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St. Mary Sisters


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2 hours ago, JHFamily said:

Probably for one of the same reason that the Ann Arbor Dominicans got their start. A community gets soooo big that the question must be asked, "Is God desiring another community?"

I understand that this is a foundation of Ann Arbor, so it's a natural development.

This is autonomous from Ann Arbor.  

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In the pre-Vatican II era, there were some 30 congregations of Dominican sisters in the United States: Sparkill, Newburgh, Caldwell, Sinsinawa, etc., etc., etc. They varied in size from small (100 or so) to huge (a couple of thousand?). Most of them have dwindled considerably, some have merged - we all know that. 

The Ann Arbor and Nashville Dominican sisters are growing. If they send out "new shoots" - officially or unofficially - it's really just the same process that was used in the past. This could be based on the size of the 'mother' congregation - it's hard enough to keep track of everyone, her education, location, assignment, age, health, and so forth, although computers can help with all of that. But if spiritual formation or community-building or interpersonal relationships require a lot of face-to-face time, then maybe it's better to keep a congregation smaller rather than keep growing to 2,000 members. 

I do think it would be clearer to announce "a new congregation" than a new order. The charism is the Dominican charism, the ministerial focus could be particular -  rural education, ministry to Native Americans (the Sparkill Dominicans have been ministering to Native American the West for a number of decades) or whatever. 

Also, a lot of pre-Vatican II congregations were established in small dioceses, or at least in the rural areas of larger diocese. The point was to get away from the world and all of its attractions/distractions while the sisters were in formation, or when the sisters needed to recharge their batteries with a stay at the motherhouse. 

Lastly, where a congregation is established has a lot to do with the bishop (as mentioned above). If the bishop of Bismarck is willing to sponsor this new congregation, anyone would grab the opportunity, especially if the bishop can provide land, money, spiritual direction, or actively recommends support of the congregation to the faithful. 

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Also if anyone is discerning with this community, I am sure its founding sister would be expecting questions regarding its foundation and apostolate and will be more than happy to answer them. Again, we can all speculate but much better to get information from the person herself. 

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11 hours ago, Luigi said:

In the pre-Vatican II era, there were some 30 congregations of Dominican sisters in the United States: Sparkill, Newburgh, Caldwell, Sinsinawa, etc., etc., etc. They varied in size from small (100 or so) to huge (a couple of thousand?). Most of them have dwindled considerably, some have merged - we all know that. 

The Ann Arbor and Nashville Dominican sisters are growing. If they send out "new shoots" - officially or unofficially - it's really just the same process that was used in the past. This could be based on the size of the 'mother' congregation - it's hard enough to keep track of everyone, her education, location, assignment, age, health, and so forth, although computers can help with all of that. But if spiritual formation or community-building or interpersonal relationships require a lot of face-to-face time, then maybe it's better to keep a congregation smaller rather than keep growing to 2,000 members. 

I do think it would be clearer to announce "a new congregation" than a new order. The charism is the Dominican charism, the ministerial focus could be particular -  rural education, ministry to Native Americans (the Sparkill Dominicans have been ministering to Native American the West for a number of decades) or whatever. 

Also, a lot of pre-Vatican II congregations were established in small dioceses, or at least in the rural areas of larger diocese. The point was to get away from the world and all of its attractions/distractions while the sisters were in formation, or when the sisters needed to recharge their batteries with a stay at the motherhouse. 

Lastly, where a congregation is established has a lot to do with the bishop (as mentioned above). If the bishop of Bismarck is willing to sponsor this new congregation, anyone would grab the opportunity, especially if the bishop can provide land, money, spiritual direction, or actively recommends support of the congregation to the faithful. 

Actually, the point of many new foundations like this was due to bishops wanting control over the sisters in their dioceses. Autonomy was often imposed without any participation or agreement by the women. It had very little to do with anyone wanting to "get away from it all." There were some cases, of course, where power struggles and personality clashes led to new congregations, particularly when one strong-minded leader was replaced by another with a very different vision.... 

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12 hours ago, Nunsuch said:

But Nashville wasn't that big--it's still only around 250. I do think in this case, Mother Assumpta had difficulty going back "into the ranks," as it were. 

250 is HUMONGOUS amongst the religious communities in America today.  Sadly, most communities are dying, but there is life in Nashville and it seems to rejuvenate every August. 

I'm not sure what you are saying about Mother Assumpta?  Do you know her personally because I do.  She is still much the Mother figure to me, even more so after I lost my mom a few years ago.  She's always willing and happy to talk to me when we see each other, even when she's surrounded by more important people wanting her attention.   One night I was feeling ever so lost and weary over life and I called her convent and surprisingly she answered.  She talked me through that moment, she didn't give me grief for calling so late.  She took the time to speak to me.  I never once saw an ounce of selfish ambition in her--- every act, every move was toward the Lord.  The founding of the Ann Arbor Doms had nothing to do with any accused weaknesses/personality quirks/imperfections of the humans who founded it.   You need to look more at the CREATOR and less the creature.   God wanted a Dominican community in Ann Arbor, he used four women, (spiritual giants in my opinion), to make it happen.  They would be the first to tell you, who they are doesn't matter, it's the community that matters.  Mother certainly doesn't have any problems going back into the ranks today.  She has been replaced as Mother General.  My good friend Mother Amata Veritas is now Mother Superior.  I can believe wholeheartedly Mother Assumpta is rejoicing...   

 

33 minutes ago, Mhairi said:

Also if anyone is discerning with this community, I am sure its founding sister would be expecting questions regarding its foundation and apostolate and will be more than happy to answer them. Again, we can all speculate but much better to get information from the person herself. 

Yes, if anyone of you reading this thread feels inclined to contact Sr. Mary Joseph because you may be interested in discerning with this new foundation, please do contact her.  If you're just a curious critic, please don't bother her, she is waaaaaaay too busy for that sort of interruption... 

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Thanks for your instructions. Yes, I know Mother Assumpta. And I've studied religious life for decades, including research in over 5 dozen archives and have read the histories of about 250 congregations in the US. I do believe I know what I'm talking about. Of course, you are entitled to your own perspective, as well. But I do believe mine is well grounded.

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8 minutes ago, Nunsuch said:

Thanks for your instructions. Yes, I know Mother Assumpta. And I've studied religious life for decades, including research in over 5 dozen archives and have read the histories of about 250 congregations in the US. I do believe I know what I'm talking about. Of course, you are entitled to your own perspective, as well. But I do believe mine is well grounded.

This is impressive.  I look forward to using your expertise on this forum for anything pertaining to religious communities that needs clarification... 

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Just thought I'd jump in before the snarkiness gets out of hand.  Having been on the receiving end of this type of response over the years, I speak from personal experience on the subject!  

I can certainly vouch for the fact that Nunsuch is a respected international scholar, a well-published researcher on female religious communities, and knows her subject matter inside out!  I think you would be surprised to know not only who she is, but also the depth of her expertise, the academic/personal circles she "travels in", and her own educational/personal background and experience. But that would be dependent upon your own educational background, your interests, and the publications (books, periodicals, etc.) you read and study. It is not exactly recreational reading :))

Please do not dismiss the learned observations/opinions/study results of others out of hand when they don't line up with your own - unfortunately this happens quite often on this forum.

"I look forward to using your expertise on this forum for anything pertaining to religious communities that needs clarification..."   Nunsuch has consistently shared her extensive knowledge over the years on this forum, and I personally look forward to her doing so going forward. 

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18 hours ago, Nunsuch said:

To seek funding for a huge (200-person) "motherhouse" before something even has canonical status is pretty unrealistic, I think.

Just wanted to clarify, I checked out their website and they are NOT trying to raise money for a 200-person motherhouse. They are simply trying to raise money to build a convent to house 22 sisters, to which they hope to later add on. I agree that it's not the best idea to start fundraising and planning a monastery before they've been approved, though. 

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32 minutes ago, Feankie said:

Just thought I'd jump in before the snarkiness gets out of hand.  Having been on the receiving end of this type of response over the years, I speak from personal experience on the subject!  

I can certainly vouch for the fact that Nunsuch is a respected international scholar, a well-published researcher on female religious communities, and knows her subject matter inside out!  I think you would be surprised to know not only who she is, but also the depth of her expertise, the academic/personal circles she "travels in", and her own educational/personal background and experience. But that would be dependent upon your own educational background, your interests, and the publications (books, periodicals, etc.) you read and study. It is not exactly recreational reading :))

Please do not dismiss the learned observations/opinions/study results of others out of hand when they don't line up with your own - unfortunately this happens quite often on this forum.

"I look forward to using your expertise on this forum for anything pertaining to religious communities that needs clarification..."   Nunsuch has consistently shared her extensive knowledge over the years on this forum, and I personally look forward to her doing so going forward. 

Who is being snarky?  I know it's the internet and words don't convey emotions.  I'm not being snarky or sarcastic at all.  I meant what I said. 

With that said, experts are great to have on hand and their input is valuable, but it is still important to think for oneself and one's own experience.  Plus, expert analysis has been proven wrong time and time again in every field out there.  Not being snarky about this, just sayin'... But of course, still a valuable asset to our online community...

14 minutes ago, PaxCordisJesu said:

Just wanted to clarify, I checked out their website and they are NOT trying to raise money for a 200-person motherhouse. They are simply trying to raise money to build a convent to house 22 sisters, to which they hope to later add on. I agree that it's not the best idea to start fundraising and planning a monastery before they've been approved, though. 

I wonder how long it takes to be approved?  Nunsense , what's the average timeline?  

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21 hours ago, HollyDolly said:

 ...there is an order from India of men and women , the Brothers and Sisters of Christian Science.You can Google that one too.

I wanted to reply to this, but forgot to until just now.  

Sisters of Christian Science were at my hometown parish a few years ago.  Their main charism is teaching CCD.  EXCELLENT community.  Most orthodox, faithful to the Magisterium and great teachers.  Funny and weird name, though... I agree about that.

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Well the Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Maybe Our Lord is giving inspiration to the good bishop, and i won't question that.  The Oblate Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament were founded by Bishop Marty some time in the 1930s to 50s? They were an offshoot of St.Katherine drexel's order, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to work with native americans. There is  only 3 sisters left. It's a shame, as there is a  need for the  native americans on the reservations for health care, schooling,  drug and alchol treatment etc. Bring this up because they are in the Dakotas.

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It can take up to a decade or more for full approbation for a new community. It also depends whether they are seeking to be a diocesan community as a final status (some do)--this is usually quicker--or a pontifical one. Pontifical status is not granted until years of experience under diocesan approbation, and may be originally provisional for a few years before becoming permanent. The first step os provisional diocesan approbation. They will need at least 3 members in perpetual vows, and then it is up to the bishop whatever requirements he might want to impose.

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Here is an interview with Sister Mary Joseph and the Bishop of Bismarck discussing the new public association of the faithful:

https://www.owltail.com/people/4dA1N-mary-joseph/appearances?_branch_match_id=844364606520770160&_branch_referrer=H4sIAAAAAAAAA8soKSkottLXzy%2FPKUnMzNFLLCjQy8nMy9YPK3fLDrfIrPTOTrKPj08qSsxLzohPy8kvj89MsbW0MDI3szQ1NjIzszA1MjQyMQEAmZXUXkgAAAA%3D

the interview is the 2nd in the list.

There is another interview with Sister in writing here:

https://bismarckdiocese.com/news/st-mary-sisters-established

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  • 1 month later...

I just find her words very passionate about religious life.   :heart:  I pray this new foundation flourishes.  For those of you truly interested please contact her!  She is an amesome Sister, her heart and soul just beam with the love of Christ...

If I could, I would jump at the chance to join her in this adventure...

 

 

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