The Ascent

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The Ascent Movement: new movements and communities in the life of the Church

Born in France in the post-war years, Ascent was dedicated to develop spirituality, friendship and apostolate of the laity, and in particular, those in the ‘third stage’ of their lives, older and retired. This is possibly the first full account of its beginnings, profound spirituality, international character and dramatic growth over the last 50 years. At every stage, this has been accompanied by the discernment and encouragement of the Church.


Both before and after the Council, the Church witnessed the flourishing of many new movements and communities. Characterised by a striking vitality and varied fruits, and not unlike the religious orders of past ages, these new ’initiatives’ in today’s Church share a passion to evangelise in a world losing interest and hope in the Gospel. Held up by many as the new hope for the Church and criticised by others, the movements never fail to generate interest. This series aims to promote better knowledge and understanding.