Frequently Asked Questions
Please contact us directly if the the answer to your question is not listed here.
No. Sharing personal information is always voluntary, this is not an "encounter group." Over time, the couples on a Team build a level of trust that fosters deeper sharing of their spiritual and practical lives. It is, however, encouraged for each Team member to share on his / her progress with the practice of the endeavors. This is part of the Teams of Our Lady ideal of mutual help
During the initial (piloting) stage, you will get to know the other Team members and begin to put the spiritual endeavors into practice as you learn more about the movement. A couple is free to choose not to make a formal commitment to the Team at the end of piloting. In fact, the couple may choose not to complete piloting after the short initial period of commitment.
The Endeavors are taught one at a time during piloting. They are a challenge in just the same way that the call to Christian holiness is a challenge. Spiritual growth is a discipline and also a gift from God. The Endeavors leave room for individual styles of prayer and devotion. Even though the team meeting follows a specific structure and format, the Team will develop it's own personality & charism.
Serious but not solemn. The Teams commitment is freely undertaken. "No one is forced to join or forced to stay . . . in order to attain the common end, each team member agrees to participate faithfully in accordance with the rules of their community."
Most Teams allow nursing infants but generally children do not attend the monthly Team meeting. The meeting atmosphere should be free of distractions & interruptions. Arrangements for childcare should be made with this in mind. Shared babysitter arrangements generally do not work nor should any of the Team members do the babysitting. Teams of Our Lady is for couples. Children benefit from their parent's spiritual growth. Children are often invited to attend various social events.
No. The Teams of Our Lady movement does not have an apostolate as a movement. The movement itself witnesses to the possibilities of Christian marriage and holiness but the actual apostolates are to be undertaken by individual participants as they see fit.
Teams of Our Lady is approved by the Vatican. The movement has a Decree of Recognition issued by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The founding documents were submitted to the Vatican to obtain approval; The TOOL Charter, The "What is Teams of Our Lady" and the "Early Years" study materials. The leadership works to keep in touch with the Bishops and Family Life offices of the dioceses in which Teams are active. The couples in Teams are alike in their desire to grow in married spirituality and they are as varied as the people in the Catholic Church. With its emphasis primarily on the practice of prayer, the movement itself is neither conservative nor liberal.
Teams of Our Lady is a movement for solid, sacramental and growing marriages. All marriages struggle at times but Teams is not for "troubled" marriages. There are good programs that support marriages in trouble - such as Retrouvaille
Teams of Our Lady was born of four couples coming to their Parish Priest (Fr Henri Caffarel
) in Paris, France just prior to WW II.
Teams of Our Lady has been in the United States since the 1950's. It began in Washington D.C., New York and California and spread slowly around the country. The intent is for Teams of Our Lady to be shared from one couple to another. Also, since the movement requires a significant effort to form, pilot and support, the formation of the Team takes time.
The movement is structured in a way that the larger community stays in touch with the individual Team. Each couple recognizes that they are part of a larger community. The movement organizes large group events at different levels to encourage wide participation and allow Team members to meet couples from other Teams. The Teams responsibility to hospitality is intended to be practiced not only with other Teams of Our Lady members but to the whole world. The couple is to "bear effective witness of Christ's love especially by acceptance of ecclesiastical and civic duties.
Each of these movements has a unique and particular way to enrich the spiritual lives of the participants. Teams of Our Lady is a movement for married couples emphasizing their sacramental spirituality. This is accomplished with the mutual help of a Team and concrete / common objectives and practices (The Endeavors).
Fully initiated (confirmed) Christians have a duty to continue to study the faith. Study need not be "intellectual" or boring. The Teams of Our Lady materials primarily focus on married spirituality. Many spiritual books are available for study that are easy to understand, inspirational and practical. Intelligent without being intellectual, you might say.
Not necessarily. Information meetings are conducted on a regular basis. People interested in Teams of Our Lady attend when they are able to. The Teams are formed when enough couples are interested and the placement may be based on location, age, stage of life, etc.