WORLD & NATIONAL


The Christian Life Community is an international association of Christians: men and women, adults and young people, of all social conditions, who want to follow Jesus Christ more closely and work with Him for the building of the Kingdom. Members make up small groups, which are part of larger communities organized regionally and nationally, all forming ONE World Community. The CLC is present in all five continents, in almost sixty countries. 

Our National Vision of the National Christian Life Community (NCLC) of the United States of America is the shared vision of the entire World Christian Life Community, as articulated in our General Principles. (See About CLC for further information.)

A BRIEF REVIEW
From Marian Congregations to World Christian Life Community

540
Society of Jesus is founded by Ignatius of Loyola.

1563
A Jesuit teacher by the name of Jean Leunis gathers a group of students of the Roman College for spiritual advancement -- the Marian Congregation is born. This first group quickly becomes a model for other congregations throughout the world.

1578
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Claudio Aquaviva, approves the Common Rules for those who wishes to follow Congregation life.

1584
Pope Gregory XIII with the papal Bull Omnipotentis Dei entitles the first Congregation at the Roman College (the Primaria) to be the head of all the Congregations.

1587
Pope Sixtus V, following the request of the Society of Jesus, issues the Bull Superna Dispositione. This Bull states the right of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus to create aggregates of the first Congregation within other localities, even among persons who were not students of Jesuit schools.

It might be interesting for us today to remember that in this early time of the Society of Jesus, Jesuits and lay people who were members of the Congregations would frequently work as a team. The seventeenth century not only saw the highpoint of Congregation life but also the beginning of its decline in spirit.

1748
Pope Benedict XIV, with the Bull Praeclaris Romanorum, tries to renew the vigor of Congregation life. This Bull increases the advantages of membership by granting the members enlarged spiritual benefits and this perhaps has a reverse effect. At this time the Society of Jesus, a victim of political intrigues, is already struggling for its life.

1773
Pope Clement XIV signs a document to suppress the Jesuit Order. The Congregations, by the order of the same pope, become one of the normal works of the universal Church. In the eighteenth century memberships in creases vastly, from 2500 groups to 80.000. The consequence is a diminishment in favor and practice. The spiritual life of the members and the social concern for the rejected of society is reduced to pious practices and annual and symbolic events.  The Marian Congregations have become a pious mass movement, difference from what Ignatious, Jean Leunis or Aquaviva had meant it to be.

1922
Fr. Ledochowski, Superior General of the Society, convenes a meeting of Jesuits working with the Marian Congregations or Sodalities, as they are called in some countries. The central secretariat, a service centre, is founded. It is the first secretariat for Jesuit works. Today the SJ curia has eight similar offices for other works. This is the first step towards restoration.

1948
Pope Pius XII with his Apostolic Constitution Bis Saeculari, gives an important push towards renewal of the Marian Congregations. A Bis Saeculari was exactly what was needed: a clear, authoritative statement on the authentic identity of the Marian Congregations, a pressing call for reform, orientations towards the future and some declarations on lay apostolate in general. The impact of this document was enormous (Fr. Paulussen, SJ in: A GOD WORKS LIKE THAT).

1950
Seventy-one Jesuits from forty countries follow the call of the Superior General Fr. Jansen and meet in Rome as a first answer to Bis Saeculari.

1951
The first world congress for lay apostolate is held in Rome. Forty delegates from sixteen countries take the opportunity to meet and discuss the idea of a world federation.

1952
Eucharistic Congress in Barcelona: the opportunity is used to meet and discuss the A World Federation further. The central secretariat in Rome is asked to prepare some Statutes.

1953
The World Federation of the Marian Congregations is approved by the same Pope.

1954
1st assembly of the world federation in Rome.

1959
2nd assembly in Newark, USA.

1962
Opening of the Second Vatican Council.

1964
3rd assembly of the world federation in Bombay, India.

1967
4th assembly and a new name and a new beginning: Christian Life Communities

1968
On the Feast of the Annunciation, Pope Paul VI confirms the General Principles of the World Federation of the Christian Life Communities.

1970
5th assembly in Santo Domingo a crisis and a challenge (the General Principles are amended and approved in 1971 by Holy See).

1973
6th General Assembly in Augsburg, Germany: the call to be free, the liberation of all men and women.

1976
7th General Assembly in Manila, Philippines: the call to be poor, poor with Christ for a better service.

1979
8th General Assembly in Rome: call towards a World Community, at the service of One World.

1982
The General Assembly in Providence: the challenge to be one World Community on mission to bring about justice.

1986
10th General Assembly in Loyola: seeing Mary as model of our mission, being asked to do “whatever Christ tells us”,

1990
11th General Assembly in Guadalajara: an international community “at the service of the Kingdom, to go out and bear fruit”.

1994
12th General Assembly in Hong Kong:  CLC Community in Mission “I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!”

1998
13th General Assembly in Itaici, Brasil: Deepening out identity as an apostolic Community - clarifying our common mission. “CLC, a letter from Christ, written by the Spirit, sent to today’s world.”  

2003
14th General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya: Sent by Christ, members of one body.Graced history of CLC Part I, Part II (Power Point Presentation from the CLC Philippines)