Teams of Our Lady

Yesterday was our 12th anniversary, and although we are delaying our celebration until my mom comes out in a couple of weeks (we never seem to go on dates except when my mom comes into town. From another state.) we did happen to attend an informational meeting about a program designed to nurture married couples in their spiritual lives – Teams of Our Lady. It’s just getting started at our parish and we’ve decided to give it a try for the first five “pilot” meetings. I’m excited, as it will be a way for us to connect with other families, which is hard when you’ve just moved to a new place. It seems to offer a decent amount of structure and accountability, in terms of the monthly meetings we’ll attend with other couples, without being quite as, shall we say, demanding as other movements.

I’ve actually never been involved with a “movement,” per se, so this should be interesting.

From their website:


An international movement of married couples whose purposes in the Movement and in Team life are:

  • growth in the spiritual life of the couple and family through a program of prayer and study
  • growth in communication between husband and wife with a developing intimacy through shared prayer and regular in-depth talks
  • a way of life designed to make their Christian faith a daily living experience

Each Team is made up of 5 to 7 couples and a Spiritual Counselor.

The movement does not impose a particular type of spirituality on its members, but rather Teams couples agree to practice a spiritual direction that includes:

  • daily individual, couple, and family prayer
  • regular reading and reflection on sacred scripture
  • a monthly husband and wife discussion of family and spiritual matters
  • an individual “rule of life” for personal improvement

The movement was founded in 1947 in France, which I think means I should wear a scarf and pay more attention to proper grooming of my eyebrows if we’re going to be serious about this. It seems to involve mutual support among couples without boiling down to the dreaded “Forced Sharing” model of spiritual growth. The central prayer of the movement (which I’m having a hard time referring to as “T.O.O.L.” but perhaps I’ll get over it) is the Magnificat, which has long been a favorite prayer of mine:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
My Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
For He has looked with favour on His lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
The Almighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His Name.

He has mercy on those who fear Him
In every generation.

He has shown the strength of His arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
And has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of His servant Israel
For He has remembered His promise of mercy,
The promise He made to our fathers,
To Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning.
is now, and will be forever.


I’m interested to know if any of you have been involved with Teams of Our Lady, and what effect you felt it had on your relationship with your spouse. Neither I nor my husband is particularly great at sticking with routines, so I think being involved with something to give us a bit more focus will be beneficial for us as individuals and as a couple. If you haven’t been involved with this particular movement but have found other similar sources of support, I’d love to hear about that as well.

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  1. scotch meg says


    Go for it! We were involved with TOOL for two seasons and then life interfered with too many of the other couples. We are trying again with the same lead couple. DH is not a social person; he is doing this for me – God bless him! – and it was not the Most Intellectual or Most Spiritual thing we’ve ever done. But it was good company and good focus time. If we had tried a little harder to do the praying part of the routine, I think we would have gotten more out of it. As far as the “sit-down” part goes – well, after 27 years, it’s pretty well integrated into our lives, although we’ve never called it exactly that. But we both felt it would have been extremely helpful earlier on, especially when the kids were at your stage. I.e., before we had teens, so we got better at communicating before they got better at trying to get around us.

  2. says

    I’d love to hear how you like it. An older couple approached me about joining along with my husband, but I knew we were moving in a couple of months and didn’t want to start when I knew we’d be leaving the area shortly. It’s definitely something I’d be interested in trying at a later time.

  3. Jerry Lopes says

    My wife and I have been on Teams for about ten years. We have found that is one of the best movements you can find for mariages and families. We began with seven couples, but have remained with only five. (because of other commitments) We all struggle with issuses throughout our lives. It’s wonderful to know that we can approach these issues with the support of others with similar values and goals. We’ve learned to pray, raise our families and grow closer to our church community through Teams of Our Lady. We would certainly recommend this movement to any married couple, young or old.

  4. Maggie says

    You should definitely join a team! We have been members for about 13 years. Our team has struggled over the last few years, in part because of deaths within our team and also because as kids get older parents get busier. But this inconsistency let us see how much we missed the regular gathering and sharing. We hope to repilot our team with a few new couples next year and get back on track. It is so worth the commitment!

  5. Maggie says

    I forgot to mention that TOOL is wonderful for our family as well as our marriage. Now that our kids are older, they tell us that they liked that we put our Teams meeting each month ahead of their activities. They knew it was important that we put US ahead of THEM; that keeping our relationship strong kept the family strong, too.

  6. says

    Thanks, everyone! We ended up saying we’d like to join but our parish doesn’t yet have enough couples interested in participating. I’m hoping we can get something started up in the Fall.