The Society intends principally to make Jesus Christ present among those who do not yet know Him and among Christians who have become indifferent to Him. Its members are pioneer missionaries who live and work as the Messengers of the Good News, as His Prophets and as His Teachers (cf. c. 786). Opportunely, the Society may permit its members to accept Ecclesiastical Ministries conferred on them by the competent Ecclesiastical Superiors.
The Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier is a Society of Apostolic life which pursues the evangelisation proper to it. Desiring to follow Jesus even more closely, members live a Community life and assume the evangelical counsels through the bond of private vows prescribed in the Constitution.
The mission to evangelise, the fraternal life in common, and the assumption of evangelical counsels are integral elements of the missionary vocation of the Society.
The Society is missionary in character and was established in response to the clarion call for evangelization given by Pope Leo XIII, “Your own sons, India, will bring to you the message of salvation”. Hence the Society is called to evangelise primarily India. Its members in their work of proclaiming the Gospel are to cherish the social, cultural and religious heritage of the people they are sent to.
The sound traditions of the Society handed over by the founding fathers and exemplified in the life of Venerable Agnelo D’Souza, like, warm Community spirit, genuine hospitality, simplicity of life, a certain asceticism and a capacity to adapt oneself to different people and their environment, are to be kept alive by the Society and its members.
This Society is a Clerical Society (cf. c. 588.2) of Pontifical Right (cf. c. 589) having also Brothers. The members of the Society are all those incorporated into it by their temporary or perpetual commitment who assume through private vows, the three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. Members have equal rights and duties, except those deriving from Sacred Orders or otherwise specified in our Proper Law.
In order to enkindle and sustain their missionary zeal, the members of the Society entrust themselves to the heavenly Mother who is invoked as Our Lady of Pilar and venerated in the Church of the erstwhile Franciscan (Capuchos) Monastery at Pilra, Goa, the Mother House of the Society. Francis Xavier, after whom the Society is named, is for the members a perennial source of inspiration in their missionary endeavour.
The common designation given to the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, as the ‘Society of Pilar’ and to its members as “Pilar Fathers” is a singular privilege of ours in the fact that we consider ourselves as the sons of Our Lady of Pilar, whose maternal love we experience in our missionary endeavours.