Movement officially recognised by Rome
The Teams of Our Lady are governed by canonical statutes, which were approved on July 16, 2002, after a ten-year ‘ad experimentum’ phase, by the Pontifical Council for the Laity at the Holy See in the Vatican.
These statutes regulate the aims and organisation of the Teams of Our Lady throughout the world.The history of their elaboration, the role of Father Henri Caffarel and the four couples, who participated in setting up the first team, are mentioned in the introduction to the canonical statutes, as is the adoption of the charter December 8, 1947.
The notion of ‘spiritual conjugality’ is emphasised as an essential element of the Teams’ charism.
The objective of the statutes is:
- to provide for the cohesion and growth of the Movement, in constant fidelity to the original insights, while allowing for necessary adaptations, depending on what new needsmight be perceived in the context of changing times and the requirements of differentcountries;
- to ensure the implantation of the original insights of the Movement in the Church and to obtain in this way confirmation of the acknowledgment of its special character;
- to serve as a source of reference for the members of the Movement and its responsible couples, and as a guarantee for the ecclesiastical authorities;
- to express formally with precision the attachment of the Movement to the Holy See.
Some details of the statutes have evolved in order to be adapted to new situations. The latest one dates to March 19, 2014. The Statutes are made up of ten articles and hereafter are the highlights:
The official name of the Movement is “Equipes Notre-Dame,” abbreviated to END. This name is common to the whole of the Movement, without prejudice to the use of official translations. The name of the Equipes Notre Dame (Teams of Our Lady) may be translated in the languages of the countries, which they are established in agreement with the International Responsible Team (ERI). The headquarters is situated in France, 49, rue de la Glacière, 75013 PARIS.
The objective of the END is to help Christian couples to discover and put into practice all the dimensions of the sacrament of marriage, in fidelity to the teachings of the Church.
The members of the END are Christian couples united by the sacrament of marriage who support, with the aim of putting them into practice, the objectives and the methods of the Movement, such as they are defined by the latest edition of the Charter (May 1972). Each member can leave at any moment. The Team is made up of five to seven couples and a priest Spiritual Counsellor. The monthly team meeting is the key moment in the life of the team. Prepared by each, the meeting is made up of a simple meal, a time of prayer, a pooling of the experiences and preoccupations of each, an exchange of views on a study topic, which is in harmony with the objectives and essential characteristics of the Movement, and a sharing on the endeavours.
Several different levels of responsibility and animation exist in order to create brotherly communion with the aim of achieving the objectives of the Movement: the liaison couple; the sector couple; the regional couple ; if necessary, persons responsible for the provinces; the super-regional couple, the International Leading Team (ERI). All responsibilities and services are conducted voluntarily and for a limited time period of three to six years depending on the level concerned.
The priests bring to the teams the unique grace of their priesthood; they do not take on the responsibility of government; this is why they are called "spiritual counsellors."
Corporate bodies, regional or national, having legal personality, can be formed in any country where the END are implanted. These bodies can possess and manage property that belongs to the END and must report annually to the couples responsible locally for the Movement.
The latest complete version of the statutes (unofficial version) is available by clicking on the link: Canonical Statutes