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"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

BENEDICTUS MOMENTS

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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

THE COMMUNITY OF THE BEATITUDES

OUR CHARISM

We have taken a look at "Chemin Neuf", a Charismatic community in France which has seeen expansion of Pentecostal proportions and now includes priests, brothers, sisters and lay people, married and single in 30 countries.   Here is another Charismatic family that, in spite of great difficulties, including the infidelity of its founder, has expounded, has been much blessed, and is the source of blessing in many countries throughout the world.   

OPEN YOURSELVES, WITH DOCILITY TO THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The words of Pope John Paul II to the new communities at Pentecost, '98
in Rome

Community life is above all one of union with God, centred on the daily Mass and fortified by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.   Like the Carmelite tradition, the community puts prayer first; in line with Eastern Orthodox monasticism, it pursues a prayer that is unceasing - they use the Jesus prayer.   

Community life welcomes the Holy Spirit and his gifts, for the sake of the renewal of the Church.  Born at the peak of the Charismatic Renewal, the Community wants to be an instrument for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit around the world.
OUR ORIGIN
The Community of the Beatitudes was founded on May 25, 1973, at Montpelier in Southern France and community life began on September 9 of the same year, first at Soyons then at Valence.

Our Founder, Gerard Croissant (Br. Ephraim), was born on February 17, 1949 into a Protestant family in Eastern France. He belonged to the "1968 generation" in search for new ideas, freedom and community life! He chose to study Theology rather than arts. Several encounters led him to his vocation to found the Community of the Beatitudes. His main influence came from Lanza Del Vasto from the "Communaute de l'Arche". From him he realized that community life and family life were not only compatible but enriching. In this Community he met his wife, Jo. He also started there his ministry as a Protestant preacher and discovered the Charismatic Renewal, leading him to a radical conversion.

In 1973, with another couple, Jean-Marc and Mireille Hammel, they decide to start to live together. " The Community is not the fruit of a project or a desire; it is and remains an evidence coming from somewhere else.

Community life starts in Soyons in 1974, then in Valence where Gerard is in charge of a protestant parish. In prayer, he receives the Rule of Life for the Community. It is articulated around three poles: prayer, poverty and obedience. This rule remains the base of formation for anyone who enters the Community of the Beatitudes. During this same year, he discovers the Eucharist, the Virgin Mary and the apostolic succession.

In May 75, the tiny Community moves to Cordes in the Diocese of Albi, in an old ruined convent. The Most Reverend Bishop Coffy adopts this new daughter of the Church, and Gerard becomes Ephraim. A few years later he is ordained a permanent deacon.

Recent History
The Beatitudes Community is one of the "New Communities" born of the Catholic Church after Vatican II and originating in the Charismatic Renewal. Under the ecclesial authority of the Archbishop of Albi (France)since May 1975, it was recognized by Rome as an International Association of the Faithful of Pontifical Right on December 8, 2002. On December 3, 2008, The Pontifical Council for the Laity asked the Community to shift to the canonical form of a New Spiritual Family of Consecrated Life [link:] under the pontifical authority of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life.

In that regard,on June 29, 2011, Rome officially proclaimed the Community of the Beatitudes a "Public Association of the Faithful" (under the ecclesial authority of the Archbishop of Toulouse (France)), and renewed it's trust in the Charism of our Community.

This future canonical form corresponds better to the international reality of the Beatitudes Community now: almost 100 priests, 40 seminarians, 350 consecrated sisters, and hundreds of Lay members, spread in 70 houses, in 30 countries, and all continents. Committed to the New Evangelization (John Paul II), its spirituality is Eucharistic and Marian, inspired by the Carmelite tradition and living out the spirit of the Beatitudes (Matt: 5). It gathers together the faithful of all states of life (families, single people, priests and consecrated brothers and sisters), who share in common a vocation of prayer and fraternal communion, combining a marked  contemplative dimension (adoration of the Blessed Sacrament) with numerous apostolic and missionary activities.

At the request of bishops in more than 60 dioceses, the Community is at the service of the Catholic Church in numerous apostolic and missionary activities [link official website of the Community:]

Parishes (Denver; Lima, Peru; Hungary; Cordes, France; Dolany, Czech Republic...)
Marian sanctuaries (Ivory Coast; Lourdes; Medjugorje; Valcluse, France...)
Retreat houses (Nouan, France; Libreville, Gabon; Mexico;
Roccantica, Italy; Venthone, Switzerland...)
Hospital and health care (Kabinda, Zaire; Nothgottes, Germany...)
Taking care of the poor (Vaumoise, France; Bamako, Mali...)
Contemplative houses (Beaune, France; Jerusalem, Israel...)
Youth ministry (Murinais, France; Venthone, Switzerland; Sovere, Italy...)
Spreading the Gospel through media and communications
(Chalonnes, France; Pont Saint-Esprit, France; Nouan, France...)
Seminaries (Issia, Ivory Coast; Blagnac, France; Rome, Italy...)
Christian art and iconography (Mortain, France...)
Pilgrimages (Emmaus, Israel; Lisieux, France; Medjugorje, Lourdes...)


St Seraphim of Sarov, one of the patron saints of the community
together with St Joseph & St John Mary Vianney  


St Therese of Lisieux
Spiritual Teacher of the Community

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