A Spirituality for Married Couples
VATICAN CITY, 20 JULY 2006 (ZENIT)
Here is the description of the
Teams of Our Lady which appears in the Directory of International
Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for
* * *
Official name: Teams of Our Lady
Acronym: END (Équipes Notre Dame)
History: The Teams of Our Lady movement came into being in France at the
end of the 1930s through a number of married couples who began to meet
every month in each other's houses under the guidance of Father Henri
Their purpose was to explore the significance of the sacrament of
marriage in depth, to hold it up against their own experiences, and then
to try to work together to live coherently within society as Christian
families and couples. As more couples sought to join them, the movement
was formally established with the promulgation, on Dec. 8, 1947, of the
Equipes Notre Dame Charter.
The movement was created to meet a need felt by couples who realized
that married life is a vocational pathway to salvation which is more
than procreation; the teams seek to enhance their experience in the
light of the Word of God by reading the signs of the times, and by
reflecting constantly on ways and means of implementing the founding
charism in different circumstances of history.
On April 19, 1992, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed
recognition of the Equipes Notre Dame as an international association of
the faithful of Pontifical right.
Identity: As a movement of spirituality for married couples, the teams
comprise groups of married couples who wish to achieve holiness in and
through marriage, gathered around Christ to help one another to progress
in the love of God, to build themselves up in Christ and to place their
love at the service of the kingdom.
The members follow a course of study that includes Scripture, the truths
of the faith, and "apprenticeship in prayer." This pathway, which is a
means of verifying their fidelity to the Lord, requires them to take a
dynamic view of Christian life, and introduces them into a dimension of
ongoing conversion through mutual spiritual assistance, group sharing,
frequent attendance at Mass, family prayers, the Christian education of
their children, the spirit of outreach and welcome, and giving testimony
to the love of Christ.
The teams' method is based on the rule of life, which accompanies the
path of ongoing conversion through a sequence of specific goals to be
achieved; the two-day annual spiritual retreat which the married couples
make to ask for the help of the Spirit to discern and draw up new life
projects; the duty to sit down once a month, to enable the couple to
speak to one another "before God," as a special vocation to view each
other through the eyes of the Father, and to allow themselves to be
converted by what the Lord is asking of them through their spouse. The
members of the teams are actively committed to family apostolate
pastoral programs in the local Church, where they also cooperate with
other ecclesial movements.
Organization: The Teams of our Lady are structured on a collegial basis.
The international team has overall responsibility for the movement, and
comprises married couples from different countries assisted by a
Each of the member teams is composed of between five and seven couples
and a spiritual counselor, and they remain in contact with one another
through a liaison couple. Teams in the same town (or geographical area)
make up one or more sectors, and the sectors make up regions.
The life of the movement depends entirely upon the voluntary offering of
time, effort and resources by the couples themselves. They work to
develop the movement particularly in the geographical areas where large
distances and low incomes are likely to cause a serious obstacle.
Membership: Throughout the world there are some 8,600 teams in 48
countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America, Oceania
and South America.
Publications: Lettre des Equipes Notre-Dame, a periodical publication in
French, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German and Arabic.
Web site: www.equipes-notre-dame.com
49, rue de la Glaciere
Tel. (33) 1-43319621
© Copyright 2006
Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]