Date Established: 1975 (in Canada)
In 1563 a Jesuit teacher by the name of Jean Leunis sj gathered a group of students of the Roman College for spiritual formation. This was the beginning of the Marian Congregation. This first group quickly became a model for other congregations throughout the world. In 1578 the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Claudio Aquaviva, approved the Common Rules for those who wish to follow Congregation life. This was followed by Pope Gregory XIII with the papal Bull Omnipotentis Dei entitling the first Congregation at the Roman College (the Primaria) to be the head of all the Congregations.
Following Vatican II, at the 4th World Assembly in 1967, the Marian Congregation delegates approved a new name: Christian Life Community (CLC). This new name was chosen to emphasize CLC's renewed identity and pressing call for reform. The name, Christian Life Community, also emphasizes the urgency to become "one world lay apostolic community" that is clearly stated in the CLC General Principles (cf. www. cvx-clc.net).
Historically, the Christian Life Community of Canada was given recognition as a member of the world community in 1975. In 1978, CLC was introduced into the Hamilton diocese by John English, sj (deceased), together with four married couples. Since that time CLC Canada has grown and is now found in all regions of Canada. In Canada, CLC is subdivided into 5 regions: Atlantic, Central, Prairies, and Rockies with Quebec forming a separate French speaking National.
In 1979, CLC members in PEI began meeting in small local groups on a regular basis. The CLC members in these small groups practice the type of prayer and relationships, which foster a process of integration of faith and life by offering to all members a permanent communal verification of their spiritual and apostolic growth.
Christian Life Community (CLC) is made up of Christians: men and women, adults and youth, of all social conditions who want to follow Jesus Christ more closely and work with him for the building of the Kingdom, who have recognized Christian Life Community as their particular vocation within the Church.
CLC is governed by the world General Assembly, wherein delegates from each country meet every 5 years to pray and discern the most pressing needs in the world and how to address those challenges. The CLC world General Assembly elects a world Executive Council to implement the decisions made by the delegates at the Assembly.
CLC is subdivided into six International Regional Zones: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle-East, and North America. Regional Zone Teams meet on a regular basis to find ways of making accessible to all members the actual experience of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, of spiritual guidance, formation, and on-going growth in the Spirit.
Each national CLC is a branch of the World Community and is comprised of all those members who are striving to live out the CLC way of life and mission within a given country. An executive council at the national level is elected to ensure that there are structures for formation programs to respond effectively to what is needed for the harmonious development of the whole Community, and for an effective participation of Christian Life Community in the mission of the Church.
Being part of a world community is a special gift that enables us to find commonality within CLC with persons actively involved in over 80 countries across different cultures and languages. We do not know everyone in the Community, but we know that we share bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood. The CLC is a "gathering together in Christ, a cell of His mystical Body", which is based on faith and a common vocation.
CLC is made up of committed Christians in bearing witness to those human and Gospel values within the Church and society which affect the dignity of the person, the welfare of the family and the integrity of creation. We are particularly aware of the pressing need to work for justice through a preferential option for the poor and a simple life style, which expresses our freedom and solidar¬ity with them.
To prepare our members more effectively for apostolic witness and service, especially in our daily environment, we assemble people in small local groups who feel a more urgent need to unite their human life in all its dimensions with the fullness of their Christian faith according to our charism. We seek to achieve this unity of life in response to the call of Christ from within the world in which we live.
Publications and Works
PROGRESSIO PUBLICATION is published twice yearly in English, French, Spanish.