With time, some of the Collaborators of Your Joy felt a desire to commit themselves to the charism of the Interior Life in a new way. After much discernment, the decision was made by the sisters to offer a specific program of formation for those Collaborators that desired to go deeper in their commitment. The name “Family” was chosen to indicate a closeness to the ideal that the sisters and the brothers were living out through their consecration.
In 2008 a group of 25 people (including young adults, families and diocesan priests) was involved in the preparation for making a promise to become part of the Family. They took their formal promise on January 1, 2009.
Then on January 1, 2011, another 17 people became Family members and, on January 1, 2013, a new group of 38 people will take their promises and become Family members.
As was the case of the first group of Family members, there are requirements toward being able to take the promise. There are 12 meetings (spread over a period of 18 months) consisting of teachings on the human person (intellect, will, and affectivity), the AVI charism, the history of the Community and the four pillars. One year of participation in the Collaborators is mandatory prior to the 12 meetings. Ongoing Spiritual Direction, daily meditation, and thanksgiving after Communion are also required. During these 18 months of preparation and formation possible candidates for the Family need to discern if they are being called to take an official promise.
The Family meets in Kansas every month, and some Family members from other states are reached through Skype, e-mails and MP3s. Some of them are leading small groups of friends and coworkers who desire to deepen their spiritual life. They are involved in the formation (through friendship, mentorship, talks, etc.) of around 50 people who belong to the Collaborators of Your Joy in Kansas City, KS, Denver, CO, and Wichita, KS. A couple of times a year the AVI, the Family and the COJOY gather together for a full day, called convivenza (gathering), for 3 days of Spiritual Exercises.