“Last October 15th, 1997, the Pontificial Council for the Laity, presided by Monsignor, James Francis Stafford, Archbishop of Denver, Colorado, USA, officially recognized Prayer and Life Workshops as a private International Association with the name of ” Prayer and Life Workshops International Association with Pontifical Right”, founded in 1984 by Father Ignacio Larrañaga Orbegozo, a Spanish Capuchin.”
Upon handing over the document, those responsible from the pontifical dicasterium stated that the approval had already been awarded by more than 1,500 testimonies which they had received from the bishops and pastors from 40 countries throughtout the world and that they had only served to officially confirm it.
The founder has explained that the workshops are a service to the Church. But this service has a very precise goal: to teach others to pray in an orderly and progressive manner, in the sense that they progress from the simplest experiences of beginners to the heights of contemplation. Christians, in general, reflect a good deal on the Word of God and catechesis, but they are not taught how to pray, at least not in a systematic and practical manner. The Workshops do this through a course of 15 two-hour weekly sessions. Rather than theoretical, the source is concrete and practical. It is designed precisely as a workshop where the participants learn by working and work by learning. Our movement teaches prayer by praying.
Resolution from the Vatican
The prayer and life workshops had their beginning in 1984 when their founder, the Rev. F. P: Ignacio Larrañaga Orbegozo, O.F.M. Cap. Traveled though numerous countries of the world exercising his pastoral ministry; and sensing the necessity of helping souls to initiate a personal relationship with god. So they may know him, with the purpose of having each Christian become a friends and disciple of the Lord. Since then, the prayer and life workshops have had a vast expansion in various continents.
The prayer and life workshops constitute a service to the Church and have the primary objective of teaching the faithful how to pray in an orderly and progressive manner, through courses that are eminently practical using a workshops format, in which one learns to pray by praying, Through his example Christ draws his disciples to a life of prayer (cfr. Lk 1 1. 1)<>(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2607). Besides, using the words of the ecumenical Vatican Council II : <> (Sacrosanctum Concilium Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 10)
Besides gradually introducing its members to a life of prayer, which is vitally synthesized with their ordinary daily activities, the Prayer and Life Workshops also have their own specific objectives in making those who integrate them become conscious of the dignity they have received in the sacrament of Baptism and thus their responsibility in the Church and in the world. Each workshop is transformed into a greenhouse of vocations for lay apostles at the service of their respective Dioceses and Parishes. They also transmit the Word and the presence of the Father’s love towards all men, specially those who are most in need. (cfr. Statutes, 4)
Both the Ecumenical Vatican Council II as well as the Post-conciliar Magisterium, have paid special attention to the associative forms of participating in the life of the Church, manifesting towards them their most profound esteem and consideration (cfr. Decree on the apostolate oof the laity Apostolicam Actuositatem, 18, 19 and 21; John Paul II, Post-synod Apostolic Exhortation Christifidelis Laici, 29).
In this sense, at the beginning on the new millennium His Holiness Pope John Paul The Second has written < > (Apostolic letter Novo Millennio inuente, 46).
Considering that the Pontificial Council of Laymen, through the decree dated on October 4, 1997, recognized Prayer and Life Workshops as a Private International Association of Laymen, of Pontificial Law, with a Judicial Personality, and approved their Statutes for a period ad experimentum of five years.
This period having transpired and attending to the petition presented to this Dicastery dated May 20, 2002 by Ms. Margarita Cano Urcelay, International Coordinator of the Prayer and Life Workshops, requesting the definitive approval the Statutes;
Accepting, also, the modifications presented in the text of the Statutes;
Considering the extension and depth of the formation and apostolic activities developed during these years by the Prayer and Life Workshops;
Having seen the articles 131-134 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, on the Roman Curia, as well as the canon 312, § 1,1° of the Code of Canonical Law.
The Pontificial Council of Laymen Decrees
1. Confirmation of the recognition of the prayer & life workshops as a private International Association of laymen of Pontificial law with a judicial personality according to canons 298-329 of the code of canonical law.
2. The definite approval of the statutes of the prayer and life workshops, whose original can be found deposited in the archives of this Dicastery.
Given at the Vatican city, on the fourth of October of two thousand two. Liturgical memory of saint Francis of Assisi.