The Berit Institute is a gathering place for families, a perfect place for getting-together and friendship, an open space for creative activity, permanent formation and a lively sense of solidarity, favouring a way of life inspired in the Gospel.
The Berit Institute for the family is an international institute of studies, formation, orientation and family action, promoted by the Crusaders of Mary. It started through the charism founded by Fr. Tomás Morales, S.J., promoter of a movement of laity. It was inaugurated in Madrid on October 8, 1998 and the current president is Lydia Jimenez, General Director of the Crusaders of Mary. As its name indicates- Berit means covenant - its goal is to strengthen the original sense of the marriage vocation, making of human life a covenant for self-giving and plenitude. It aims to properly accompany families in their process of faith maturation and in their commitment to the Gospel message, following the indications of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia,and in continuation with the magisterium of St. Juan Paul II and Benedict XVI.
The grandeur of the vocation of marriage requires, most especially in the current times, a deep preparation as well as a more rigorous and coordinated pastoral action. How can we have a new path of renewal of the ministry for families? This is what the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium speaks of as authentic pastoral conversion needed for the whole Church (EG 25, 27, 32). This conversion is linked to mercy since “it is the foundation of the Church’s life” (Misericordiae Vultus, 10)
The Berit Institute is committed to the evangelization of the world through the family, answering, in this way, the repeated requests from the Church and society. The ministry to families is an essential dimension of any evangelization. Attentive to this concern for the family, Pope Francis has wanted to devote two Synods, whose conclusions are collected in Amoris Laetitia, and has instituted a new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
The Berit Institute currently has activities in several dioceses in Spain, Germany (Munich and Bonn), Colombia (Bogota and Medellin), Mexico (Guadalajara and Monterrey), Chile (Santiago de Chile) and Peru (Lima, Arequipa and Chiclayo). It also collaborates with universities and scientific and cultural organizations, that are considered of interest of its goals such as the Catholic University of Avila (Spain), in which there is a Department Berit for the family, and with the University Saint Thomas in Santiago de Chile.
The Berit Institute offers a well-grounded spiritual and personal formation based on the charism founded by Fr. Morales and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Its spirituality is based on the Nazorean family’s style (cf. Amoris laetitia, 30), marked by a strong marian print, and in the accompaniment of each person in the different stages of their life.
The spiritual formation nourishes most especially through the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. As Pope Francis points out, the Spiritual Exercises continue to be an adequate instrument to for an encounter with God so that we don’t know him just from hearsay: “The one who lives the Spiritual Exercises in its authentic way experiences the attraction of God and comes back renewed, transfigured to the ordinary life, to the daily relationships, bringing with oneself the perfume of God” (Pope Francis, Audience to the Italian Federation of Spiritual Exercises, 3-3-2014).
The importance of family prayer is a privileged means to strengthen faith (cf. Amoris Laetitia, 318). This spiritual path makes contemplation through action possible, and propels the family, truly a “domestic church” (LG 11), to transmit faith and collaborate in evangelization, to open bigger circles in order to reach all of society, if that is their vocation.
Following the invitation of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, the Berit Institute develops its ministry activity in a missionary key, focusing “on the essential, which is the most beautiful, the greatest, the most attractive and at the same time the most needed” (Evangelii Gaudium, 35)
The Institute has several goals:
Make possible an integral formation of the person and their development in the specific environment of the marital and family life, based on an authentic education about love and the transmission of the faith in the family.
Foster the active and responsible involvement role of the family in the social and educative commitment (cf. Amoris laetitia, 324); utilize the family formation as a relevant means to help other families get closer to the Gospel, showing that the education of the children is the inalienable right and duty of their parents which results in a better society;
Offer our centers for attention to the families to the diocese, with individuals prepared to give formation in the different aspects of family orientation.
Collaborate with the evangelization projects that the local Church, lead by its pastors, with the family as its receiving audience, accompanying families in every stage and circumstances of their journey.
Pre-Cana Classes for Marriage
An opportunity to show the beauty of the vocation of marriage, with appropriate catechesis given as specific preparation to receive the Sacrament, and later accompaniment, in every stage of the marriage and family vocation, most especially in the first years of their marriage.
In the accompaniment, orientation and formation to build what will be the core of a new family, is an opportunity to give to the couple the motivation and means that the Gospel offers.
Orientation Centers for Families
The Berit Institute offers the service of professionals and experts in the diverse fields (medicine, law, social work, pedagogy, religion, affective-sexual education…) to provide the necessary help, for individuals or whole families. These centers have not merely a therapeutic character but also evangelizer.
This attention is given in a personalist style, in agreement with the Christian view of man and woman. It is a positive help to the marital love and the family life. The Berit Institute’s collaboration covers three different and complementary levels: informative, orientative and group family mediation for family conflicts, with family counseling for them.
These seminars are addressed to the families that are members of the Institute and to any other family interested in receiving formation in topics related to marriage, family and education, such as: learning how to love from the faith; the family, between the gift of work and the task of feasting; pastoral charity, the heart of the Church; keys for reading and applying the documents of the Church Magisterium.
As Pope Francis has repeatedly pointed out, human ecology implies the need of the existence of an environment that allows the true development of the human being, an integral development (cf. Pope Francis, Encyclical Laudato si, about the care of our common home (5-24-2015).
The Institute promotes the attention and support of families with members that are sick, elderly, with lack of resources, homeless children…
Collaborates in different social projects, of which we highlight the following:
Project in Yerbateros and Lomas de Nocheto (Lima, Peru): catechesis, social help, home-by-home visits…
Project “Our Lady of Fatima” (Chiclayo, Peru): soup kitchen for children, formative talks, alphabetization program for youth and adults.
Berit Institute for the Family