50 Years History
The Community of God's Love (CGL) is a warm, welcoming community where God's love is present. We are a covenanted Catholic charismatic community of families, single people, and ordained clergy who are committed to the Lord Jesus and to each other in a unique way.
Fifty years ago dozens of college students gathered weekly at the FDU Newman Center to have prayer meetings. Over time a core group decided to make a deeper commitment to form Christian community. The Newman Center was renamed Visitation House and became our Community's home and the center of our communal lives. It is where we gather for daily and weekly liturgies, as well as times of fellowship.
What does it mean to be a covenanted community?
Our Covenant is central to who we are. Covenanted members sign a covenant expressing our commitments to daily prayer, to presence at community gatherings, to service, to tithing, and to pastoral structures. Besides covenanted members, the CGL also has Associate Members. Association is a less formal form of membership which allows a person to experience the life of the Community on a regular basis.
Members of the CGL believe we have been called to live out our commitment to God through our relationships with each other. We support each other on our spiritual, emotional, and physical journeys as we work together toward the establishment of God's kingdom on earth. The richness of our lives together emanates from shared prayer and a strong bond among members who are committed to "being there" for each other in joyful and in difficult times, as well as in the ordinary situations of community our lives. In many ways, we are like extended family to each other.
What is the Community's Relationship to the Roman Catholic Church?
A recognized part of the Archdiocese of Newark, we were established as a "Public Association of the Christian Faithful" by Archbishop Peter L. Gerety in 1984. We are not a parish, and we are not a religious order but fall somewhere in between those expressions of lived faith. We are governed by a lay pastoral team, elected by our members every two years.
What is life like within the Community?
Our joyful celebration of the Eucharist has always been a key element in our life together. Mass, followed by a time of fellowship, is available most mornings at Visitation House. After our weekly Saturday evening liturgy, we have a prayer meeting to praise God, to listen to His word, and to share the ways in which God reveals Himself in our daily lives. Small groups called subgroups meet monthly to share faith journeys and foster deep relationships among members.
Women's and men's fellowship groups are another avenue of support. These groups complement the dynamics that occur when the whole community comes together. Most importantly, there is the intangible bond of close relationships shared by our members, enabling us to give support and accept support from each other as our journeys evolve.