Christian Life Communities (CLCs) are small faith sharing groups that are based around three pillars: spirituality, community, and mission. Click below to read more about our pillars.
"Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased." -- Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ
On our journey of faith, we need the company of other Christians. The Bible tells us that the very first Christians met together in small communities to study scripture, pray together, and share table fellowship (Acts 2: 42-47). The Societ of Jesus formed when Ignatius and his closest companions communally discerned God's movement in their lives. And since the earliest days of the Jesuits nearly 500 years ago, lay women and men also formed small groups to support one another in living out their faith.
CLC continues this long tradition of accompanying one another on the journey of faith. We are a diverse community where all are welcome and no one is excluded. Our community pillar is an invitation to form authentic friendships with others who will support each another in living faithful lives. We strive to create a safe space where all are able to share their full selves, support one another through the ups and downs of life, discern God's calling, and find a sense of belonging.
Each CLC group is made up of 6-10 participants and a small group leader who gather weekly who gather weekly for prayer and conversation. These weekly meetings help build authentic community and give members a place to belong on campus. Outside of meetings, CLC members hang out together, explore Chicago, share meals, do service, and worship together.
"God is always coming to you in the Sacrament of the Present Moment. Meet and receive Him there with gratitude in that sacrament." -- Evelyn Underhill
Faith and spirituality are at the heart of the Ignatian way of life. CLC's spirituality pillar is an invitation to grow on our journeys in faith. Faith is the growing awareness of God's grace in our life and our decision to respond to God, a choice we make in freedom with love. Through practicing Ignatian spirituality within CLC groups, members gradually learn to recognize signs and patterns of God's movement in their lives.
We utilize Ignatian prayer techniques (such as the daily examen, meditation on Scripture, imaginative prayer, silence, and more). By creating space in their lives for spiritual "exercises," CLC members learn to sense God's movement in their lives (through their stories, longings, dreams, joys, gifts) and to be more aware of their own response - whether openness or resistance - to God's calling.
"We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being... For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?" -- Pope Francis
CLC's mission pillar invites us to respond to God's loving initiative by putting love into action, becoming more generous, and working for justice. Mission is about discovering and living into our vocation to become people of love, people of action, people with and for others. Simply put, mission is love in action.
CLC members strive to be people of faithful service as we serve our local Chicago community and the world at large. Whether as individuals or as a small group, CLC members participate in a variety of service activities throughout the academic year. The mission pillar takes many forms. Some educate themselves through the annual Hunger Week on campus. Some engage in advocacy for compassionate immigration reform through the annual Via Crucis service. Others participate in direct service in Chicago through organizations like Labre or Misericordia. In all these ways and more, our members strive to be "people for and with others."