the request of the Pallottines the original name of “Society of the Catholic Apostolate” was restored.
1968-at the Extraordinary General Chapter deals with the rediscovery of the original idea of the Founder.
As a priest, St. Vincent Pallotti assisted the poor, the sick and marginalized ; founded orphanages, institutions of charity and shelters; give spiritual assistance to soldiers, workers, students, and prisoners: promoted and animated religious fraternities and associations; was spiritual director in several Roman seminaries and communities of sisters; dedicated much time to the sacrament of reconciliation and as confessor was sought by people from all walks of life; preached missions in the Roman parishes; promoted religious formation of the youth through evening classes and other institutions for young people; cared for the Christian formation of the laity, religious and clergy; promoted the printing apostolate; gave impulses to the missionary activity and gave special attention to the problems of the Christian Orient; promoted the celebration of the Epiphany Octave as witness to the unity and universality of the Church; was Rector of Santo Spirito, the Neapolitan National Church; founded the Union of Catholic Apostolate.
Inspired by Saint Vincent Pallotti’s motto, “The love of Christ impels us,” the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (the Pallottines) works throughout the world to further the Catholic Church’s mission to renew faith and rekindle love. As part of the Union of Catholic Apostolate, the Society of the Catholic Apostolate is a group of priests and brothers known as the Pallottines. Pallottine priests and brothers are a group of men who share a life of community, prayer, and apostolic work. They follow the ideas of their founder, Saint Vincent Pallotti, who wanted to reawaken faith and love among Catholics. Pallottines work to instill in others a deep conviction of their personal call to live the message of Jesus Christ.
To remain faithful to Saint Vincent Pallotti’s call to “revive faith and rekindle charity,” Pallottine priests and brothers promise the Society consecrated celibacy, poverty, obedience, perseverance, the sharing of resources, and spirit of service. These promises are a sign of the desire to live in a community devoted to service to the people of God. Saint Vincent Pallotti saw ministry as having two purposes: to love God and to shower God’s love on others.
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