The Doctrinarian Fraternity of the Word
The Congregation of Christian Doctrine’s Fathers’ Doctrinarian Fraternity of the Word is a movement of holiness of lay faithfuls who, following the example of Father César de Bus, are called to base their way to God on the Word, praying, contemplating, celebrating and witnessing, especially to the little ones and the poor.
The charism of Father César and his experience of holiness and mission in the Church urge us to live for and to become, in simplicity and silence, leaven-light-salt wherever the Lord has called us to live (family, local Church, civil community).
We recognize as models and inspirers of the Fraternity Antoinette Reveillade and Louis Guyot, who accompanied Father César on his journey of conversion. Following their example, our lifestyle should be strongly marked by the Beatitude of Mercy, in order to be credible witnesses and docile instruments of the tenderness of the Father’s Love.
The members of the Fraternity commit themselves to pray the Word of God every day, they live a monthly oratory in the Fraternity, they welcome the initiatives offered for formation and spiritual accompaniment, they feel they participate in the life and mission of the Religious Family founded by Father César De Bus.
«…it will be appropriate for each charismatic family to recall its beginnings and its historical development, in order to thank God who has offered the Church so many gifts… Telling one’s story is indispensable for keeping identity alive, as well as for strengthening the unity of the family and the sense of belonging of its members».
Pope Francis, Letter to Consecrated People, November 21, 2014
In light of these words of Pope Francis, I turn to you, brothers and sisters who read and who want to know more about our story in God, and I ask you to welcome it in simplicity and silence because, in every human story, for us believers, He works, it is the Spirit who arouses, leads, guides.
The deepest root of the Fraternity’s seedling is undoubtedly buried in Father César ‘s human life of holiness and mission. After his conversion and the formation that led him to become a priest, after having remained for some time in solitude at the Hermitage of St. Jacques, he came down from the Hill of Cavaillon to go into the villages and the countryside to break the bread of the Word of God for the little ones and the poor. Immediately, attracted by his example and his teaching, some girls and young men began to “do oratory” with him. Word, prayer, instruction to go out to the people becoming themselves “living catechism”.
During the centuries of the long and troubled life of the Congregation, laymen and laywomen have shared the spirituality and the mission of the Family of Fathers born from the Charism entrusted to Father César . How can we fail to remember the Doctrinarian Ladies…? In the beautiful season of the rediscovery of the Ecclesial Ministry of the Catechist, in Turin, in the parish community of Jesus Nazarene, led by Father Battista Previtali, the Lord willingly planted the seed of what would later become the Doctrinarian Fraternity of the Word. It was 1982.
«This call/vocation is for those who feel and keep inside the Word in simplicity and silence, thus ensuring that it is listened to in the Church Community so that It may bear fruit according to God’s will… »
«… in every parish, in its heart and in the heart of the Communities of the Fathers… let there be two, three people thirsting for holiness and mission in the Word and through the Word according to the Charism of Blessed Father César».
(cft ‘Rule of Life’ of the Fraternity)
The buried seed remained hidden for many years, buried in prayer, offering and desire to be shared with other simple hearts eager for holiness and mission in the footsteps of Father César . In 1995 the Fraternity had its beginning in the Communities entrusted to the Fathers of Cavaillon (France) and Turin, followed, in 1996, by the Fraternity of Ivrea (Turin) and, in 1998 by that of Rome (parish of St. Andrew the Apostle) with the adhesion of some sisters from Grosseto. They were joined in 2013 by the Fraternity of Pontecorvo (Fr) and Ruziba (Burundi).
In obedience to the original inspiration, the Fraternity has maintained the characteristic of vocation, that is, leaving to the Lord the task of calling. The invitation come and see, do good to me, is addressed from bouche à oreille, in simplicity, to those who already manifest a desire for more communion and life in faith in God, through the Word and by means of the Word, supported by the Congregation, recognized as our Charismatic Family and accompanied by a Father who is in it with his heart.
Originating in the catechetical sphere, the Fraternity has been enlarged and enriched by adherents who, in different states of life, share its identity, purpose, mission and means…
On December 6, 2013, the General Council of the Congregation issued the recognition of the Statute or Rule of Life of the Fraternity, considering it in conformity with the charism inspired by the Spirit in Blessed César de Bus.