Father Caffarel

Father Caffarel (1903-1996) had a deeply held conviction that couples were made for happiness.  He had his own personal conversion experience at the age of 20.

After the approach from the newly married d’Heilly’s, Father Caffarel and the four couples held their first “Team” meeting on 25th February 1939.  After the end of the war, the Teams began to grow in number.  Father Caffarel accompanied and helped to develop the movement and its charism for many years as it grew and spread throughout the world.

On recognition of his work, there has been a move to develop a cause for his canonisation, and this reached a crucial stage on the 18th October 2014, when the first stage of this cause was formally closed and the documentation sent to Rome.  This ceremony, which included the sealing of the boxes holding the documentation, and concluding with a Mass celebrating his life, took place in Paris, attended by many couples from Teams.

Father Caffarel constantly wrote his reflections for the Teams bulletin “L’Anneau d’Or” – “The Golden Ring”.  This was published from 1945 to 1967.  They are written in French.  Sr Fernanda Barbiero presented a reflection of the magazine at the Friends Symposium in 2017.

There are many books written by Father Henri Caffarel, but not all are translated from the original French language to English.  Some of the English translations are:

      • Marriage Is Holy, edited by Henri Caffarel, 1957
      • Being present to God “Letters on Prayer”, 1983
      • Love and Grace in Marriage, 1960
      • Conjugal Love by The Friends of Father Caffarel, 2020

Conjugal Love provides the reader with deep insights into the wonder and greatness of Christian marriage; its sacramentality, spirituality and the challenges of the lived experience in an increasingly busy world.

The book is a comprehensive study on the vocation of marriage based on the couples call to love.  Marriage is: “The only community based on a sacrament!”

Conjugal Love takes you through the journey couples make in Christian marriage, through all its stages, its highs and lows, its joys and crises.  The book has been translated by a working group of couples in Teams using the original texts in French.

Friends of Father Caffarel

The Friends of Father Caffarel was formed in 2005. The Friends is an international association with the purpose of making the wisdom of Father Caffarel better known around the world. It includes his showing his personality, his ideas on marriage and personal prayer, his spirituality – as well as working for, and supporting the cost, of promoting his canonisation. The association is a charity under French law and as such is technically a separate legal entity to Equipes Notre Dame.

The association publishes a newsletter twice a year that is sent to all members. There is an annual subscription of €10.

Video made by Friends of Father Caffarel in 2020

Meeting in Rome at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

The day after the 25th anniversary of Father Henri Caffarel’s death and the end of the novena carried out to commemorate it, on September 19, 2021, myself, Father Paul-Dominique Marcovits, editor of the cause, and Marie-Christine Genillon, went to Rome to meet the new Relator of the cause within the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Fr. Szczepan T. Praskiewicz, ocd.

Fr. Praskiewicz warmly welcomed us to the Congregation, opposite St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where we spent two mornings working with him.  The exchanges were facilitated by the presence of Nathalie Chérel, an interpreter. Fr. Marcovits had already submitted the completed parts of the Positio, including the Summarium Testium (including the testimonies received in Paris by the Diocesan Commission), the Biographia (a detailed account of the life and work of Father Caffarel), and the Summarium Documentorum (containing a selection of archives and texts by Father Caffarel).  These documents were approved as a whole by the Relator, Fr. Praskiewicz, who gave us valuable advice for their presentation and completion.

We also worked efficiently with him in a pleasant atmosphere on the part that has yet to be written: the Information, (a detailed document on the way in which Father Caffarel lived the virtues in a heroic way) and the general presentation of the Positio (with introductions to the various parts, tables, appendices, which must complete the whole so that it may be finalised according to the Congregation’s norms.  The Relator presented us with another Positio, which we were able to study, in order to allow us to better understand both its coherence and its precision.

These two meetings strongly encouraged us in the work remaining to be done to finish the Positio.  A very positive Fr. Praskiewicz told us that he was at our entire disposal for any request or question that we would like to submit to him. The Information will be finalised in February 2022.  And then the presentation of entire Positio will remain to be completed in an extremely precise way, according to the standards of the Congregation and this will require a few more months.  Fr. Paleri, the Roman postulator, is of course associated with this work and available to help us in completing this task.

Fr.Paul-Dominique Marcovits, op, Editor of the Cause Marie-Christine Genillon

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