In complementarity with the other vocations of the Holy Family, Lay Associates live their baptismal consecration in and for today’s world. Inserted into the Church, nourished by the Word of God and the Eucharist, living the spirit of the Holy Family of Nazareth, according to the charism of the Founder, they seek to bring Christian virtues to all milieus and situations.
(Statutes of the Lay Associates of the HFB #4)
A Lay Associate describes this vocation
The lay members of the Holy Family of Bordeaux are women and men of all ages, married and single.
As diverse as the general population in personality, temperament, occupation and giftedness, we share one precious, common identity as Lay Associates in the Family of Pierre Bienvenu Noailles. Drawn by the spirituality of our Founder, we live the spirit of the Holy Family in union with the Sisters of the Religious Institute, the Consecrated Seculars and Priest Associates in our own particular way as lay persons, in our families, our work places and our local communities.
The spirituality of the Holy Family of Bordeaux is founded on the Trinity. Our Founder has proposed to us as a model the home life in Nazareth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which he perceived as the ‘sweet image of the Trinity’. He also saw that home as the seed of the Church.
We seek to grow in awareness of God as the centre of our lives, as in the home of Nazareth, and to regain the faithfulness, simplicity and mutual support as lived by the early Christian communities. For this, we rely on prayer and the witness of our own lives, in our families, parishes, local communities and wherever there is a need to which we can respond.
The Associates are formed into groups which meet monthly for mutual support in living their commitment.The Lay Associates have their own structure and statutes. Under the leadership of the Superior General of the Religious Institute they form part of a strong network of relationships with the other vocations. This is a great source of mutual support and encouragement.
The unity of the Association, as it was called in his time, was very important to Fr Noailles. In 1852 he wrote:
‘Let the love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph be the link which binds together all
the members of the Holy Family.
Let us be united in our work and in our prayer.
Let us combine our efforts to spread the kingdom of the Divine Master.’