Jump to content

If You Could Start A Religious Order/community, What Would It Be, Or L


Recommended Posts

Fun topic!  :bananarap:

 

Okay here is mine:

 

Missionary Order

Rule of St. Francis

Name: Franciscan Sisters of the Infant Jesus

Habit: White with a light blue scapular (Marian style :saint2: ), light blue veil, sandals, and a simple wooden crucifix necklace

Apostolate: Establishing homes for unwanted/orphaned/disabled children in impoverished nations

Special Devotions: Daily Eucharistic holy hour, daily Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet every Friday at 3pm, total Marian consecration.

Visits: Families could visit one week a year for actual one-on-one time but they could also come any time to serve as lay missionaries.

Communication: 1 letter per month

Finances: Good ol' fashioned Franciscan begging

Patron saints: St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Gianna, St. Josemaria Escriva

 

I forget the rest of the OP's list of details but this is what I came up with :nun2:

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 81
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • John Paul

    9

  • Antigonos

    7

  • nikita92

    7

  • OnlySunshine

    6

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

This isn't strict..it's impossible!

​Oh dear! This is not for humans!  

it could be done ... if you eat a sandwich with one hand and hold the office in the other. 

It is a different topic, which I won't go into here, but in a real spiritual sense, there are some similarities between my tradition and those in religious life in that we both adhere to a Holy Rule which defines every area of existence, or I wouldn't have the chutzpah to comment.  I find the comments of those who want religious life but are finding the options extremely limited very thought-provoking.

 

It's so funny that you mention this, Antigonos, because I have often thought that God brought me to Christ through Orthodox Judaism in order to teach me discipline so that I can survive in religious life.  rotfl 

 

(I'm serious, though.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

SrKateri brings up some more in-depth questions that got me thinking.

Habits: I think for a habit we would have something almost exactly like the Dominican Friar habit, except we would have a deep blue cappa instead of a black one, and possibly a cord rather than a belt (Dominican Friars wear belts, for some of you female discerners that might not know). I always thought that would be a really nice color blend.

Name: Friars of the Blessed Virgin.

Apostolate: Preaching in parishes, hospitals and conferences primarily, as well as doing community work, including helping refurbish nearby parishes

Special Devotions: Daily Rosary (A must), Eucharistic Holy Hour, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day at 3:00 before the Blessed Sacrament.

Patron Saints: Saint Dominic, (Soon-to-be) Saint Pope John Paul the Great, and Saint Therese of Lisieux.

 

It will be quite the diverse community. :P

Edited by FuturePriest387
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sr. Marie, thank you for your post pointing out the difference between older men (priests) and the vow of poverty.  It makes sense, but I am somewhat confused about your comments about communities of women who could not take older vocations due to not being able to take care of them in the future, presumably from a health standpoint.  Every community's young sisters will be old some day, so a community must have a plan in place to take care of them.  If a candidate can fulfill all the requirements of a community except age, why couldn't they be accepted?  If the community has a teaching apostolate, then a candidate should have a college degree.  Most women these days have a degree. 

 

We all are seeing many communities spring up with the express purpose of allowing older women a place to live out their God-given religious vocation.  The Visitandines have been doing it for decades with success.  In the UK, it is quite common for older women to be accepted.  Perhaps God is saying that it is time to open wide the doors and have faith that God calls when and where He wills. 

 

All - I'm sorry this is a little off topic but I still wanted to answer Totally Franciscan... and if you want to discuss this further, I would be happy to in another thread. :)

 

I'm glad that my comments about the differences between diocesan priesthood and religious life were helpful.  It is for this reason that I always hope that women discerning are able to find a spiritual director who is a religious (male or female) rather than a diocesan priest.  There are so many differences it is sometimes very hard to navigate!

 

A healthcare standpoint is certainly part of the reason some communities wouldn't be able to care for older vocations.  I can't speak for every community because I don't know all their inner workings, but, without being too specific, the way I understand things in my own community is as follows.  Most communities right now are dealing with the problem of having many older sisters and a small percentage of younger sisters.  In my own community we have had conversations and have planned for the period of time where there will be the largest number of sisters in the age range where they will need nursing care.  While you can't predict specifics, we have identified the years in which there will be a large number of sisters, who due to age and health, will need extra care which will require money.  In an oversimplification, the way we pay for this is through the salaries earned by younger sisters who are able to hold full time positions in our apostolate of education.  We have planned to use our resources very carefully with the number of sisters we know will need this care especially during the period when those very large "bands" of sisters are in retirement age.  Adding to that group by accepting older women would add to the number of sisters that will need care. 

 

As a young sister, yes, I will need care in the future.  However, at the time in my life when I need that skilled care, there will be a much smaller number of older sisters who will need to be taken care of than there are now.  The money I make now as a sister in a full time apostolic position helps pay for those sisters who need care now and to subsidize my own care in the future.

 

I agree that many women have college degrees now but lets use an apostolate of education as an example.  The number of older women who have a degree in education and want to discern religious life is probably not that high (This is only from my own personal experience in which I haven't met any women who fit this description - not to say there aren't any, but I don't think that they are that numerous).  For the sake of this conversation though, lets say there is a fifty year old woman who is a teacher who wants to discern.  First, she will fall into that very large number of sisters who will most likely need to use the limited resources of the community for healthcare all at the same time.  Second, for how many years will she have the stamina to work full time and be a sister full time? By the time she makes final vows she will be at least 58...  I barely have the stamina in my 20s to do the work of my community... I can't imagine how I will feel by the time I am 50.  I wake up at 430 every day and work (whether in school or the convent) until 9 or 10 each night.  Third, education is a continually growing field... more and more higher degrees are needed to compete in the job market, religious or not...While I'm working full time I'm studying for a Masters degree in education as well. 

 

Could it be that acceptance of older vocations is an issue of charism?  I know I don't have all the answers but I definitely think there are a lot of issues with apostolate and charism that change the ability of a community to accept older vocations.  There are types of religious life that are more conducive to an older vocation - more contemplative forms of religious life come to mind immediately (like the Visitandines as you mentioned earlier!)  Full participation in the charism of those communities rests more on the spiritual and communal aspects of religious life than on an active apostolate like education.  In my community, education is a fundamental part of our apostolic religious life. 

 

Again, I don't have all the answers and I accept that it could be that God is calling us to be more open than we are.  I just want to offer too the practical considerations that communities have to take into account when making decisions about admitting women to entrance.  In my own opinion, it would be much easier to accept older women into religious life in a community that is more contemplative than professionally active.  Even active communities that do a work that doesn't require extensive education have more potential to be a possibility for older women. 

 

I hope some of this was helpful.  Again... I know I don't have the answers... but I do have information.  I hope it is helpful and I hope that even if  you don't agree with me, you have added a different perspective to your understanding of this issue.

 

Prayers!

Edited by Sister Marie
Link to post
Share on other sites
Totally Franciscan

Thank you, Sr. Marie, and yes your information has helped my perspective on the issue.  I also agree that charism of a contemplative community is probably more conducive to accepting older vocations.  Hopefully, with God's grace, more contemplative communities will see the wisdom of admitting older vocations.  If God calls, there must be a place for them.  The trick is to find that place!  God bless!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Sr. Marie, and yes your information has helped my perspective on the issue.  I also agree that charism of a contemplative community is probably more conducive to accepting older vocations.  Hopefully, with God's grace, more contemplative communities will see the wisdom of admitting older vocations.  If God calls, there must be a place for them.  The trick is to find that place!  God bless!

 

Thanks Totally Franciscan... I agree  with you that finding the place is definitely the trick... as it is with anyone discerning religious life!!!!  I know that God has not called me to a contemplative vocation... I bet there would be a reason for them to not accept me regardless of age!!!  God's will be done!  Know you are in my prayers!  SM

Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem of how to cope with elderly sisters who will need substantive assistance reminds me of the ways the Israeli kibbutzim have developed over time.  They usually have a larger pool of young people to draw on than today's religious communities do, but a lot of young people do not have the temperament, patience, or knowledge to take care of very elderly and incapacitated members.  Knowledge is actually the easiest part.  Most kibbutzim have several women who are professional nurses but have chosen not to work outside the kibbutz while their children are growing up; some kibbutzim actually have a resident doctor [who "rents" his accomodation from the kibbutz, often a retiree].  Usually at least one member is willing to study dietetics in order to be able to concoct special diets [not everyone who needs a special diet is elderly, after all!]  Houses can be modified for those with limited mobility and intercoms installed so aid can be summoned easily, and so on.  In some cases, a group of teenagers takes it in turn to spend nights with a bedridden member, for security.

 

But the big thing, it has been discovered, is to prevent isolation and to keep the elderly member feeling useful, even when the "work" he or she can do is really more symbolic than anything else.  There isn't ever any complete "retirement" for members.  I remember, on one kibbutz, watching an absolutely ancient crone hobbling with her cane from one trash can to another, filling a shopping cart with recyclable items she found.  This seemed to me to be evidence of kibbutz neglect, and rather humiliating.  I was told that she had had terrible experiences during the Holocaust, had never been quite right in the head ever since, and had been sorting the trash ever since liberated from the camps and brought to Israel.  Initially attempts had been made to find her more "respectable" work, but then the members realized that, after the privations of the War years, this was an obsession of hers, so they transformed it into her "job".  She was happy.  No one tried to dissuade her; she "worked" when she felt well enough [and actually found a lot of recyclables].  I compared this with what I had seen in some old age homes where the "inmates" had nothing to do all day but watch TV, and realized it was a good alternative.  "From each according to one's ability; to each according to need".

 

Some of the posts seem to emphasize the aspects of a community that I think are really externals, such as habit.  While I think the habit is a form of witness, and like it [if it isn't extreme -- some of the old ones were truly penitential I suspect], that seems to me to be a very low priority in forming a community.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your input! I love to read what others perspective is on various topics and areas of interest! I have been educated and learned quite abit! It is wonderful when we can all come together and bounce ideas, thoughts and insights off of each other! SRKATERI- you made me smile mentioning this was a "fun topic" ;) Antigonos- Thank you for your "Chutzpah ! ;))

Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem of how to cope with elderly sisters who will need substantive assistance reminds me of the ways the Israeli kibbutzim have developed over time.  They usually have a larger pool of young people to draw on than today's religious communities do, but a lot of young people do not have the temperament, patience, or knowledge to take care of very elderly and incapacitated members.  Knowledge is actually the easiest part.  Most kibbutzim have several women who are professional nurses but have chosen not to work outside the kibbutz while their children are growing up; some kibbutzim actually have a resident doctor [who "rents" his accomodation from the kibbutz, often a retiree].  Usually at least one member is willing to study dietetics in order to be able to concoct special diets [not everyone who needs a special diet is elderly, after all!]  Houses can be modified for those with limited mobility and intercoms installed so aid can be summoned easily, and so on.  In some cases, a group of teenagers takes it in turn to spend nights with a bedridden member, for security.

 

But the big thing, it has been discovered, is to prevent isolation and to keep the elderly member feeling useful, even when the "work" he or she can do is really more symbolic than anything else.  There isn't ever any complete "retirement" for members.  I remember, on one kibbutz, watching an absolutely ancient crone hobbling with her cane from one trash can to another, filling a shopping cart with recyclable items she found.  This seemed to me to be evidence of kibbutz neglect, and rather humiliating.  I was told that she had had terrible experiences during the Holocaust, had never been quite right in the head ever since, and had been sorting the trash ever since liberated from the camps and brought to Israel.  Initially attempts had been made to find her more "respectable" work, but then the members realized that, after the privations of the War years, this was an obsession of hers, so they transformed it into her "job".  She was happy.  No one tried to dissuade her; she "worked" when she felt well enough [and actually found a lot of recyclables].  I compared this with what I had seen in some old age homes where the "inmates" had nothing to do all day but watch TV, and realized it was a good alternative.  "From each according to one's ability; to each according to need".

 

Some of the posts seem to emphasize the aspects of a community that I think are really externals, such as habit.  While I think the habit is a form of witness, and like it [if it isn't extreme -- some of the old ones were truly penitential I suspect], that seems to me to be a very low priority in forming a community.

 

I am really glad that you're on PM, Antigonos. :-)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am really glad that you're on PM, Antigonos. :-)

 

Thank you.  I am always somewhat hesitant to weigh in on matters that could be interpreted to be doctrinal.  But since I belong to a tradition that does NOT regard withdrawal from the world to be a path to spiritual improvement, nor one which raises celibacy or consecrated virginity to a virtue, but instead regards marriage as a "given" for the human condition, and spiritual striving is to be within both the framework of everyday life and with other people [the most salient example I can think of is that the central prayer of any Jewish prayer service is a prayer which is said by each individual silently yet is not recited at all unless a quorum of 10 is present], the contrasts are not only fascinating, but I think I might have a slightly more objective viewpoint -- looking in the window, so to speak, instead of being in the room. Perhaps that adds something to the discussion.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you.  I am always somewhat hesitant to weigh in on matters that could be interpreted to be doctrinal.  But since I belong to a tradition that does NOT regard withdrawal from the world to be a path to spiritual improvement, nor one which raises celibacy or consecrated virginity to a virtue, but instead regards marriage as a "given" for the human condition, and spiritual striving is to be within both the framework of everyday life and with other people [the most salient example I can think of is that the central prayer of any Jewish prayer service is a prayer which is said by each individual silently yet is not recited at all unless a quorum of 10 is present], the contrasts are not only fascinating, but I think I might have a slightly more objective viewpoint -- looking in the window, so to speak, instead of being in the room. Perhaps that adds something to the discussion.

 

It definitely adds, antigonos, definitely. I wonder: Does that "Phishy" tag bother you? You're a very productive and valuable contributor to the VS, so if you want it removed, I could try to start a little campaign for you. ;-) But if you don't care either way, well then...

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I could start a religious community... 

 

I'd call it St. Joseph's Builders, popularly called St. Joe's Crew. 

 

Brothers only, no priests. They'd take annual vows like the Daughters of Charity - commit to one year and stay for the full year; at the end of that, you could leave or renew again. They would attend daily Mass together at the local parish, eat in common, and say the rosary in common after supper. The habit would be brown work clothes similar to UPS, with a tool belt, hard hat, gloves, goggles, a St. Joseph medal under their shirt, and a rosary in their pocket. 

 

Their ministry would be rehab and maintenance construction. Each community would have six to ten men: a carpenter, painter/plasterer, plumber, electrician, laborers, maybe an engineer. They'd live in a marginal neighborhood and they'd buy a house, fix it up, and then sell it at a small profit - enough to keep food on their own table - to someone who wouldn't be able to afford a house otherwise. They'd probably get their clients through St. Vincent DePaul or Catholic Charities. Repeat.

 

They could also do (paid) maintenance/renovations on convents, churches, schools, Habitat for Humanity, or help out people like Catherine M so she wouldn't have to do all the rehab work on her own. Widows, single mothers, foster parents - that kind of thing. 

 

They could also teach construction skills. Classes would be possible, but what I envision is: the Jones Family plans to buy the next house, so the Crew would recruit at least one Jones child - teenager or older - as part of the rehab crew. The more the kid worked, the lower the price of the house. By the time the family moved in, the kid would be able to do most of the maintenance on the place, and maybe have some employable skills. Men who served for a few years than left to get married would also be able to maintain their own homes, and they'd probably have the inclination to help out the widows and single mothers in their parishes. And if they didn't go into some line of work, they'd have employable construction skills. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It definitely adds, antigonos, definitely. I wonder: Does that "Phishy" tag bother you? You're a very productive and valuable contributor to the VS, so if you want it removed, I could try to start a little campaign for you. ;-) But if you don't care either way, well then...

 

It's not a big deal, really, because  I don't pay any attention to it.  I suppose dUSt fears that my theological outlook may erupt at inopportune moments and wants others to be sure to know that I don't toe the Vatican line.  Besides, what would you substitute for it -- "Yenta"?  "Elder Sister", after Pope Benedict's description of Jews as the "elder brothers' of Christians [what does that make you all, I wonder -- rebellious children? <g>]?  Christians generally like to stress what they see as the similarities between Judaism and their faith, while forgetting [or ignoring] the differences.  I'm currently reading a very interesting and important book, "Anti-Judaism" by David Nirenberg, which discusses what happens when a new faith [either Christianity or Islam] supersedes the tradition which preceded it.  But that's not a topic for VS, and I don't usually visit Open Mic.

 

And I suppose some think it odd that a practicing Jew would be interested in non-Jewish spirituality but I have always found comparative religion to be fascinating.  I'd probably join a Hindu forum similar to PM if I could find one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.



×
×
  • Create New...