The diverse aspects of the charism of Brother Gabriel are progressively manifested throughout his life. Synthetically we can consider three moments in which appear the essential aspects of his charism.
At Belleydoux, the ecclesial aspect:
The experience of Gabriel consists in the progressive insertion in his human and Christian community through the collaboration with the parish priest and the municipality in activities of education, catechesis and liturgical animation.
These activities place Brother Gabriel in the Church as a lay person who assumes responsibly and with much strength the function derived from his baptism and confirmation.
But very soon he feels called to religious life. This call leads him to search, and later to found, a Congregation in which he can live his lay experience as religious.
His charism is manifested in the integrated view of several activities that have at the same time a dimension which is Christian-ecclesial (liturgy, catechesis) and human-social (education in school), and in a missionary style to carry them out.
This aspect of the charism gives to the spirituality its apostolic character.
At Belmont, the spiritual aspect:
At Belmont, Brother Gabriel gets, after several attempts in other places, the foundation of a religious community, the cradle of the Institute.
It is here where patronage of Saint Joseph is changed to Holy Family for the newly Institute.
From the first Constitutions, the Holy Family of Nazareth is presented as a first and immediate reference of the spirituality, of the style of life and activity of the Brothers.
The reference to the Divine Trinity, as well as the Holy Family, is fundamental to form the Community.
The life and history itself of the Institute are interpreted in the light of the mystery of Nazareth. “We were in a situation similar to the one which our Patron Saints, Mary and Joseph, suffered, when they went to Bethlehem” (Bro. Gabriel, Historical Outline).
His charism reaches to the essential intuition of the spirituality: The link between the Community, the Holy Family and the Blessed Trinity.
This aspect of the charism gives to the spirituality its family character.
At Belley, the vital aspect:
The main activity of Brother Gabriel consisted in the animation and government of his Institute through an extensive net of relationships, external and internal to him. As a true artisan of communion, Brother Gabriel used all the means at his disposal. The main can be synthetized thus:
- The construction of the Mother House, for the annual movement of all the Brothers and their sending out in mission to the communities. The Mother House was also the place of initial formation (spiritual and pedagogical) and retreat house for the elder Brothers.
- The preparation of the Rule of Life, with the organization of the Institute, the rules for everybody and the explanations on the sense of life of the Brother in all its aspects.
- The promotion of the spirit of family, through circulars, letters and other communications, the visits to the Brothers and schools, the meetings and the sharing in common of the goods.
The charism is manifested in the realization of the mission of the Institute and in the development of the “body spirit and family spirit”, which “is born of the charity and, hence, of God who is charity itself” and makes that “all the members who compose a Congregation in which, truly, exists this spirit, have one heart and one soul”.
This aspect of the charism gives to the spirituality its communion character.