Christian Life Community is an international community of Christians: men and women, adults and young people of all social conditions, who want to follow Jesus Christ more closely and work with Him for the building of the Kingdom. The charisma and spirituality of CLC are Ignatian and Lay. It is made up of groups, which are part of larger communities organized regionally and nationally, all forming one World Community. CLC is present on all continents and in almost sixty countries.

Many European Jesuits are involved as Ecclesiastical Assistants at European, national or local level.

Website CLC Europe: clc-cvx.eu

Spiritual discernment in community is a spiritual process of discerning the will of God in the life of a community. Pope Francis repeatedly speaks of the importance of communal discernment for the whole Church, especially in the worldwide synodal process. Denis Dobbelstein is the World President of the Community of Christian Life (CLC). During his visit to Lithuania from 20 to 22 May, we spoke with him about the practice of communal discernment in the CLC.  How does discernment in community work in the CLC?  There are two types of discernment in communion. One is when a member of the group has a personal concern. Discernment can be done in three rounds of spiritual conversation. In the first round, group members share their most important experiences of the last few weeks. They try to identify when and where God has been waiting for them. This is not always obvious. Sometimes you sense something important and you suspect that a decision is necessary. If it is clear from the first round that a member needs support, the second round can be very helpful.  When the exchange takes place between the long-standing members of a group who are faithfully walking a common faith journey, they have mutual trust among themselves. Therefore, in the second round, they can remind each other of their personal spiritual journey and thus help each other to name their own longings. Sometimes other members find more appropriate words for my experiences and can give me a different perspective on my concerns.  What is needed for good discernment in community?  You have to understand well what is being decided and be open to several alternatives. The support of the group is particularly valuable in this. The second round of sharing does not mean that I will hear more opinions and thus be able to answer my question better. It is useful to trust in the dynamics of the group. It is a slow and patient process in which understanding is gradually improved. It is important to respect the freedom of the person making the distinction.   In the third round of discussion, each person tries to find out how their own perspective has changed. With the experience of Jesus' presence, the everyday perception of other people or of challenges can change completely.  Where else is discernment possible in community?  Another possibility for discernment relates to a communal concern and challenges in the community or group, even in the church. Together one looks at the reality and the difficulties and trusts the common understanding of a community and not only on the most intelligent rational arguments of the individuals.  What are the challenges?  Engaging in the process of discernment in community takes courage, patience, mutual respect and trust that the group is trying to listen to the Holy Spirit. The group is not just a gathering of individuals, but acts itself like a person listening to the Holy Spirit.  What is needed is a clear method to avoid possible tensions or domination by individuals, abuse of the method or of one's own moral authority.  One of the basic requirements for good discernment in community is to have facilitators who are not involved in the decision making. They are not responsible for the outcome but for the quality of the process. You need people who are rooted in faith and free in heart and mind to discern the movements of the Holy Spirit in the group. This is a great responsibility. The people who are able to accompany the discernment process are very important for the future of CLC and, I believe, the whole Church.  Tell us an example from your experience...  Recently, in the CLC World Board, we have been preparing for the upcoming CLC World Assembly 2023, where guidelines for the whole community will be discussed. It was a huge task: once to foresee what might happen in the future, at the same time to dream, but also to remain open to God's surprises. It was a long process.  Ten board members from different cultures and regions of the world experienced agreement on the basic concerns and shared their assumptions. This was followed by a pause of several months for prayer on this concern. Of course, we could have much more easily formulated an attractive theme for the Assembly. But more important for us was to recognise the deep inner longing.  Discernment in community requires humility, because one can never be completely sure what will happen. Each member experiences community differently. They face different challenges. It takes time to listen to each other, to understand where a particular presumption comes from, and then to recognise and examine your own presumption: Is it universal? Is it relevant?  When we came back to our assumptions later, some seemingly great ideas had suddenly become less relevant. So we gradually came to a common understanding about the common theme of the meeting. It is a mystery. Prayer and sharing the fruits of prayer are no guarantee of hearing the voice of the Spirit, but they increase the chances. And this is an act of faith.  The interview was conducted by Rasa Darbutaitė in Vilnius. 
CLC (Christian Life community) is a worldwide community with 25000 members worldwide and 16 000 in Europe. During the first lockdown the Euroteam, the team which promotes and coordinates international activities for CLC members from all over Europe, initiated “Online sharing groups”. The first round started in March 2020, the second one in November 2020 and a third round is planned after Easter 2021 Members in all the National communities from Malta to Sweden and from the Netherlands to Latvia are invited to join “online sharing groups”. The groups are matched according to the languages the members choose at the registration process. Each group is free to choose the day and the frequency of their meetings. They receive inspirations for the first six meetings – and after this period they are invited to discern if the group wants to continue the regular meetings or if they decide to stop. So far about 120 members of nearly all the National communities in Europe have joined one of the groups in several languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian). Some of the groups just met several times during the first lockdown, others have been meeting regularly for a year now.  The sharing and the community are very fruitful experiences for many CLC companions. Participants of a group with a Pole, a Lithuanian and a Flemish write: -The experience is like Fratelli Tutti: connected from different countries, being a part of the community in the world. We feel we are the same people with the same longings. -On macro level this meetings are widening my prospective of CLC in my own country, but also  of the (catholic) Church I am knowing till now. I am entering now in a European level. On micro level we experience a small intimacy of the little group: we share our individual lifes with each other. We are very grateful! If you are interested to join one of the sharing groups starting after Easter, you can register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSejS_Ka87_9sL-psfa89yf8GTJ0HnfY5Ezkr1dwU1moEmVjGQ/viewform?usp=sf_link until March 28th 2021. Everybody interested in this international Ignatian experience is invited  –you don’t have to be a CLC member.   Angelika Scholz, CLC in Germany, Euroteam coordinator
José de Pablo will be the new CLC World Vice-Ecclesiastical Assistant. On Friday, August 28, the Christian Life Community announced the appointment of José de Pablo, SJ as the new Vice-Ecclesiastical Assistant for the world. This appointment will take effect on September 1. In a published letter, the community announces the profile of its new assistant, a Spanish Jesuit who will combine this dedication with his recent assignment to Manresa, where he will collaborate in the Sanctuary of Santa Cova during the time of celebration of the centenary of the conversion, Ignatius 500. Fr. José de Pablo and the CLC-Exco The main task entrusted to José de Pablo is to accompany the World CLC Executive Council in its discernment and decision-making processes. To this end he will participate in the bimonthly meetings of the World ExCo - which are held online - as well as the annual meeting of the Council. He will also participate in the next General Assembly - scheduled for 2023. As part of his role, he will be available, in contact and dialogue with the World Ecclesiastical Assistant (Father Arturo Sosa). He will also have to maintain a regular dialogue with the President and Executive Secretary of CLC. Finally, the Vice-Assistant is expected to help deepen CLC's institutional dialogue with the Society of Jesus, and to accompany CLC's relationship with the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. We wish CLC the best of luck and we wish José the best of luck in accompanying this lay and Ignatian apostolic body in his mission and his following of Jesus.
The Christian Life Community is an international association of Christians: men and women, adults and young people, of all social conditions, who want to follow Jesus Christ more closely and work with Him for the building of the Kingdom. Members make up small groups, which are part of larger communities organized regionally and nationally, all forming ONE World Community following the Ignatian Spirituality. The CLC-CVX General Assembly in Argentina gathered 250 participants from more than 70 countries. The purpose of the Assembly is to join the world and national representatives in prayerful collaboration as a World body to discern the orientation and priorities of CLC globally for the next 5 years. Under the slogan “ CLC-CVX a gift for the Church and for the world” the Assembly looked forward the desire of a greater depth and integration in the living out of their charism in the world today. The main events in the assembly were: The visit to the Parish and neighbourhood in San Miguel Austin Iverleigh spoke about the Pope Francis’ option in the Church today. Fr, Arturo Sosa, SJ, General of the Society of Jesus and also CLC World Ecclesiastical Assistant addressed: “A Discernment Lay Community in the Service of Reconciliation” Magdalena Palencia presented the “gift of 50 years of CLC” The ESDAC team (Exercises Spirituels pour un Discernement Apostolique Communautaire) guided the Assembly through their communal discernment. All the events could be followed in the XVII World Assembly CLC-CVX and in many other sites all around the world. In summary CLC discernment opened three new windows for the future: to deepen in their identity and charism as an international apostolic body; to share the gift of Ignatian spirituality, and to go forth to serve those most in need. In addition, administrative and financial matters are discussed, resolved, and confirmed.  Some key business matters covered include: Approval of the activity reports and accounts of the period since the previous assembly. Setting the policies and orientations for the period up to the next General Assembly. Deciding the financial policies to be followed. Deciding on proposed amendments to the General Principles and General Norms. Confirming the establishment of new national communities. On Tuesday 31 July, on the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the General Assembly in Buenos Aires elected the new World CLC Executive Council for the period 2018-2023.  The new Executive Committee was formed as follows:  President: Denis Dobbelstein (Belgium) Vice President: Ann Marie Brennan (USA)  Secretary: Catherine Waiyaki (Kenia)  Consultor: Fernando Vidal (Spain)  Consultor: Daphne Ho (Hong Kong)  Consultor: Diego Pereira (Uruguay)  Consultor: Najat Sayegh (Lebanon)  Executive Secretary: Alwin Macalalad (Philippines)  Resource Executive: Rojean Macalalad (Philippines)  Ecclesiastical Vice Assistant: Herminio Rico, SJ (Portugal)  Recent World Assemblies were held as follows:  2013 – Lebanon:  16th General Assembly in Beirut: From Our Roots to the Frontiers. "This is my son, The Beloved, listen to what He says" (Mk 9:7) 2008 – Portugal:  15th General Assembly in Fatima: Journeying as an Apostolic Body: our Response to This Grace from God. “The apostles gathered around Jesus and told him what they had done and taught” (Mk 6, 30-34) 2003 – Kenya: 14th General Assembly in Nairobi: Sent by Christ, Members of One Body 1998– Brazil:  13th General Assembly in Itaici: Deepening Our Identity as an Apostolic Community - Clarifying Our Common Mission. "CLC, a Letter from Christ, Written by the Spirit, Sent to Today's World" 1994 - Hong Kong: 12th General Assembly: CLC Community in Mission "I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!"