A movement for marriage spirituality celebrating the 50th anniversary of its arrival in Ireland, saw members from all over the world attend a conference in Dublin last weekend.
Teams of Our Lady (Équipes Notre Dame) was founded in Paris in 1939 by Fr Henri Caffarel, when he was approached by a number of couples looking to add some spirituality into their marriage. Since then the movement has spread to over 70 countries with over 125,000 members worldwide and received Vatican approval as a ‘Private Association of the Faithful’ in 1992.
The movement spread to Ireland in 1964 and is now established in Dublin, Belfast, Sligo, Galway, Limerick and Mullingar. Over 300 members from Ireland, Great Britain, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, Malawi and Portugal gathered at King’s Hospital School over three days to hear talks, witness statements and celebrate the Eucharist. Eighteen priests, including Bishop Michael Smith, also attended and 40 children took part in a parallel programme.
The talks on the theme ‘Heart Speaks to Heart’, the motto taken by Blessed John Henry Newman, centred on communication in marriage, witness of married couples and children, growing old, and articulating a vision for the future, in response to the initiatives for the Autumn Synod on Marriage and the Family.
Tony and Breda Preston, Regional Couple (Ireland) addressing the gathering, expressed solidarity with Teams in Lebanon and Syria, and condemned the violence in Iraq, urging peacemakers on all sides to work for a lasting peace settlement.
For further information on the movement see www.equipes-notre-dame.ie