- T h e L a y M e m b e r s o f t h e C o m m u n i t y -
“See how good it is to live together as brothers.”
The Lay Branch of the Community is made up of members of the faithful, men and women, lay (married or single) and clerics (permanent deacons) who, by responding to a call from God, wish to follow him by living in accordance with the charism of the Community of the Beatitudes.
Through their membership to the Community, they express the offering of their life to the Lord, living in the spirit of the evangelical counsels and that of the Beatitudes in order to be a prophetic sign in this world of the Kingdom to come. They choose to assume a certain form of community life that is compatible with their own vocation, to strive for a life of deep and incessant prayer, a trusting abandonment to Providence, and a share in the mission and apostolates of the Community.
This commitment to the Community is thus a response to the Church’s urgent call addressed to the lay faithful since the Second Vatican Council to follow the call to holiness that flows from the grace of Baptism and to participate fully in the mission of the Church, especially the proclamation of the Gospel.
The same commitment is lived out according to one's individual situation, allowing the lay people to persevere in their call according to various obligations imposed by their respective state of life. This commitment is drawn up according to the following models:
Household: Life in the Household model allows lay members to live everyday community life in the heart of a Community House while having their own personal space. Families live in apartments or houses. Certain times are spent within their branch and others with the members of the larger Community House.
Fraternity: The Fraternity model proposes community life on a weekly level. The lay members do not necessarily live in the same place. The meetings can take place in one of the members' house or alternately in a more centralized, common area.
Communion: Certain lay members who for various reasons cannot lead daily community life and who are not able to form a fraternity can participate at least on a weekly basis in the life of a Community House. If they live too far away from a Lay Branch, they can fulfill their commitment to the Community's spirituality, communion and mission according to a charter drawn up with a Regional Moderator.
A personal charter expresses a personal commitment of a lay member vis-à-vis the Community. Every lay person has a personal charter that expresses the character of their commitment in light of the duties of their respective state of life.
This charter is usually written for the duration of a year, by a local moderator in close consultation with the person concerned. The charter will take into consideration the current stage of commitment, employment status, living space, fraternal life, prayer, apostolate, formation, accountability expectations, and financial participation.