Families of Nazareth
The Families of Nazareth Group
A short presentation about the Families of Nazareth
The Families of Nazareth began with a small group of lay people who sought out a priest who could help them find solutions to their spiritual problems. Their objective was to deepen and development of spiritual life and to find & pursue a path to personal sanctity.
Spirituality - background
The spirituality of the Families of Nazareth Movement seeks to draw out treasures from the heart of the church. It incorporates the model of sanctity presented by St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila, and has been greatly influenced by the “little way” of St Therese of Lisieux; as well as other saints in the church.
This spirituality is expressed through “humble means” such as prayer, sacrifice, self-denial, turning away from oneself, consideration for others, humility, poverty of spirit and abandonment to God.
The most perfect example of living the “humble means” is the Holy Family of Nazareth. This is why those in the Families of Nazareth try to imitate the hidden life in Nazareth. In strictly human terms, the life of Jesus in Nazareth might seem to have been a waste of time because nothing extraordinary happened. Yet it was at Nazareth, where the three holiest people lived – Jesus, Mary and Joseph – that the deepest dimension of humanity was made manifest, - life hidden in God.
The model presented in Nazareth concealed a treasure, in the person of Jesus Christ, who lived a life of perfection for 30 years. During this time the people of Nazareth noted nothing extraordinary in him. Mary the Mother of God chose the path of “humble means” to fulfil her call to sanctity - and we endeavour to follow her example. Although Christ is in the centre of spirituality but still it is a Marian Movement.
Tools for Developing the Inner Life
1. Attending Holy Mass with great reverence - since this is the source of spiritual growth and genuine Christian living. A deepening understanding of the essence of the Most Holy Sacrifice leads people to desire daily participation in the Holy Sacrifice and to be continually united spiritually with the gift of the Eucharist. In order to prepare for this meeting with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the members endeavour to pray the prayer of “awaiting”. After mass, they attempt to spend the rest of the day in thanksgiving so that the Holy Mass can embrace all the events of the day.
2. Frequent contact with a priest is essential to nurture and develop the interior life. This generally takes the form of a monthly meeting with a spiritual director. This makes it easier for the penitent to discern the action of the Holy Spirit in his/her life and helps in the development of personal freedom.
3. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
4. Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation monthly; as an ideal with spiritual direction.
5. Meditating daily on the Word of God.
The Families of Nazareth seek to participate in the new evangelisation, within the framework of contemporary apostolic functions of the Church. One of the main apostolic aims of the Families is the evangelisation of the family, if only one member of the family belong to FNC but can bring graces to all. It aims to form attitudes which will endear the model of the Christian family to others. The family should be the first place to receive and accept the call to live the Gospel. By accepting the challenge to live this message radically, the Families of Nazareth strive to make the model of a Christian family accessible to a broad spectrum of contemporary society. In the face of the frequent breakdown in the relationship between man and God, the Families of Nazareth aims to stress the absolute priority of this relationship in its contact with others.
Who are the Members?
The Families of Nazareth is universal. There is room in it for everyone: families, single people, priests, religious, young people, children, the sick. It does not limit itself to any particular category of people. It is a meeting place for those who have already “found” God as well as those still embroiled in the many problems of today. The only thing that matters is the desire to meet God and His mercy and find His Will in our lives.
The F.N.C. want to see in the Hierarchy of the local Church – which is a part of the mystical Body of Christ – a special channel of God’s grace for themselves. The development of spiritual life is linked to the life of the Church and her faith, for it is in her that that Christ lives and sanctifies us. The FNC is lead by the Moderator (appointed by Bishop). The FNC is territorially divided into regions that reflect the Church’s structures; the groups are founded within parishes, and led by lay animators.
The Families of Nazareth Community organizes weekly meetings – prayer and sharing - of formation. Based on the materials presented there (using Bible, and Church Documents like CCC… as other spiritual books ) The Family of Nazareth also organized Advent, Lent, and summer retreats, or days of prayer, pilgrimages, formation camps for all members and youth and adolescents, holidays for young couples.
FNC Group in our parish
The Families of Nazareth Community has been active in the Diocese for ten years, and in our own Parish over seven years.
We meet every other week, start with a prayer and ten reading a passage from one of the FNC books or Church documents. We reflect on the reading and try to see how we can apply it to our own lives. We end with prayer, knowing that we take with us that which God wants to show us; a resolution to prayer more and, if possible, to change our inner attitude to grow in our spiritual lives.
Next meeting please contact Eileen Trodd.