VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2006 (ZENIT.org).- Here is the description of the Marianist Lay Communities 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: Marianist Lay Communities
History: The MLC have emerged from the Marian congregations that were brought into being by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-¬1850) in Bordeaux, France, in 1800 to guide the lay faithful in seri¬ous personal spirituality, love for Our Lady, and practical apostolic commitment within society, de-Christianized by the French Revo¬lution.
ln 1808, the Marian congregations were also joined by mem¬bers of the women’s youth association founded in Agen by the ven¬erable Mother Adele de Batz de Trenquelléon. The experience rap¬idly spread beyond France’s borders.
A few years later, when a num¬ber of congregations declared their readiness to embrace total consecration to God under the guidance and protection of Mary, Father Chaminade founded the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (1816) and the Society of Mary (1817), his two religious congrega¬tions.
The Marianists family was born, made up of laity, male and female religious, priests, united in the single mission of spreading knowledge and love for Mary, and in particular educating the younger generations in the faith. ln 1993, the lay branch of the fam¬ily, whose communities scattered throughout the world met for the first time in Santiago, Chile, adopted their own international gov¬ernment structure.
ln 1996, the World Council of the Marianists Fam¬ily was established, comprising the MLCs’ International Team, the representative of the Alliance Mariale and the General Councils of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Marianists.
On March 25, 2000, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of the Comunidades Laicas Marianistas as an international association of the faithful of pontifical right.
Identity: The MLC are communities of lay Christians who place themselves at the service of the Church’s mission in the world according to the charism of the founders.
Their members strive to be strong in the faith and persevering in hope; to accept Mary as their Mother, model and teacher, for she accepted the presence of the Spirit in her life in order to give God to the world, and she invites us to put into practice the words of our Lord that we can respond to the needs of all people; live the faith in small com¬munities, following the example of the early Christians; to be mes¬sengers of the Gospel, watchful of the signs of the times, working to spread the Kingdom of God and to build up a world of peace and justice, with a preferential option for the poor.
Organization: The MLC are structured into local, national, and regional groups. Every community at each level is headed by a person or by a team. All the national groups make up the regions, coordinated by regional representatives.
The international coordination of the asso¬ciation is performed by the Assembly — which meets every four years attended by the members of the International Team, officials from the national communities and their spiritual advisers — and the Interna¬tional Team, which represents the association and is responsible for implementing the decisions taken by the Assembly.
Membership: The MLC are present in 28 countries around the world.
Publications: The MLC produce national publications
Web site: www.marianist.org
Comunidades Laicas Marianistas
Buenos Aires — Argentina
Tel. (54) 11-432-3111
E-mail: [email protected]
© Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]