Fondacio was born in France in 1974 in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and the grace of the Charismatic Renewal
1974: the beginnings
Fondacio was born in France in 1974 in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and the grace of charismatic renewal, with Jean-Michel Rousseau and his wife Jane, as well as young people gathered around them in Poitiers (France).
At the beginning, the activity was essentially oriented towards the formation of young adults, evangelization and the deployment of lay vocations in the middle of the world in order to bring “something new”.
Fondacio was quickly asked by the Church, in other towns in France and towards other horizons, to develop its know-how.
Ten years after its birth, Fondacio is already present in many countries: France, Belgium, Chile, Malaysia, Philippines, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso…
At present, some key areas of Fondacio’s mission are already well defined.
Its members are involved in various activities, particularly with young people, families, actors in social and political life, but also with people marginalized by society or living in poverty .
Formation occupies a major place in the proposals made to each of these audiences, convinced that the transformation of the world passes through the transformation of oneself and the consolidation of the “inner man” by the Spirit (Cf. Paul in Eph 3: 14-16).
The strength of a lay community like Fondacio also lies in the fraternal spirit which animates it in all that is lived and undertaken for a new world.
Thus, the first Fondacio training institute was created in 1990 as a higher education institution for young people in search of meaning for their personal and professional future.
The large international gatherings organized with other movements and local communities reflect the diversity in communion between the countries where Fondacio is on mission, as well as in ecumenism and the meeting of different Christian denominations. Close links are established with the Protestant churches. They contribute to the deepening of the Word of God and the Bible, as well as to a common missionary impulse.
In 1991, the founder left the movement following serious misconduct. The 1990s were then marked by a re-reading of the experience with a look of faith and a search for adaptation, a discernment of our spirituality and sustained support from the Church through its pastors and its theologians.
Under the impetus of Gérard Testard, President from 1991 to 2008, and of a new Council, this work gave rise to an institutional overhaul and also generated a new missionary impetus, like a rebirth. Fruit of a collaboration with several bishops, Fondacio strengthens its ecclesial links and is recognized as a diocesan association of the faithful by the Bishop of Versailles in 1995 .
A fine ecumenical experience is also taking shape in Romania with the Orthodox Church, in the development of social works (orphanages, people in precarious situations, etc.).
2000: extension in a collegial spirit
The mode of operation becomes more collegial thanks to a new governance. It is set up through Congresses bringing together delegates from all the countries where Fondacio is present. These Congresses, organized every five years, encourage the diversity of the movement and actions in collaboration with local teams.
They also promote the unity of the movement throughout the world, in particular through the election of a president and a Fondacio council, and through the discernment of the priority orientations voted for five years.
The development of the apostolate at the world level, fruit of spiritual and ecclesial roots, gave rise to the recognition of Fondacio as an international association deprived of the faithful of pontifical right ad experimentum in 2008 by the Dicastery of the Laity, the Family and the Life, then definitely in 2015.
The Congress elects the President of Fondacio, Ignacio Rosselot, Chilean, for the period 2008-2013, then François Prouteau in 2013 and 2018. Fondacio is rooted in its host countries and deploys its missions on other sites:
- Europe (Romania, England),
- Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Vietnam, etc.),
- Africa (Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo Brazza)
- South America (with support from Chile and Colombia)
The 2000s also marked the development of a network of Fondacio Training Institutes on each of the 4 continents where Fondacio is present. -Neuve in Belgium), is the bridgehead.
In partnership with universities, each of these continental institutes is a vector of influence for Fondacio. Today, they participate in the deployment in new countries, particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and in the exploration of new key innovation sectors for the future.
2018: The vision of the last Congress
Fondacio is a “one and diverse” community. It is an extremely decentralized movement that values the autonomy of interconnected territories, both in terms of initiative and governance. There is also always a concern for acculturation, for solutions adapted to the needs and development of the territories and the people who live there.
At the last international congress, the vision for the next 5 years focused on supporting and training actors of change to face current challenges, and in particular the safeguarding of the common home.
At Pentecost 2019, the birth of CHARIS , a service desired by Pope Francis, gives new impetus to charismatic renewal, “a current of grace from the Spirit for the whole Church”. It is also an opportunity for Fondacio to strengthen its charism at the service of human fraternity and at the service of the poor, those who have the most physical and spiritual needs.
Launch of Charis
François Prouteau, president of Fondacio, is called by the Vatican to the service of international communion, which has 18 members, responsible for the animation of CHARIS.
2024: 50 years of Fondacio
Fondacio’s 50th anniversary celebration will certainly be a time of assessment, refreshment, graces and welcome for the next 50 years.
Fondacio finds itself at a particular moment in its history with the upcoming 50th anniversary. Together, let’s be the builders of the world of tomorrow.