Who we are
A world to re-build
This is no ordinary work you are about to begin; your plan is of a vast institute.
No matter. Go ahead.”
These words were spoken in 1819 to a young priest of Bordeaux by the saintly Archbishop d’Aviau.
Both knew they were living in no ordinary times. The French Revolution, with its ideals of human rights and dignity, followed by the horrors of the Terror, had left the spiritual and cultural fabric of society in tatters.
There was a world to re-build and the old paradigms were no longer suitable.
Pierre Bienvenu Noailles, for that was the priest’s name, felt called to respond with something new and different because, as he said:
“It is very rare that the ideas and needs of the century that is drawing to a close respond to all the ideas and needs of the one that is beginning.”
The new and different thing
that Pierre Bienvenu envisaged was an Association of people from “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5, 9), representing all vocations in the Catholic Church and “motivated by the same spirit and the same aim”. HFB Constitutions / Statutes, 3)
The animating spirit - God alone
The common aim
- to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ taking for inspiration the life and virtues of the Holy Family of Nazareth, a Family that opened out into the community of the apostles and first Christians, a Family that he saw as the embryo of the Church.
By their union in diversity the members of this Family would demonstrate that communion is possible among all people.
The grace given to Pierre Bienvenu Noailles remains alive.
the Holy Family comprises:
- Apostolic and Contemplative Sisters who together form a Religious Institute,
- an Institute of Consecrated Seculars,
- Lay Associates and Priest Associates. HFB Constitutions