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“Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd
is the true model
whom we must endeavor to imitate.”

St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

The spirituality of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd emphasizes the immense love of Jesus the Good Shepherd for each individual person. This central point of the spirituality of our foundress, St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, was built upon the spirituality of St. John Eudes.

For St. John Eudes, our primary focus as baptized Christians is to form Jesus within us. “Christian life,” wrote St. John Eudes: “is a continuation and a fulfilment of the life of Jesus….Forming Jesus in us should be our wish, our concern and our chief occupation…” Jesus, God made flesh, loves us intensely and has shown us the way to live and to serve. He offers the gift of His own Heart to each of us so that we may love with His Heart, especially those in most need of His merciful love.

For St. Mary Euphrasia the infinite, merciful love of God for each of us was best expressed in the image of Jesus as Good Shepherd. “Jesus the Good Shepherd,” she told the Sisters, “is the true model whom we must try to imitate…You will effect no good…until you have the thoughts and affections of the Good Shepherd, of whom you must be the living images….” St. Mary Euphrasia truly modelled for her Sisters the tenderness and concern of the Good Shepherd who leaves the flock of 99 to seek the one who is lost. Inspired by her example, each Good Shepherd Sister strives to reach out with the heart of a shepherd, always mindful of the philosophy of St. Mary Euphrasia that “One person is more precious than the whole world.”

In order to live this mission, the spirituality of St. Mary Euphrasia calls us to live a life of contemplation in the midst of challenging apostolic activity in order to be an instrument of change in the lives of others, no matter what crosses may come along the way. Good Shepherd spirituality embraces the cross with humility, hopes for the resurrection in joy and gratitude, and seeks daily the union of one’s life with that of Jesus in the celebration of the Eucharist. In this way, we are able to carry the love and compassion of the Heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd to others.

“I had no great talents,
nor have I done anything great…
I only loved.
But I loved with all the strength of my soul…”

St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier