From Zenit’s Archives, we bring to our readers some details regarding the Shalom Catholic Community. The Pope received about 3,000 young people from the community in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall this morning and spoke off the cuff:
VATICAN CITY, JULY 4, 2006 (ZENIT.org).- Here is the description of the Shalom Catholic Community which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
* * *
Official name: Shalom Catholic Community
History: The Shalom Catholic Community was established at the initiative of a group of undergraduates headed by Moyses Louro de Azevedo Filho.
With the encouragement of the archbishop of Fortaleza, Brazil, they opened a sandwich bar and an annexed bookshop to welcome and evangelize young people. This was the first Shalom Center. Very soon the movement spread to families, children and people from all social-cultural backgrounds.
In 1985 the first group of young people formed themselves into life communities and in 1986 the first covenant community was established, made up of young people and adults.
In 1998 the community received canonical recognition from the archbishop of Fortaleza. The association is a member of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic, Covenant Communities and Fellowships.
Identity: The Shalom Catholic Community is made up of married couples, consecrated men and women, young people and adults seeking their vocation, priests, all united by the call to live the charism of Shalom. Its distinctive features are contemplation, unity and evangelization.
The community’s commitment to evangelization and Christian instruction gives emphasis to the world of education, culture and the arts, scientific environments, the media, and human development.
The formation of its members, based on a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, is nurtured by the study of the Word of God and the magisterium of the Church, prayer, participation in the liturgy and the sacraments, fraternal and missionary life, filial love for Our Lady, union with Our Lord according to the model of life shown by St. Francis of Assisi and the model of prayer shown by St. Teresa of Avila.
Organization: Membership of the Shalom Catholic Community is through the life communities, which are cells made up of consecrated men and women following a radical calling to give up their own human plans (cf. Luke 14:25-37) to follow the Lord Jesus Christ unconditionally by devoting themselves totally to the Community; and the covenant communities, made up of people who live fully within the world and live this same vocation in their professions and in family life.
The community also comprises those who play an active part in its work by belonging to groups under its guidance.
Membership: The Shalom Catholic Community has some 2,300 members and is present in eight countries in Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. About 30,000 people have connections with the community.
Works: In addition to numerous prayer groups, evangelization and catechetical instruction centers for young people, families and children have also sprung up at the initiative of the Shalom Catholic Community.
There are spiritual retreat houses; art centers in which music, dance, drama and fine art are placed at the service of evangelization; a school; a human development association which manages kindergartens; homes for the elderly and services for the sick and inmates; and projects to recuperate drug addicts, to rescue street children, for the prevention of abortion, and to take in the homeless and help restore their dignity.
The community has also set up four radio stations, a publishing house and the Gaudium et Spes Institute which provides training for social and political commitment according to the principles of the Church’s social teachings.
Publication: Shalom Maná, monthly magazine
Web site: www.comunidadeshalom.org.br
Comunidade Católica Shalom
Rua Gonçalves Ledo, 501 — Praia de Iracema
60.110-260 Fortaleza – Ceará – Brazil
Tel. (55) 85.231.8894 — Fax 85.253.7534
© Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]