A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH

Community of the Beatitudes

Instituted in France

VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2006 (ZENIT)

Here is the description of the Community of the Beatitudes, which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

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Official name: Community of the Beatitudes

Established: 1973

History: The Community of the Beatitudes was instituted in Montpellier, France, under the name of "The Lion of Judah and the Immolated Lamb" by the couple Gerard (Ephraïm) and Josette Croissant and a couple of friends, who felt called to a community life of prayer and sharing.

In 1975 the community transferred to Cordes. It was recognized as a pious union in 1979 and became an association of the faithful of diocesan right in 1985 with the approval of its statutes "ad experimentum" by the archbishop of Albi.

In 1991, in order to make more explicit the openness of the community to the poor, the leaders decided to adopt the present name which was easier to take to the cultures in the various countries in which the association was by then present.

The association is a member of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships. On Dec. 8, 2002, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of the Communaute des Beatitudes as an international association of the faithful of pontifical right.

Identity: The Community of the Beatitudes gathers faithful from all states of life (married or unmarried lay people, seminarians, priests, permanent deacons, men and women consecrated in celibacy) who wish to conform as closely as possible to the model of the early Christian community through the common life, the sharing of goods, voluntary poverty and an intense sacramental and liturgical life.

The members of the community, which has a contemplative vocation based on Carmelite spirituality, are actively engaged in the service of the poor and the proclamation of the Gospel.

Formation begins with an introduction to community life and to the spirit and the rule of the community, and comprises common doctrinal, spiritual, human and professional training during the period of the postulancy and the temporary commitment, which is a period for discerning the vocation and strengthening the unity of the community; specific formation for every state of life, preceding the principal stages marking the members' commitment within the community, and designed to help the members live their vocation to the full and across time; ongoing formation follows for all, including the study of the liturgy, iconography, Scripture, Hebrew and the Jewish roots of Christianity, modern languages, and evangelization methods.

Organization: The Community of the Beatitudes, headed by an elected general moderator assisted by a council, comprises houses, grouped into provinces.

The community is open to the faithful from all states of life who fully assume this vocation. They include married people with their children, single people, consecrated lay people who live in chastity for the sake of the Kingdom, priests, and permanent deacons, single or married.

Others who form part of the community are the associates who live permanently in the community house sharing in its life and forming an integral part of the "family" without taking on the whole of the community vocation; Friends of the Lamb, faithful of all states of life wishing to share the spirituality of the community, living fully within the world and placing fidelity to the Gospel, prayer and service at the heart of their existence, and maintaining reference to a house of the community with which they establish bonds of spiritual communion and fraternal assistance; members of the Beatitudes of the Holy Family, for families or unmarried people living near a house of the community with which they establish close links and work with them in their apostolic activities, wishing to undertake a commitment in the spirit of the Community of the Beatitudes.

Membership: The Community of the Beatitudes has about 1,500 members and is present in six countries in Africa, four in Asia, 11 in Europe, two in the Middle East, three in North America, one in South America, and two in Oceania.

Works: The Community of the Beatitudes has given rise to the Alliance de la Charité, a nongovernmental organization to help the churches in the developing countries and the missions; a hospital in Kabinda, Congo; orphanages in Congo and Gabon; Mère de Miséricorde, which works to defend life; the Fraternités Saint Camille, which are diocesan centers that welcome people and lend a listening ear; a publishing house and radio station; Oeuvre Saint Bernard, to develop sacred art and Christian-inspired works of art; interdiocesan seminaries in Ivory Coast and Congo; rural education centers, and homes to recuperate street children in the Central African Republic; the Soleil de Justice Association, for African Christian politicians.

Publications: Feu et Lumiere, a monthly magazine on the spiritual life; Troas, a quarterly missionary magazine; Kaire, the monthly magazine of the Mère de Miséricorde Association

Web site: beatitudes.org

Headquarters:

Modération Generale de la Communaute des Beatitudes
60, Avenue du Général Compans
31700 Blagnac France

Tel: (33) 5-6130-5050 Fax: 5-6130-5051

E-mail: moderateur.secretariat@beatitudes.org

© Copyright 2006 Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]
ZE06051227
 

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