Teams is a lay movement within the Catholic Church that offers couples a chance to discover the Lord’s presence in their marriage and to live in Christian fellowship with other couples as a way of giving thanks to God and bearing witness to Him in the world. The goal of the movement is to help couples live their lives with more strength, light and hope.
The movement was formed in France in 1938 and now exists in many countries in the world. Max and Stephanie Charlesworth brought it to Australia, starting a Team in Victoria in 1960.
In Oceania, there are now some 180 Teams comprising about 1,700 members.
Generally, a Team is a community of five to seven married couples and perhaps a spiritual counsellor, which meets one evening each month in the home of one of the couples.
They meet to share prayers, a simple meal, their life stories and events, their attempts to grow together as a couple in union with God, their thoughts on agreed discussion topics, and importantly, support each other in good times and in bad.
Team life is one of encounter and communion that builds our capacity for dialogue, mutual respect and openness. Over time, such a group sharing can create a community whose members grow in spirituality and support of one another. Members of Teams value the opportunity to be heard and accepted by others. However, there is no compulsion in all this and members are free to contribute, as they feel moved.
The monthly meeting follows an agreed format and is chaired by one of the couples. Where spiritual counsellors are included in individual Teams, they participate as equal members with unique gifts that can be shared with everyone else.
Each Team is autonomous and elects a ‘Responsible Couple’ each year to guide and co-ordinate its activities for the coming year. However, each Team is also part of a wider movement of Teams encompassing local, regional, national and international functions.
Team life does not consist simply of meetings. Couple spirituality is encouraged through practising ‘Endeavours’ that involve a rule of life, regular reading of the Bible, retreats, prayer, and interpersonal dialogue. Most teams could be expected to meet socially from time to time and to attend wider Teams and Church events.
Preparations are now underway for the next Teams International Gathering in Fatima. Please feel free to advertise the event because this is one of the big world gatherings of married couples. At the last event, held in Brasilia, there were 8,000 attendees.
Expressions of interest: The International Team is wanting a rough idea of numbers by mid-October 2016. This is by no means a definite commitment one way or the other, but to give the organisers a broad idea so they can start to plan accommodation etc. Please let your Sector or Regional Couple know if you are interested in attending.
Previous attendees at these gatherings will attest to the impact it made on them, the great spirit of camaraderie they experienced and their joy of meeting Teams couples from all around the world.
Estimate of costs for the event is currently about 500 euros per person (not including air travel). This includes accommodation, meals and transport for the six days. In the past the payments have been made in installments to assist those attending.
Help please! We are looking for some members (who could perhaps form a group) to take on the role of coordinating the Oceania contingent. This would include keeping a register of those attending; passing on any news as it comes to hand; confirming payments have been made; and perhaps organising something to distinguish us as a group (the last couple of years those from Oceania wore a vest using fabric with an indigenous design).
Registration. Registration starts on September 15, 2017 and ends on January 15th 2018. Registration will take place online with the obligatory filling in of a registration form with the necessary instructions, which will be made available in due time.
Hope to see you there!!
About the Logo
This artistic and profoundly spiritual logo evokes Our Lady of Fatima, who will watch over us during the whole period of our Gathering in July 2018.To learn more about the meaning of the various components of the logo, go to
http://www.equipes-notre- dame.com/en/life-of-the- movement/news/a-logo-for-the- fatima-gathering-of-2018
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