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Yes, good response manatella - and you are probably right. TBH I have not so far found a situation that worked out well (for either party) when they tried it either.......

However, having said this. I still think beatitude has it in her post.

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[quote name='emmaberry' timestamp='1339975559' post='2445607'] Sorry, but I could love pretty deeply as a Hindu nun..... I am looking for the place where God is calling me, and I know that He will ca

Dialogue and discussion means we need to both be willing to meet people where they are at. This is a forum. A forum means dialogue. This means that disagreements occur and in the freedom of discuss

[quote name='chasmi' timestamp='1341788118' post='2453635'] I think that if everyone will look back on previous threads, Sr. Marie left because of a similar discussion as this. A discussion that pas

As far as I know, no wholly cloistered contemplative community is part of either the[color=#282828][background=rgb(247, 247, 247)] [/background][/color]LCWR or the CMSWR. They are for active & active/contemplative religious. I am pretty sure about this :like:

p.s. I can't find a list for the LCWR but for the CMSWR there are no wholly contemplative communities here, [url="http://www.cmswr.org/member_communities/membercommunitiesbystate.html"]http://www.cmswr.org...iesbystate.html[/url]

Edited by Chiquitunga
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Yes it is so -- I think I always incorrectly assumed that the Carmelites that are a part of the CMSWR were contemplatives but they are the active branch.

If you are looking for faithful communities that are cloistered - a good place to start is actually the Institute for Religious Life -- founded in part by the late Fr. John Hardon S.J. [url="http://www.religiouslife.com/"]http://www.religiouslife.com/[/url] They have men and women affiliates and a great summer program - you can actually earn a degree in religious life!!

The IRL has a whole website (poorly updated unfortunately) dedicated to its contemplative members: [url="http://www.cloisteredlife.com/"]http://www.cloisteredlife.com/[/url]




Here is a list of women's affiliates: [url="http://db.religiouslife.com/reg_life/irl.nsf/wa?OpenForm&Count=1000"]http://db.religiouslife.com/reg_life/irl.nsf/wa?OpenForm&Count=1000[/url]

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This is from the IRL website:

[color=#000000][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=2]
[color=#283178][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=4][b][color=#660000][size=4]Who We Are[/size][/color][b][b][b][b][b][img]http://religiouslife.com/images/Collage2011forweb.jpg[/img][/b][/b][/b]

[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][i]Our Mission[/i][/font][/b][/b][/b][/size][/font][/color]
The Institute on Religious Life (IRL) promotes and supports the growth, development, and renewal of the consecrated life—particularly vowed religious life—as a gift to the Church and an evangelical witness to the world. We include and engage bishops, clergy, religious, consecrated and lay faithful in a collaborative apostolate of prayer and service, guided by the magisterial teachings and rich heritage of the Church.[/size][/font][/color][color=#283178][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[i][b]Our Guiding Principles[/b][/i][/font][/color][list]
[*][color=#283178][b]Fidelity & Obedience:[/b][/color] We are always guided and animated by the magisterial and pastoral teachings of the Church on religious and consecrated life.
[*][color=#283178][b]Unity & Solidarity: [/b][/color]We are a lived expression of the principle of solidarity taught by Vatican II, bringing together Catholic faithful of all vocations and states of life for a common purpose.
[*][color=#283178][b]Witness & Example: [/b][/color]The profession of the evangelical counsels by some can inspire, enrich, and sanctify all. Visible religious in distinctive garb are a powerful witness to the world.
[*][color=#283178][b]Tradition & Progress[/b]:[/color] We stand on the shoulders of giants, accepting and building upon what is good from the past, in accordance with the Holy See and the inspirations of the IRL founders.
[*][color=#283178][b]Prayer & Service:[/b][/color] It is in prayer and service that the consecrated imitate Christ and lead others to Him. Our prayers and works unite us in a spiritual solidarity.
[/list]
[color=#000000][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=2][left][b][img]http://religiouslife.com/images/religious_men_women_nm04.jpg[/img][i]Our Heritage [/i][/b]
Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J., now Servant of God, established the IRL in 1974, and inspired its work, in response to the Holy See’s plea to help save religious life in the United States. He was aided by outstanding co-founders and by early collaborators, including Blessed Mother Teresa, Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, and many others. While others were resigned to a generation of turmoil in religious life, the IRL’s founders persevered in hope. They weren’t content to sit back and watch things collapse. They rolled up their sleeves and began to build and prepare for a much brighter future. Today, the IRL has expanded to meet the needs of established orders and a growing number of emerging religious communities and other institutes of consecrated life. Our dream for renewal—[i]religious in every parish, school and monastery[/i]—is beginning to become a reality![/size][/font][/color][/left][color=#283178][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[b][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][i]Our Potential[/i][/font][/b]
[color=#000000][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=2]Is vowed religious life in America at the threshold of an unprecedented resurgence? We believe the answer is a resounding [i]Yes![/i] But the outcome will depend on whether the Catholic faithful do their part. That’s why Father Hardon founded the IRL at the request of Pope Paul VI. Religious orders and communities faithful to the Church and their charism are enjoying new growth and they’re attracting a remarkably increased response from new generations. Whether this will be a short-lived trend or a great new beginning will depend on whether faithful Catholics seize the unparalleled opportunity that the present moment offers. The IRL is poised to play a significant, even decisive role in shaping the future . . . and so are you! Together, our success will help to determine what sort of Church and world future generations will have.[/size][/font][/color][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=2]
[b]What We Do [/b]

[color=#283178][i][b][img]http://religiouslife.com/images/marytown_friar+man_religious_nm04.jpg[/img][/b][/i][b][size=4][i]Sowing & Cultivating: Formation[/i][/size][/b][/color][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=2]
Many new, emerging consecrated communities—and some older ones seeking rejuvenation—need instruction and guidance in order to succeed. The IRL offers expertise and quality programs that can make a decisive difference.

[b][img]http://religiouslife.com/images/3_vietnamese_dominicans_nm04.jpg[/img][/b][/size][/font][/color][color=#283178][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b][i]
Reaping the Harvest: Vocations[/i][/b][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=2]
Turning the growing interest in consecrated life among youth into a wildfire requires a nationwide effort among institutes of consecrated life and the rest of the Church. The IRL has become a conduit for this common effort.[/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=2]
[b][color=#283178][size=4][i]Grinding the Wheat: Unity[/i][/size][/color][/b]

The good news about the rebirth of authentic consecrated life must[b][color=#1B2570][size=4][img]http://religiouslife.com/images/3_blue_sisters_nm04.jpg[/img][/size][/color][/b]be proclaimed throughout the Church and the world, teaching everyone its value and significance, and uniting all of the Church with it and behind it. We bring all parts of the Church together in fellowship and knowledge, and seek to reach all corners of the earth together.[/size][/font][/color]

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Thank you for the replies! There were good points throughout...but I hold fast to the notion that, as a Catholic, I am called to a community that claims complete faithfulness to Rome. As another thread/post said..the corrupt LCWR communities (though they may not all be corrupt) are not actually Catholic, in the sense that they promote Catholic teaching. As someone who doddled in Protestantism for most of my life, I cannot enter a 'protestant' community--ie 'protesting' traditional Catholic teaching.

I think a lot of people here are far more loving, humble, and merciful than I..and this shines through in these poster's defense of the LCWR. However, the Pope and the Vatican are (or should be) the truest seekers of these virtues here on earth, and they have chosen to call out the LCWR. We can't trample over the Church's judgement in our haste to defend the sisters who some might feel are being mistreated.

The idea of entering a community to preach to the fallen or unfaithful is very interesting--I know I am not strong enough to do it, especially since I am a newer 'baby' Catholic so to speak. :) I guess I always thought that you joined a religious community to have a grounding network, and then you went out and preached to the gentiles/fallen/etc.

I thought of Saint Teresa of Avila when pondering this, and though she was definitely the 'leaven' to the Carmelites, I don't know if she entered the community to transform them. I thought she grew deeper in her faith while there and through this her eyes were opened to the extravagance and luxury there which needed to go! I have done virtually no research on this, so maybe Chiquitunga or someone more knowledgeable about her life can correct me on this.

Edited by emmaberry
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When Teresa entered, she didn't know any better. She was attracted to religious life, then Our Lord showed her some years later the hot spot in Hell that had been reserved for her for the lax observance.

I have been in a position of great attraction to an LCWR community, and one has to look at member websites to ascertain just what it is they are teaching. There have to be inquiries about the formation program, and whether or not a sister is permitted to opt out of an activity with which she is uncomfortable. Habits are permitted if the constitutions say "clothing appropriate to the ministry."

I keep hearing about labyrinths and the LCWR communities. Labywrinths were used in the cathedrals for the sake of pilgrims. They were also found on the wall of one church, and pilgrims would trace their finger along it to calm from the journey. Because of that, I am considering its value for persons with autism.

LCWR communities have also been criticised for the Enneagram, which is transactional analysis on steroids, so to say. A holy priest here locally has used it.

What concerns the Vatican is what started the whole ball of wax spinning in the first place 40 years ago--some members' adherence to abortion rights, gay rights, and the women's priesthood. All three of these are straight from paganism, and I personally am put off by the Environmentalism as religion as well. One motherhouse insists that its associates have some kind of green project!

The pro-choice nuns just need to form their own association.

There are more "liberal" monasteries. Two which come to mind are the Carmel of Baltimore, and the Benedictines of San Diego. The Carmel of Indianapolis didn't get any vocations because they went to brown skirts and white blouses. The Carmel of San Diego is also dying, from what I've heard. Adherence to the founder's wishes means just that, and Carmel is to be strictly enclosed.

Blessings,
Gemma

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  • 3 weeks later...
Kylie Spinelli

Here's a list of communities that are in the CMSWR.
[url="http://www.cmswr.org/member_communities/membercommunities.html"]http://www.cmswr.org/member_communities/membercommunities.html[/url]
Nowhere can I find alist of communities in the LCWR... It's not published. I guess if you were discerning a particular community, you'd have to ask if they are a part of the LCWR...
Good luck!

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[quote name='Gemma' timestamp='1340124008' post='2446325']
The Carmel of San Diego is also dying, from what I've heard.
Blessings,
Gemma
[/quote]

Gemma - It is very irresponsible of you to post something like this without offering some verifiable source of information. I know these women and they are lovely, kind and very charitable to others. They helped me at a time when I needed it very much. There are many small Carmelite communities in the world and yes, some of them may have to merge with others (many in the UK are doing this) but calling it 'dying' and using terms like 'from what I've heard' as evidence is simply gossip and uncharitable in essence. I am disappointed that you should write such a thing. :(

Edited by nunsense
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LCWR is under scrutiny - and as of now, roughly. 80% of religious communities in the US belong to this group. If you read the entire eight page report, most of the concerns center around materials that have been presented at meetings, mostly concerning formation.

I would suggest that this subject is treated with respect and some sort of prudence. The report begins with a commendation of the good works the Sisters of this federation have provided over hundreds of years; schooling - from pre-K to graduate school, hospital care, social justice (which we are called to do) and many other things.

I am surprised at the kind of blanket, hostile and very judgmental comments found here. There is a tendency to fall back on black/white thinking which indicates a very young mind which has not had the benefit of experience. Numsense perhaps said it better.

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[quote name='nunsense' timestamp='1341489064' post='2452480']
Gemma - It is very irresponsible of you to post something like this without offering some verifiable source of information. I know these women and they are lovely, kind and very charitable to others. They helped me at a time when I needed it very much. There are many small Carmelite communities in the world and yes, some of them may have to merge with others (many in the UK are doing this) but calling it 'dying' and using terms like 'from what I've heard' as evidence is simply gossip and uncharitable in essence. I am disappointed that you should write such a thing. :(
[/quote]

I'd like to echo something that Sr Faith once told me: "Novices breed novices." Some people might hesitate over a community that hasn't had any new sisters in a long time, but if they take the step, others might follow them. If anyone feels called to such a community, I would urge them to seriously consider it, and not just write off the monastery solely on the grounds that the community appears to be fading. Appearances can be deceptive. With that in mind, I don't think it's sensible to attribute lack of vocations to the alteration of the habit. We hear about traditional habited orders that are attracting floods of young women...but we don't hear so much about all the traditional habited orders that aren't, and are also struggling for numbers. Attracting vocations is more complicated than having a beautiful swishy veil to offer your novices.

Edited by beatitude
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[quote name='beatitude' timestamp='1341502146' post='2452512']
I'd like to echo something that Sr Faith once told me: "Novices breed novices." Some people might hesitate over a community that hasn't had any new sisters in a long time, but if they take the step, others might follow them. If anyone feels called to such a community, I would urge them to seriously consider it, and not just write off the monastery solely on the grounds that the community appears to be fading. Appearances can be deceptive. With that in mind, I don't think it's sensible to attribute lack of vocations to the alteration of the habit. We hear about traditional habited orders that are attracting floods of young women...but we don't hear so much about all the traditional habited orders that aren't, and are also struggling for numbers. Attracting vocations is more complicated than having a beautiful swishy veil to offer your novices.
[/quote]

^This.

I have seen several communities on IRL such as the Sister Adorers of the Precious Blood not receive any vocations in quite a long time. The one in Watertown, NY only has 5 members and they are all professed and look to be in their 50s or 60s. However, if you look at their charism, it is incredibly beautiful. Their habit may be modified, but this accommodates their changing health needs. If I felt called to cloistered life, I would consider them. They have a sister community in Manchester, NH that has 26 Sisters. But this doesn't mean that the Watertown Sisters are any less of a religious community. They are on IRL and are faithful to the Magisterium. It could be that the Sisters don't have enough experience with technology so they don't know how to promote more vocations or they prefer a quieter presence. There are some communities that rely on God's providence rather than promoting themselves through the media.

Consider the Lockport Dominicans. For a time, they opened up to the idea of promoting vocations through the media, even starting a Facebook page and allowing a news crew to film their Sister's investiture ceremony. However, they decided to quietly retreat back into cloistered life. Now, some people might think that they may not draw as many vocations, but God always provides.

I want to leave you with one last thought -- don't consider the size of the community but consider how a smaller number of people are responding to God's call to lead a religious life. I know that the number is increasing, but we've been through a bit of a vocations crisis. It may take some time for some communities to gain the vocations they need. Let us, instead, pray for them to receive vocations instead of criticizing their numbers. :)

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[quote name='nunsense' timestamp='1341489064' post='2452480']
Gemma - It is very irresponsible of you to post something like this without offering some verifiable source of information. I know these women and they are lovely, kind and very charitable to others. They helped me at a time when I needed it very much. There are many small Carmelite communities in the world and yes, some of them may have to merge with others (many in the UK are doing this) but calling it 'dying' and using terms like 'from what I've heard' as evidence is simply gossip and uncharitable in essence. I am disappointed that you should write such a thing. :(
[/quote]

It is wonderful that this Carmel is filled with Sisters who have helped you a lot-but Gemma wasn't saying anything about the quality of the sisters..just that there numbers are dwindling, which may or may not be true. Although I doubt she would have said it if they were thriving. Again, many communities (Mater mentioned one or two) who are wonderful just aren't receiving enough vocations, and are merging. I really don't think her intention was to discount the sisters of the community, as it was to provide a 'last argument' for her post within its greater context. You are upset at her for not citing a reference, but you don't cite a reference that disproves what Gemma said. It didn't seem that Gemma was out to attack this Carmel which is close to your heart-she was using it as evidence/backup within the whole of the post.

Of course, like I said, a community can be quite close to our hearts and it can be hard to hear it criticized. It may not have been the best way for Gemma to go about it, but I don't think she intended to hurt you or others PMers by her words. Again, they must be read in the context of the entire post. I am sorry you got the impression that this Carmel was being attacked-I can only imagine what I would do if I thought someone was discounting my beloved Roswell Poor Clares! I think it shows a lot about your loyalty and care for others that you would defend them. I just feel bad for Gemma, and other posters here on PM who may say something not-so-right sometimes, because I myself do it so often, and I hope other PMers make good use of charity when they read my posts which don't say exactly what I intended when I posted them.

God bless!

Edited by emmaberry
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[quote name='emmaberry' timestamp='1341514551' post='2452561']
It is wonderful that this Carmel is filled with Sisters who have helped you a lot-but Gemma wasn't saying anything about the quality of the sisters..just that there numbers are dwindling, which may or may not be true. Although I doubt she would have said it if they were thriving. Again, many communities (Mater mentioned one or two) who are wonderful just aren't receiving enough vocations, and are merging. I really don't think her intention was to discount the sisters of the community, as it was to provide a 'last argument' for her post within its greater context. You are upset at her for not citing a reference, but you don't cite a reference that disproves what Gemma said. It didn't seem that Gemma was out to attack this Carmel which is close to your heart-she was using it as evidence/backup within the whole of the post.

Of course, like I said, a community can be quite close to our hearts and it can be hard to hear it criticized. It may not have been the best way for Gemma to go about it, but I don't think she intended to hurt you or others PMers by her words. Again, they must be read in the context of the entire post. I am sorry you got the impression that this Carmel was being attacked-I can only imagine what I would do if I thought someone was discounting my beloved Roswell Poor Clares! I think it shows a lot about your loyalty and care for others that you would defend them. I just feel bad for Gemma, and other posters here on PM who may say something not-so-right sometimes, because I myself do it so often, and I hope other PMers make good use of charity when they read my posts which don't say exactly what I intended when I posted them.

God bless!
[/quote]

I stand by what I said. It was not up to me to disprove an unfounded allegation that '[i]the Carmel of San Diego is also dying, from what I've heard'[/i]. If anyone is going to make such inflammatory comments, then s/he should at least offer more evidence than it is something was 'heard'.

I have never visited this Carmel nor even spoken with one of these nuns on the phone to my knowledge. I am not trying to defend a community that is 'close to my heart', I am trying to stop the phatmass vocation station from becoming a place of rumor and innuendo, gossip and irresponsible comments. To say that a community is 'dying' invokes images that might cause discerners to lose interest in the community, which is a disservice to them, especially considering that Gemma does state that her website and groups are designed to foster and promote vocations. I not only think the comment was unhelpful, I think it was potentially damaging to future vocations for this community.

I have had interaction with this Carmel and during this time they acted wtih charity and consideration, generosityof spirit and of time and materials to someone they didn't know, had never met before and would probably never communicate with again. I just felt that as they are a legitimately recognised community of OCD Carmelites who live the religious life according to the charism of their foundress, that they should not be described in such a derogatory way. I am sorry that you do not see the inappropriateness of the comment.

I did not personally attack Gemma nor write with any intention of a lack of charity. In fact, I think it is more of a charity to correct each other when these things are posted, explaining our reasons why so that hopefully similar comments will not be repeated. We are speaking about vowed religious here and I think a certain amount of respect is due them.

Edited by nunsense
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