The Eymardian Family
The Eymardian family is formed of several branches: The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (priests, deacons, and brothers), Servants of the Blessed Sacrament (sisters), Associates (Aggregation) of the Blessed Sacrament (lay women and men and clergy) and Servitium Christi (single women and widows). Although each has its own rhythm and life, all of the members of the Eymardian Family respond to the charism of Saint Peter Julian Eymard through an active ministry of eucharistic evangelization and a life of prayer around the Eucharist.
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament
The religious of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament have continued the mission begun by Saint Peter Julian Eymard. Like him, we want the mystery of the Eucharist to be loved and lived in its fullness.
Our mission is to respond to the hungers of the human family with the riches of God’s love manifested in the Eucharist (Rule of Life 3). We do this primarily in the parishes in which we serve. Every day we pray the divine office, pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and celebrate worthily the sacred mysteries. Nourished by the Eucharist we are then sent forth “to serve God and one another” in a variety of ministries. By our life of communal prayer, fellowship, and partnership in ministry, we seek to give witness to the transforming power of the Eucharist.
Servants of the Blessed Sacrament
Saint Peter Julian Eymard founded our religious community with the collaboration of Marguerite Guillot, in 1859, three years after the men’s community for priests and brothers. “He called us Servants of the Blessed Sacrament in imitation of our Lady’s words at the Annunciation, ‘I am the Servant of the Lord.’” Pope Pius IX approved the Congregation in 1871, saying, “For the Blessed Sacrament we must do all we can.”
The celebration of the Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Hours, and eucharistic prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar throughout the day lead us to worship Jesus in spirit and in truth. “Such are those whom the Father seeks who will adore him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:28) The prayerful rhythm of our days creates a simple family lifestyle, which is contemplative but not cloistered.
The Servant Sisters live together in community and make the Eucharist the center of their lives, they work to establish centers of prayer — cenacles — where others may also come to share in the strength and peace that flow from our Lord’s eucharistic presence. “The Lord is here, and He is calling you.” (John 11:28)
Community living draws out the diversity of gifts and talents of each sister to serve one another and the Church. As Saint Peter Julian explained in a letter to his friend Virginia Danion, “Everything flows from the holy Eucharist and returns to it: the Congregation’s spirit is one and issues from this divine heart: its rules, its works, its means, everything is taken from the adorable Host.”
At the present time the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, whom Father Eymard called, “this little family of Holy Mother Church,” is present in nine countries (in the Dioceses of Pueblo, Colorado and Portland of Maine) on all five continents wanting to encircle the world with a chain of love and praise!
Associates of the Blessed Sacrament
Blessed Sacrament Associates (members of the Aggregation of the Blessed Sacrament) share in the charism of Saint Peter Julian Eymard by centering our lives on the presence of Christ in the Eucharist as lived and modeled by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Associates commit to being disciples and apostles of the Eucharist, participating fully in the liturgy of the Eucharist, personal prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and engaging in a variety of ministries, to manifest the fruit of worship and prayer.
After a period of formation and discernment, Associates make a public covenant with a promise to place the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s self-giving in the Eucharist at the center of our life. We then commit to gather often to pray together, encourage one another, and grow in their understanding of the Eucharist.
In partnership with the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Associates form communities of friendship and faith whose center of life is the Eucharist celebrated, contemplated, proclaimed, and lived. This companionship with the Congregation is expressed through active engagement in its mission of eucharistic evangelizing, through liturgical ministries and parish service, communion ministry and visitation of the aged and the infirm, promotion of eucharistic adoration, Life in the Eucharist programs, parish missions, outreach to the poor and marginalized, and other ministries.
In response to our baptismal vocation, we seek to witness to Christ’s presence at the crossroads of society and, starting from the Eucharist, we strive to influence our world in the light of this mystery, source and summit of all evangelizing.
Rule of Life for Associates 2
Servitium Christi is a Secular Institute, founded by Blessed Sacrament Father Godfried Spiekman, SSS and part of the Eymardian Family. A Secular Institute is a recognized way of living the Consecrated Life (i.e. with the three vows of chastity, poverty and obedience) while remaining in the secular world rather than in a religious community setting. Each Secular Institute has its own individual spirituality. The spirituality of Servitium Christi is the eucharistic spirituality of Saint Peter Julian Eymard.
As members of Servitium Christi, we strive to make Jesus in the Eucharist the center of our lives. We draw our strength from our daily Mass, our hour of prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and sharing in the prayer of the Church. We also devote some time each day to spiritual reading, and we keep ourselves informed of developments in the Church and the world. All of this is done under the guidance of spiritual directors.
Each member lives her everyday life wherever she finds herself… in her own home, with her family, sharing with friends. The members strive to bring the presence of Jesus in us to those with whom we work and live. Although they are a dispersed community, they are closely bonded in and through the presence of Jesus in themselves and in their Institute. They come together for weekend gatherings five or six times a year. These weekends are an essential part of their lives as members, as they nurture each other, and bond together as community, sharing their experiences, and benefiting from mutual support and direction, guided by their Rule of Life.
We want to freely answer God’s love, which Christ shows us in the Eucharist by our consecration. We live this consecration as lay women in the midst of the world. In this way, we contribute to the world’s transformation and salvation according to God’s plan…
Servitium Rule of Life 7