About Us

Our Mission is to pray the Lord of the harvest to send those who may care for human and spiritual welfare of orphans, needy children and the poor.

Serving vocations and the poor

The Rogationists

The Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus (RCJ) is a religious congregation of priests and brothers founded by St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia (Messina, Italy, 1851-1927). The word “rogationist” comes from the Latin “rogate” which means “pray.” The spirituality of the Congregation is centered on the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel: “The harvest is rich but the workers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest that He may send workers into His harvest” (Mt.9:37-38/Lk.10:2).
Hence, they carry out the mission of: praying for vocations to the priestly and consecrated life in the Church; Propagating this prayer worldwide; Caring for and promoting the human and spiritual welfare of orphans, needy children and the poor.
As an expression of their charism, the Rogationists dedicate their lives in the apostolate in favor of the poor. In various places throughout the world, the Congregation has established orphanages, health and nutrition centers, schools for the deaf and persons with disabilities, technical-vocational schools, scholarships for poor children, centers for professional management, centers for relief and assistance, parishes and oratories.
The Congregation of the Rogationists originated in Italy and spread to several other countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. In the United States, the Rogationists established their first community in 1967 assuming the leadership and parish work in Mendota, California. Currently, there are two Rogationist communities in California: Sanger and Van Nuys.

A Saint for Our Times

Saint Hannibal Mary Di Francia

Hannibal Mary Di Francia was born in Messina (Italy) on July 5, 1851 in a noble family. In his early youth, during the Eucharistic adoration, he understood by divine inspiration the importance of prayer for vocations. The gospel verses: “The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few! Pray (Rogate) therefore to the Lord of the Harvest, that he may send workers into his harvest’ (Mt 9, 37-38; Lc 10, 2), became the light of his life and the prime inspiration of his apostolic work.
At a very young age, he felt an irresistible call to the priesthood. Impelled by the zeal for the salvation of all, particularly the poor and orphans, he committed himself to the human and spiritual welfare of the people of Avignone, the poorest area of Messina. With his apostolic efforts he transformed that area, and there he founded the Anthonian Orphanages (for girls, in 1882, and for boys, in 1883) where he gathered, helped and educated poor children and young people, caring for their human and spiritual needs. St. Hannibal wrote:
“I feel a bond of holy friendship with everyone on earth either of my religion or another, rich or poor, employer or worker, humble and needy people or high aristocracy. I have seen a brother and my Lord in every one of them. The most beautiful things I have desired for me in this life and the next, I have desired equally for all.”
His unique spirituality attracted several women and men to commit themselves to the same mission. Thus, in 1887, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Zeal, and, in 1897, the Rogationists of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. To them he entrusted the mission to live and spread the spirit of Jesus’ teachings about the need for prayer for vocations, and the need for service to children and the poor.
As a zealous and brilliant priest, he cultivated and preached love for God’s Word, for the Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin and the saints, and showed particular devotion and a spirit of obedience to the Pope and to the Bishops as the successors of the Apostles. He also nourished a strong commitment to the missions.
St. Hannibal felt the same compassion and concern as Jesus for the “exhausted and abandoned crowds, who were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt. 9, 36), Therefore he used every means to spread the “Rogate,” the command of Jesus, to pray the Lord of the Harvest to obtain “good workers,” and considered this an effective means of evangelization and charity. He also established the “Association of Prayer for Vocations,” open to all the faithful. His dream to make this prayer “universal” became true when Pope Paul VI (1964) established the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
His life and his heroic practice of the Christian virtues came to an end on June 1, 1927 in Fiumara Guardia, near Messina. St. Hannibal is renowned as the “authentic anticipator and zealous master of the modern pastoral care for vocations” and as a “true father of orphans and of the poor.”
John Paul II proclaimed him Blessed on October 7, 1990 and Saint on May 16, 2004.

The Rogate Center

Pastoral Care for Vocations Dimension

The Rogate Center of the Rogationist Fathers is an efficacious instrument aimed to spread the Rogationist charism (Rogate) in the Church: the unceasing prayer for vocations and the human and spiritual welfare of orphans, needy children and the poor.
The Rogate Center, in its dimension of prayer for vocations, works at the service of the Church to promote a culture of vocations and to propose pastoral care for vocations founded on the primacy of incessant prayer for vocations. It cultivates with special attention and care the promotion of vocations to priesthood and religious life in the Church.
The Rogate Center achieves its aims in the field of the pastoral care for vocations by the following means:
01:a) Vocations and Prayer magazine: A quarterly publication on vocations ministry, for priests, religious men and women, catechists, different groups of ecclesial movements, the faithful, and especially for young people. Vocations and Prayer offers points for reflection and practical suggestions for fostering vocations, aids for prayer for vocations, help in the discernment of vocations and vocation proposals.
02:b) Rogationist Publications: Books and various aids on prayer for vocations.
03:c) Seminars on the pastoral care of vocations: Encounters for deepening, updating and sharing of experiences related to the pastoral care of vocations.
04:d) Rogationist School of Prayer: Workshops for an education on prayer for vocations according to the spirit of Saint Hannibal Mary Di Francia.
05:e) Vocation Discernment Meeetings: Workshops to help discover one’s path in life.