C o m m u n i t i e s o f J e r u s a l e m

Questions for brother Pierre-Marie

Personal background
The Jerusalem Community: a calling, an intuition
The founding years
The spirituality of the Jerusalem Community
A place, a mission within the Church
A "new community"??

Lay people and the Jerusalem Community

In the heart of the city,
at the heart of the world
The name "Jerusalem"
Some figures

Let's talk a bit about the role of the lay communities. What does the prayerful presence of lay people bring to your monastic community, in your opinion? And, reciprocally, what do the brothers and sisters of the Jerusalem community bring to the lay communities?

The lay communities came about naturally little by little. In Paris alone there are about 20 of them, counting approximately 800 members. Their roles vary, but all of them wonderfully compliment our monastic life. I would say that they are like an evangelical extension. They remind us that our vocation is essentially baptismal and that, whatever one's state in life may be, we are all called to sainthood. I like to think of the communities as the petals of a daisy, with the liturgy of the hours and especially the daily Eucharist as the center. Everything revolves around that center and falls beautifully into place. Perhaps therein lies an image of what the Church of tomorrow could be like?

I think that the lay communities lean on us a bit like the secular oblates of Benedictine monasteries. But everything is of course translated into a modern urban context. They play an active role in our liturgy. Every morning, noon and evening the liturgical train goes by and anyone can climb aboard! Beyond that daily liturgy (prolonged with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every day from 7:30 am to 9 pm), our rule, the Livre de Vie, serves as a spiritual guide to many. In the heart of the city, we - monks and nuns - are perhaps "watchers and wakers" for those who live around us, under the loving eye of God.

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