The Marian Community of Reconciliation, better known as the Fraternas, is celebrating 25 years of evangelization, spreading the love of Christ and living an authentic spiritual motherhood inspired by Mary.
A special Mass said by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila was held in honor of the occasion April 1 at Holy Name Parish.
“My heart is full of gratitude for all the good that you Fraternas have accomplished, what you have done in these years, especially for your mission here in Denver,” Archbishop Aquila said during the homily. “Like the women who stood at the foot of the cross, you have been witnesses, you continue to remain faithful to Christ and you have the experience of what Christ has done in you.”
Founded in 1991 in Lima, Peru, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Marian Community of Reconciliation was approved by the Church as an international society of apostolic life. Their community is made of laywomen who have consecrated themselves to God in order to serve the world. Since the Fraternas’ founding, their communities have spread to several different regions around the world, including England, Australia and the United States.
The local chapter of the Fraternas was invited to Denver by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput in 1998. Maye Agama, the local superior, has been a Fraterna since 1993. She, along with the other Fraternas, have made perpetual promises of obedience, celibacy and sharing of goods in order to carry out their given mission, which is done in devotion to Mary.
“Our mission is to follow our Mother Mary in announcing the love of the Lord and the Gospel of Reconciliation, defending and promoting the dignity of life, and evangelizing the culture,” Agama said. “As our Holy Mother, we live a spiritual maternity helping others to encounter the love of Christ.”
The Fraternas devote much of their service to youth, the poor and families. In Denver, the women of the Marian Community of Reconciliation serve in various apostolates and ministries, and are involved in different aspects of the local Catholic community. Some Fraternas serve with the non-profit, homeless outreach organization Christ in the City, and two of the women work at the Chancery of the archdiocese, one as a religious education specialist and the other as editor of the Spanish archdiocesan newspaper, El Pueblo Católico.
Ursula Jimenez is the religious education specialist for the Archdiocese of Denver and has been a Fraterna for 15 years. When she entered the community, she didn’t fully understand what it meant to be part of them, but this 25th anniversary has helped to put things in perspective for her.
“Looking back on these past 25 years, I am humbled to remember all the love God has for us, to see his providence in our journey and also the strong presence of Mother Mary during these years,” Jimenez said. “25 years may not be long for the life of the Church, but for most of us it is already a life devoted to God, to our brothers and sisters and to our Mother Church.”
As the superior of the local chapter of the Fraternas and someone who was there very early on, Agama feels blessed and grateful to be celebrating 25 years.
“It fills me with gratitude to have been part of most of this history, and of the growth of that very small seed,” Agama said. “This anniversary is a special moment for me to give thanks to God with my whole life and to renew my deep desire to love Him always, filled with the certainty of his love and fidelity.”
To learn more about the Marian Community of Reconciliation, visit their official website.