Third orders and lay groups

This post is also available in: Suomi (Finnish)Svenska (Swedish)Polski (Polish)

There are lay communities of different religious orders and other groups within the parish. On this page, representatives of these groups will tell you about their activities.

Lay Dehonians

The spiritual family of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ), the Dehonians (founded by Father Léon Dehon), includes lay people. In Finland they are called Jeesuksen Pyhän Sydämen maallikot (“Lay People of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”, but worldwide they are better known as Lay Dehonians.

The Lay Dehonians are neither an association nor a secret society. It is a group of lay people committed to the vocation of Father Dehon within the Church. Commitment to something activates, gives poise and order to our spiritual life. In other words, it prevents – or at least reduces – spiritual laziness! On the other hand, we must remember that belonging to a particular group is not the most important thing for a Catholic Christian. What matters is to be united to Christ through prayer and sacraments, to grow in holiness and to serve God and one’s fellow human beings.

Those interested in membership first have a trial period of about a year. During this time, they participate in a programme for candidates, attend group meetings, pray, learn about the Congregation and Father Dehon’s vision. If the candidate feels at home, he or she may be admitted as a full member at the celebration of Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in June.

The groups meets on every first Thursday of the month after the evening mass in the parish hall. It is also possible to join online. We speak Finnish.

Much information about the Order of the Sacred Heart and its lay membership can be found on the website of the Order’s Finnish region:
Matti Andelin, President (tel. 040-9668288). The spiritual director of the Helsinki group is Father Martti Savijoki SCJ (tel. 044-5478805), the moderator of all Finnish cells is Father Rafal Czernia SCJ.


Franciscan Third Order

Franciscan Friars Minor (OFS) are men and women who wish to live in the spirit of St Francis, following Christ. They seek to cultivate this spirit in their daily lives, in their work and in their communities. Franciscan friars are part of the so-called Franciscan family, which is made up of all the Franciscan religious orders.

The group meets once a month – usually the second Tuesday of every month – in the parish hall of St. Mary’s. Other activities include a Franciscan feast in Kökar in the summer, and participation in the international activities of the community.

There are currently seven pledged Franciscans in Finland, but a larger number of people regularly attend the meetings. Anyone with a good will is welcome to attend the meetings.


Legion of Mary

Per Mariam ad Jesum (Through Mary to Jesus)

In the Legion of Mary we walk together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the spirit of the apostles and disciples, following Jesus.

Through us humans, the Mother of God carries out God’s will on earth. For that she needs our cooperation. Through us, Mary wants to fulfil her motherly call to all people, so that no soul may face eternal death.

Blessed John Paul II said to the Italian Legionaries of Mary on 30 October 1982: “Where the Mother is, there is also the Son, who is the way, the truth and the life of us all. The Son is loved and recognized all the more through the love we show to Mary.”

The active membership means regular attendance at the Monday meetings and substantial work during the week. The auxiliar members concentrate on supporting the work with their prayer.

The Legion of Mary praesidium meets every Monday in the parish hall, 10 min after evening Mass. Welcome! You can also join online. The language of the group is English.


Charismatic Movement

What is Catholic Charismatic Renewal?

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal began at a Dequesne University student retreat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in February 1967. The students had spent the weekend in prayer, asking God to allow them to experience the grace of both baptism and confirmation. That weekend, they received a powerful transforming experience from God that has since become known as the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit’s promptings and experiences of that weekend quickly spread to the campus and subsequently to other college campuses across the country.

The charismatic experiences soon spread beyond the university and gained a foothold in parishes and other Catholic institutions. Loose organizations and networks were formed. Catholic charismatic conferences began to be organised. The Notre Dame campus in South Bend Indiana hosted one with 30,000 participants in the mid-1970s.

The charismatic renewal gained attention in the Church, and leaders of the movement met with Pope Paul VI (1975) and John Paul II several times. In addition, several bishops’ conferences in different countries have written pastoral letters to encourage and support the movement.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is not a single united worldwide movement. It does not have a single founder or founding group as many other movements do. It has no membership lists. It has a very diverse composition of individuals, groups and activities, covenant communities, prayer groups, small faith communities, reformed congregations, conferences, retreats, even
forms of participation in the various activities of the church, all often quite independent of each other, with different degrees and forms in their development and stages. Yet they all share a common experience and a common purpose.

The main unifier of the movement is the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. For many people, this new, powerful, life-changing outpouring of the Holy Spirit takes place in special seminars called “Life in the Spirit”, although many have also received the baptism of the Holy Spirit outside of seminars.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is present in 220 countries and has touched the lives of over 120,000,000 Catholics. In some countries the number of participants seems to have declined in recent years, while in others their numbers continue to rise at an astonishing rate.

A charismatic prayer group is starting in our parish in the fall. At first the language will be English.


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