Jump to content
Chiquitunga

The Discalced Carmelite Nuns - 1990 & 1991 Constitutions

Recommended Posts

alicemary
I believe silence is a good thing, so not to disturb the other sisters, but I think being so strict about it is a little ridiculous. Not to be able to tell you it was time for confession, and doing that pantomine thing is just being a little over board.
As to the internet, what is wrong with the internet? There is many good sites that would benefit a nun in her study. The convenience of email, with specific guidelines, to check on a ailing parent. I think some percieve nuns as cut off from the world totally, and being closed up in a greenhouse without any concerns. Who would want to live behind walls and just be concerned with yourself. It is not that way. You are there to pray for the world, to take the concerns of the world to the Lord.
Nuns without internet sites, without aspirancy programs are drying up. Look at the poplular orders, OLAM, Nashville etc, they use the internet to the hilt. Take advantage of every little site to advertise their orders. Now, I do not totally agree with their methods, but it seems to be successful in the short run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HisChild

Iam just wondering what you guys think about some Carmels being advised against using the internet by priests and confessors. I don't know if there is a trend following this (meaning most of the Carmels using the 1990 and 91 constitutions dont have internet) Just wondering what you guys think.

Also there is a such thing as a "rich" convent...If a convent can afford a 5 star chef for example It might be a rich convent. ok Iam going to get off my soap box now.


I greatly enjoying being able to view religious communities online, without having to wait to receive the information in the mail, which, depending on the community did or did not come, or sometimes arriving months after the inquiry! I think having a site up that shows the lives of the sisters, and perhaps even pics of the various sisters at investiture, entrance, vows, etc. is a great resource for familes and friends that can't be there during those events. It's also a blessing for those who are discerning, being able to reach a large amount of people with relatively little expense, compared to creating and printing brochures.

As to the email, I'm not sure what my opinion is. While it's also a good tool to have email for the sisters, especially for inquirers, I don't think email is necessary. I know the Sisters of Life are growing as well, but while they have a web site, they don't correspond via email even for vocational inquiries. It's funny because when I told my family that I would be entering the monastery, but wouldn't have access to email, one family member even told me that, because I don't have email, I shouldn't expect that he would write! I think so many people are so used to corresponding this way, they've lost their experience with 'snail mail'. But there's something to be said about written an old fashioned letter.

With email, as with all else on the internet, it can quickly get out of control. I have often written a community, and then kept up a correspondence for a short time, only to have my emails responded to in short order. There's a danger for the religious, especially for the contemplative religious, (just as there is that danger to ANY person) to be online too much. So, in my opinion, if they are going to allow the internet in their community, I really think there needs to be some regulations involved, otherwise that beast (meaning email and the internet) can surely take over. There are some reading this who might be thinking 'they're all adults, they can regulate themselves', and perhaps you're right, but I've met quite a few internet addicts out there, and at one time I was one of them. . .it's like the TV, you can turn it on, just to see what's on, and the next thing you know, 5 hours have passed, and you can't remember what you watched! You can sign online and do a little surfing and next thing you know, it's time for bed, and you haven't prayed. It's a real problem in today's society. We have a priest at our parish that likes to give out penances (at least he says this in his homilies) of 'no internet time for such and such a period of time', for those who have problems with it.
Don't get me wrong, it's a great tool, but truly, it is something that can quickly and inadvertently become abused, even among the most responsible of people.
 

Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I do remember reading something about federations in Verbi Sponsa, so I'll have to read it again. I just had the idea that Poor Clares didn't have meetings outside the enclosure. Thanks for clarifying this. I hope their meetings become more fruitful, like the Dominicans.
Do you know if Mother Angelica's PCPAs go out for annual meetings? Also, do you know about the Federation of Mary Immaculate of the PCCs. I will ask the ones here in Lemont, too.


When you say Mother Angelica's PCPAs, I'm going to lump all three communities in with them, AL, AZ, and OH. Last year, as Lauren can attest, they had a meeting in AL of all the PCPAs. So, there were nuns from all the monasteries, traveling to AL for this meeting. Those from OH went, (and also were there to be on EWTN), I think AZ sisters didn't go because they'd just been there, but don't quote me, and of course there were nuns from the other various PCPA communities in the country. So, yes, for certain reasons, they do travel for meetings. While the AL nuns didn't leave this year, who's to say that next meeting time, they won't be the ones doing the traveling too?

As to the silence, I can say little except to say that when I was in the monastery, we were supposed to be a lot more silent than we were, and I found myself craving that silence. I wish we were more strict. While some of the gestures might be silly, I wouldn't mind some of them, so that, if I was praying, walking down a hallway, I could still keep that internal silence, while communicating something simple to my fellow sister. Of course, if it were something more complex, or something that required speaking, that would be different, you know? Just my ten cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shortnun
[quote name='HisChild' post='1180245' date='Jan 30 2007, 10:16 AM']
As to the email, I'm not sure what my opinion is. While it's also a good tool to have email for the sisters, especially for inquirers, I don't think email is necessary. I know the Sisters of Life are growing as well, but while they have a web site, they don't correspond via email even for vocational inquiries. It's funny because when I told my family that I would be entering the monastery, but wouldn't have access to email, one family member even told me that, because I don't have email, I shouldn't expect that he would write! I think so many people are so used to corresponding this way, they've lost their experience with 'snail mail'. But there's something to be said about written an old fashioned letter.
[/quote]
In the last newsletter I received from the Sisters of Life both the VD and her assistant (their name escape me at this time) had email addresses listed!

I think email/internet can be a great way to evangelize and spread the good news, as well as a slippery slope that distracts us from the greater (greatest!) good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HisChild
[quote name='shortnun' post='1180464' date='Jan 30 2007, 12:30 PM']
In the last newsletter I received from the Sisters of Life both the VD and her assistant (their name escape me at this time) had email addresses listed!

I think email/internet can be a great way to evangelize and spread the good news, as well as a slippery slope that distracts us from the greater (greatest!) good.
[/quote]


Wow! I wonder how new that is?! They used to say, I was told, that they wouldn't be using email. Well, there must be a good reason, yes? God bless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
[quote name='Sr. Mary Catharine' post='1180205' date='Jan 30 2007, 08:37 AM']
Yes, the Federation of Mary Immaculate is the first federation formed in the US. You can read about their first meeting in "No Strange God's Before Me" by Mother Mary Francis (back in the late '50s). They have a yearly meeting at their different monasteries and elect a federal prioress.

A Federation/Association is free to determine the extent of participation, meetings, etc. Again, not only are federations encouraged by the Holy See but Verbi Sponsa spells out rather clearly that Federation meetings for the purpose of mutual aid and theological formation of the member monasteries is not contrary to enclosure. Enclosure is not an end but a means.

Actually, with email and internet a lot more can be done without leaving the enclosure than before we had this technology. It really has helped the spirit and living of enclosure.
[/quote] Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I do remember this being said in [i]Verbi Sponsa[/i]. Yeah, I know a few of the PCC communities in the Federation of MI that are great like Lemont, Belleville, and Los Altos Hills. I'll ask the Chicago Poor Clares next time I go there about how many sisters go out at a time and everything. But yeah, I think it's great for different communities to be united in this way. And the few Mary Immaculate PCCs I'd read about, all seem to be outstanding in living the charism and everything ..

But regarding the OCD nuns, I wouldn't say it was a bad thing for them to be able to keep the old constitutions, with a few changes after VII, that were approved by the Holy Father in 1990. I remember reading in the history of the Buffalo Carmel book, that they prayed an awful lot for this intention up until 1990. I do really respect their views on this, and really liked all the 1990 communities I visited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Totus Tuus
[quote name='HisChild' post='1180245' date='Jan 30 2007, 10:16 AM']

When you say Mother Angelica's PCPAs, I'm going to lump all three communities in with them, AL, AZ, and OH. Last year, as Lauren can attest, they had a meeting in AL of all the PCPAs. So, there were nuns from all the monasteries, traveling to AL for this meeting. Those from OH went, (and also were there to be on EWTN), I think AZ sisters didn't go because they'd just been there, but don't quote me, and of course there were nuns from the other various PCPA communities in the country. So, yes, for certain reasons, they do travel for meetings. While the AL nuns didn't leave this year, who's to say that next meeting time, they won't be the ones doing the traveling too?
[/quote]

Phoenix came a little later :)

Some of the solemns from Alabama did go to visit the PCPA monasteries in Ohio this past year (Portsmouth, Canton, and Cleveland).

It creates such a fraternal spirit within the community to know the sisters from other monasteries. It even brought us closer to them when only some of our solemn-professed went, and not those in formation. They (the solemns) told us all about their experience, and the Ohio sisters "sent their love" so to speak, so it really is an awesome thing for the Order ^_^ Edited by Totus Tuus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
[quote name='Totus Tuus' post='1181303' date='Jan 31 2007, 07:58 AM']
Phoenix came a little later :)

Some of the solemns from Alabama did go to visit the PCPA monasteries in Ohio this past year (Portsmouth, Canton, and Cleveland).

It creates such a fraternal spirit within the community to know the sisters from other monasteries. It even brought us closer to them when only some of our solemn-professed went, and not those in formation. They (the solemns) told us all about their experience, and the Ohio sisters "sent their love" so to speak, so it really is an awesome thing for the Order ^_^
[/quote] That's great! Yeah, things like that I wouldn't mind at all as an enclosed nun. If I were a PCPA I would love to see the other houses and meet the other sisters, because they seem like such a tightly knit community of PCs with Mother Angelica and all the PCPAs, with the same Mother Foundress. Also the federation meetings might be a very good thing in this way. But I really don't think it's good if not very much gets done in them, like for the PCs, as you guys were saying .. Otherwise it doesn't seem worth it to leave the cloister and spend a lot for traveling .. The Domincan meetings sound wonderful though! Yeah, the Dominicans are supposed to be great for a solid formation. The Srs of St John & the Srs of Bethlehem, whose founders were Dominicans, greatly benefited from this strong aspect of the Dominican charism. :j I love how the Srs of Bethlehem, once you are professed, are still invited every few years to the one month retreat in August at Les Montsvoroins. I felt such a great community spirit from all the sisters from all the different monasteries and nationalities there .. :j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sr Mary Catharine OP

That's great! Yeah, things like that I wouldn't mind at all as an enclosed nun. If I were a PCPA I would love to see the other houses and meet the other sisters, because they seem like such a tightly knit community of PCs with Mother Angelica and all the PCPAs, with the same Mother Foundress. Also the federation meetings might be a very good thing in this way. But I really don't think it's good if not very much gets done in them, like for the PCs, as you guys were saying .. Otherwise it doesn't seem worth it to leave the cloister and spend a lot for traveling .. The Domincan meetings sound wonderful though! Yeah, the Dominicans are supposed to be great for a solid formation. The Srs of St John & the Srs of Bethlehem, whose founders were Dominicans, greatly benefited from this strong aspect of the Dominican charism. :j I love how the Srs of Bethlehem, once you are professed, are still invited every few years to the one month retreat in August at Les Montsvoroins. I felt such a great community spirit from all the sisters from all the different monasteries and nationalities there .. :j


This is one of the main reasons for meeting among monasteries: for the nuns to get to know each other, pray together,share stories, problems, ideas, spiritual life, etc. etc. It's not just about getting stuff done!
I guess, that is why ours are so beneficial. We share all the little and bit things about our life but it is rooted in our knowing more about God together.
It can be so encouraging because then we realize that we all have basically the same problems!
And I haven't even gone to an Assembly meeting yet!
Another great part of it is that when the sisters do travel they often have to stop at a monastery so you get to meet sisters you'd never met before any maybe only wrote to or talked to on the phone.
Again, if there are too many meetings than yes, it's not good for the life and for enclosure but done with prudence it's so helpful for the monasteries and their growth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga

This is one of the main reasons for meeting among monasteries: for the nuns to get to know each other, pray together,share stories, problems, ideas, spiritual life, etc. etc. It's not just about getting stuff done!
I guess, that is why ours are so beneficial. We share all the little and bit things about our life but it is rooted in our knowing more about God together.
It can be so encouraging because then we realize that we all have basically the same problems!
And I haven't even gone to an Assembly meeting yet!
Another great part of it is that when the sisters do travel they often have to stop at a monastery so you get to meet sisters you'd never met before any maybe only wrote to or talked to on the phone.
Again, if there are too many meetings than yes, it's not good for the life and for enclosure but done with prudence it's so helpful for the monasteries and their growth.

Thanks, Sr. Mary Catharine! This is a really great comment. Yeah, I'm starting to see now how the federation meetings can really be a good thing, like the Srs of Bethlehem annual retreat. But yeah, as you were saying, if there are too many it could be harmful for the cloistered life and vocation. I know that for Carmelites, many of the monasteries in this order do like to remain autonomous, at least the ones I visited with the older constitutions, though they are always sisters in spirit with all the Carmelites all over the world. I still do really recommend the Carmels with the older constitutions, or any of the ones in St. Joseph's Association. I found each of the 1990 communities I visited and corresponded with very joyful too, just to let everyone know. But I think both ways can be beneficial really, so I think that's why the Holy Father decided to approve the older constitutions and the newer ones, and allow each monastery to decide. But yeah, I can really see your point on how the federation meetings can be so helpful and good for the spirit of each of the communities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
Okay, complete list of all the Discalced Carmelite Nuns under the 1990 Constitutions in the US (I forgot Littleton, CO before)
 

Here's the list again with a few links: (the first 3 have the full Divine Office in Latin)

Alexandria, SD
Brooklyn, NY
Buffalo, NY
Dallas, TX
Des Plaines, IL
Erie, PA
Flemington, NJ
Iron Mountain, MI
Jefferson City, MO
Kensington, CA
Lake Elmo, MN
Littleton, CO
Louisville, KY
Mobile, AL
Pittsford, NY (Schenectady, NY recently joined them)
Traverse City, MI
Valparaiso, NE (Indult Latin Mass & Office)

I think Georgetown, CA follows the 1990's in all ways but that they are under the General Superior of the Carmelite Order (1991's) rather than directly to the Holy Father (1990's) - Gemma told me this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marieteresa
Thanks for the extensive list...Just wondering Ada, are they under the 1991 constitution? I thought it was 1990 and I didn't know that the first three listed have the full divine office in Latin! Thats pretty cool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
Yes, Ada Parnell is under the 1991s, but they are really the same as the 1990s. (or very very similar I should say) I haven't corresponded with them myself, but have heard this from a few others. Many of their foundations, if not all of them, are 1990 Carmels like Buffalo, Iron Mountain, Traverse City and the like. They are also an autonomous Carmel like Iron Mountain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
[quote name='Marieteresa' post='1192759' date='Feb 12 2007, 06:26 PM'] ... and I didn't know that the first three listed have the full divine office in Latin! Thats pretty cool
[/quote] Yeah, it is pretty awesome! The Gregorian chant of the Carmelites in Buffalo sounds like Heaven! :saint: I'm pretty sure that they pray the Latin Office of the revised rite. It is mostly all chanted, as I remember. And the books they use, have the Gregorian chant little notes. For a while I wasn't sure though, and still am not 100%, if they might actually be using the Tridentine Office .. Brendan would know though. Then for Holy Mass, they sing a lot of Latin, like the Sanctus, etc. I haven't been to Alexandria or Brooklyn, but know they have the Latin just like their founding Carmel of Buffalo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
Me before:

I actually didn't know any of the Poor Clares had federation meetings. I sort of always thought they couldn't because they do have the solemn vow of enclosure, while I know the Carmelites do not have that vow in particular.

Which Poor Clare federation has meetings? Does the PCCs Federation of Mary Immaculate have federation meetings?
 

Yes, they do every year and they were the first federation formed in the US, way back in the '50's.

Papal Enclosure is observed according to the norms of the Holy See and this includes egress for reasons such as Federation meetings. Verbi Sponsa also legislates for common novitiate formation among the same monasteries of an Order, etc.


Okay, I asked Mother Teresita at the Lemont Poor Clares, and she said the Fed of MI has the meetings once every 3 years. She said they always meet in a monastery (the Superior and another), but once they met at a retreat place, and they didn't like it. So they decided it's best to always having the meetings at one of the monasteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
For the PCCs in IL, Lemont & Belleville are part of the Fed of MI - while Rockford and its foundation, Minooka are not. They are all still united as Colettines though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
Wow, here's an article from Time Magazine in 1985, about this whole Constitution thing with the OCD nuns - "Surprise and Pain in the Cloister" - http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...,965469,00.html

When the article refers to the Vatican rewriting the Constitutions, its referring to JPII renewing the 1581 Constitutions, ( the 1990s ) while the OCD Friars were in the process of writing the newer ones.

I had heard it was a real struggle for them for several years, but didn't think it would have been something reported in the secular media.

There's a quote from Mother John at the Schenectady Carmel, now at Pittsford, NY.

" ... to traditionalists like Mother John, prioress of a convent in Schenectady, N.Y., the language of the reformed charter "was so broad that it was not safeguarding the essential dimensions" of the Carmelite vocation."

I had heard something like this before, that the newer Constitutions don't have all the specifics as the old ones do.

But at the same time, I do really think with discerning Carmel, it really really depends on each particular community, though the 1990s are pretty much guaranteed to be very traditional.

But again, there are also some Carmels that are supposed to be pretty traditional and very good communities with many new vocations, like Ada Parnell, MI and Denmark, WI. They do always say, each Carmel is different, and has a different spirit.

Just a few thoughts & sources of information ..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
That Time article says something about nuns in tropical climates having to wear the wool habits. But I'm sure that the 1990s definitely allow cotton habits, as at Buffalo they have both Winter and Summer habits, which I'm pretty sure are cotton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chiquitunga
Here's a clip from the History of the Buffalo Carmel booklet, just to add a few sources of information to this thread.

[url="http://imageshack.us"][img]http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/5204/prioressbuffalokm1.jpg[/img][/url]


Oh, and this little clip refers to the beautiful Spanish crucifixes made at the Buffalo Carmel (possibly also at Ada Parnell, Alexandria, & Brooklyn).
Here's a link with a picture of a crucifix made at Buffalo - [url="http://www.olphnm.org/ladyicons.html"]http://www.olphnm.org/ladyicons.html[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×