J M J
The Movement known as the Lay Missionaries of
Charity (LMC) is an International Association of Lay people:
married and single who adhering to the Spirit and Charism of the
M.C. Family make private (juridically) vows of Chastity
(conjugal), Poverty, Obedience and the fourth vow of
Whole-Hearted Free Service to the poorest of the poor beginning
with the members of one's own family. Remaining in the heart of
the world, the LMCs consecrate the world itself to God everywhere
offering worship by the holiness of their lives expressed through
prayer, penance and works of mercy, after the example of the Holy
Family of Nazareth.
- History - On April 16, 1984 four
lay persons, all married made their "private
vows" in the Chapel of the Missionaries of Charity -
Contemplative in Via S. Agapito, 8 - Rome. These four
were associated with our life of prayer, penance and
works of mercy for several years; and then for about two
years they studied the document that juts came out
'Familiaris Consortio' (22.11.1981) and then on Tuesday
in the Holy Week of the extraordinary year of our
redemption the first four took their private vows in the
presence of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Fr. Sebastian
Vazhakala M.C. and Community and many lay people.
- Purpose - Its purpose is to
sanctify themselves and their own families by
consecrating themselves, their families and the whole
world entirely to God after the example of Jesus, Mary
and Joseph and practice the same virtues they practised.
- Patron - The Holy Family of
Nazareth is their heavenly patron, protector and
- Ecclesiastical Status - As the
Statutes were ready, we applied to the Vicar of Rome who
accepted, blessed approved our movement on 25th February,
1987. (see in the Statutes the copy of the letter of His
Eminence, Cardinal Ugo Poletti of Rome).
- Growth and Development - Thanks to
God's grace the Movement began to grow quite rapidly and
started to spread to the various countries of Europe,
North, Central and South America and its Statutes
translated into over 15 languages. Besides we have a
small prayer book of our own and also many have the
Liturgy of the Hours which they pray daily, at least the
Lauds and Vespers.
The countries - There are LMCs in Europe (Italy,
France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Holland, United Kingdom,
Ireland, Denmark, Poland, Hungary); in the Americas
(U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama,
Colombia, Argentina), India, Macao...
There are over 1.000 consecrated persons, and several are
- Formation - The LMCs have a period
called 'Come and see' i.e. to frequent the group on a
regular basis, to read, study and reflect on the
Statutes, to come in touch with the Spiritual Director
and the MC Brothers or Sisters, if possible. At the end
the of the 'Come and See' period, the candidate(s) after
due dialogue with the Spiritual Director, may begin the
year of formation in preparation for their first vows
(cf. Statutes Nos. 6 - 8).
- Spiritual Director - Each group has
to have a priest as its spiritual director who is
expected to know the Statutes and the MC Spirit who
guides the group together with the group Link.
- Structure -
a) Spiritual Directors: local, national, international;
b) Lay Links: local (3 years), national (3 years),
international (3 years).
- Meetings - Each group meets once a
week as a rule; if not possible once in two weeks ("The
family that prays together stays together")
(cfr. Statutes 42b, Nos. 1-9). National meeting once a
year, if possible. Once in 4 or 5 years International
- International Meetings - So far the
Movement had two International meetings:1) Rome, October
5-10, 1992. Number of participants: 109, 16 countries.2)
Lourdes, September 22-29, 1996. Number of participants:
175, 19 countries.
God bless you.
Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala M.C.