Holy Family Lay Associates
as described by Máire, one of its members
Who are Holy Family Lay Associates?
Meet the lay members of the Holy Family of Bordeaux: women and men; married and single; young, middle aged and old. As diverse as the general population in personality, temperament, occupation and giftedness, we share one precious, common identity as Lay Associates in the Family of Pierre Bienvenu Noailles. Drawn by the spirituality of our Founder, we live the spirit of the Holy Family in union with the Sisters, the Consecrated Seculars and Priest Associates, but live it in our own particular way as lay persons, in our families, our work places and our local communities.
The spirituality of the Holy Family of Bordeaux is founded on the Trinity. Our Founder has proposed to us as a model the home life in Nazareth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which he perceived as the ‘gentle image of the Trinity’. That home he saw, also, as the seed of the Church. We seek to grow in awareness of God as the centre of our lives, as He was in the home of Nazareth, and to regain the faithfulness, simplicity and mutual support as lived by the early Christian communities. For this, we rely on prayer and the witness of our own lives, in our families, parishes, local communities and wherever there is a need to which we can respond. The Associates are formed into groups which meet monthly for mutual support in living their commitment.
While the Lay Associate group of the Association is, to some degree, autonomous, with its own structure and statutes, it forms part of a strong network of relationships with the other groups, all under the direction of the General Council. This is a great source of mutual support and encouragement. The unity of his Association was very important to Fr Noailles. In his General Rules it is stated that all the members and all the branches ’should go to form one and the same family’. The Family is now worldwide. At the Congress, which is held periodically, all groups are represented, and the broad range of nationalities with their diverse languages, cultures and world views is in itself, a model of the all-inclusive family of God which the Holy Family of Bordeaux is committed to build in its mission TO BE AND CREATE FAMILY