The Union of the Catholic Apostolate (UAC) is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the church and a communion of those faithful who inspired by the charism of St. Vincent Pallotti promotes the co-responsibility of the baptized to revive their faith and rekindle their charity, bringing all to unity in Christ (GS. UAC,1)
UAC is founded by St. Vincent Pallotti on 4th April 1835 in Rome. Today it is an international public Association of the faithful of Pontifical right which includes members of the church from every state of life and vocation (GS. UAC,8)
The equal dignity of the members of the Union arises from their common likeness to the Creator and the common priesthood of the People of God( LG 10). This is expressed in a plurality of vocations — the life of the lay faithful, the consecrated life, and that of the ordained ministry — so interrelated that each keeps the others vigilant, committed to continual growth, and dedicated to the service proper to it.(GS. UAC,6,7)
Our Patroness and Inspiration.
Mary Queen of the Apostles is the Patroness of the Union since she is considered the most perfect model of Catholic zeal and perfect charity after Jesus Christ and was the guide to the apostles to prepare them for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. (GS. UAC 3, Historical Premise 2)
St. Vincent Pallotti is our inspirer and exemplar in living UAC spirituality in our life.
The UAC Spiritual Centre is the Church of San Salvatore in Onda in Rome where the remains of our founder Vincent Pallotti repose. (GS. UAC,4)
The Rector General of the Society of the Catholic apostolate is our spiritual head (GS.5,11)
Mission of UAC
* to deepen the faith and love of all the members of the Catholic community so that their loving service together witnesses to the unity and brotherhood in the Church.
* to help all to understand and live their vocation in the given life context always in a more meaningful way.
* to coordinate the apostolic endeavours of different individuals, groups and institutions to make it more fruitful and witnessing to Church as One Body, the Body of Christ
* to provide opportunities and empower talents of all the faithful in the service of the local Church.
* to join with people of other faith in building a harmonious and just society in our neighbourhoods
Each member of UAC is motivated by the love of Christ and act in a responsible manner. (GS.14)
The spirit of communion in the most Holy Trinity inspires us to accept one another as brother/sister and to foster a strong bond and fellowship among the members of the Union.
Each member follows Jesus the Apostle of the Eternal Father in his/her own way and do all he/she can to carry on the mission of Jesus.
‘Cenacle’ is our spiritual model. We seek to be filled with the Spirit as individuals in our families and communities through the intercession of Mary Queen of the Apostles.
It is not a question of doing some little thing in the Union, but doing all we can and putting whatever possible – our talents, abilities, time, energy and all material resources – at the service for the glory of God and the Salvation of ourselves and others.
All the members of the Union put on the servant spirit like Jesus who emptied himself and became obedient unto death. So no one looks for any personal gain like - honour, name, status, importance, power or any other gain. No one can make any claim over anything. What is done or given is given or done out of deep faith and love for the furthering of the mission of the Church.
Members make earnest efforts to grow in faith and love through devout participation in all liturgical services, like the Holy Eucharist, Sacrament of reconciliation, in the special prayer and pilgrimages undertaken by the union and by one’s own other spiritual activities, like meditating on the Word of God.
Activities / Services
Members undertake activities as individuals and as groups to renew one’s own faith and that of others and to strengthen the local church. Some of the activities could be:
Renewal of faith and love.
Promoting SCCs in parishes.
Promoting family life, family prayer, deeper faith formation of adults, youth and children.
Organizing faith formation in parishes.
Supporting the PP to activate Parish Pastoral Councils, SCCs and Associations.
To organize the community to take care of the needy – sick, poor, marginalized, etc.
Helping people to recognize their apostolic call in the local context and cooperate actively with the community, not just do some little thing, but to be like Jesus and use all one’s resources, time and energy in every possible way, everywhere and at all time, like in the family, in the Church, in work place, in the neighbourhood, in the state, etc. (develop a universal attitude to one’s apostolic call).
To organize and coordinate apostolic activities of different individuals, groups and communities so as to make it yield maximum result and lead to stronger unity and bonding among all, like one body many parts (1 Cor.12:12-27, Eph. 4:1-6, 11-16), be it in the Church or in the society.
To address Social, human, civic and environmental issues.
To promote unity, peace, reconciliation and harmony among all.
To organize outing, picnics, community evenings to foster unity and deepen family bond.
The members of the Union come from all states of life and vocations in the Church and are treated with a common dignity.
- Accepting full communion in the Catholic Church.
- Knowing St. Vincent Pallotti his Vision of UAC, its spirituality and mission.
- Freely desiring to serve the Union and to benefit from its spiritual heritage and contribute actively to it.
- Undergoing formal training to be members and undertaking a public commitment to live by the Spirit of UAC and serve its mission on being formally admitted by NCCI.
One can be a member as an individual or as a member of an Association or Institution which is joining the Union.
The group/individual has to apply to the NCCI for admission. The NCCI will decide about his/her/its admission after he/she/it completes the prescribed training.
Those with non-catholic background can become collaborators of the Union (not members) by cooperating with the activities of the Union. Members of the Union should treat those collaborators as sisters and brothers and with dignity.
Members may be cleric, religious or laity or may belong to another association or Institution. Each member/Association/Institution has his/her/its own identity and individuality which must be respected by all.
The Pallottine Fathers, Brothers and Sisters and the Khristsevika Lay Institute are member communities of the Union by their very foundation as Pallottine entities and have their own distinct organizational set up within the Union.
The members of the Union need to be formed adequately and regularly. The NCCI will provide guidelines for the formation of the members of the Union.
Rights and Duties of Members
All the members of the Union have the same rights and duties.
All members share in the spiritual benefits of the Union, receive support from the Union to live their vocation fully and to be elected to the offices of the Union.
All share the responsibility to live and witness to the spirit of the Union in their state of life and cooperate with the Union in all its activities in a responsible manner.
Leaving the Union
One may resign from membership of the Union by writing to the NCCI for this purpose.
One can also be dismissed from the Union by the NCCI for anti-catholic activities or for very scandalous behavior.
Local Coordination Council (LCC)
The smallest organizational unit of the UAC is an LCC. The LCC consists of the following office-bearers who are elected by those who have undergone training and are formally admitted as members by the National coordination Council of India (NCCI). In order to have a LCC there must be at least 6 members in the Local Unit who are formally admitted to the Union.
The Office-bearers of an LCC are:
President who has the responsibility to coordinate all UAC activities at the Local Level together with the Secretary and Treasurer.
Secretary who will keep records of all activities and minutes of meetings and send notices to members for meetings.
Treasurer who manages the funds as directed by the LCC and for keeping audited accounts. He/she presents the annual budget plans prepared by the LCC and the statement of income and expenditure to the Local Community and get it passed.
These office-bearers are elected by the members of the local unit for a period of 3 years. No member can be elected to the same office for more that two terms consecutively.
A Spiritual Guide who is a Pallottine priest or sister appointed by NCCI, guides the LCC and Local Unit.
The LCC should meet at least four times a year and plans activities in keeping with the Spirit of UAC. Our preferred mode of decision making is by forming consensus. Voting should be resorted to only in situations where many attempts to consensus making fail.
The President has a great responsibility to sustain unity and facilitate consensus making in decisions.
Any point of dispute can be taken to the RCC for clarification.
Regional Coordination Council (RCC)
The National Assembly will decide on the regions and RCCs for better coordination.
The RCC consists of the major superiors of the Pallottine entities in that region and Presidents of the LCCs.
They have the task of guiding coordinating and animating LCCs in that region.
The NCCI consists of the Presidents of RCCs and elected representatives as decided by the National Assembly.
The NCCI has the task of over-seeing coordinating and animating the UAC at the national level in India.
Regional / National Assemblies
Regional / National Assemblies are policy making bodies of the UAC at regional and national levels. The National Assembly will decide on regional assemblies.
In every six years there must be one Regional Assembly and one National Assembly
As decided by the National Assemblies, Congresses should be held both at the regional and national levels.
Congresses give members a chance to gather together and share their experiences and study more about the Union.
General Coordination Council (GCC)
GCC is in Rome. It consists of the Generals of the Pallottine International Foundations and elected representatives.
The General Assembly is held every six years and consists of ex-officio members and elected representatives from all over the World. They elect the GCC members and are responsible for UAC life and activities all over the World.
The General Congress is held once in 6 years for the sharing, building community bonding and growing in UAC Spirit.
UAC: Union of Catholic Apostolate (from Latin expression. In English it will be UCA)
GS : General Statutes.
GCC: General Coordination Council
NCCI: National Coordination Council of India.
RCC: Regional Coordination Council.
LCC: Local Coordination Council.
PPC: Parish Pastoral Council.
SCC: Small Christian Community
COMMUNITIES WHOSE MEMBERS BELONG TO THE UNION A IURE
a) At present the communities whose members belong to the Union a iure are :
- Those founded by St. Vincent Pallotti himself (cf Art.31a)
- The Society of the Catholic Apostolate;
- The Congregation of the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate;
- The Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate.
b) The following communities instituted subsequently ( cf. Art.24,29,31b)
- the Sisters of St. Hildegard of the Catholic Apostolate, founded in 1921 in Germany;
- the Teresian Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate, founded in 1928 in Germany;
- APIS, a community of unmarried working women, founded in 1934 in Switzerland
- The Congregation of the Eucharistic Sisters of St. Vincent Pallotti, founded in 1948 in Italy;
- The Mariana Institute, founded in 1959 in Australia;
- The Secular Institute, Kristsevikas, founded in 1960 in India;
- The Mariana Institute of the Catholic Apostolate, founded in 1963 in Bolivia
- The community of the Sisters of the Mother of Divine Love, founded in 1963 in South Africa;
- The community Ancilla-Kreis in the Catholic Apostolate of Vincent Pallotti, founded in 1965 in Germany.
- The community Laienverband des Katholishen Apostolates, founded in 1966 in Germany;
- The community Quinta Dimensione, founded in 1970 in Italy;
- The community Respuesta Christiana, founded in 1984 in Argentina
- The community Circolo dell’Apostolato Hoffstetten founded in 1996 in Germany
What Vincent Pallotti says about the Union of Catholic Apostolate:
On January 9th, 1835, during Communion, St. Vincent Pallotti felt called by God to found the Union of Catholic Apostolate. He founded the UAC on April 4th 1835. This Union was approved by Gregory XVI on July llth, 1835, and the first meeting of the Union was held in the parish church of S. Maria in Carinis in Rome. This group mirrored the future and larger Union of Catholic Apostolate.
Gennarino Sacchetti writes in glowing terms:
There were only fifteen people; but the group reflected such universality - different languages and nations - oriental and western, united together with the bond of Christ's emulating charity: eight secular priests, one religious priest and six lay people.
The Union of Catholic Apostolate was born in response to the actual needs of the Church and world. Looking back in 1839, Vincent wrote that the Union "was in the Church as ‘a Gospel trumpet’ which called, invited and rallied all to provide for the present and future needs of the world in the matter of religion.
The required motivation for joining the Union was to be the same for lay people, clergy and religious: "the greater glory of God and the salvation of all".
Joining the Union imposed no obligation in conscience beyond the divine precept to love one's neighbour as oneself, The soul of the whole Union must be love and that love must be like that of Jesus Christ - total and unselfish.
The title of his foundation, the Union of Catholic Apostolate meant exactly what it said: the unity of all, in a universality of means, of persons and of places.
The overall thrust of the Union of Catholic Apostolate was the promotion of an apostolic/missionary consciousness both at home and abroad amongst all members of the Church.
Later, in 1846, he stressed the same point:
“It was felt to be right to form the Union of Catholic Apostolate which in view of the actual needs of the Church would have the scope to procure the multiplication of the spiritual and temporal means necessary to revive faith and re-enkindle charity among Catholics... not so much to bring about new institutions in the Church, as to revive those already existing.
... to break down the wall of division, to unite all in a sacred band of emulating charity and zeal, so as to carry out the works of the Gospel ministry with actuality and with a disinterested spirit.”
The Union of Catholic Apostolate... desires that all co-operate in the apostolate..." and "invites all toparticipate. The term “co-operation” appears repeatedly in Vincent’s writings. It was the same message endorsed by Vatican II: The apostolate of the laity is a sharing of the salvific mission of the Church. Through Baptism and Confirmation all are appointed to this apostolate by the Lord Himself... Thus, every lay person.., is at once the witness and the living instrument of the mission of the Church itself.
Again in 1846, reflecting on earlier beginnings and the urgent need to bring about a revival of faith and active charity and to create a dynamic missionary thrust to the world, he wrote:
“The establishment of the Union was intended not so much to from a new institution in the Church but more to serve as an impetus to pious unions and institutes already in existence.
In order to achieve this purpose more effectively, the Union, by removing every wall of separation between diocesan and religious priests, seeks to animate all clergy with the bond of emulative charity and zeal in order to involve them more actively in the works of the Gospel ministry.”
Vincent presents Mary Queen of Apostles as the model for all these groups.:
St.Vincent Pallotti writes:
The Union of the Catholic Apostolate labours under the protection of Mary, Queen of Apostles, so that lay people, diocesan and religious of any Order, state or condition, may have in Mary, after Jesus Christ, the most perfect model of Catholic zeal and perfect charity. For she collaborated so earnestly in working for God's greater glory and the salvation of souls that she surpassed the Apostles in merit
In the Cenacle scene, Vincent clearly saw in Mary the vindication of his idea - the apostolate of the laity and, therefore, their legitimate role in the Catholic Apostolate, "so that all may have in Mary, after Jesus Christ, the most perfect model of true Catholic zeal and perfect 1ove". He writes:
Our veneration of Mary under the title of "Queen of Apostles" has thus a special significance insofar as Mary, though lacking ecclesiastical power and jurisdiction has, according to her state in life, contributed more than the Apostles to the propagation of faith and to the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Consequently, all who utilize their talents for the propagation of faith, according to their state in life and to the degree that they are able in dependence upon divine grace, deserve to be called apostles and whatever they do for the same end is their apostolate.
Mary became model and mentor of all apostles at Pentecost. Vincent has Mary say, "At that moment of Pentecost, the Church was made manifest. Christ's disciples became Apostles, I became Queen of Apostles. The reason Pallotti puts for Mary becoming model is that "...she collaborated so earnestly in working for God's greater glory and the salvation of souls that she surpassed the Apostles in merit. ,,This presentation of Mary reflects that of the Vatican Decree on the Laity: "Perfect model of this apostolic, spiritual life is... Mary, Queen of Apostles… She remained intimately connected to her Son, and co-operated in an entirely unique way in the Saviour's work."
“Where ever I am, I intend to bring to mind, to renew often this sentiment, of standing, together with all creatures in the cenacle of Jerusalem where the apostles received the Holy Spirit together with Mary. So I shall picture myself standing with Mary and Jesus, that they would cause to descend on me and all others the abundance of the Holy Spirit. So I intend to stay in the cenacle always”.
PRAYER OF ST.VINCENT PALLOTTI TO MARY QUEEN OF THE APOSTLES
Immaculate Mother of God, Queen of Apostles, we know that God's commandment of love and our vocation to follow Jesus Christ in the Union of Catholic Apostolate impels us to cooperate in the saving mission of the Church. Realizing our weakness, we entrust the renewal of our personal lives and our apostolate to your intercession.
We are confident that through God’s mercy and the infinite merits of Jesus Christ, you who are our Mother, will obtain for us the strength of the Holy Spirit as you obtained it for the community of the apostles gathered in the Cenacle. Therefore, relying on your powerful intercession, we are resolved from this moment on to devote our talents, learning, material resources, health, sickness and trials, and every gift of nature and grace to the greater glory of God and the salvation of all.
We wish to do all that lies within our power to promote the catholic apostolate for the revival of faith and love in the people of God and so bring all to faith in Jesus Christ. And if a time comes when we shall no longer be able to work physically for this end, we will never cease to pray that there may be one fold and one shepherd, Jesus Christ.
In this way we hope to enjoy the fruits of the apostolate of Jesus Christ for all eternity…Amen