During recent years, the Holy Spirit has been inspiring lay men and women with the desire to share in the mission of the Servants of Mary. Like us, they wish to be “Good Samaritans” and “Cyrenians” in the world of suffering. They share with us times of prayer and in particular, prayer in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
They are lay people chosen and called by the Lord to work in His vineyard within their proper state of life, inspired by the spirituality of the Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick and taking an active, conscious and responsible part in the mission Christ entrusted to His Church in the charism of Saint María Soledad Torres Acosta.
There are many ways the members can participate in the charism and spirituality of Mother Soledad according to each one’s possibilities, whether by visiting or accompanying the sick including helping them physically, spiritually, socially and materially, or by offering their own suffering and always praying for the Church and the Institute, keeping in mind that the identifying mark of all our actions is GRATUITY.
The Institute strives to pass on to them the authentic spirituality of the Servants of Mary by the example of our life, a solid formation in the Christian and ministerial life and the necessary knowledge so as to live according to the spirit of Mother Soledad.
They receive formation in pastoral healthcare in order to establish a relationship of empathy and to offer tangible help that meets the needs of the whole person of the sick.
They are considered to be collaborators in the exercise of our mission and are encouraged to strive for a life of holiness.
The Fraternity of Lay Sons and Daughters of Saint Maria Soledad is an association whose members are faithful practicing Catholics impelled by the Holy Spirit to strive towards perfect charity. They commit to living the Gospel in the world, united in fraternal communion, in light of the experience and spirituality of the Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick.
Its members belong fully to the spiritual family of the Servants of Mary and participate in our purpose, graces and fruitfulness. They are spiritual children of the same Institute, share in the fraternal communion of its spiritual goods and are called to the same mission of service to the Church and the world within their state as lay persons.
Their purpose is to aspire after perfect charity in the state of life to which God has called them.
Throughout the Congregation, several of our Communities are blessed with this Fraternity.
The Fraternity of Lay Sons and Daughters of Saint María Soledad was approved by the Church through the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life by a Decree signed on November 21, 2010.
An unofficial translation of the DECREE is as follows:
The Fraternity of Lay Sons and Daughters of Saint María Soledad, in union with the religious Institute of pontifical right of Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick, whose general house is in the Diocese of Rome, is an association of lay persons whose desire it is to share in the charism transmitted by the Foundress, Saint María Soledad Torres Acosta, to her Daughters, in conformity to the state of life of its members.
In response to the call of the Church and wishing to fulfill the call to personal holiness of every baptized Christian, the members of the Association, present in many nations, want to live the ideal, spirit and apostolic mission of this Institute in the world, according to the Rule of life and Statutes approved by the competent authority.
This Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, having considered the request presented by the Superior General as proposed by the General Chapter celebrated in Rome in the year 2008, and after having carefully examined the Rule of life and Statutes of the Association, recognizes the Fraternity of Lay Sons and Daughters of Saint María Soledad as the proper Work of the Institute and declares that it be recognized as such by all.
At the same time this Congregation approves and confirms ad experimentum for five years the Statutes of this same Association, written in the Spanish language, according to the copy conserved in the archives of the Dicastery. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary”.
Vatican, 21 of November, 2010
Signed by Franc Card. Rodé, C.M., Prefect and Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop Secretary.
Once the Church had approved the Fraternity of Lay Sons and Daughters of Saint María Soledad, all the members of the lay fraternities throughout the Provinces of the Congregation officially made their commitment on August 14, 2011, Vespers of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the 160th Anniversary of the foundation of our beloved Congregation. On this memorable date they received the Statutes of this Fraternity.
In the Province of theUnited Statesthe first group of Lay Sons and Daughters of Saint María Soledad began in the Community of Puebla, Mexico in 2006. There are currently three Fraternities in the Communities of Puebla, León and Querétaro.