Movements and Communities

This section of Theotokos Books is devoted to one of the most promising developments in recent times, that is the flourishing of new movements and communities within the Catholic Church.

These new groups seem to have a providential role in rebuilding the Church. Below are some examples of this.

Militia Sanctae Mariae – The Knights of Our Lady

The M.S.M. was founded in France in 1945 by a young layman who subsequently became a Benedictine monk and is now the former Abbot of Wisques, near St. Omer. The aim of the founder was to create a new chivalry suitable for our times, regular and militant, adapted to the needs of the modem world, devoted to Mary, dedicated to the service of the Church and our neighbours, with a view to “enlarging on earth the frontiers of the Kingdom of God”. (Léon Gautier: ‘Chivalry’)

The M.S.M. was canonically established as a confraternity in the crypt of Notre Dame de Sous-Terre at Chartres Cathedral by Mgr. Roger Michon, Bishop of Chartres, on 24th December 1964. It was similarly established in Germany by Mgr. Graber, Bishop of Regensburg, in 1968, in Switzerland by Mgr. Adam, Bishop of Sion, in 1969, in Portugal by Mgr. da Silva, Archbishop of Braga, in 1975, and in Spain by Mgr. del Val, Bishop of Santander, in 1984.

There are members in a number of other countries, including Canada. and the MSM is now developing well in Latin America (Brazil) and francophone Africa. The founder, Dom Marie-Gerard Lafond died in 2010, 

Membership is in two categories: observantia (men who are squires and knights) and familia (servants, men and women, spouses and sisters, together with spiritual supporters).

While promoting a profound spiritual and liturgical life among its members, it vigorously defends fidelity and obedience to the Church and the Sovereign Pontiff. Furthermore it supports whatever activities the Holy Spirit inspires: the right to life, aid to prisoners and the developing world, the christianising of political and social structures, the retreat movement, the Catholic renewal of the family, ecumenical dialogue and so on.

For more information please visit: and

The Foyers of Charity – Catholic Lay Communities

The Foyers are communities of lay Christians headed by a Priest who acts as “Father” of the Foyer. They were founded by Marthe Robin and Fr. Georges Finet in 1936. Their main Apostolate is the giving of week-long retreats in silence, and at present there are about 70 communities world-wide. There is information about the Foyer movement here:

An Association of the Friends of the Foyers is in existence in England to promote the foundation of a Foyer in this country. Details are at:

You can sign up for the Friends of the Foyers newsletter at:

This is the official prayer for the foundation of a Foyer de Charité in England.

Father, your Son promised Marthe Robin that the Foyers de Charité would be the house of your heart open to all and a life-giving oasis for discouraged souls. Look down in mercy upon England, the Dowry of Mary, and through her maternal intercession and that of Marthe, grant us for the glory of your name the grace of a Foyer in this land. Call those you want for this vocation, and fulfil your Son’s desire that it be a family resplendent with light, charity and love in our midst. We ask this through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

To see video extracts from a DVD of a Foyer Retreat at Tressaint Foyer of Charity in Brittany, France, please click this link:

To see an article about the Foyer retreat in English at Tressaint, and Marthe Robin, click here …

Theotokos Books has published a book entitled, Marthe Robin and the Foyers of Charity, by Martin Blake (ISBN 9780955074622).

This book looks at the life of Marthe Robin, the French mystic, who, with Fr Georges Finet, co-founded the Foyer of Charity community at Châteauneuf-de-Galaure in southeastern France in 1936. There are now 75 Foyer communities throughout the world, and their work involves a priest, the Father of the Foyer, giving 5 day retreats in silence, during which the members of the community look after the needs of the retreatants and pray for them.

For more information, including extracts and how to order, please click here …

Theotokos Books has also published Christian Living: The Spirituality of the Foyers of Charity, by Donal Anthony Foley (ISBN 0955074614).

It contains essential information about Marthe Robin and the Foyers of Charity, as well as chapters based on retreats given by Fr Michel Tierny, the Father of the Foyer of Charity at Courset, in France. These cover topics such as discipleship, prayer, silence, the sacraments, and more. With a foreword by the renowned Newman scholar, Fr Ian Ker, this is an excellent guide to living a better Christian life.

To order the kindle version from

To order the kindle version from 

YOUTH 2000 – a Catholic youth movement

YOUTH 2000 encourages young people to respond to the Holy Father’s call to a new evangelisation by sharing faith, and by promoting a true devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, while actively witnessing to the love of God in the world. It also promotes Marian devotion, and especially the Rosary. Similarly it promotes the reading of Scripture and encourages fidelity to the teachings of the Church.

Opus Dei Prelature

Opus Dei is a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church founded by Blessed Josemaria Escriva in 1928. It’s Apostolate involves helping lay Catholics to sanctify their daily lives.

The Community of St John 

The Community of St John is a rapidly growing new religious order founded in the seventies by Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe.

Francisan Friars of the Renewal

The Host Apostolate is an Association of Lay Faithful led by Married Couples who, working from their own home bases, wish to lead and encourage others to a life of prayer, especially Adoration of Jesus Present in the Host, Evangelisation and Formation in the pursuit of a life of Holiness, faithful to the Gospel and teaching of the Church.

Established Congregation links:

Arkley Poor Clare Monastery, Barnet, Herts