Teams of Our Lady
Teams is a movement for Christian married couples. Each team is made up of four to six couples and a priest/spiritual director. Teams meet monthly in each other’s home, where they share a meal, pray together and discuss a chosen topic. In between monthly meetings members endeavour to live out their Christian life by committing to praying individually, as a couple, as a family, reading the Word of God, spending some time together as a couple and going on retreat once a year.
Tony and Pat Banks are the Regional Couple for Northern Britain and sent the following report on Pope Francis’ meeting with Equipes Notre Dame Teams.
On 10 September Pope Francis welcomed to the Vatican more than 150 couples of Equipes Notre-Dame, or, Teams of Our Lady. This worldwide movement for Christian Married Couples gathered in the Beautiful Clementine Hall to greet and listen to the Holy Father.
Pope Francis expressed his joy at meeting the Leaders, Spiritual Counsellors and Regional Couples from around the world, just a short time before the Synod of Bishops would meet to reflect on the lives of families threatened in these difficult times.
Pope Francis acknowledged that Equipes Notre-Dame was clearly a movement of conjugal Spirituality which promotes the spiritual development of couples by the support they receive from, and give to, couples in their Team. He suggested all couples put into practice and live deeply, with constancy and perseverance, the Spirituality followed by Equipes Notre-Dame. He encouraged their ‘Endeavours’, particularly that of ‘Couple and Family Prayer’, which support the hope and faith of Christians, and the ‘Sit Down’, the monthly time of dialogue between the spouses which he asserted was a precious time of thanksgiving, of forgiveness, of mutual respect and attention to the other.
He stressed the mutual fruitfulness of the monthly Teams Meeting lived with the accompanying priest and, thanked Teams couples for being a support and encouragement to the ministry of the priests who find joy and friendship in their contact with Teams couples and their families.
His Holiness also insisted that Equipes Notre-Dame had a missionary role. After receiving so much from Christ and the Church, Christians must witness and transmit what they have received to help others to choose this joyful path. This mission, supported by the Charism of Teams, enables couples to radiate their family life to friends and family which speaks of the love of God for all men and shows the image of the family as God wills it for the good of the spouses and the education of their children.
He invited Teams to help support the faith of young couples before and after their marriages and exhorted Teams also to be close to wounded families and to be instruments of the mercy of Christ and the Church to those whose marriages have failed.
Photographs of the Teams gathering in Rome courtesy of the Vatican Servizio Fotografico.