family

members of the movement who take promises
With time, some of the Collaborators of Your Joy felt a desire to commit themselves to the charism of the Interior Life in a new way. After much discernment, the decision was made by the sisters to offer a specific program of formation for those Collaborators that desired to go deeper in their commitment. The name “Family” was chosen to indicate a closeness to the ideal that the sisters and the brothers were living out through their consecration.

In 2008 a group of 25 people (including young adults, families and diocesan priests) was involved in the preparation for making a promise to become part of the Family. They took their formal promise on January 1, 2009.

Ever since, many more people in both the US and in Italy embraced our AVI charism. Currently there are roughly 190 people in both countries who took promises to belong to the Family of the AVI.

As was the case of the first group of Family members, there are requirements toward being able to take the promise. There are 12 meetings (spread over a period of 18 months) consisting of teachings on the human person (intellect, will, and affectivity), the AVI charism, the history of the Community and the four pillars. One year of participation in the Collaborators is mandatory prior to the 12 meetings. Ongoing Spiritual Direction, daily meditation, and thanksgiving after Communion are also required. During these 18 months of preparation and formation possible candidates for the Family need to discern if they are being called to take an official promise.

The Family meets in Kansas, in Texas and in Illinois every month, and  Family members from other states are reached through live-streaming and through video recordings of the meetings.  Some of them are leading small groups of friends and coworkers who desire to deepen their spiritual life. They are involved in the formation of others (through friendship, mentorship, talks, etc.). Monthly, several Family members in different parts of the US lead the Collaborators of Your Joy gathering, which are open to anyone who desires to grow in faith and friendship.  Once a year the AVI, the Family and the COJOY gather together for a 1-day event, called convivenza (gathering). The Family members also gather once a year with the AVI brothers and sisters for a retreat in the Spring.