The ‘Under the Microscope’ series of blog posts explores items that I have helped to catalogue and digitise for the Teams of Our Lady Transatlantic Super-Regional archive.
The Charter of the Teams of Our Lady: What is it?
The Charter is the founding text of the Teams of Our Lady movement. Written in 1947, the Charter will be 70 years old next year. The Charter was written when Teams was a small movement in France, and uses perhaps some unfamiliar expressions. Several modifications were made to the original document over the years, and the final version was published in May 1972. The founding principles of the Charter were drawn up in order to preserve faithfulness to the original inspirations of the Movement and to offer the teams some firm propositions.
Slideshow: The Charter of the Teams of Our Lady.
Who wrote the Charter?
The Charter was written by Father Henri Caffarel. Teams of Our Lady began in Paris in 1938 when a group of young married couples approached a priest, Father Henri Caffarel, asking for help in developing their spirituality. Father Caffarel nurtured the group which grew and spread across the world, becoming a worldwide movement. Teams was introduced to Great Britain after Harry and Clotilde Meigh discovered the growing movement on a trip to France. Harry and Clotilde started the first team in GB in 1959, and the original Cheltenham 1 team is still going strong. Teams has since spread to over 80 countries, with over 10,000 teams, and is the largest lay movement in the Catholic Church.
A team is a group of 4-7 couples who meet together with a spiritual counsellor on a monthly basis to share a meal, prayer, discussion, and mutual support. Teams are grouped into Sectors, Regions and Super-Regions. The GB Region sits within the Transatlantic Super-Region. My connection with Teams of Our Lady comes through my parents. I personally do not hold any religious beliefs, but my parents have been heavily involved in Teams for over 23 years and take a great deal of enjoyment and spiritual benefit from their involvement.
Along with the Decree of Recognition and the statutes of the movement, the Charter is one of the three core documents for Teams of Our Lady.
For more information about Father Henri Caffarel, visit the Friends of Father Caffarel website.