Who are we ?

A Community born in the wake of Vatican II

The Community of the Beatitudes is a contemplative and missionary community born in France in 1973 out of  the Catholic Charismatic Renewal following the Vatican II Council. It was founded by two couples, Gérard Croissant (Ephraïm), his wife Jo and Jean-Marc and Mireille Hammel, who had experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and an intimacy with God. A strong urge to live in community appeared to them as an evident calling from on High to live according to the Gospel along the lines of the fist Christian communities described in the Acts of the Apostles.

The Community started to grow in Cordes sur Ciel (81) and Cardinal Robert Coffy recognized it as a  « pious union ».In 2002 the Pontifical Council for the Laity recognized the Community as a Private international Association of the  Faithful. After many stages of development, this association was dissolved in 2011. On 29th June 2011 the Archbishop of Toulouse, Mgr Robert Le Gall, set up a new Public Association of the Faithful under diocesan law with the view of becoming an Ecclesial Family of Consecrated Life under the authority of the Roman Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life.

An image of the People of God called to holiness

The Community, as an image of the people of God where both unity and diversity are expressed, gathers together consecrated sisters, consecrated brothers, some of which are priests, and lay members, single or married (some of which are permanent deacons or have chosen to remain single for the Kingdom having pronounced a vow of celibacy).

In 2019 the Community comprises 763 members : 177 brothers (of which 87 are priests), 270 sisters, 316 lay members (of which 13 are permanent deacons and  51 have chosen celibacy for the Kingdom. ). All share the same initial calling. Finally,  about forty trainees go through a year of discernment and formation in our houses with a view to entering the Community.

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Connected to the Community are « alliance members » such as the Disciples of the Lamb or Friends of the Lamb who form the Beatitudes Family.

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The Community has founded so far 50 houses in 26 countries worldwide, in Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America, the South Sea Islands and the Middle East.

Governance structure of the Community

The Community of the Beatitudes is composed of :

  • a branch of consecrated brothers of which some are deacons and priests under the authority of a General Responsible, who is always a priest ;
  • a branch of consecrated sisters under the responsibility of a General Responsible ;
  • and a branch of lay memberrs, married or single, with its own statutes, under the supervision of a General Moderator.

The Community is governed by a President (man or woman elected from among its consecrated members by a General Assembly, whose delegates are elected by all the members of the Community. The President is helped in his (her) work by a General Council  comprising the Branch Responsibles  and their assistant, working in collegiality and seeking together the will of God. He (or she) exercises his authority mindful to respect the autonomy of each branch.

 

The Community’s General Assembly, meeting in October 2019, has re-elected  Sr Anna Katharina Pollmeyer for four years as the Community’s President. 
She elected Father  Jean-Uriel Frey,  as General Responsible  for the brothers’ branch,  Sr Eva of Jesus Schwingenschlögel, General Responsible for the sisters’ branch and re-elected Anne-Emmanuelle Dixmérias General Moderator for the lay branch. They all chose an assistant.

The Community is also accompanied by Brother Henry Donneaud, o.p., Apostolic Assistant nominaterd by the Roman Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Liferegation.

 

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