Lay branch of the Society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales
VATICAN CITY, 16 JULY 2006 (ZENIT)
Here is the description of the St.
Francis de Sales Association, which appears in the Directory of
International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical
Council for the Laity.
* * *
Official Name: St. Francis de Sales Association
Also known as: Lay branch of the Society of the Daughters of St. Francis
History: The origins of the association date back to 1872 when Abbé
Henri Chaumont and Caroline Colchen Carre de Malberg set up a group in
Paris for members of the laity living in the world, called the
Missionary Catechists of Mary Immaculate, which was canonically
established in the Archdiocese of Paris in 1891.
In 1911, the Holy See approved the Society of the Daughters of St.
Francis de Sales. In 1954, the catechists adopted the name of Salesian
Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, and in 1968, they were recognized as a
religious congregation within the Society of the Daughters of St.
Francis de Sales and united with the lay branch (the St. Francis de
Sales Association) by a common body, the superior council. On May 22,
1994, the Pontifical Council for the Laity issued a decree recognizing
the Association Saint Francis de Sales as an international association
of the faithful of Pontifical Right.
Identity: The association is a spiritual family created to pursue the
personal holiness of its members, called to evangelize their own
environments according to the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales and
with a particular devotion to the Holy Spirit and Our Lady. The
formation program followed by the associates, which is based on the
methodology of a probationary period, lasts for two years and ends with
consecration without vows, the renewal of the baptismal promises and
pledging allegiance to the Most Holy Trinity and to Mary. Each associate
is left free to undertake other ecclesial commitments.
Organization: The association is headed by a general council headed by a
general director, and is divided into regions corresponding to
geographic zones, which themselves are subdivided into groups. The
regions and groups are headed by regional directors and group directors.
In its evangelization work, the association is assisted by sensitization
and reflection groups such as "St. Francis de Sales Meetings,"
gatherings approved by the bishop of Versailles, and "Salesian Thought
Groups" headed by consecrated members, and "Salesian Friendships" for
single people. After the admission of men in 1968, on an experimental
basis, an autonomous male branch was created.
Membership: The association has 3,029 members in 19 countries as
follows: Africa (5), Asia (1), Europe (7), North America (3), and South
America (3). There are 105 male associates.
Publications: Le lien salesien is published every two months in French,
English, Polish and German; Ecos is published quarterly in Spanish.
Web site: http://www.desalesassociation.org
Association Saint Francois de Sales
57-59, rue Leon Frot - 75011 Paris - France
Tel. [+33]1.43676060 - Fax 1.43704473
© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]