Third International Meeting of the Regional Responsible Couples in Rome.
The Regional Responsible Couples met in Rome from September 6th to 11th, 2015 and Isaiah's message was taken as their theme:
"Here I am Lord, Send me!" (Is 6,8).
During this international meeting, Pope Francis praised the Teams of Our Lady during an audience at the Vatican on September 10th. He encouraged the Teams to continue their mission helping couples in difficulty and sharing what they experience. Here is the message read by Maria Berta & José Augusto Moura Soares, the Responsible Couple for the International Leading Team, in front of the Holy Father...
"Dear Holy Father, Pope Francis,
We are terribly honoured and very happy that you agreed to see us, we who have come from all the continents to reaffirm our faith in and love for the Church. Founded in France over 65 years ago and based on the intuition of a few couples and Father Caffarel, the Teams of Our Lady today are convinced that the Movement is more than ever an answer to the needs of couples and families. Our Movement, currently based in 81 countries on the five continents, wishes to be the bearer of Christian couples' testimonial in the world. Today the Movement includes roughly 12500 Teams, made up of 63000 couples, 2500 widows and widowers and 8400 priests or chaplains.
O Holy Father, by welcoming us, you are greatly honouring 350 of us, responsible couples in the Teams of Our Lady in these 81 countries that represent all the Teams throughout the world. We deepen the ecclesial meaning of the Teams and their international character; we encourage them too to bear witness to a couple's life based on the sacrament of marriage at a moment when the foundations of family life are all too often neglected or rejected. Over the years, the Teams of Our Lady have had the privilege of frequent audiences with the Popes: John XXIII in 1959; Paul VI in 1965, 1970 and 1976; John Paul II in 1982 and 2003; and Benedict XVI in 2009. These audiences have always led to fundamental orientations for the life of our Movement.
We would like to inform you that the instruction phase of the canonisation process of Father Henri Caffarel, founder of the Teams of Our Lady, that started in Paris ended on October 18th, 2014 and that the transfer to the Vatican took place at the end of the same year. Father Angelo Paleri, who is here with us, has been named Postulator. Father Henri Caffarel had this fantastic intuition that couples could be called to holiness on condition that they were trained and that they deepened their conjugal spirituality both together and in a team, through prayer and spiritual training. In this spirit, the Teams of Our Lady are very grateful to you for all you are doing for couples and the family. From this encounter, they filially hope to take away a new momentum for their mission in the service of married couples, the heart and vitality of families. We take the liberty of offering you this collection of texts on the charter of our Movement and the Endeavours, the pillar of our Movement, that allow us to progress as couples and teams on a path towards holiness.
We are convinced that the Endeavours, still resoundingly topical, will continue to be a support and guide so that couples in the 21st century may constitute their family in the light of the Gospel.
Responsible Couple of the International Leading Team (ERI), Maria Berta and José Augusto Moura Soares.
Pope Francis particularly emphasised the missionary role of the Teams of Our Lady and this is a particularly topical subject, given that in a few weeks time the Synod on the Family will open in the Vatican, October 4th to 25th.