Category Archives: Communion & Liberation

Mercy can be challenging, to some

An article by Father Julián Carrón, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, has been published by the Italian daily, Avvenire. The article is titled “A Challenging Mercy” and is related to the letter Pope Benedict addressed to all Bishops after the polemics about the lifting of the excommunication of bishops in the Society of St. Pius X. I recommend the article.

Retreat offered for priests during Easter Week 2009

I would like to call your attention to the forthcoming retreat for priests that will take place during the Octave of Easter (April 13-17, 2009), at Malvern, PA. You find all information at www.clonline.us.

“Eight years ago, Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of the Movement Communion and Liberation, suggested that the diocesan priests in the United States following the charism of the Movement find ways to accompany their brother priests, demoralized by the image of the priesthood created by the scandal of the sexual abuse of minors. As a result, members of the Movement invited their parish priests to participate in a retreat seeking to retrieve and strengthen their experience of the incomparable beauty and unsurpassable value of their vocation.

 

Since 2000, such retreats have been held every year in places associated with the history of the Church in America, such as Emmitsburg, MD; St. Augustine, FL, and others. The joy and gratitude with which so many priests have responded to these retreats is a verifiable confirmation of the sacramental bond at the origin of our priestly identity.” (from the invitation letter sent to Bishops and priests)

I strongly recommend that you get in touch with all priests you know – particularly the ones who have shown even a little interest in our experience – and propose them to participate in the retreat. If money is an issue please feel free to let them know that the Knights of Columbus have once more graciously granted some money to help priests to participate.

For any further information please contact Olivetta (clnationaloffice@clhac.com or at 914-548-1275).

Communion & Liberation at Belmont Abbey

Today about 25 friends who follow, that is, are a part of Communion & Liberation from around the Carolinas came to Belmont Abbey Basilica to celebrate the Sacrifce of the Mass on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of death of Monsignor Luigi Giussani and the 27th year of the recognition of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation. Redemptorist Father Joseph Dione, a local pastor, was the celebrant of the Mass.

After, John Neill, the CL Responsible for the Carolinas, led us on a walk around the grounds of Belmont Abbey College stopping at the Saint Joseph Adoration Chapel and at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the graces received today and in the past year. This was especially important to recognize since Our Lady of Lourdes is important to the life of CL  because it was something that Giussani taught us: go to the BVM. So we feel very connected with the history of our charism. The group then went to dinner at a local restuarant but I had to ring bells and pray Vespers. Our group joined about 30 other groups in the USA and countless others around the world who did the same thing for the same reason.

It was a beautiful day in which we gave came together as friends to give thanks to God. Our gathering keeps the companionship and the Benedictine roots of CL alive. Some photos follow.

CL of the Carolinas.jpg
CL prayer of thanks.jpg

robert Neill with St Benedict.JPG

Communion & Liberation observes 27 years of Church approval


LG & JPII.JPGOn this date in 1982, Pope John Paul II officially recognized (approved) Communion and Liberation as an authentic charism in the Church. The recognition of this fact for the Church means the work of Father Luigi Giussani and so many others was really born of the Holy Spirit. What follows are few items about the movement which come from the CL archives.

 

The Fraternity of Communion and Liberation

This is the eminent group among those born from the movement, whose origins and aims it shares. It was recognized as a Lay Association of Pontifical Right on February 11, 1982. The decree of approval of the Fraternity’s request for recognition reads that the Holy Father himself was “benevolently pleased to encourage the Pontifical Council for the Laity” that the recognition procedure might have a positive outcome. The letter accompanying the decree, signed by the then Cardinal Opilio Rossi, recognizes that the Fraternity of CL’s contribution to the Church in her work of evangelization is “of outstanding importance and pastoral urgency,” especially in “distant” de-Christianized areas where “the basic principles of human life and social interchange are at stake.” The ecclesial nature of the Association, the letter concludes, makes obvious its “full cooperation and communion with the Bishops, headed by the supreme Pastor of the Church,” down to the pastoral life of the diocese, to which it offers “its experience and contribution.”

This recognition from the Pontifical Council for the Laity amounted to de facto approval of the educational experience of CL.

The first “Fraternity” groups were formed around the mid-1970s at the initiative of some former university students who wanted to go more deeply into what it means to belong to the Church, also within the conditions of adult life and the responsibilities it brings, in communion with others.


CL at St Peter's.jpgToday the Fraternity’s groups host 50,000 people who have made the decision to commit themselves to a way of life that supports the path to holiness, acknowledged as the true aim of existence. The life of the Fraternity normally takes place through the free formation of groups who consider that commitment to be the reason for their friendship and sharing.
Belonging to the Fraternity calls for a minimal rule of personal ascesis, daily moments of prayer, participation in encounters of spiritual formation including an annual retreat, and commitment to the support, financial and otherwise, of the charitable, missionary, and cultural initiatives promoted or sustained by the Fraternity.

Recent years have witnessed also in Italy and abroad the rise of Fraternity groups formed by diocesan priests (the first of these took the name of Studium Christi) who in this way intend to help each other pursue more deeply their vocation and the accomplishment of their mission.

 

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, John Paul II writes Fr Giussani a long autograph letter.

 

Subsequently, Fr Giussani writes all the members of the Fraternity to call attention to the great value of the Pope’s letter and to the importance of the indications conveyed.

 

What is Communion & Liberation?

 

Communion and Liberation is an ecclesial movement whose purpose is the education to Christian maturity of its adherents and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all the spheres of contemporary life.


LG detail.jpgIt began in Italy in 1954 when
Fr Luigi Giussani established a Christian presence in Berchet high school in Milan with a group called Gioventù Studentesca (Student Youth), GS for short. The current name of the movement, Communion and Liberation (CL), appeared for the first time in 1969. It synthesizes the conviction that the Christian event, lived in communion, is the foundation of the authentic liberation of man. Communion and Liberation is today present in about seventy countries throughout the world.

There is no type of membership card, but only the free participation of persons. The basic instrument for the formation of adherents is weekly catechesis, called “School of Community.”


Traces 2009.jpgThe official magazine of the Movement is the international monthly,
Traces – Litterae Communionis 

*email Kim for a subscription ($30.00 per year): traces@clhac.com

 

 

 

This Traces article is worth your review: A New Movement: A Story of a Beginning

Community of spirit in Saint Benedict, Don Luigi Giussani & Pope Benedict XVI


spirito 1.jpgOn this the feast of the great Saint Scholastica, the twin sister of Saint Benedict, I thought it would be appropriate to hear a few words about the significant connection between the Benedictines (Sts Benedict & Scholastica and Pope Benedict) and Father Luigi Giussani.

 

Signs of spiritual friendship

by Don Giacomo Tantardini (In 30 Days, May 2005)

 

…The hundredfold is not the outcome of a project, of a program. My real program of government is that of not doing my own will, of not following my own ideas, but of setting myself to listen, with the whole Church, to the word and will of the Lord and let myself be led by Him, so that it is He Himself who leads the Church in this hour of our history, Benedict XVI said again in the sermon of the mass opening his ministry. The hundredfold here below, like the eternal life, has a beginning, a “permanent” source (each word from the first appearance of Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Square, that was packed with Romans hurrying to see the new Pope, remains in the memory: Trusting in his permanent help). The permanent beginning is Jesus Christ, the Lord risen.

 

The Church is living because Christ is living, because he is truly risen (Easter Sunday 24 April). And on Sunday 1 May, when, addressing the Churches of the East which were celebrating Easter, he repeated with force Christós anesti! Yes, Christ is risen, is truly risen!, the immediate applause that rose from the square packed with faithful up to that window was very fine.

 

Here the communion of mind and heart among Saint Benedict, Benedict XVI, Don Giussani and the most ordinary believer is luminous and total.


Giussani detail.jpgDon Giussani always kept the gaze of his life and heart fixed on Christ (Cardinal Ratzinger, in Milan Cathedral, at Don Guissani’s funeral). We need men who keep their eyes looking at God, learning from there true humanity (in Subiaco). And, again in Subiaco, Cardinal Ratzinger concluded his lecture by quoting the more beautiful phrase that Saint Benedict repeats twice in the Rule: Put absolutely nothing before Christ who can lead us all to eternal life. Here, chapter 72: Christo omnino nihil praeponant. In chapter 4: Nihil amori Christi praeponere/ put nothing before the love of Christ.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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