Christian Life Community (CLC, CVX) is a worldwide lay Catholic community. The origins of the Christian Life Community [CLC, CVX] date back to the Sodality of Our Lady created in 1563 by the Jesuit priest Jean Leunis and a group of students in the Roman College, who wished to follow in the footsteps of the lay groups that had developed since 1540 in different parts of the world thanks to the work of St. Ignatius Loyola and his companions.

In 1584, Pope Gregory XIII approved the first Sodality in his document “Omnipotentis Dei,” and in 1587 Pope Sixtus V issued the document “Superna Dispositione”, authorizing the institution of other Sodalities affiliated to the original one and open to everyone. In many European countries, the Sodality was known as the Marian Congregation.

The serious crisis which the Society of Jesus suffered in the 18th century, leading in 1773 to its suppression by Pope Clement XIV, weakened the sodalities, which became a mass movement that was quite different from what the founder had originally intended.

It 1948, following the publication of the apostolic constitution “Bis Saeculari”, in which Pope Pius XII laid down guidelines for the lay apostolate, the need was felt to renew the Sodality of Our Lady and to group all the national Sodalities together into an international federation.

In 1952 the World Federation of the Sodalities of Our Lady was established. Further renewal took place in 1960s, at the time of the Second Vatican Council, resulting in a new name: “Sodality of Our Lady” was replaced by “Christian Life Community and the Federation became The World Federation of the Christian Life Communities. It was recognized by the Holy See in 1971 as a Catholic international organization. Further renewal saw the World Federation become one world community in 1982. On Dec. 3, 1990, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed the Christian Life Community to be an international association of the faithful of pontifical right.

In 2010, CLC (Hong Kong) has over 150 members divided into around 15 small communities. Apart from individual members actively taking part in different kinds of services in the church and other sectors, we also serve as a community in education, the ministry of the Word and in promoting Ignatian Spirituality.
CLC is a member of the Conference of International Catholic Organizations [ICOs ]. As a nongovernmental organization [NGO], CLC has consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council and UNICEF.

Who We Are

CLC is governed by a General Assembly, made up of the Executive Council and delegates sent by the national communities. The Executive Council, which is responsible for implementing the decisions and policies adopted by the General Assembly, comprises the president, the vice president, the secretary, the treasurer, ecclesiastical assistant, the deputy ecclesiastical assistant and three council members.

General Principles

Before it transformed into CLC, the Sodality of Our Lady, established under the Society of Jesus, was guided by Rules promulgated by the Father General of the Society of Jesus. As General of the Society of Jesus, Fr Pedro Arrupe further transformed the CLC into an autonomous lay community, and now it is guided by its General Principle and other defining documents. These were last revised and approved by the Holy See on April 1991. (For Chinese Version of GP, click here.)

Logo Explanationlogo

The source and the instrument of CLC spirituality are the Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. A central position is given to Our Lady in the life of the community, for her cooperation in the work of redemption is the supreme model for the members on which to base their own cooperation with Christ’s mission. The Logo represents this union of Christ as the Centre and Mary as the model by the combination of XP [the Greek letters CH [Chi] and R [Rho], signifying Christ and M signifying Mary.

Mission Statement

The Mission of the CLC derived from its specific vocation as an Ignatian Lay Apostolic Prophetic Community, as expressed in its General Principle and in various defining documents. The Community’s sense of mission translates into specific service “according to the circumstances of time and place” as St. Ignatius expressed it.

Graced History of Hong Kong CLC

Prior to 1967 The Sodality of Our Lady [Marian Congregation] was established in Hong Kong.
1967 New name and new beginning: Christian Life Community
1968 Pope Paul VI confirmed the General Principles of the World Federation of the Christian Life Communities
1970 5th World General Assembly (WGA) in Santo Domingo: “a crisis and a challenge” (the GP were amended and approved in 1971 by the Holy See).
1971 HK had about 200 members in 15 CLC groups, most of them students in 9 High Schools or in 2 Universities. There were 4 young adult groups [2 of university graduates, and 2 in parishes].
1972 World Vice- EA Fr. Nick Rieman SJ and Executive Secretary Jose Gsell visited HK from 8 to 10 July.
1973 6th WGA in Augsburg, Germany: “the call to be free, the liberation of all men and women”. (delegates left CLC now)
1976 7th WGA in Manila/Philippines: “the call to be poor, poor with Christ for a better service”. (delegates left CLC now)
1978 Fr. Sean O Cearbhallain S.J. became national E.A.
  • 8th General Assembly in Rome: call towards a World Community, at the service of One World (Sean & 2 delegates who left CLC now)
  • 1st Asia-Pacific meeting took place for 3 days. One of the fruits was the AP Formation Programme, for 1 month, July-August 1981, in Manila.
  • Eadaoin Hui did the month-long Spiritual Exercise: our first member to do so.
  • 1st HK Formation Programme for youth plus a 6 or 8 Days’ retreat.
  • Evergreen CLC made a group 19th Annotation Spiritual Exercises.
  • Eadaoin Hui, sent by the Community to help as a guide for the annual retreat, starting a ministry which has continued and grown.
  • Since 1980, CLC has conducted formation programmes for youth and adults, short retreats, and Spiritual Exercises for individuals and groups.
1981 Asian Formation Programme.[Manila] Eadaoin Hui, Annie Lam, Sean participated.
  • 9th WGA in Providence: the challenge to be one World Community on mission to bring about justice. (Sean, Eadaoin Hui & Joseph Chan)
  • The World ExCo appointed a Commission, [HK + France with Fr Nick Rieman S.J. USA] as Chair, to start updating the GP incorporating the notion of ‘World Community’ & etc (Sean, Eadaoin & Jennie)
  • Fr. Patrick O’Sullivan and Jose Gsell visited HK and gave workshops
  • HK Federation eventually became CLC (Hong Kong)
  • Annie Lam, a member of World ExCo Formation Team working group exploring the role of EA, Guides, Coordinators in CLC.
  • established Leunis Institute & set up Covenent scheme to fund & support formation for CLC
1983 Formation materials prepared for student CLC groups
1984 Annie Lam represented CLC at the Youth Colloquium in the Vatican
1985 Annie Lam represented CLC in International Catholic Organisations Colloquium
  • 10th General Assembly in Loyola: seeing Mary as model of our mission, being asked to do “whatever Christ tells us”. (Sean, Eadaoin Hui & Jennie Chor)
  • Eadaoin Hui elected as Consultor for World ExCo
1987 Set up the rehabilitation team to support our EA in HK
1989 Jennie Chor attended the meeting in Rome on the revision of GP.
  • 11th General Assembly in Guadalajara: an international community “at the service of the Kingdom, to go out and bear fruit”. (Sean, John Tan & Grace Tse)
  • The revised GP (and GN) approved & confirmed by the Holy See
  • Formation of lay guides for Spiritual Exercises, using video tapes from Creighton University USA.
1992 Celebration of the Silver Jubilee of CLC
1993 Fr. Elizalde, World Vice-EA of CLC, visited Hong Kong to share on community, common ministry and preparing for the World Assembly
  • 12th WGA in Hong Kong: CLC Community in Mission “I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!” (Sean, Amy Chan & Annie Lam).
  • This was the first time the WGA was held on secular premises not in a Catholic institution: more in line with our theme of mission in the secular world.
  • After several months of community discernment, CLC accepted the invitation to assume responsibility for (MSS) and (MPS)
  • Loyola Centre, a collaboration between individual CLC members and Jesuits to promote Ignatian Spirituality, began. The Centre organized regular Nine Week Daily Life Retreats.
  • Annie Lam represented CLC in attending the 4th World Conference on Women organized by the United Nations in Beijing.
  • CLC [HK] formally assumed responsibility for MSS and MPS
  • A student faith sharing group was formed in MSS.
  • 13th General Assembly in Itaici: Deepening our identity as an apostolic Community – clarifying our common mission. “CLC, a letter from Christ, written by the Spirit, sent to today’s world.”. (Sean, Daphne Ho & Alice Law)
  • Fr. Patrick O’Sullivan was invited to come to HK to give a retreat and public talks
  • First pilgrimage to Loyola
  • HK Federation legally changed name to Christian Life Community (Hong Kong). Henceforth membership refers to individuals, not groups.
  • On Sept 9th, the practice of formal commitment in CLC was resumed. 37 members made permanent commitment and 15 temporary.
  • Marie Schimelfenig [USA] gave a Formation Programme on living the Ignatian Charism as a lay person.
  • Formation Programme for potential lay guides for Spiritual Exercises began
  • 14th WGA in Nairobi, “Sent by Christ, members of one body” (Sean, Sandra Chan & Sonya Chan)
  • World ExCo co-opted Sandra Chan as Consultor
  • Joseph Chor attended Jesuit-Lay Partnership Workshop in Manila
  • MSS CLC is formed
  • SJ-CLC collaboration: several members joined SJ retreat & workshop in Taiwan
  • Set up Word Ministry (Shalom, books translation, etc)
  • Gilles & Leah (WCLC secretary) attended our GA
  • Web retreat materials in Chinese
  • Organise Ignatian Conference in HK with SJs: Finding God in the 21st Century
  • AP-Link assembly in Manila (Fr Greg, Joseph Chor & Julie Yip)
  • Word Ministry – Publication of the first book, Chinese translation of “Guidelines for Prayer from the School of Saint Ignatius” by Bethy Oudot, French CLC member
  • Establish Reflection Team
  • Re-instate Leunis Institute to promote Ignatian spirituality (e.g. Manresa & Cardoner Programme)
  • 15th WGA in Fatima, “Journeying as an apostolic body: our response to this grace from God” (Fr Robert Ng, Carrie Wong & Sonya Chan)
  • Word Ministry – Publication of the second book, Chinese translation of “Finding God in all things’ by Fr. Brian Grogan S.J.
  • Word Ministry – Publication of the third book, the Chinese translation of “Personal Vocation Fr. Herbert Alphonso SJ.
  • Fr Laurence Murphy was invited to give guide formation program and public talks
  • Fr. Patrick O’Sullivan was invited to give formation programme and public talks
  • HK now have over 100 adult members and over 70 student members in 12 adult CLC groups and 4 student groups respectively [1 of university and 3 in secondary schools].

Correspondence address: 4L, Wise Mansion, 52 Robinson Road, Hong Kong
Email: [email protected]
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