Introduction

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. Seán ÓCearbhalláin S.J. became National E.A.
1979
  • 8th WGA in Rome: “Call towards a World Community, at the service of One World.” (Fr. 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.
  • Éadaoin Hui did the month-long Spiritual Exercises: our first member to do so.
1980
  • 1st HK Formation Programme for youth plus a 6 or 8 Days’ retreat.
  • Evergreen CLC made a group 19th Annotation Spiritual Exercises.
  • Éadaoin 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 Program [Manila]: Éadaoin Hui, Annie Lam, Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin participated. (Other 2 left CLC)
  • The first Constitution of CLC(HK) was approved. The term of ExCo was changed to two years
1982
  • 9th WGA in Providence: “The challenge to be one World Community on mission to bring about justice.” (Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin, Éadaoin 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 (Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin, Éadaoin Hui & Jennie Chor)
  • HK Federation eventually became CLC (Hong Kong)
  • Leunis Institute established and Fr(Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin gave courses on Scripture and Ignatian Spiritutality to raise fund for CLC works
  • Covenant Scheme was set up to fund & support formation for CLC
  • Fr. Patrick O’Sullivan and Jose Gesell visited HK and gave workshops
  • Annie Lam, a member of World ExCo Formation Team working group exploring the role of EA, Guides, Coordinators in 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
1986
  • 10th WGA in Loyola: “Seeing Mary as model of our mission, being asked to do ‘whatever Christ tells us” (Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin, Éadaoin Hui & Jennie Chor)
  • Éadaoin 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.
1990
  • 11th WGA in Guadalajara: “An International Community ‘at the service of the Kingdom, to go out and bear fruit”. (Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin, John Tan & Grace Tse; Éadaoin Hui as world Exco member)
  • 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
  • Éadaoin Hui and Fr Seán ÓCearbhalláin visited Brendan McLaughlin, the CLC World President McLaughlin to discuss further details of the forthcoming WGA, and decided the WGA theme “Community on Mission”.
1993 Fr. Elizalde, World Vice-EA of CLC, visited Hong Kong to share on community, common ministry and preparing for the World Assembly. The CLC World President, Brendan McLaughlin [on his way to visit CLC (Australia) visited HK to inspect the proposed venue in HKU for the forthcoming WGA12.]
1994
  • 12th WGA in Hong Kong: CLC Community on Mission “I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!” (Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin, Amy Chan & Annie Lam; Éadaoin Hui as world Exco member.).
  • 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.
1996
  • 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.
1997
  • CLC [HK] formally assumed responsibility for MSS and MPS
  • A student faith sharing group was formed in MSS.
1998
  • 13th WGA 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.” (Fr Seán ÓCearbhalláin, Daphne Ho & Alice Law)
  • Fr. Patrick O’Sullivan was invited to come to HK to give a retreat and public talks
1999
  • First Ignatian pilgrimage to Loyola, Manresa, Xavier
  • HK Federation legally changed name to Christian Life Community (Hong Kong). Henceforth membership refers to individuals, not groups.
2000
  • On Sept 9th, the practice of formal commitment in CLC was resumed. 37 members made permanent commitment and 15 temporary.
2001
  • Progressio: CLC Charism is published.
  • Asia Pacific Meeting in Manila, the Philippines (Fr Seán ÓCearbhalláin & Sandra Chan; Éadaoin Hui as Advisor)
2002
  • Formation Programme for potential lay guides for Spiritual Exercises began
  • Joseph Chor attended Jesuit-Lay Partnership Workshop in Manila

2003

  • 14th WGA in Nairobi, “Sent by Christ, members of one body” (Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin, Sandra Chan & Sonya Chan)
  • HK shared our communal discernment on Marymount in WGA, This inspired CLC (Kenya) to found a CLC school for HIV positive students.

2004

  • SJ-CLC collaboration: ‘Ministry of the Word’ formally becomes our common ministry, work with Jesuits for publishing Shalom 《和平》, a monthly prayer booklet & translation and publication of spiritual books.
  • MSS CLC is formed
  • Gilles & Leah (WCLC secretary) attended our GA
2005

Initiated the project ‘Web retreat’ – involving Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin and 8 CLC members to write materials in Chinese to promote Ignatian Spirituality via internet,

2006
  • Collaboration with the Society of Jesus in organizing the 1st Ignatian Conference in HK : ‘Finding God in the 21st Century’
  • AP Assembly (APA) in Manila (Fr Greg Hyde S.J., Joseph Chor & Julie Yip)
  • 2006 Reflection Team provisionally established. Formally established the following year
2007

Ministry of the Word – Publication of our first book, Chinese translation of “Guidelines for Prayer from the School of Saint Ignatius” (與依納爵祈禱) by Bethy Oudot, a French CLC member.

2008

Promoting Ignatian Spirituality – Leunis Institute was reinstated. 9 week Cardoner programme and one Day Retreat for Catholics and Manresa programme for CLC members were launched.

2009
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the third book, the Chinese translation of “Personal Vocation” (個人聖召) by Fr. Herbert Alphonso SJ.
  • Fr Laurence Murphy was invited to give guides’ formation program and public talks
2010
  • APA in Hong Kong: “Embracing Our Diversity – our Identity in the Asia Pacific Region” (Fr Seán ÓCearbhalláin, Ruby Chan & Lana Ho; Éadaoin Hui as process guide)
  • Eirene CLC: starts serving youth formation ministry for CLC(HK).
  • Fr. Patrick O’Sullivan was invited to give formation program and public talks.
  • HK now had over 100 adult members and over 70 student members in 12 adult CLC groups and 4 student groups respectively [1 in university and 3 in secondary schools].
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book, “Praying with St Paul” by Fr. Seán Ó Cearbhalláin S.J.
2011 Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book “驀然回首 步武基督”, written by CLC members and SJs.
2012
  • Formal launching of the web retreat on CLC website.
  • Children Centre陶怡計劃 was launched in a Diocesan Primary School to provide weekly English tuition, value education & promote positive self-image to a group of less privileged students.
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book “分享基督的生命”, written by Laurence L. Gooley S.J.
  • Fr. Howard Grey SJ offered formation programme for guides of the Spiritual Exercises and Open seminars on Ignatian spirituality.
2013
  • Magis Institute — A quasi social enterprise to promote well-being in mental health, family relationships, spirituality. CLC(HK) organized different talks and programs. The revenue from these programs was used to support the CLC Children Centre and other CLC works.
  • 16th WGA in Lebanon, “From Our Roots to the Frontiers” .The Assembly elected 4 frontiers as criteria for the apostolic discernment of the whole community— Ecology; Globalization & Poverty; Family & Youth. (Jasmine Hui, Carmen Chan, Daphne Ho)
  • We started CLC Kids formation for our 2nd generation
2014
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book, the English translation of “Ignatian Spirituality” by Jean-Claude Dhotel S.J.
  • Mentoring Program for the graduates of the Children Centre started: CLC members act as mentors to individual graduates of the Children Centre and accompany them through secondary school.
2015
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book ‘依納爵靈修’, the Chinese translation of “Ignatian Spirituality” by Jean-Claude Dhotel S.J.
  • APA in Taiwan — “ Youth and Formation for mission in our region today” (Daphne Ho, Jasmine Hui & Elsie Yu)
  • Marie Schimelfening (USA) gave a Formation Program on living the Ignatian Charism as a lay person.
2016
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book ’踽踽獨行’, the Chinese translation of “Alone and on Foot” by Brian Grogan S.J
  • Monserrat Encounter: Two Encounters on deepening our experiences of the Spiritual Exercises and their relation to GP were held for the core members of CLC(HK), preparing members to take up responsibility for the future.
2017
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book ‘天主洞悉歸鄉之路’, the Chinese translation of “God knows how to come back home” by Patrick O’Sullivan S.J.
  • Collaboration of Asian Youth Day with AP region CLC
  • CLC(HK) accepted the request from the emerging community of Singapore CLC to be their God-parent. In Dec, 2017, our member, Éadaoin Hui and Fr. Seán ÓCearbhalláin went to give formation workshops for them.
  • The President of the World Exco, Maurcio Lopez visited HK and offered a forum on ‘Ecology’.
  • World CLC Exco organized an International Formation Encounter (IFE) in Madrid, Spain on ‘Family’ — From CLC(HK) Billie Lau and Winnie Wong participated in the Encounter.
2018
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book ’祈禱與關係’, the Chinese translation of “Prayer and Relationship” by Patrick O’Sullivan S.J.
  • 17th WGA in Buenos Aires – “Called to Deepen, to Share and to Go Forth.” (Fr. Xavier, Daphne Ho & Elsie Yu).
  • Daphne Ho was elected consultor for World Exco.
  • Cana Encounter: In response to the IFE held in Madrid 2017, CLC(HK) held its First “Cana Encounter” for married couple, with the intention that this will further develop into pastoral ministry for young married couples in future.
2019
  • Ministry of the Word – Publication of the book ’我稱你們為朋友’, the Chinese translation of “I call you friends” by Patrick O’Sullivan S.J.
  • 2nd edition of ’眾裏尋祂’ was reprinted
  • Joined with the Diocese in the Annual Hong Kong Book Fair to promote books on Ignatian Spirituality.
  • AP Assembly in Korea — “ Living Faith in the Crowd” (Virginia Law & Elsie Yu)
  • We began participating in the International Lenten scratch program.

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