Shalom Catholic Community
The Shalom Catholic Community was created at the initiative of a group of undergraduates headed by Moysés Louro de Azevedo Filho. With the encouragement of the Archbishop of Fortaleza (Brazil), they opened a pizza restaurant and an annexed bookshop to welcome and evangelise young people. This was the first Shalom Centre. Very soon the movement spread to families, children, and people from all social-cultural backgrounds. In 1985 the first group of young people formed themselves into life communities and in 1986 the first covenant community was established, made up of young people and adults. In 1998 the Community received canonical recognition from the Archbishop of Fortaleza. On 22 February 2007 the Pontifical Council for the Laity issued a decree recognising the Shalom Catholic Community as an international association of the faithful.
The Shalom Catholic Community is made up of married couples, individuals who are celibate for the Kingdom, young people and adults seeking their vocation and priests, all united by the call to live the charism of Shalom. Its distinctive features are contemplation, unity and evangelisation. Strengthened by their experience of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Community work in evangelisation activities with young people, families, children and the poor, in the mass media, art, workplace, science and culture. They set up prayer groups and centres for evangelisation, faith education, spirituality, education, art, communications and human development through works of mercy to help those who suffer. The formation of its members is based on a personal encounter with Jesus Christ according to the image given in Ephesians 2:14: “Christ is our peace”, Shalom in Hebrew. It is nurtured by the study of the Word of God and the magisterium of the Church, prayer, participation in the liturgy and the sacraments, fraternal and missionary life, filial love for our Lady, in union with our Lord. St Francis of Assisi and St Teresa of Avila are the patrons of the Community and inspire several aspects of their spirituality.
Membership of the Shalom Catholic Community is through the life communities or the covenant communities. Life communities are cells made up of men and women (married, celibate for the Kingdom and priests); These are the heart of the Shalom Community and are the central nucleus for their mission and carry out the charism to the full. The members respond to the call to integral dedication to prayer, fellowship and service. The members of the covenant communities are fully inserted in the world and live out the same vocation in their professions and family life. The Shalom Work includes all those who actively participate in the Community by belonging to groups under its guidance.
The Shalom Catholic Community has some 3,800 members and is present in 19 countries as follows: Europe (9), Middle East (1), North America (1), South America (4), Africa (3), Asia (1). About 45,000 people have connections with the Community.
In addition to numerous prayer groups, there are evangelisation and catechetical instruction centres for young people, families and children that have also sprung up at the initiative of the Shalom Catholic Community and in the spirit of the new evangelisation. There are spiritual retreat houses, art centres in which music, dance, drama and fine art are placed at the service of evangelisation, a school, a human development association which manages kindergartens, homes for the elderly and services for the sick and imprisoned; projects to recuperate drug addicts, to rescue street children, for the prevention of abortion, and to take in the homeless and help restore their dignity. The Community has also created 4 radio stations, a publishing house and the Gaudium et Spes Institute which provides training for social and political commitment according to the principles of the Church’s social teachings.
Shalom Maná, monthly magazine.
Comunidade Católica Shalom
Caixa Postal 2681
60.120-970 Fortaleza - Ceará - Brazil
Tel.: [+55]85 3308 7400 - Fax: 85 3308 7431