The History of Sodality
In the 16th century, the Church was under attack and being persecuted by various groups which sought to undermine the Faith which was established through Jesus Christ and tradition. A young Jesuit in Rome decided to gather together his prized pupils and in front of the little Altar of Mary, they consecrated themselves to her and place themselves in her hands, that they would be guided in defending our Catholic Faith.They were recognized as followers of Christ by their zeal, charity and service. Throughout the centuries, various Popes have acknowledged the Sodality and granted a list of special indulgences. (And indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of
which has been forgiven)
The sodalities spread quickly throughout Europe and later came to America. Women and girls were finally admitted to the Society by Pope Benedict XIV in 1751. Mass and Communion were stressed. Sodality membership is worldwide, including the Holy Father, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, and lay persons of all ages. The sodality was organized to increase the personal holiness of its members and to train them in charitable work for others. A goal of Sodality has always been to further personal piety among its members by urging devotion to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, devoted imitation of Mary, use of prayer, etc. engaged in the lay apostolate. In the parish, lay apostolate is the organized help given by parishioners to their parish priest in his apostolic work by participating in charitable and apostolic work.
Today sodality is success fully engaged in the lay apostolate. In the parish, lay apostolate is the organized help given by parishioners to their parish priest in his apostolic work by participating in charitable and apostolic work. Today, each sodality is autonomous, but we in the Archdiocese of Washington have a Sodality Union, a medium by which affiliated sodalities can come together once a month to celebrate, to share ideas and concerns and to give and receive assistance. We are members of the Sodality Union, which is a federation of other sodalities with the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. Members of all sodalities are welcome to attend any and all functions of the Sodality Union. Unfortunately, many do not go either because of timeconstraints or other obligations. Unfortunately, many do not go either because of time.
Sodality is a spiritual organization where Catholics act together for the Savior, the Blessed Mother, and the Church.
Sodality holds the Blessed Virgin up as the highest ideal of womanhood.
Christ is the center of Sodality devotion.
Sodality serves the Church.
Sodality is an organization most perfectly adapted to our own times.
Where properly organized and operating, the Sodality is the heart of the parish and the pastor’s most efficient helper.