The 26th MSC General Chapter is blessed to have members from our Laity of the Chevalier Family (LCF) attending and having a consultative voice in the chapter.
Alison McKenzie, the Secretary General of the International Council (LCF) shares that she is honored to have been invited and that many of the missionary stories she has heard truly inspired her. From the point of view of the laity, she hopes to be able to define their place in the Chevalier Family and their relationship with the MSC. She considers the Laity of the Chevalier Family as interdependents with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
Alison hopes that in the future the presence of the laity in the Chevalier Family will increase and be all the more recognized; that the meaning of what it means to be a lay member will be more deeply understood. “We live the charism through a secular life, through our family, our work, our relationships, our children… all these things are a vocation. There we live the Spirituality of the Heart and this is not a distraction from our vocation, it is a way of living this spirituality in everyday life, it is not an inferior way of living the Spirituality of the Heart, it is a different way than a religious, a parish priest in a parish. We too have a vocation,” she says.
Alison believes that the Congregation recognizes this way of living the spirituality, but does not fully understand it. The lay have their particularities and the religious have theirs.
Alison comments that as the Chevalier Family, “we are the third branch created by Jules Chevalier.” She says that it is impossible to imagine the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart without the laity. Therefore she asks that not only the members of the General Chapter, provincials and delegates, understand this role as an autonomous branch, united in spirit and mission, interdependent but autonomous within the Chevalier Family, but that all religious understand this; that the MSC in the local groups are spiritual companions, not the leader. They must be the link to carry out the interrelationship with the Congregation, but, at the same time, understand the autonomy of the laity within the Chevalier Family to which they belong.
In 2024, the Laity of the Chevalier Family will have their General Assembly in the Philippines in which representatives of the Trigeneralte (Polce, msc, Sr. Merle, fdnsc, and Sr. Nicola, msc) will participate. The Chevalier Family laity are present in 35 countries and representatives from 27 countries will attend. She is very happy with this response and hopes that it will give a new impetus to the lay movement within the Chevalier Family.
Participating in this General Chapter is very important and she is grateful for the invitation.