Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity
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The Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity (Fraternidad Misionera Verbum Dei in Spanish) is a Roman Catholic contemplative-active missionary community. It was founded on 17 January 1963, in the Spanish island of Mallorca, by Father Jaime Bonet. The community was ecclesiastically approved as an Institute of Consecrated Life, by Pope John Paul II on 15 April 2000. According to the constitutions endorsed on that date their mission is to announce the Word of God and to propagate the Kingdom of God through prayer, the ministry of the Word, and the testimony of evangelical life. The community consists of consecrated religious women, consecrated religious men (brothers & priests), and associated married couples. The name, Verbum Dei, is Latin for "Word of God".
The mission of the VDMF is to promote the greatest dignity for all people by empowering individuals and communities to partake in the journey of Christian discipleship. This discipleship is forged in a spirituality rooted in Scripture and Catholic tradition that leads to witnessing to justice made visible through community. Most celibate members of the community go through several years of academic study of philosophy and theology similar to that which takes place in a Catholic priestly seminary. The daily life of a missionary involves several hours of silent contemplative prayer.
The Verbum Dei's ministerial work within the Catholic Church includes but is not limited to: Retreat Ministry for all ages and levels (Liturgical Seasons, Ecclesial, Women’s Retreats, Men’s Retreats, Married Couples Retreats, Young Adult Retreats, Teenager Retreats, Vocational Discernment Retreats, Silent Contemplative Retreats), Scripture - Based Prayer Groups, Verbum Dei Spiritual Exercises, Lay Leadership Formation, Lay Preaching Formations and Workshops, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care for Individuals and Families, Spiritual Accompaniment, Theological Certificate or Diploma (offered only in some communities in the world), and University Campus Ministry.
Across the five continents the community involves people of different states and areas of life: single and married, old and young, of different backgrounds and occupations. The community encourages people who feel called to the Verbum Dei spirituality or experience themselves nourished by the Verbum Dei charism to commit to a discipleship group or a regular "revision of life" group in order to deepen their relationship with God personally and in a community of faith. There is also a focus on working with university students and young adults to help nurture a stronger Catholic identity and spirituality among the younger generation of the Church that works towards God's Reign of justice, peace, compassion and love in the world of today. Some consecrated members of the fraternity work as Catholic chaplains in Australian, U.S., Portuguese and British universities.
The Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity is active over 28 countries in the world. The following are some countries the Verbum Dei is present in: England,/Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, United States, Venezuela, Cameroon, the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire (the Ivory Coast), Australia, the Philippines, the Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan. For periods of time the community has been present in Hong Kong, Nigeria, Zaïre and elsewhere.
- "Inspirations: A suitcase of prayer and love of Jesus". The Catholic Weekly - Sydney. November 11, 2001. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
- "Our Identity". Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity. Retrieved 2011-09-10.