New York, May 29, 2014
Laurent Landete, the moderator of the Emmanuel Community (EC), recently made a little stop in New York while on his way to the ordination of one of our dear brothers in Saint Paul/Minneapolis (see news on New US Emmanuel priest!). Laurent was accompanied by his wife and youngest daughter.
Local brothers and sisters gathered for a casual dinner in Manhattan, on the vigil of the feast of the Ascension. On this occasion, Laurent, from Bordeaux (France), called us to live the charismatic renewal in the way it is taking place now, rather than how it was forty years ago. “We have to be faithful to our call”, he said, encouraging us to adjust our personal prayer to the different circumstances of our lives. “But be truly faithful to your prayer time”, he insisted.
Emmanuel Community members are committed to take a time of daily prayer, preferably in front of the Blessed Sacrament, consistent with their state of life and work/private life schedule. The other commitments we make as EC members is to start our day with praise (songs, readings…), attend daily Mass as often as possible, serve the Community and to attend “households” (weekly prayer meetings that are at the very heart of where we experience the fraternal life of the “community”). We also gather monthly with brothers and sisters from our local regions if possible.
“Being faithful to our prayer life should lead us to be creative. We have to use the time and the places that are available to us. Why not pray in the office when there is a quiet moment? You can also pray in your car, if you have one!” The Moderator reminded us that what makes the Emmanuel Community so special is that it gathers faithful Catholics from different states of life: lay single men and women, married couples, priests, as well as brothers and sisters consecrated in the celibacy. This is something quite unique that the EC brings to the Church, he explained. He said he had seen the Community blossom in countries and cultures that are vastly different from the place where it was originally founded, France. We don´t have to “cut and paste”, he noted, calling us to live a Community that is American and inculturated. Throughout his travels, he realized that he was like a bee dropping pollen in every region he visited so that the spirit of the Community would be shared and lived. “This is a special time for the Community in the US, we should not miss the boat.” Laurent followed with a joyful announcement: an American priest from the Emmanuel Community currently posted in France will be sent to the New York area (Larchmont, Westchester) to join Fr. Thomas and Fr. Dominic at Saint John Saint Paul’s parish. Thank you Lord! Laurent encouraged us to read the Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, especially paragraph 33, so that we may compare it with some of the wrirtings found in the book recently published by the community entitled “Paroles” (Words). “Paroles” is a collection of writings of the Emmanuel Community founder, Servant of God Pierre Goursat. You can find an english translation for sale here.
Here is an exert of Evangelii Gaudium that remind us of our call as Christians and most especially as Emmanuel Community members, faithful to the call of evangelization: “Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says: “We have always done it this way”. I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities. A proposal of goals without an adequate communal search for the means of achieving them will inevitably prove illusory. I encourage everyone to apply the guidelines found in this document generously and courageously, without inhibitions or fear. The important thing is to not walk alone, but to rely on each other as brothers and sisters, and especially under the leadership of the bishops, in a wise and realistic pastoral discernment.”
Written by: Marilys (NY)