History of Disciples of Jesus and Mary
The "Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity", whose spirituality leads to communion with the Most Holy Trinity through the discipleship of Jesus and Mary, was founded on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, 1958, by Father James H. Flanagan under the guidance of Archbishop Edwin V. Byrne, D.D., of Santa Fe.
The "Clerical Society of Apostolic Life", and the "Sisters Society of Apostolic Life" were erected canonical by R. Rev. Rene H. Gracida, Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas, on December 8th, 1994. The Society's international headquarters is located in Robstown, Texas, in the diocese of Corpus Christi.
The Society of Our Lady is comprised of priests and permanent deacons, religious, and single and married laity united in the solidarity of graced friendships as a family, in oneness with Jesus and Our Father, and joined to the Church in fidelity, loyalty and charity. United to the saving mission and ministries of the Church, the members serve in Her apostolic works, especially in the areas of deepest human and spiritual need. By serving together on Ecclesial teams, the members of Our Lady's Society present to the People of God an image of the Church as Community in the gift of Her three vocations of priest, religious and laity.
By their special dedication to imitate Mary in her communion with the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity and in her communion with all in becoming like Jesus, they bear witness to the People of God of the Church-as-Communion. The members of the Society of Our Lady are serving at the present time on Ecclesial teams in Belize and Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippine Islands and Thailand. The teams serve the people of God in parishes and mission out-stations, orphanages, schools, medical clinics for the rural poor, and drug rehabilitation centers for afflicted youth. In the United States, the Ecclesial teams are serving in parishes, as well as in specialized ministries such as those for migrant workers and their children, the Native American Hopi tribe and inner-city families.
Realizing their own poverty and need and recognizing that they are the little children of Our Lord and Our Lady, the members of Our Lady's Society strive to become one with their brothers and sisters in their lives as People of God. Using their gifts and sharing themselves with those they serve, they aim to contribute to the Church's saving mission to the People-of-God-as-Community and to Her task of bringing all into the fullness of the communion. Charism, Vision and Mission of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity
- CHARISM: Disciples of Jesus and Mary serving on Ecclesial Teams in areas of deepest apostolic need
- VISION: All peoples in union with the Trinity through discipleship of Jesus and Mary
- MISSION: The members of the Society of Our Lady, consecrated to Mary, commit themselves to: Live the Paschal Mystery as disciples of Jesus and Mary in graced friendship on Ecclesial Teams, follow the Evangelical counsels, being united in the Eucharist, prayer and apostolic service in areas of deepest need for the development of peoples leading them to become disciples
What are Ecclesial Teams?
Ecclesial Teams are comprised of at least one priest, sister and laity (either married couple of a singel person). This mirrors the family of the Most Holy Trinity. It is based on the Holy Family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. The way these teams function are taken from the first community of disciples Jesus founded. These Ecclesial Teams live the life and mission of the Church in its essential unity given the diversity of its vocations. The members compliment each other in their formation, growth, support, and mission; relate to one another in their obedience of relationships which flows from the Most Holy Trinity.
The apostolic spirit present in the teams are marked by graced friendships. As a family we honor and magnify god, we exult His majesty and manifest His greatness.
What Does it Mean to be Disciple of Jesus and Mary?
Each and every one of us is called to be a Disciple of Jesus and Mary. In the Gospels, Jesus and taught His followers discipleship by teaching them to know His Father, and as a result, to know the Holy Spirit and Himself. The path to discipleship, as Jesus shows us, leads us into an ever-growing and personal relationship with the Holy Trinity. Mary exemplified this discipleship because she was graced with a perfect relationship with the Trinity. Mary was the Daughter of the Father, the Spouse of the Holy spirit, and the Mother of the Son. Through Mary's discipleship to the Most Holy Trinity, we find the most complete expression of the discipleship taught by Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus and Mary opens us directly to the Gospel message: "Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28: 19)
What are Graced Friendships?
Graced friendships are bonds of relationships between persons drawn together not by any natural inclination or choice, but rather by a common calling to dedicate their lives to the attainment of the vision, mission and charism of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.
Membership & Types of:
Those who desire to seek membership in the Society of Our Lady may apply for admission at our international headquarters in Robstown, Texas. Once accepted, candidates will be admitted to the Society as a member-in-training for one year. Placement shall be part of a planned program responding to vocation and gifts of member-in-traiing, the needs of the Ecclesial Teams and their leaders. Guests are invited to come and live in the apostolic houses of the Society in order that they may mutually discern their calling to serve in the Society.
- COMMITTED MEMBERS are those who have completed their initial formation and have decided to commit their lives, in their respective vocations, to the Society of Our Lady.
- DEFINITIVE MEMBERS are those who have been committed members for a period of time and with the approval of their respective superiors, perpetually profess public vows or promises and in the case of the laity who have contractually covenanted themselves to the Society for more than three years.
- CORPORATE MEMBERS are those who serve the Society on special projects as disciples who have assumed the work on an Ecclesial team after its departure.
- AUXILIARY MEMBERS are those persons who contribute in a spiritual or material way in serving the society
- MISSIONARIES OF MERCY are those persons who offer their suffering, prayers, and friendship for the missions of the Society of Our Lady.