Claire Amitié was envisioned and founded in France by Thérèse Cornille (1917-1989). At the age of 15, she felt moved to consecrate her whole life to Christ through Our Lady. She was involved in several movements, especially the women’s branch of the Young Christian Workers (YCW) in which she was active nationally and became a permanent national member.
She observed that there were young girls living in distressful conditions, and so she established places where these young people could be in a family atmosphere with a climate of love and joy and witness of a living faith. In this way, they would discover new possibilities for growth so that they could take control of their lives and find, or regain, their place in society and for some, in the Church. Encouraged by Cardinal Achille Liénart, Thérèse Cornille opened her first house in Roubaix in 1946. She lost her eyesight in 1962. In spite of her blindness, she courageously continued the mission entrusted to her by Christ and the Church.
In 1961, Christiane Muller joined Thérèse Cornille. They shared the same human, social and spiritual values. Together as Founder and Cofounder, they worked at developing this project by associating women who were attracted by this ideal of life and apostolate.
Later on, more houses were opened in France, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
On 13 May 1993, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of Claire Amitié as an International Association of the Faithful.
The members of the association seek to live in the light and love of Christ for all people. This is the meaning of the name Claire Amitié.
The association works for the reintegration of girls and young women whose lives had previously been of suffering and marginalisation. They are welcomed into small communities of animators where they receive comprehensive help in finding personal balance and training to prepare them for insertion or reintegration into the world of work.
Claire Amitié seeks to help each of these people to awaken their self-awareness so that they can truly know themselves and develop their intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potential; to help them rediscover the dignity and respect that pertains to every human being; to let them see that each person is capable of making choices with freedom and responsibility.
Claire Amitié is composed of two types of members. The permanent members are lay women who are called by God to offer their lives to Christ in celibacy. They work in community, in the Church and in the world as they strive to help young people in precarious situations with their human, spiritual and Christian growth. The associate members are lay women and men. They share the spirit and objectives of Claire Amitié with its love for the poor and its universal and ecclesial dimension. They are recognised for their skills and expertise, and they are active in the service of the mission of Claire Amitié.
The association is led by a General Director, a Deputy General Director and a Council. They are assisted by local leaders and communities who coordinate teaching and administrative staff at the service of these young people looking for identity and a social, professional and faith life. There is a large network of volunteers who help in these activities with educational, legal, managerial and financial assistance.
The mission of Claire Amitié is one of welcome, support and integral training, primarily for young girls and young women with children who are in great difficulty and come from any part of the world. The mission is carried out by associations that locally manage Claire Amitié houses and structures. Approximately 2,300 people are welcomed each year in France and throughout the world.
Letters to Friends (3 letters per year). Books on the founder Thérèse Cornille.
Association Claire Amitié
59 rue de L’Ourcq, 75019 Paris, France
Telephone (+ 33) 153264681