|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.
* * *
Official name: Community of the Beatitudes
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
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
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
Modération Generale de la Communaute des Beatitudes
60, Avenue du Général Compans
Tel: (33) 5-6130-5050
© Copyright 2006
Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]