“The event that changed the life of the Founder has also ‘wounded’ a great many of his spiritual sons and daughters, and has given way to multiple religious and ecclesial experiences which form the history of your vast and well-organized spiritual Family” (Benedict XVI, March 24, 2007).
The charism of Fr. Giussani gave birth to a number of associations freely formed by adults to help each other to live the Christian life within their particular vocational state: as laypeople, religious men or women, or diocesan or missionary priests. These structures offer “a profound way of life and actualize the Christian faith [...] through spontaneity and freedom that permit new and prophetic, apostolic and missionary achievements” (Benedict XVI, March 24, 2007).
Fraternity of CL
This is the most emblematic association for CL, recognized as a Universal Association of the Faithful by the Pontifical Council for the Laity on February 11, 1982.
Founded and presided over by Fr. Giussani up until his death, today the Fraternity is led by Fr. Julián Carrón, and its members in the various groups – spread across continents – number about 67,000 adults.
The Fraternity came to be based on the experience of those who, having completed their university studies, wanted to continue living their belonging to the Church within a communal dimension, following the charism of Fr. Giussani, as adults.
Membership entails a simple rule of life and personal ascesis: daily moments of prayer; participation in gatherings for spiritual formation, including the annual Spiritual Exercises and retreats; a commitment to give support, financial and otherwise, for the charitable, missionary and cultural initiatives promoted or supported by the Fraternity. (cfr. Luigi Giussani, The Work of the Movement. The Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, 2005).
Membership entails a simple rule of life made up of formation and personal ascesis
The Lay Association of Memores Domini was formed in 1964 under the name Gruppo Adulto, or the “Adult Group.” It was approved by the Holy See as a Universal Private Ecclesial Association in 1988. The group is made up of people in CL who pursue a vocation of total dedication to God while living in the world. Their missionary commitment is in living their professional occupation as a place for the memory of Christ, while practicing the evangelical counsels – obedience, poverty and virginity – in continuity with the tradition of the Church, and as they were taught to them by Fr. Giussani. The Memores live in community, grouped into “houses,” as a way of sustaining each other in the memory of Christ.
Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo
“Go into all the world and bring the truth, the beauty, and the peace which are found in Christ the Redeemer.” These were the words of John Paul II to the Movement in 1984. The following year, the Fraternity of St. Charles was formed through the initiative of now Bishop Massimo Camisasca, and the order was recognized in 1999 as an Institute of Pontifical Right. It is a community of young priests dedicated to Catholic missionary work, with an openness to go anywhere the needs of the Church or the life of the Movement may dictate.
“Go into all the world and bring the truth, the beauty, and the peace which are found in Christ the Redeemer.”
Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo
The order was formed beginning in 2004 to share the life and ideals of the Fraternity of St. Charles, in service to the charism of Fr. Giussani.
Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Assumption
During the 1960s, a number of young women in CL entered the Little Sisters of the Assumption, an order founded by Fr. Stefano Pernet in France in the nineteenth century. Fr. Giussani had recognized in the founder a consonant way of understanding and living the Christian life. Out of this order, the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Assumption was formed in 1993, with Giussani as its guide to living Fr. Pernet’s charism in the contemporary context.
Their service centers around the family, manifested in their work to assist the sick, disadvantaged children and the elderly.
In 2006, the Holy See confirmed the decision made by the Sisters of Charity to name Fr. Giussani as a founder of the order, along with Fr. Pernet.
Fraternity of St. Joseph
The association joins men and women who decide to dedicate their lives totally and definitively to Christ in virginity, according to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, while still remaining in the same job and living situation they were in, knowing that “that “Baptism and Confirmation may be sufficient to establish a total dedication to Christ and the Church” (interview with Luigi Giussani, in “30 Days”, 1989, No. 5, pages 56-62).
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