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Saint_Gemma_Galgani

Franciscans Of The Immaculate

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Saint_Gemma_Galgani
I just recently learned of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and they sound like they would be a great fit for me, as they love Our Lady, are orthodox and fully obedient to the Holy Father, and are rather traditional (full habit, the aforementioned devotion to Our Lady, many Masses in Latin, and even the Extraordinary Form of the Mass occasionally). Before I write a letter to them expressing interest in their order, is there anything, good or bad, that I should know about them?

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the lords sheep
From what I know of them, they are a really beautiful order. I met one of their Sisters in Rome, and she was so kind. I know they are very traditional and have a pretty strict interpretation of what it means to be Franciscan. On a completely superficial note, they also have one of my favorite habits.
It never hurts to make contact with an order, as the vocation directors are there to help you discern your vocation, even if its not to their order.
There are many orders that have a very strong devotion to Our Lady. I don't know how much you've searched, but I know there are lots of people (myself included) that have discerned with Marian orders and could at least give you a little info (or a little direction).
One thing to seriously look at is what kind of order you are looking for: cloistered, active-contemplative, or active, as it will make a big difference in your lifestyle.
Anyway, my advice, contact any order that appeals to you to ask for more information, because that's the only way you'll ever know. Most have a lot of material on their charisms, even in print, which is really helpful.
God bless and keep us updated!
In Jesus and Mary,
Lauren

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Thomist-in-Training
They're awesome. They have good taste in everything (liturgy, art, full habit, use the media for all it's worth for God's glory). They sort of have double benefits--they're sprung from the Franciscans who have been around for a long time, obviously, so they have plenty of Saints to look back to, but they're quite a new Institute so they have a lot of youthful zeal and are still at the point where they seem to be opening convent after convent. It reminds me of the beginning of the Dominicans, actually (might remind me of the Francs. if I knew their history at all, but I don't), since it seems like each new place is quite small, two or three friars or sisters.

One of the Sisters I met, when I told her I wasn't particularly interested in Franciscans, said it wasn't the Franciscan aspect that attracted her when she first heard of the institute as much as the Marian. They are very much in the spirit of St. Maximilian Kolbe and doing what he wanted to do: take over the world for Jesus through Mary (as I understand it, I bet some of you know him a lot better than I do).

They also have 2 cloistered Institutes that are related--one for sisters who enter the active branch and then discern cloistered life, and one that you enter directly. I don't know much about where or how many these are.

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johnnydigit
i met a sister in Italy last year too! i just got their vocation packet (for the friars) and am very impressed with their spirituality and for me, the schedule. i'm definitely considering visiting.

are you familiar with the St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Fr. Kolbe Missionaries (Militia of the Immaculata (MI)), Immaculate Mediatrix Movement (MIM) , total consecration to Mary, or St. Louis de Montfort? they will give you a basic idea of just how Marian they are.

i'd love to hear any questions or comments. all for the Immaculata!

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Thomist-in-Training
New news on the cloistered sisters: There are at least three houses in Italy: at Aulla (northish between Genoa and Florence), Pastena (between Rome and Naples) and Creazzo (between Venice and Verona).

I found the names at [url="http://www.cordialiter.vessillo.net/index.html"]this blog, Cordialiter[/url], which seems nifty for phatmass-type news if you read Italian.

The writer also notes [quote]We are amazed to see how, despite their reclusive life in the cloister, they are succeeding in attracting many vocations through prayer[/quote] and that they are a religious order of "strict observance" approved by the Holy See in May 2002.

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johnnydigit
i just finished reading the book the vocation director sent me, Franciscan Legend of the Immaculata - The Franciscans of the Immaculate: History and Reflection, and i am quite impressed! i read the 100+ pages in one sitting today, and that's impressive because i am not much of a reader. the beautiful color pictures helped too. i highly advise writing and asking for a copy.

other than meeting all the main things i am looking for (except making some of the offices optional ;P), the lasting impression i am left with is just how Marian they actually are. they go even deeper into it than i had even thought, to the point where when they got pontifical status, the fourth Marian Vow they make is given first honor of place among the three other religious vows.

i wondered how Kolbean they were, and i don't think they could be any more Kolbean less they were right in the middle of Niepokalanow.

to my surprise one of the two founders was actually a spiritual son of St. Padre Pio, who is one of my favorites. He is a big part of the history and intercessor for them.

the Holy Rosary - well since St. Padre Pio is known for his immense devotion to the Rosary, there's no doubt they follow suit.

even from the beginning, their charism was renewal by going back to the roots of austere Franciscan spirtuality. not super hardcore, but enough for me.

they, especially the sisters, emphasize fidelity to our Pope and Magisterium, especially support of local bishops.

they built a perpetual adoration chapel - check!

they use technology and any means available to spread the Word, through the Immaculata - word!

missionary and open to going wherever and doing whatever for the Immaculata - what i had wanted when i first started discerning.

--

as a concession, in the book they even mentioned some of the problems and downfalls some of the communities had during the pontifical approval process.

so far, so good! :clap:

==

btw they listed all the friaries and convents so if you want them i can jot them down for ya.

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Thomist-in-Training
So I thought I would post this here, since it's mentioned sort of briefly in the Nuns Picture Thread: They have 5 sisters in New Bedford, MA at the convent right at St. Anthony's Church (a huge, gorgeous church built a hundred years ago by French immigrants). You can go for a visit, I did and could have stayed overnight but it didn't work out.

They are friends with the locals--when I was there, an old man brought them some beans with hand-written instructions on how to bake them in the slow cooker, and they asked him if he was serving Mass ("Not tonight"). The convent is poor--some other group had it, then it was empty for a few years, so some of it is like a construction zone, but they have everything, kitchen, library, cells, and a beautifully decorated Chapel. They kiss the floor when they enter and leave the chapel.

Three of the sisters work in the bookstore that the friars in town run. They told me about going to Staples and looking for book-covering Mylar (only they didn't know what it was called) so the people around town must know they exist! They are all Filipina. They said they were hoping to make a pilgrimage to Mexico sometime. They say two rosaries day in common; a sister told me that if two of them are working together, they'll say more then. "Better to have 18 while you're working and 2 in the chapel, even if you aren't meditating on the mysteries while you're working, than just 2 in chapel" she said to which my mental response was "18!?"

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MandyKhatoon
I had a friend who was discerning with the Franciscans of the Immaculate and she has a type of arthritis that was the cause of her leaving a different order. When she wrote to them expressing interest to their Community they told her that, "nobody is too sick to serve the Lord" and that she would still be eligible to join their Community. I just thought that was really cool and I was very impressed by that.

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EJames2
Do the Friars have a place (s) in England, and France?
\PAX

[quote name='johnnydigit' post='1527588' date='May 13 2008, 06:00 PM']i just finished reading the book the vocation director sent me, Franciscan Legend of the Immaculata - The Franciscans of the Immaculate: History and Reflection, and i am quite impressed! i read the 100+ pages in one sitting today, and that's impressive because i am not much of a reader. the beautiful color pictures helped too. i highly advise writing and asking for a copy.

other than meeting all the main things i am looking for (except making some of the offices optional ;P), the lasting impression i am left with is just how Marian they actually are. they go even deeper into it than i had even thought, to the point where when they got pontifical status, the fourth Marian Vow they make is given first honor of place among the three other religious vows.

i wondered how Kolbean they were, and i don't think they could be any more Kolbean less they were right in the middle of Niepokalanow.

to my surprise one of the two founders was actually a spiritual son of St. Padre Pio, who is one of my favorites. He is a big part of the history and intercessor for them.

the Holy Rosary - well since St. Padre Pio is known for his immense devotion to the Rosary, there's no doubt they follow suit.

even from the beginning, their charism was renewal by going back to the roots of austere Franciscan spirtuality. not super hardcore, but enough for me.

they, especially the sisters, emphasize fidelity to our Pope and Magisterium, especially support of local bishops.

they built a perpetual adoration chapel - check!

they use technology and any means available to spread the Word, through the Immaculata - word!

missionary and open to going wherever and doing whatever for the Immaculata - what i had wanted when i first started discerning.

--

as a concession, in the book they even mentioned some of the problems and downfalls some of the communities had during the pontifical approval process.

so far, so good! :clap:

==

btw they listed all the friaries and convents so if you want them i can jot them down for ya.[/quote]

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Thomist-in-Training
One in France, near Marseille:

[quote]Marian Friary of "Norte Dame Des Anges"
Sanctuaire "Notre Dame des Anges" - 83790 Pignans,
Var France
Tel: (+33) (0) 4 94 59 00 69
Fax: (+33) (0) 4 94 78 28 54
Email: ffindanges@wanadoo.fr[/quote]

Two in the UK, one near London--I think there may be sisters in that area too--

[quote]Marian Filial Friary "Our Lady Coredemptrix"
69 Comerford Rd Lewisham, London SE4, 2BA UK
Tel (+(44) (020) 86918997; Fax: (+44) (020) 84694616;
Email: ffilondon@talktalk.net[/quote]

and one in Cornwall (is that a different country? or Wales?)

[quote]Marian Friary of "St. Joseph and Anne"
Lanherne Ave, St Mawgan, Newquay, Cornwall TR8, UK
Tel/FAX: (0044) 01637 860205
Email: lanhernefriars@ffi-uk.fsnet.co.uk[/quote]

P.S. You can find these and maps also through marymediatrix.com if you click on "Communities in the World." Also, for EJames, they have a French web radio! [url="http://www.immacolata.com/"]http://www.immacolata.com/[/url] click on Radio and it's Radio Immaculee Conception. Edited by Thomist-in-Training

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puellapaschalis
Cornwall is a county in the UK. It's next door to Devon (which is THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD).

As to whether Cornwall is actually another country...that depends on who you talk to. Some Cornish will insist on it, clamiing that their Celtic genes render them superior to the (Devonian) Anglo-Saxon scum. Some Devonians will point out that real Devon stock are just as Celtic as the Cornish (some Cornish go into palpitations at this, so be careful who you pass it on to....). Most see that part of the country as being slightly backward, but that's because we're just not as stuck-up as them clebbr volk oop countray ;)*

The sisters near London sometimes go down to Fr. Tim's parish ([url="http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/"]link[/url]) to sing when he offers the TLM. Those in Cornwall were present at a public Eucharistic procession ([url="http://south-ashford-priest.blogspot.com/2008/05/corpus-christi-processions.html"]linky[/url] - Fr. Chris was curate at my old parish!!) in Truro.

*oooooh, my youth is coming back to haunt me! :D

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puellapaschalis
[quote name='Thomist-in-Training' post='1578821' date='Jun 21 2008, 10:16 PM']Puella, when were you there? Did you meet any of the sisters personally?[/quote]

I haven't met them; I just happen to see them involved with stuff connected to priests I know, and I have a decent knowledge of that part of the country (I have to say I balked a bit at the implication that Cornwall was in Wales - a bit like asking if Oregon is part of California or Arizona).
But, you know, if they're attending Corpus Christi processions in Truro and singing at TLMs in Blackfen, there's something quite kick-[holy]ass about them ;)

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Thomist-in-Training
"(I have to say I balked a bit at the implication that Cornwall was in Wales - a bit like asking if Oregon is part of California or Arizona)."
hehe... I have no geography, but it was more thinking "Is Cornwall its own country too stilll, or is that only Wales that I'm thinking of?" I do remember Cornwall from King Arthur stories... but I sure never learned European geography in school in any way, shape or form--hardly American, either--just the names of state capitals. I've been thinking I should go over it...

"There's something [] about them..." Yeah, they are very funny. (I mean in a good way, lively, getting into scrapes, enjoying a joke.) That seems like a good barometer of healthiness to me, along with their spirituality and apostolate.

As far as I can guess from three lunches with them, they do not have the monastic custom of a book being read during the meal; they chat about their day, or ask questions to visitors, and laugh a great deal, about almost anything. However, this could just be for a guest? I'm not sure.
During the day though I believe they work in silence or pray a rosary aloud.

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