Monday February, 3rd 2020: Seminar/Workshop on Health for all our members. Venue: Sons of Mary Retreat and Conference Centre, Afaraukwu Umuahia. Time 10.00am.

Spirit of the Congregation

The term spirit means “animating or vital” principal in man and animals. It is derived from the old (French espirit) which comes from the Latin word spiritus (soul, courage, vigor, breath) and is related to spirare (to breathe). On the other hand, “Spirituality” is derived from middle French Spiritualite; from late Latin spiritualitatem (nominative spiritualitas) which is also derived from Latin spiritualis.

There is no single, widely agreed definition of spirituality. Surveys of the definition of the term, as used in scholarly research, show a range of definitions ranging from very narrow and unidimensional definitions such as a personal belief in a supernatural realm to broader concepts such as a quest for an ultimate / sacred meaning, transcending the base / material aspects of life and or a sense of awe / wonderment and reverence toward the universe.


the word “Spirituality” first began to arise in the 5th century and only entered common use toward the end of the middle ages. In a Biblical context the term means “being animated by God” to be driven by the Holy Spirit as opposed to a life which rejects this influence. In the 11th century this meaning changed, it began to denote the mental aspect of life, as opposed to the material and sensual aspects of life, “the ecclesiastical sphere of light against the dark world of matter”. In the 13th century it acquired a social and psychological meaning. Socially it denoted the territory of the clergy. “the ecclesiastical against the temporary possessions, secular authority, the clerical class against the secular class”, psychologically, it denoted the realm of the inner life. “the purity of motives, affections, intentions, inner dispositions the psychology of the spiritual life, the analysis of the feelings”.

In the 17th and 18th century a distinction was made between higher and lower forms of spirituality. “A spiritual man is one who is Christian more abundantly and deeper than others”

in the 19th and 20th century, it developed into mixing Christian ideas with Western esoteric traditions and element of Asian, especially Indian, religions. Spirituality became more oriented on subjective experience instead of attempts to place the self within a broader ontological context.

Catholic spirituality which is quite different from other religions is the spiritual practice of living out a personal act of faith (fide qua creditur) following the acceptance of faith (fides quae creditur).

The spirit of the congregation is that charity, humility, prayer, penance and abandonment to the will of God. It is a dynamic growth of the spirit of Christ as expressed in the gospel. We strive to imitate Christ by our way of living. Our spirituality centers on “humility” as Christ who emptied himself and became man, and who urges us to emulate his meekness and humility (Mt. 11:29). We have humility as surrender, service and truth.