Responsible couple: Catherine and Christophe BERNARD
Spiritual Counsellor: Father Louis de RAYNAL
The Responsible Team consists of six couples and a Spiritual Counsellor.
The SR includes France, including overseas teams, Luxembourg and Switzerland, divided into 4 provinces, 20 regions and 143 sectors.
50 isolated French-speaking teams around the world are also attached to the SR.
There are 2305 teams, 9633 couples, 1841 priest spiritual counsellors and 67 spiritual accompanists.
Our 4 pillars, DNA of our Movement
● Team life and fraternal help to grow in the Faith.
To encourage team members to listen to each other and to provide spiritual, human and fraternal mutual aid.
To give the Liaison Couple back its full place.
Accompany, support and take care of our priests and spiritual accompanists.
● Conjugal spirituality, a vision for today's couples (conjugal prayer, the Sit-Down, the path of faith as a couple, the teachings and insights to live one's coupleness with a love tending ever more towards the love of Christ).
Among the means of progression, we have the yearly orientation, defined in three ways: the theme, the Letter of the END , the gatherings and meetings of mixed teams
● A gradual pedagogy and tools to walk as a couple towards holiness (Endeavours, theme).
● The House of the Couple, Massabielle, as a privileged place of welcome and spiritual formation.
Responding to Pope Francis' call to be a missionary
Speech in Rome on September 10, 2015
"I would like, in fact, to insist on this missionary role of the Teams”.
● The Tandem Couple program which brings together young couples, married or not, for two years with a pedagogy comparable to that of the END.
● The Reliance Teams which bring together divorced Christian couples who are remarried or reengaged in a new union and who are looking for a place to live their faith journey as a couple and as a team.
● The Intercessors. In 1960, Father Caffarel, seeing the expansion of the Teams in the world, had the intuition that a renewal of prayer was necessary for the Teams movement to hold firm and for the good news of Christian marriage to be proclaimed in the world.
Responding to his call, the Intercessors were born.
● The Youth Teams of Our Lady. An YTOL team is made up of four to eight young people accompanied by a spiritual counselor and an accompanying couple.
● Schools of Prayer. Meet Christ in depth in prayer.
● A journey, currently under construction, for couples with more than ten years of life together, whatever their state of life.
● Mission Kit. Organize a missionary evening in a parish by uniting the vital forces of the Teams and other movements present.
To be today "Church on the move"
The Responsible Team has implemented numerous proposals to accompany and support all teams and team members in this difficult period related to the pandemic and to be at their service.
Proposals during isolation:
● In mid-March, Catherine and Christophe Bernard sent a message to all Team’s members to remind them of the measures taken by the health and government authorities: "the urgency to protect the most vulnerable citizens".
They invited the team and sector responsible couples to suspend all meetings and to be inventive in weaving the link broken by the cessation of meetings, especially with elderly and isolated team members.
● An invitation was extended to all team members to pray to Our Lady of Lourdes for all the sick, by joining the novena from 17th to 25th March, 2020.
● In a video message on Joy Sunday, Catherine and Christophe Bernard and Fr. Louis de Raynal gave some ideas for this special Lent that we were given to live without forgetting the Hope and Light of the Resurrection.
● A newsletter: "Confined in tenderness", was sent to all the team members, with concrete proposals:
⮚ "On the path to Easter, engage in a process of contrition of the heart":
A proposal was put in place to help those who wished to do so, to prepare for this penitential time at home, under the gaze of God and his Word: Priest Spiritual Counselors of the Teams of Our Lady made themselves available and listened to them by telephone.
It was not a confession, but a help to live a process of contrition of the heart.
On the other hand, these priests could also answer specific questions of a spiritual nature.
This proposal started on Holy Monday for three weeks.
⮚ Professionals in the field of listening assured telephone hotlines throughout the weeks to provide listening and support to all those who wanted it.
● The Maison de Massabielle, a house of welcome and spirituality belonging to the Teams, was made available to house the nursing personnel who arrived as reinforcements at the Eaubonne hospital. This free accommodation is a contribution of the Teams and of the diocese to the fight against the pandemic. A family atmosphere and a prayerful atmosphere were strongly felt.
● The confinement may have caused relational difficulties in the couple and the family. Questions for one or more Sit-Downs were proposed to them during the confinement:
⮚ What rules of life can I give myself?
⮚ And questions for after the confinement, together with texts for reflection, so that everything doesn't go back to the way it was before.
● Many initiatives have been taken locally: regular calls to older team members, weekly mass by videoconference, support for young teams with meetings by Zoom.
Since the end of confinement
● An e-training in June was organized to reassure and provide information to couples who had to start a responsibility within the Teams from September 2020.
● The Gathering of the couples in responsibility was held in October 2020, in strict compliance with the safety instructions. It was a much awaited and appreciated time despite the physical barriers.
● The Sector responsible couples are accompanied in the organization of meetings in November in the Sectors. Documents on the holding of meetings and instructions are sent to them.
● A project to start Schools of Prayer (see above) was launched in the parishes and Sectors of the Teams, because the confinement revealed great misery and a great thirst to meet Christ in depth.
All these incentives allowed all the team members to be accompanied, guided and advised during the confinement.
At the end of this difficult period, a large number of team members shared with us their satisfaction with all these concrete proposals that allowed them to live their personal faith, as a couple and as a family, despite the many constraints they encountered.
The SR responsible team remains attentive to the concerns of the couples in responsability who wish to lead their teams with concern for the most vulnerable people, while respecting the health instructions.
Saint Paul also says: "Bear one another's burdens" (Gal 6:2).
Mutual aid is at the heart of the spirituality of the Teams of Our Lady. It invites us concretely and spiritually to take care of our neighbor, especially those who suffer. Let us live at the heart of God's love, a love that is always inventive!c