All of us are called to be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. At our baptism we were made members of His Body, the Church. All of us share in the glory of being “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (1 Pet 2:9). We have received special gifts from the Holy Spirit to use for the building up the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12).
The laity live out their vocation in the secular arena. By virtue of their Baptism, they are called to “seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 31.2). The laity “have the right and duty, individually or grouped in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth” (CCC 900).
Throughout the history of the Church, lay people have felt called to associate themselves with the life and ministry of various communities of priests and religious. In becoming a ‘lay associate’, they embrace the vision and spirituality of some particular community but in the lay state.
From the beginning, Fr. Bob Bedard, our spiritual father in Christ, recognized the indispensable dignity and role of the laity in the renewal of the Church. For this reason, the Companions of the Cross joyfully welcome lay people who desire to associate themselves with us.
A Lay Associate is a lay person who has embraced, through a formal commitment, the spirituality and mission of the Companions of the Cross.
Our Spirituality and Mission
God has called us to labour boldly for the renewal of the Church through a dynamic evangelization centered upon Christ crucified, who is God’s power and wisdom (cf. 1 Cor 1:23-24). Spurred on by the love of God, we desire all people to come into the fullness of life through a personal and ongoing encounter with Jesus Christ.
“Concretely this entails: (1) trusting in the Lord and giving him permission to move as he pleases; seeking his wisdom, his ‘now’ word, and waiting upon it, with proper discernment, not making any major moves without it; (2) profound openness to the Holy Spirit, the power of God, and the various ministry gifts through which the Church is empowered; a strong conviction that God desires to touch and inflame the lives of all his people; (3) the renewal of the Church through the renewal of the person. Personal conversion, discipleship, empowerment, and ‘calling forth’ of individuals to ministry comprise the chief strategy for renewal. Social and institutional changes will flow more easily from a renewed people. Personal conversion is the necessary first step.” (Constitutions and Rules of the Companions of the Cross, Our Roots)
Our spirituality is fully Catholic, imbued with an evangelical heart and Pentecostal fire. We are Eucharistic, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, truly devoted to Mary, and loyal to the Magisterium.
To become a Lay Associate one must be a Catholic in good standing, either married or single, at least 16 years of age, who desires to embrace the spirituality and mission of the Companions of the Cross.
The Lay Associates are not a community unto themselves, but are individuals and families who wish to be associated with the Companions of the Cross and the Servants of the Cross. It is not necessary to live in geographical proximity to a Companions’ parish or other foundation.