Saturday, 21 November 2015 00:00

25th Anniversary of the Statutes of the Teresian Association: A return to the "good idea" of Pedro Poveda

MADRID, Spain.
On November 21, the Teresian Association (TA) celebrates the 25th anniversary of the approval of its Statutes by the Pontifical Council for the Laity as a private International Association of the Faithful, as it was founded in 1911 by Saint Pedro when he was a canon in Covadonga, Asturias.

On November 21, 1990, Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, approved the decree of the Statutes that included the Teresian Association among international associations of the faithful, of Pontifical right. In July of the same year Pope John Paul II had responded positively to the request made by the TA to revert to its founding canonical form of Association of the Faithful, after a long process of reflection, study and discernment, in accordance with the renewal promoted by Vatican II.

The new Statutes, besides reflecting the style and organization of the TA envisaged by its founder, include those who participated in ACIT Associations (cooperation in the mission of the TA) as full members. This allowed the creation and development of multiple associations in various cities and countries, whose members live the spirituality and mission of the TA as a Christian vocational call.

The first Statutes were approved by Pope Pius XI on January11, 1924. They recognized the Teresian Association as a "Pious Union", i.e. an association of the faithful, according to the legal expression of the time, with a variety of members and associations.

Some years later, at the request of Pope Pius XII, one of the associations of the Teresian Association took on the canonical form of Secular Institute, a canonical form that was created in 1947. At that time the foundational idea of ​​Pedro Poveda, inspired by the lifestyle of the first Christians, called to live a radical Christian commitment with "the least canonical organization" could not be fully adopted.

The Second Vatican Council, which led the Church in a profound renewal and requested a "return to the foundational origins,” led the members of the Teresian Association to initiate a process of discernment which concluded with the unanimous agreement expressed at a meeting held in 1988 to request the Holy See to revert to the founding organizational form.

The current Governing Council of the Teresian Association, presided by Maite Uribe, on the occasion of this event expressed in a message is "This celebration pleases us and calls us to a new awareness of the current implications of this ecclesial event that has profoundly marked the life of the Association and has allowed the development and unfolding of the potential of the charism of thatgood idea of Poveda in various associative forms. This is a single event, the ecclesial recognition, the result of a story that we live as people, that has opened up new institutional realities and, with them, new possibilities of mission."

A shared vocation

Among the celebrations, the ACIT Federation of Spain has called for a commemorative meeting with the theme "Called to a vocation," held in Los Negrales on November 14-15.


Fernando Melgar, President of said Federation, stated that the adoption of the current Statutes “was not a bureaucratic fact, as these laws would change the face of the TA and, what is more important, the lives of many people linked to it. Herein lies, no doubt, the greatness of this change so that many people could make a serious commitment to faith and life, which has led to a radical change in our lives, reviving and nurturing a vocation received and shared."

And when explaining the theme of the meeting, he said: "A vocation that has touched our innermost being and affects and transforms all our lives, being a constant challenge for every age and every day. A vocation that drives our lives and feels the personal call of God in it. A lay vocation that allows us to be present in the most diverse and varied areas of the world, being witnesses to the Gospel."

Arantxa Aguado, TA President in 1990, when the new statutes were approved, spoke at the meeting and said: "It has been said that to remember, in the biblical sense, goes beyond the mere appreciation for everything received; the term aims at teaching us to love more, to affirm us in the path taken’ (Card. Bergoglio, 2006). It is a memory of the past read in the light of our present awareness. And that memory strengthens our hearts. It has also been said that a family and a people who remember are a family and a people with a future." She stressed that "the fact that we remember -the approval of our Statutes- calls us to something new, perhaps to renewed unity, cohesion, and consistency. Certainly it brings us again to our ecclesial roots, strengthened once again. And with it a confirmation and response to the gift of the vocation received."

Msgr. Carlos Osoro, Archbishop of Madrid, made himself present through a message in which he said: "I want to be with you thanking God for the Teresian Association, for the life and vocation of its members; for your service and belonging to the Church, in generous dedication to the evangelizing mission in accordance with the charism of St. Pedro Poveda,  and for all the gifts you have received in your vocational journey."

The celebration of the first 25 years of the Statutes finds the TA at the beginning of the second centenary of its life, an appropriate time, as Maite states in her letter of the year, “to look at how to make our charism serve the cultures in which we operate, how to update means and instruments, how to question ourselves about the media, how to find collaborators, and to do it all convinced with Pedro Poveda that it is ‘a providential Work.’ A Work intended for this time.“ (Maite Uribe, Letter of the Year 2015, p. 9).




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