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.
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.)
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.
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.|
|1981||Asian Formation Programme.[Manila] Eadaoin Hui, Annie Lam, Sean participated.|
|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|
|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.|
|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|