Los Angeles, Calif., Apr 1, 2014 / 16:09 pm
At age 19, Maria Teresa Alva was already involved with the Christian Life Movement in her native Peru, when she met members of the Marian Community of Reconciliation, also known as "Fraternas" - laywomen who have consecrated themselves to God in order to serve others in the world.
Founded in Peru by a consecrated layman in 1991, the Fraternas take on the commitments of obedience, celibacy and detachment from temporal goods in order to be fully available for the apostolate, centered on working with youth, families, the needy, the evangelization of culture and the protection and the dignity of life. Currently, members of the community serve in several dioceses of South and Central America, Australia, England, Italy and the U.S. (California, Colorado, Connecticut and Texas).
Alva felt there was something special about the Fraternas. "I was really touched about their joy and happiness," the now 37-year-old told The Tidings in a group interview with three other community members at the recent Religious Education Congress.
"I started to ask myself and ask God what he wanted for me," said Alva. "I knew I wanted to give my entire heart to God, not only a part, all of it. So, with a lot of signs, I realized he was really calling me to this kind of life."