WHAT IS MAGNIFICAT?
Magnificat, a Ministry to Catholic women is a private association of the faithful within the Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of the local ordinary. Its purpose is to help Catholic women to open more and more to the Holy Spirit through a deeper commitment of their lives to Jesus as Lord and to impart the Holy Spirit to one another by their love, service and sharing the good news of salvation. It thus provides opportunities which will foster a desire to grow in holiness.
Magnificat ministers to those women in and out of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal whose faith in the person of Jesus Christ has allowed them to believe in the activity of God’s spirit in their lives. It also has great appeal to those women who may be struggling with faith or who have lost touch with the Church. It can be a valuable evangelistic tool.
THE HISTORY OF MAGNIFICAT
Magnificat was begun by a group of Catholic women from the Archdiocese of New Orleans who observed a need among Catholic Women for a faith-sharing experience in a relaxed social setting.
Magnificat was the inspiration of the late Bishop Stanley J. Ott (then Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans) with the encouragement of the late Archbishop Philip Hannan (Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans). Its first function, a prayer breakfast took place on October 7, 1981.
Magnificat is a private association of the Christian faithful, whose statutes were originally approved by Archbishop Philip Hannan of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and are in accord with the norm of Canon 305.2 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. While Magnificat began under the auspices of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and was first incorporated in the State of Louisiana, each local chapter functions with permission of the local ordinary and is incorporated in its respective state.
It was born out of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and has been nurtured by it.
“My Soul magnifies the Lord.”
These words recorded in Luke 1:46 are the beginning of Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s joyful greeting. The entire scene of the Visitation is the inspiration for this ministry, which adopts the name of Mary’s hymn of praise and the spirit of this biblical encounter as its own. Following the example of Mary and Elizabeth, this woman-to-woman ministry within the Roman Catholic Church, attempts to generate a lively faith in God and His action in our lives along with a love for Mary and the Church.
Membership in Magnificat is of a spiritual nature, conferred for life, and open to all women who:
• Strive to incorporate in their lives the purposes and objectives of Magnificat
• Agree to pray for Magnificat and its members
• Then, complete the membership form as a sign of their commitment to Magnificat and its ideals.
There are NO dues; however local chapters must be self-sufficient. Operational expenses are covered by ticket sales and subsidized by free-will donations.
Benefits of Membership
Members share the joy of serving the Church by ministering to their sisters through prayer, fellowship and loving service.
Members share in the prayers of all the members. They are provided opportunities to meet with other women who have the same spiritual values. They encourage each other in their desire to grow in holiness. They are invited to attend and serve in other functions of Magnificat.
THE MISSION OF MAGNIFICAT
Magnificat exists to evangelize and to encourage Catholic women to grow in holiness through opening more fully to the power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF MAGNIFICAT?
Magnificat’s objectives are to:
• Live out the mystery of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth,
• help Catholic women to open more and more to the Holy Spirit through a deeper commitment of their lives to Jesus as Lord and to impart the Holy Spirit to one another by their love, service,and sharing the good news of salvation,
• provide opportunities which foster growth in holiness,
• sponsor the Magnificat Meal, the essential function of Magnificat, and
• imitate Mary through spiritual adoption of priest and seminarians.
Magnificat encourages growth in holiness through:
• Daily Personal Prayer
• Knowing the love of God the Father
• Commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord
• Experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and openness to His gifts
• Frequent participation in the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation
• Study and daily reading of the Sacred Scriptures
• Love for and loyalty to the Catholic Church as expressed through her teaching authority of the Pope and Bishops in communion with him
• Serving the needs of the Church and the world
• Love and devotion to Mary, mother and model
• Appreciation of the vocation of Christian women
• Reverence for the sanctity of life
• Fostering the works of intercessory prayer
• Promoting unity