by Jean Giesige, Dayton Office

When the Missionaries of the Precious Blood created their United States Province from the former Cincinnati and Kansas City Provinces earlier this year, they knew they would need a new symbol for this new entity.

The process of creating a new symbol began as it ends, with the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

Four Missionaries were asked to participate in a discussion of their own call, their experience of the Congregation, its mission, and their understanding of Precious Blood spirituality.

They did a deep dive into the Congregation’s identity. One question they were asked: If the Congregation was a person, what would be its personality traits? Some of their answers were: “Empathy; a person who really listens; nonjudgmental; integrity; looking at current events and ready to respond in love; respect for others; compassionate; spiritual; humble.” 

Their thoughts were distilled and sent to a design firm that came up with the first round of symbol design drafts. The committee of four Missionaries took a long look, rejected a few designs outright, made recommendations on the rest, and set the designers back to work. 

The drafts that made it through that initial process went on to the Provincial Council. Council members studied the design drafts, rejected some, and asked the artists to refine others. The drafts went through several more rounds. The council studied not only the symbol design but the words that went with it. 

Council members were unanimous on the design that they ultimately chose. Elements of the design include the cup, cross, and covenant. The wine that is filling the cup is both flowing in, representing God’s Spirit infused into the Community, and flowing out to the world. It shows movement, because “Missionaries are not statues,” as St. Gaspar said.

“This process has allowed us once again to talk about who we are and how to present that to the world,” said Fr. Jeffrey Kirch, C.PP.S., provincial director. “I appreciate the input of the council and of those four Missionaries who talked so vividly about their vocation and the identity of the Congregation that we all love. The new symbol was born out of all of that. I hope we can embrace it.”