Community of the Beatitudes Gets Official Church Recognition

Founded in 1974 by Former French Protestant Pastor

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 31, 2003 ( The Holy See officially recognized the Community of the Beatitudes, an ecclesial reality which arose out of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

The decree of recognition was handed to the community today on behalf of John Paul II by Cardinal James Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, at the latter’s headquarters in Rome.

According to the recognition, henceforth the community will be an «international private association of faithful of pontifical right with juridical personality.»

In his address, the U.S. cardinal emphasized the contemplative and missionary aspects of the community, founded in 1974 by Ephraim Croissant, a former French Protestant pastor who converted to Catholicism, and by his wife, Josette, together with another couple.

«Together with the life of prayer, your missionary and charitable vocation for the poorest contributes to make of the Community of the Beatitudes an instrument of Christian formation and evangelization in the particular churches,» Cardinal Stafford said.

For his part, Ephraim Croissant responded: «Our desire has always been to serve the Church, in the last place, and this recognition confirms this option to me, which no one can take away from us.»

The community comprises lay people, consecrated individuals and priests, and celibates and families who live in community.

The community is active in 32 countries. It has 46 houses in Europe, 11 in Africa, seven in Asia, three in Latin America, three in North America, two in Oceania, and three in the Middle East.

In total, 1,500 religious brothers and sisters live in residential community. Associated with them is a community known as the Family of the Beatitudes.

The community’s spirituality is a call to live the mystery of the Transfiguration through union with Jesus in his paschal mystery. It emphasizes a life of prayer (especially eucharistic adoration), obedience and poverty.

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