VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a description of the Bread of Life Community, 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: Bread of Life Community
History: The Bread of Life Community came into being following the conversion of a married couple, Pascal and Marie-Annick Pingault, inspired by the Gospel words, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18).
Together with another couple of friends who had also undergone a conversion, Bruno and France Bouchet, they set about fashioning their lives according to the life of the early Christian communities, faithful in fraternal communion and prayer, and keen to proclaim to others the gift they had received.
The experience, which began in Evreux, spread to various other French dioceses and in 1984 the community received canonical recognition from the bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux.
Identity: The Bread of Life Community is called to gather people around the Blessed Sacrament, embracing all states of life and vocations (families, unmarried men and women, consecrated persons, priests and deacons) to announce and prepare the coming of the Kingdom.
The formation given to the members gives emphasis to the spiritual dimension, through the daily practice of the sacraments and reading the Word of God, to the human dimension, through community life shared with the poorest, and by developing skills that can be useful in poor environments and situations of poverty.
Organization: The Bread of Life Community fraternity is grouped together in provinces; the provinces are grouped into regions. The General Council is at the service of communion and guides the community. It is composed of nine members in addition to the married couple who carry overall responsibility.
Membership of the community comprises consecrated men and women who take a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience; companions, including companions of the future (young men and women between 18 and 25 years of age), child companions, companions of hope (disabled companions), who may be both internal and external members and renew their promise every year; “anawim,” who consecrate themselves to the Eucharistic Jesus on Christmas Eve; family members, who share in the life of the community as far as it is possible for them to do so.
Membership: The Bread of Life Community has several hundred members in 25 countries as follows: Africa (10), Asia (1), Europe (8), Middle East (1), North America (2), South America (2), and Oceania (1).
Works: The Bread of Life Community has set up schools and kindergartens; hostels for the homeless; an association called Faire Route Avec Toi to support individuals or development projects; Mission Jeune, for young people wishing to share the life of the community or to work in its missionary activities for a given period of their life; Evangile et developpement, a school to prepare young people between 18 and 30 years of age to serve in the missions in developing countries.
They study the social teachings of the Church, contemporary issues (peace, nonviolence, North-South relations), health, hygiene and sanitation standards, and such work as masonry, fruit and vegetable growing, animal husbandry.
Every year the community also organizes summer camps in Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe for young people between 18 and 25 years of age.
Publications: A half-yearly newsletter in French, English, German and Hungarian.
Headquarters: Communaute du Pain de Vie
9, Place Verte — 59300 Valenciennes — France
Tel. [+33]3.27466627 — Fax 3.27459378
E-mail: [email protected]
© Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]