In 1938 a couple, in their 20’s who had been prepared for marriage by Fr Caffarel, Madeleine and Gerard d’Heilly, approached him to ask about further developing their married spirituality. His reply was that they could reflect on this and walk the path together. The couple invited three other couples to join them and they held their first “Team” meeting on 25th February 1939.
After the end of the war, the Teams began to grow in number. Fr Caffarel described how he found, to his horror that they were being called “Caffarel Groups” (probably groups being “Equipes” in French). Church groups would usually be under the patronage of a saint. After discernment, he concluded that the fledgling movement would be in the care of Mary. In his editorial of May 1949 he says “there is no better guide than Mary” and exhorted couples “to nurture a faith in the all-powerful tender care of Our Lady and that every couple should experience the trust and security that little children feel in the presence of their mother”.
The Charter of Equipes Notre Dame was formalised on 8th December (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception) 1947. Therefore, this feast is also celebrated as “Teams Birthday” or “Charter Day”.
Teams was formally recognised by the Catholic Church in 1960 by the Archbishop of Paris. This was followed in 1992 with the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity Decree ‘ad experimentum’ (on trial) recognising Teams of Our Lady as an international association of the faithful. Recognition was then confirmed in July 2002.