Sodalitium Christianae Vitae

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Sodalitium Christianae Vitae
Emblem of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae
Type Society of Apostolic Life
Purpose Evangelization of Culture
Headquarters General House, Calle Dos 545, Urb. Monterrico Norte, Lima 41, Perú
Region served
Official language
English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
Leader Superior General, Alessandro Moroni Llabrés
Main organ
General Assembly
Parent organization
Catholic Church
Website Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (español)
Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (inglés)
Sodalício de Vida Cristã (portugués)

Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), or Sodalitium of Christian Life (Sodalitium is a Latin term meaning "Fellowship or Brotherhood"), is a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, according to the Code of Canon Law[1] which governs the Catholic Church. It was founded in Lima, Peru founded by Luis Fernando Figari on December 8, 1971, the day in which the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. It acquired its present canonical form when Pope John Paul II gave his Pontifical approval on July 8, 1997.[2]

The Sodalitium is composed of consecrated laymen and priests, called "Sodalits,"[3] who live in community as brothers and who live the evangelical counsels through perpetual commitments of celibacy and obedience, as well as the communication of goods.[4]

Being recognized as a lay society of apostolic life of pontifical right, the Sodalitium is under the guidance of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life of the Holy See. This is the first lay society of apostolic life to be recognized with Pontifical approval.


Sodalits recognize a call to holiness, which they consider a particular call from God to full self-offering. To do this, they seek to follow a spiritual path of encounter and configuration with the person of Jesus of Nazareth, which they call the process of “amorization” (which means the process of “becoming love itself”). This is a goal that they strive for by means of filial piety to Holy Mary.[5]

In their pursuit of personal holiness, Sodalits also participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, trying to spread the Good News in the different cultures of the human being.[6]

As the group points out, Sodalit apostolate is universal, but while not excluding other areas it promotes three principal accents: the promotion of the youth, the evangelization of culture, and social assistance to the most needy.[7] The promotion of the family and the defense of life are other important areas, as well as education as a means for evangelizing the culture.

The government of the Sodalitium is vested in a Superior General who is elected every six years by a general assembly of Sodalits. Currently the superior general is Alessandro Moroni Llabrés, whose term corresponds to the period from 2012-2018.[8]

The spirituality of the Sodalitium is known as the Sodalit spirituality,[9] which conforms what is known in Church tradition as a spiritual family. A spiritual family refers to a large group of people who live their relationship with God from a particular perspective always in communion with the long tradition of the Church. The spiritual family of the Sodalitium is known as the Sodalit Family,[10] which comprises various associations, projects and people who all live the Sodalit spirituality which helps them in the life of faith.

Society of Apostolic life[edit]

A Society of Apostolic Life is a group of men or women within the Catholic Church who have come together to live for a specific mission. Their members do not take religious vows, but instead make promises defined in the Code of Canon Law (731-755).

The institution of Societies of Apostolic Life can be directly traced to the Second Vatican Council. After the Second Vatican Council, the Church saw an opportunity to introduce this new form of Christian living as a response to contemporary culture.

After reading and reflecting upon the documents of Vatican II, Luis Fernando saw the creation of the SCV as a response to the Church's call after the Second Vatican Council.[citation needed]

While Societies of Apostolic Life are considered a new form of life in the Church, the idea of this way of living has roots that can be traced back as far as the 16th and 17th centuries with the foundations started by Philip Neri, Charles Borromeo, Pierre de Bérulle, Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Jean-Jacques Olier, Jean Eudes, and others. Members of these Societies undertake the goal of being fully dedicated to the apostolate and life in a fraternal community, with a formal commitment that order their lives to evangelize.[11]

Luis Fernando has been quoted as saying, "The ecclesial movements, such as CLM —each with own traits and style— offer ambits of Christian life where people deepen their adhesion to the Lord Jesus. Therefore, in the CLM one can: deepen, live and celebrate one's faith, discover the wonders and gifts of God, express charitable solidarity, strive to give glory to God with one's everyday life, share paths and faith experiences with their peers who are searching —hungry for the Bread of Life, thirsting for the Living Water that satisfies the deepest longings of the human being. In the center of the CLM member's faith experience lies the aspiration (I) to live holiness, (II) to commit with ardor to the apostolate, and (III) to serve God and fellow brothers and sisters with generous and fraternal donation. These three dimensions are an expression of the vision of the Christian Life Movement for its way of living the faith of the Church, and its contribution to the construction of a Civilization of Love in the world."[12]


After looking to politics for answers, Luis Fernando Figari, together with a group of young people, decided that in order to respond to the ruptures in society and those experienced by the human heart, the answer must be religious. It was “a search process focused on the quest to discover the meaning of life and of society, in which there was no doubt that behind man’s great questions and behind the great social problems, one finds a religious question.”[13]

The Sodalitium of Christian Life was founded by Luis Fernando Figari on Dec. 8, 1971. The group was formally consolidated during a ceremonial Mass in Lima, Peru.[14]

1971-1977 - Beginnings[edit]

In 1972, after a meeting with the Luis Fernando Figari by the then Auxiliary Bishop of Lima, Most Reverend Germán Schmitz, Sodalitium was encouraged to freely thrive in the Archdiocese of Lima.

Later that same year, the Bishop of the Peruvian Andean Diocese of Huaraz, Most Reverend Fernando Vargas Ruiz de Somocurcio, promulgated a "Decree of Praise," inviting the members of Sodalitium to carry out apostolic missions in the territory of the diocese. This missionary experience is still practiced today and encouraged by Sodalitium members.

In talks with Fr. Gerald Haby, a Marianist priest familiar with the Marian-Christocentric spirituality proposed by the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, the Sodalitium started to come into existence. It began as an association of the faithful that sought to promote Marian filial love as a way that should lead to a holy life and a fervent apostolate in the world. The idea of consecration to Mary in the midst of the busyness of everyday life arose, which was also promoted by the Second Vatican Council.

The influence of the Second Vatican Council was of great importance in guiding the apostolate and mission of the Sodalitium, especially the document of Apostolicam actuositatem which makes explicit the apostolate of the laity as a consequence of the sacramental grace received in Baptism, which orientates them to consecrate the entire world to God in everyday life. Other conciliar documents were also important, like the Lumen Gentium and the Gaudium et spes; as well as Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Evangelii nuntiandi; and the concluding document of the Second General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate.[15]

The Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, Cardinal Juan Landázuri Ricketts, OFM, who for many years was also president of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, encouraged the Sodalitium of Christian Life in its beginnings[16] and in 1977 he approved their Statutes as a private association of the faithful, according to the Code of Canon Law of 1917,[17] which then governed Church institutions. It was the first step in the ecclesiastical-jurdical process that led the Sodalitium to its current form.

1978-1989 - Community Life and new Statutes[edit]

Together with the first experiences of community life in Lima which began in 1978, the first guidelines were drafted for the fraternal life in common. These brought together different aspects from the Church's tradition of religious communities. In a small house in the district of Jesus Maria, small groups of Sodalits began an experiment of fraternal life in common.

University Missions began in 1978, which later would be called Missionary Action, and today it forms part of the Christian Life Movement under the name of CLM Missions. This is an apostolic service in which young people who live the faith together share both spiritually and materially in rural and marginalized urban areas affected by poverty.[18] Two years later a project which sought to care for sick children also emerged at the Children's Hospital in Lima.

Following the founder’s final profession, several others among the first Sodalits followed suit. In 1981 the first priest of the Sodalitium, Fr. Jaime Baertl Gomez, was ordained by the Archbishop of Arequipa Bishop Fernando Vargas Ruiz de Somocurcio, SJ.[19] The following year José Antonio Eguren, the current Metropolitan Archbishop of Piura (Peru), was ordained a priest by Cardinal Juan Landázuri Ricketts, OFM.[20]

In the first months of 1984 the Formation Center “Our Lady of Guadalupe” was inaugurated just south of Lima, in the coastal town of San Bartolo, which would serve for the first years of initial formation.

The Archbishop of Arequipa, Fernando Vargas Ruiz de Somocurcio, SJ, invited the Sodalitium to found a community in the southern Peruvian city in 1984.[21] It was the first community outside of Lima, the Sodalitium’s place of origin. By then the Sodalitium already had several communities in the city of Lima.

The same year Luis Fernando Figari was invited to the give his “Catechesis on Love,”[22] one of the catechesis given in Spanish in the International Jubilee for the Young in Rome on the occasion of the Holy Year of the Redemption.

In January 1985, the First International Conference on Reconciliation was organized in the city of Arequipa in order to reflect on the thought of Pope John Paul II. A month earlier the Pope had published the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, which was important in the development of the congress.[23]

That same year, the Christian Life Movement was formed from the experience of various existing associations and apostolic initiatives.[24] The Life and Spirituality (Vida y Espiritualidad) association also arose, and began publishing a journal, entitled the Revista VE.[25] At the request of the parents, the Sodalitium assumed the administration of the Santa Maria school in the city of Chincha, to the South of Lima in 1985.

Invited by Cardinal Eugenio de Araújo Sales, Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, in 1986 the Sodalitium founded its first community outside of Peru in Brazil, assuming responsibility for the Our Lady of Guidance (Nossa Senhora da Guia) parish.[26] In the favelas (shanty-towns) of the parish territory various solidarity projects were organized, and among the first groups of parishioners to form groups were married couples, who now form part of the Family of Nazareth association of Christian Life Movement.

In June 1987, in Lima (Peru), the first pastoral center St. Mary of the Evangelization was opened by the Sodalitium. At that time the Bethany association began for adult women seeking to form themselves and live the Christian faith.[27] In Arequipa the Southern Institute (Insituto del Sur) was founded,[28] offering courses for technical careers from a perspective of integral human formation.

The new Code of Canon Law was published in 1983, after which the Sodalitium discovered a more appropriate juridical figure, together in dialogue with the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Landázuri Ricketts, OFM. And after several canonical consultations, it amended its Statutes in 1986, remaining as a private association of the faithful, but with a structure of a society of apostolic life, which are institutions dedicated to the apostolate with fraternal life in common according to their own constitutions.[29] The new statutes were approved in 1989 and the Sodalitium of Christian Life was canonically erected in the Archdiocese of Lima.

1989-1997 - Towards Pontifical Approval[edit]

In 1989 the Our Lady of Reconciliation parish was established in the Archdiocese of Lima,[30] which was commissioned to the Sodalitium of Christian Life by the Archbishop of Lima. The Bishop of Callao, Ricardo Durand Flórez, SJ, invited the Sodalitium to found a community in Lima’s neighboring diocese.

At the request of the Archbishop of Medellín, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the Sodalitium arrived to Colombia and assumed responsibility for a parish in 1990.[31] Later that year a second community was founded in Brazil in the city of Petrópolis,[32] where Sodalits began helping in youth apostolate in universities, high school education and solidarity efforts.

March 25, 1991, the Solemnity of the Annunciation-Incarnation, the founder of the Sodalitium founded the Marian Community of Reconciliación,[33] an association of women consecrated for apostolic service, who live the life in common.

In 1992 the Sodalitium founded a community in the Diocese of Santo Amaro, in the city of São Paulo in Brazil,[34] making that the third Brazilian city in which they are present. The following year the Christian Life Movement arrived to San José of Costa Rica.[35]

On the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22, 1994, after obtaining the official nulla osta ("No obstacles") from the Holy See, the Sodalitium was erected as a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right, by the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora, SJ.[36] Shortly after the Christian Life Movement was approved as an International Private Association of the Faithful of Pontifical Right on March 23, the feast of St. Toribio de Mogrovejo, an important Peruvian saint. In December the Sodalitium, already approved as a society of apostolic life, held the First Ordinary General Assembly, in which the Guidelines for Fraternal Life (Pautas para la vida fraterna) were presented.

In the city of Lima in 1995 the Mother of the Faith and the Our Lady of the Sea communities were inaugurated, and the following year the community and the parish church of Our Lady of Reconciliation. The Fifth International Congress on Reconciliation was also organized. For administrative reasons and the need to adapt to the new Constitutions, the Sodalitium erected its first region in 1996: the Peru Region, which at the time consisted of communities in the jurisdictions of Lima, Callao, Chosica, Lurin and Arequipa.[37] The following year the Brazil Region was erected, with communities in Rio de Janeiro, Santo Amaro (in the city of São Paulo) and Petrópolis.[38]

In December 1996, following the creation of the Diocese of Chosica in Lima, Peru, the Our Lady of the Cross parish was established and entrusted to the Sodalitium.

On July 8, 1997, 25 years after starting as a group of young people, Pope John Paul II approved the Sodalitium of Christian Life as a lay Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right,[39] under the supervision of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

A few months later the Sodalit community, Our Lady of the Evangelization (Nossa Signora della Evangelizazione) was erected in Rome.[40] Near the end of the year the St. Paul Catholic University was founded in Arequipa.[41]

The Sodalitium is the first male religious society in the history of Peru to have received the approval of the Vicar of Christ. By 1997 there were already Sodalit communities in other countries.

1997-2010 - End of a Foundational Stage[edit]

The Sodalitium promoted the participation of the Christian Life Movement in the Encounter of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, convened by Pope John Paul II during the feast of Pentecost in May 1998. Several members of the Sodalit Family were invited to participate in the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements which took place in those days.

The founder of the Sodalitium, on August 15, 1998, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, founded the Servants of the Plan of God,[42] a foundation of women consecrated to God by the Full Apostolic Availability, who live in community and carry out a service of evangelization and solidarity.

In January 1999, the Sodalitium erected the Our Lady of Carmen (Nuestra Señora del Carmen) community in Santiago, Chile.[43] That same year during the First Plenary Assembly of the CLM in Rome, on December 6, Pope John Paul II spoke to members of the Christian Life Movement and the Sodalitium of Christian Life and invited them to be “artisans of reconciliation in the today’s world.”[44]

The Second Ordinary General Assembly of the Sodalitium of Christian Life was held in the city of Lima in December 2000, in which the founder of the Sodalitium was again elected as superior general.

At the beginning of 2001, the Colombia Region was created, comprising the jurisdictions of Medellin, Cali and Bogota.[45] Days later, the Holy See approved the incardinated of Sodalit priests to the Sodalitium, which concluded the juridical process as a society of apostolic life.

In 2002, the Immaculate Heart of Mary community was established in Guayaquil, Ecuador. On April 7, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani ordained Jose Antonio Eguren a bishop, and appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Lima until July 2006.[46]

In an Audience at Castelgandolfo in 2002, Pope John Paul II gave the Founder and Superior General a Letter of encouragement and praise.[47]

Accepting the invitation of the then Archbishop of Denver, Most Rev. Charles Chaput, OFM, to administer the Saint Malo’s Retreat Center, the Sodalitium founded a community in Colorado, USA in 2003.[48]

In 2004 the Sodalitium was invited to Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, the archbishop of this ecclesiastical jurisdiction.[49] The following year the Our Lady of Chiquinquirá community in Bogotá,[50] Colombia was founded; as well as the Our Lady of the Angels community in San José, Costa Rica.[51]

In 2006 Kay Martin Schmalhausen Panizo was named bishop of Ayaviri.[52] Months later Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren was appointed Archbishop of Piura.[53] To accompany the pastoral bishops the Sodalitium founded communities in Piura and Ayaviri the following year.

The Third Ordinary General Assembly of the Sodalitium of Christian Life was held in December 2006, in which the founder of the Sodalitium was again chosen as superior general.

In Santiago, Chile a second Sodalit community was established in 2007, under the name of Mother of the Apostles.[54]

In 2009 the Our Lady of the Lake Formation Center was founded in the town of Nemi, near Rome, and was conceived as a home for Sodalits who would study in Roman universities.[55]

After the Fifth General Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops in Aparecida, Brazil which was held in 2007, the Sodalitium founded in 2010 the St. Mary of the New Evangelization community in this Marian sanctuary in Brazil.[56]

In December 2010, the founder of the Sodalitium resigned and an Extraordinary General Assembly was convened for the election of his successor. This concluded the phase in which the community was governed by its founder.

2011 to today - The Sodalitium Today[edit]

At the Extraordinary General Assembly in January 2011 Eduardo Regal Villa, who since 2001 had been Vicar General and General Coordinator of the Christian Life Movement, was elected as Superior General.[57]

In December 2012, at the Fourth Ordinary General Assembly Sodalit delegates for the assembly elected Alessandro Moroni Llabrés, a Peruvian, who had been superior in Santiago, Chile since 1999.[58]

Pontifical Approval[edit]

The growth of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV) in different countries has been supported by many members of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.[59] Also, two of the SCV members have been ordained bishops. They are the Archbishop of Piura, Jose Antonio Eguren S.C.V.,[60] and the bishop of the Prelature of Ayaviri, Bishop Kay Schmalhausen S.C.V.,.[61] Parishes in the archdiocese of Lima[62] (Peru), diocese of Chosica[63] (Peru), archdiocese of Medellin (Colombia), archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro[64] (Brasil) and Archdiocese of Philadelphia[65] (USA) have been entrusted to the Sodalitium.

The Meaning behind the Name[edit]

Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a Latin term which may be translated as "Fellowship of Christian Life".

The name was chosen by Luis Fernando Figari and some of his classmates at the Facultad de Teología Pontificia y Civil in Lima. Figari was then a student studying theology. A Jesuit priest, more advanced in Latin, helped compose the name Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, which reflected the ideas of Figari to start a new community that would maintain the characteristics of the consecrated lay life.[citation needed]

A Response to the Second Vatican Council[edit]

After the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, the ideas born out of the Council, especially the decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, about the apostolic work of the laity, began to influence Figari's spiritual director, Fr. Constancio Bollar.

Among other prescriptions, the Apostolicam Actuositatem suggests that:

1. the laity to "lead non-believers to the faith and to instruct, strengthen, and encourage the faithful to a more fervent life."

2. "modern conditions [require that the] apostolate [of the laity] be broadened and intensified…"

3. "the laity must take up the renewal of the temporal order as their own special obligation. Led by the light of the Gospel and the mind of the Church and motivated by Christian charity, they must act directly and in a definite way in the temporal sphere."

4. A special emphasis be placed on the example given by the Virgin Mary as the model for the laity and their type of "spiritual and apostolic life".[citation needed]

The SCV believe that the Second Vatican Council (or Vatican II) has a great significance for the Catholic Church and the world in the 21st Century. They believe that contemporary society has a "culture of death", secularism and functional agnosticism that threaten humankind. The followers believe in addressing these issues through Christian-based solutions.[citation needed]


Within the common spirituality of the Catholic Church, the Sodalitium has a spirituality, discipline and style. These are suitable means to live one’s conversion and mission within the Church.[66] The spirituality of the Sodalitium is call the "Sodalit spirituality."[67]


The integral life of faith,[68] which is the foundation of the Christian life, as a gift that is projected into action. This Sodalitium’s members form themselves in the faith in the mind through reading, study and prayer, especially the meditation of the Sacred Scriptures; they also seek to receive the Word of God, deepening and praying in it together with the Church in order to adhere to the faith in the heart; and they follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary in order to live love towards God and towards other human beings in a faith in action.[69]

The centrality of Trinitarian Mystery[70] that guides the aspiration to live a full and perfect Christian life in Love; love for the Father Creator through the Son in the Holy Spirit, filial love for Holy Mary and the love for all human beings invited to live the Trinitarian Communion of Love as the horizon of full human realization.[71]

The recognition of the Incarnation[72] of the Eternal Word in the most pure womb of the Virgin Mary as the central event of human history, in which Jesus the Reconciler restores fallen humanity and fully reveals the identity and vocation of each human being.[73]

Filial love to Holy Mary,[74] as a way of configuration with her Son Jesus and of growth in the Christian life, through the process of amorization.[75] She who was the Mother of Jesus, is also a spiritual mother for Sodalits, which is expressed in their motto: “Through Christ to Mary and through Mary more fully to the Lord Jesus.”[76]

Community life,[77] the dimension in which the human being finds fulfillment as being created to live the encounter and communion with others. In community life the people that live the Sodalit spirituality receive the gift of faith, deepening in it in order to share it and celebrate it, living in the spirit of family the participation in the Divine Communion of Love, as the disciples gathered around Mary, the Mother of Apostles.[78] Members of the Sodalitium and its spiritual family come together as friends in the Lord, to share the life of faith, where each person is for the others a motivation of fervor, humility, prayer, reverence, joy, work, ministry and solidarity.[79]

The effort to live a spirituality of everyday life,[80] making of one’s own person and his actions a “worship pleasing to God,” living the evangelical virtues, exercising oneself in the presence of God, fulfilling one’s duties according to his condition and office, responding effectively to one’s personal gifts in order to fulfill God’s plans.[81]

Adherence to the gift of reconciliation[82] in order to live in first person one’s own conversion, so that with the testimony of the word and life, one can repeat with the Apostle Paul: “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”[83] It is in this way, for the Sodalit spirituality, that the change of the human heart is attained, an interior change which is the basis for all social change.

Ecclesiality[84] that is expressed in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and the Holy Father,[85] in the participation in the life of the Church and the disposition of service for its evangelizing mission, seeking to make the Good News of the Gospel more easy to be received.[86]


The Sodalit spirituality finds itself related to other spiritualities of the Church, with which different members of the foundational core have entered into dialogue. There are different forms of dialogue and interaction between other spiritualities and Sodalit spirituality. The spirituality of the Sodalitium has been influenced, among other important Catholic spiritual writers, by Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850), St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), several Fathers of the Church, several authors of the Benedictine and Cistercian school – among them St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) – as well as by the French school of spirituality, including Cardinal Pierre de Berulle (1575-1629). Also by some spiritual authors of the Spanish Catholic Reformation, including Cardinal Abbot Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1455-1510), Fray Luis de Granada (1504-1588) and St. John of Ávila (1500-1569).[87]


Formation for the consecrated life and priesthood has several stages. While these vary from community to community in name, length of time, and format, the following outline gives a general view of formation programs.[88]


One may consider that formation begins with a preliminary stage of discernment. It is the time for searching for the answer to questions like, "What does God want of me?" A process of deepening the discernment is established. The aspirant has meetings and participates in certain activities while continuing his education or work. On a yearly basis, a person may be an aspirant for at least one to a maximum of three years.


A more formal relationship with the community occurs when a person becomes a candidate. It really is the proper beginning of the person's formative experience. It is a time of stronger commitment to Christian life and of discernment as to whether or not the consecrated life is God's call for him. At this stage candidates live with the community. This period enables the person involved to observe and participate in religious life from inside the community experience. It also gives the community an opportunity to see if the candidate has the characteristics, personal integrity and consistency required to live the Charism and the life of the community. The time span of this stage is two years.


This next stage of formation is called in some religious societies the novitiate. This is a special one to two-year period which marks the person's official entrance into the community. Trainees spend time in study and prayer, learning more about themselves, the community, spirituality and their relationship with the Lord. Special periods of learning in practice are established to help make an assessment of the trainee's readiness and consistency. These periods are established with special attention to the trainee's requirements and to the principle of the convenience of change in environment in the formation process.

Marian Consecration[edit]

At the end of the main formative years, the Marian Consecration is a stage that prepares the person for temporary promises or vows.

Temporal Commitment[edit]

The person explicitly professes obedience, celibacy, as well as communication of goods and all other norms contained in the Constitutions approved by the Holy See. The temporal profession is renewed yearly. This period can have a duration of nine years. Final vows can be made after three years of temporary promises.

Perpetual Commitment[edit]

After this process of basic formation the person makes promises of obedience and celibacy perpetually in the Society, becoming a full member. A man studying for religious priesthood also has seminary training, where his time is spent studying theology, the Bible, the teachings of the church, and the skills he will need to be a priest.

Structure of the Sodalitium[edit]

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is ruled by the Constitutions approved by the Holy See. The Constitutions establish the structure and the way the Sodalitium is governed. This structure is quite similar to other societies of consecrated life approved by the Holy See.

General Government[edit]

  • The General Assembly is the highest authority in the Sodalitium, and its decisions are binding for all members. The last assembly was held in December 2012.[89]
  • Superior General - The Sodalitium is governed by a Superior General elected every six years by a General Assembly composed of delegates, the majority of whom are elected by fully pledged members of the Sodalitium. Currently the superior general is Alessandro Moroni Llabrés, a Peruvian elected in December 2012 to govern during the period from 2012-2018.[90]
  • Superior Council - Together with the Superior General, the other members that make up the Superior Council are the Vicar General, and five General Assistants who are responsible for the five areas of Spirituality, Instruction, Apostolate, Communications and Temporal Goods. Each is also elected at the General Assembly for the same period of time.[91]

Regional Government[edit]

  • Regional Superior - For administrative reasons the Sodalitium is divided in Regions and Territories, which can be compared to that which most religious societies call Provinces and Regions. Responsible for exercising the service of authority in each Region is the Regional Superior, named with the consent of the Superior Council.[92]
  • Regional Council - It's analogous to the Superior Council for each Region.

Local Government[edit]

  • Superior of a Center - A local Superior is in charge of each center in the Sodalitium, being appointed by the Superior General. Similar to the other structures of government, there is also a local Council with someone responsible for each of the five areas of Spirituality, Instruction, Apostolate, Communications and Temporal Goods. A center may be composed of one or more Sodalit communities, and their corresponding projects.[93]

Apostolic Work[edit]

The apostolate of the Sodalitium is universal and its members participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, seeking that the dynamism of the Gospel reach everything that is in contrast with the Word of God and the design of salvación. Therefore, its members reach out fraternally especially in apostolic service with young people, in the preferential love for the poor and in the Evangelization of Culture. This does not preclude other areas of apostolate that also are carried out in the spiritual family of the Sodalitium, especially in the family, the defense of life and education.[94]

Apostolate with the Youth[edit]

The evangelizing service to young people is a priority for Sodalits, who continue to trust in the youth as a hope for the future of humanity. The apostolic work with young people takes place in different areas, such as in universities, high schools and grade schools, youth organizations and groups of formation, especially in the Christian Life Movement, offering conferences, missions, talks, courses, spiritual accompaniment, retreats and spaces for faith formation.[95]

Accompanying the efforts of the Church to approach the new generations of young people, especially in the World Youth Days,[96] Sodalits seek to bring them the message of Jesus Christ, of love for the Church, through personal witness and announcing the faith. In the dynamic proposed to young people, the Sodalit spirituality promotes that they be the very apostles of the youth, from an active and enthusiastic missionary commitment.[97]

Since 1977, the Sodalitium and the Christian Life Movement have sponsored an International Youth Congress called Convivio. The Congress is for Catholic Youth who travel from around the world to experience an intense weekend, to reflect upon contemporary society, share their experiences, and explore the problems and challenges of their lives.[98]

In 2010 Convivio Congresses were held in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Peru, Angola, the Philippines and the United States in a total of 16 cities, reaching all continents. In total, tens of thousands of youth have attended these Congresses.[99]

Solidarity in Action and Charity Work[edit]

Solidaridad en Marcha (Solidarity in Action) is a social program and charity branch of the SCV. Its goals are human development and poverty eradication. Through third-party support, Solidaridad en Marcha runs social projects in health care, education, and community development. Some of their works include urban infrastructure development, the construction of water systems, transportation systems, community kitchens, parks and playgrounds, schools, daycare centers, chapels, community centers, and medical clinics.They also conduct a number of campaigns throughout the year that focus on assisting the poor and evangelization.[100]

As mentioned above, the SCV are concerned with what they call "solidarity with the poor", which includes apostolic work around the world to meet this concern.[101][102][103][104]

Evangelization of Culture and Youth[edit]

The culture, understood as the sphere in which the human being is educated and knows himself, in which values are formed, in which he recognizes and appreciates truth, goodness, and beauty. It is a fundamental area of apostolate for the Sodalitium,[105] which understands it as a school of humanity, and at the same time a space for human fulfillment.

The Sodalitium therefore looks to investigate, develop thought and reflection and elevate the cultural conditions in which the person is developed, going to the very roots of the culture and the cultures of man. Therefore there are members of the Sodalitium and its spiritual family who are dedicated to the development, research and teaching at various levels, in many different fields of culture and the professional world.

Family and Defense of Life[edit]

Recognizing that the family is the first and fundamental unit of society, the Sodalitium promotes it as the sanctuary of life and the school where the human being learns to live the encounter and fraternal communion. It also considers marriage as a way of holiness,[106] and the family as the first line of evangelization and as teacher of the faith, where Christian love is lived in the integration among its members, as well as the respect for personal liberty and life, all from a spirituality of family life.

There also exist apostolic initiatives that defend human life from its conception until natural death.

The New Evangelization[edit]

For the Sodalitium, "has to be a very clear proclamation of the absolute singularity of the Eternal Word, incarnated in the womb of the Virgin Mary." They acknowledge that the "truth is the same today as it was yesterday, as the Lord Jesus is the same today and always." For them, a key component is humanization, which can be seen in both Gaudium et spes and Ecclesia in America that speak directly about the fulfillment of the human person that the Lord Jesus brings.[citation needed]

Figari and the Sodalitium believe that "the theme of Evangelization of Culture, [is] a core dimension of the process of the New Evangelization."[citation needed]

The Sodalit Family[edit]

The Sodalitium constitutes the nucleus of a spiritual family, called the Sodalit Family, which is extended over five continents. Just as there are many members in an extended family, this particular Church reality has several branches which have come into being as a consequence of its development. Besides the Sodalitium, some of the different expressions of this spiritual family are:

Christian Life Movement[edit]

The Christian Life Movement is an international ecclesial lay Movement that is open to people of all ages. It was approved by the Holy See in 1994. With more than forty thousand members, it is by far the biggest branch of the Sodalit Spiritual Family.

Marian Community of Reconciliation[edit]

The Marian Community of Reconciliation are also known as the "Fraternas", who were erected as a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right in the Archdiocese of Lima in 2011.[107]

Servants of the Plan of God[edit]

The Servants of the Plan of God is a canonical society of consecrated women who wear a habit. They are also in the process of becoming a Society of Apostolic Life.

Controversies and Criticisms[edit]

Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is considered to be orthodox in its fidelity to the Catholic Church and its Magisterium, and it receives support from many bishops of the Catholic hierarchy. Some groups who are opposed to the Church have criticized the Sodalitium for this fidelity.

Pedro Salinas, a former member, describes during his membership to the SCV in the 1980s that he was "subject to absurd orders". Salinas "assumes that now the Sodalicios have learned from their errors and have evolved" but that when he was a member of the movement they had "sectarian characteristics".[108]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Code of Canon Law, Can. 731 to 755, "Societies of Apostolic Life."
  2. ^ "History of the Sodalitium", article on the website of the Sodalitium.
  3. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 1 website of the Sodalitium
  4. ^ "What is the Sodalitium" website of the Sodalitium
  5. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 15 website of the Sodalitium
  6. ^ "Spiritual Life", website of the Sodalitium.
  7. ^ "The Sodalitium's Apostolate", website of the Sodalitium.
  8. ^ "Alessandro Moroni is new Superior General of the Sodalitum, article from Aciprensa News Agency, Dec. 3, 2012.
  9. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  10. ^ "What is the Sodalit Family", website of the Sodalitium
  11. ^ Code of Canon Law, Can. 731 to 755, "Societies of Apostolic Life."
  12. ^ "Evangelization and Cultural Identity", Interview with LF Figari
  13. ^ Pereginar de una comunidad, Fondo Editorial, Lima, 2000, p.13 (free translation).
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Fides News Agency publishes interview with the Founder of the Sodalit Family in Dossier about Church realities"
  16. ^ "History of the Sodalitium," article on the website of the Sodalitium
  17. ^ Information about of the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law
  18. ^ Web Site of "CLM Missions".
  19. ^ "R.P. Jaime Baertl, SCV, cumple Bodas de Plata de Profesión Perpetua en el Sodalitium Christianae Vitae"
  20. ^ "Archbishop José Antonio Eguren Anselmi, S.C.V.". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "Perú: Familia Sodálite celebra 20 años de presencia en Arequipa"
  22. ^ "Founder" website of the CLM in the US.
  23. ^ Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, John Paul II, December 2, 1984.
  24. ^ "Founder" website of the CLM in the US.
  25. ^ Website for the Revista Vida y Espiritualidad
  26. ^ "History" in the parish website of Nossa Senhora da Guia.
  27. ^ "Betania: 25 años de servicio y escucha al Señor"
  28. ^ "Instituto del Sur celebra 25 años de vida institucional"
  29. ^ Code of Canon Law, can. 731.2
  30. ^ Website of Nuestra Señora de la Reconciliación Parish
  31. ^ "The Sodalitium in Colombia" from the website of the Sodalitium
  32. ^ "The Sodalitium in Brazil" from the website of the Sodalitium
  33. ^ "Who We Are", article in Marian Community of Reconciliation website.
  34. ^ "The Sodalitium in Brazil" from the website of the Sodalitium
  35. ^ "The Sodalitium in Costa Rica" from the website of the Sodalitium
  36. ^ "History of the Sodalitium from the website of the Sodalitium
  37. ^ "The Sodalitium in Peru" from the website of the Sodalitium
  38. ^ "The Sodalitium in Brazil" from the website of the Sodalitium
  39. ^ "Sodalitium Christianae Vitae celebrates 10th anniversary of Pontifical Approval", Church News, July 9, 2007
  40. ^ "The Sodalitium in Italy" from the website of the Sodalitium
  41. ^ Website of the San Pablo University.
  42. ^ "Who are we?", from the website of the Servants of the Plan of God
  43. ^ "The Sodalitium in Chile" from the website of the Sodalitium
  44. ^ Audience of Pope John Paul II with the members of the CLM in the 1st Plenary Assembly in Rome.
  45. ^ "The Sodalitium in Colombia" from the website of the Sodalitium
  46. ^ "Archbishop José Antonio Eguren Anselmi, S.C.V.". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  47. ^ "History of the Sodalitium", article from website of the Sodalitium
  48. ^ "The Sodalitium in the U.S." from the website of the Sodalitium
  49. ^ "The Sodalitium in Argentina" from the website of the Sodalitium
  50. ^ "The Sodalitium in Colombia" from the website of the Sodalitium
  51. ^ "The Sodalitium in Costa Rica" from the website of the Sodalitium
  52. ^ "Bishop Kay Martin Schmalhausen Panizo, S.C.V.". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  53. ^ "Archbishop José Antonio Eguren Anselmi, S.C.V.". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  54. ^ "The Sodalitium in Chile" from the website of the Sodalitium
  55. ^ "The Sodalitium in Italy" from the website of the Sodalitium
  56. ^ "The Sodalitium in Brazil" from the website of the Sodalitium
  57. ^ "Sodalitium Christianae Vitae elects new superior general" Catholic News Agency, Jan. 28, 2011
  58. ^ "Alessandro Moroni is new Superior General of the Sodalitum, article from Aciprensa News Agency, Dec. 3, 2012.
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 3.
  67. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  68. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  69. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 15.
  70. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  71. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 2.
  72. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  73. ^ Gaudium et spes, 22.
  74. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  75. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 15.
  76. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 16.
  77. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  78. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 5.
  79. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 7.
  80. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  81. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 15.
  82. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  83. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 9.
  84. ^ "The Sodalit Spirituality", website of the Sodalitium
  85. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 12.
  86. ^ Constitutions of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, 14.
  87. ^ Harold Griffiths Escardó: Pilgrimage of a community (p. 24-25). Lima: Fondo Editorial, 2000.
  88. ^ "Vocation" article from the website of the Sodalitium
  89. ^ "General Assembly" from the website of the Sodalitium
  90. ^ "Alessandro Moroni is new Superior General of the Sodalitum, article from Aciprensa News Agency, Dec. 3, 2012.
  91. ^ "Superior Council" from the website of the Sodalitium
  92. ^ "Regions" from the website of the Sodalitium
  93. ^ "Centers" from the website of the Sodalitium
  94. ^ "The Sodalitium's Apostolate" from the website of the Sodalitium
  95. ^ "Youth Apostolate" from the website of the Sodalitium
  96. ^ "Live the WYD with the CLM" website of the Sodalitium
  97. ^ "Youth Apostolate" from the website of the Sodalitium
  98. ^ Convivio - History from the Convivio-Sydney website
  99. ^
  100. ^
  101. ^
  102. ^
  103. ^
  104. ^
  105. ^ "Evangelization of Culture" from the website of the Sodalitium
  106. ^ Interview by Fides Agency to LF Figari
  107. ^
  108. ^ "Los Once Mil Castos". Caretas (in Spanish) (1763). 2003. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 

External links[edit]