Finding a community

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Greetings fellow discerners!

I want to share with you my journey of finding a good community.

When I became Catholic in 2004, I thought that all sisters were the same. What I noticed was that I was disturbed by a few of the communities that didn't wear the full habit. Most of the sisters were involved in social justice activities.

Although social justice is very important in the Church, I am not called to this ministry. I believe I am called to educate others in adult faith formation programs. I would also like to teach English as well.

With that in mind, I must say that I receive suggestions of religious communities. However, I wish people would stop giving me suggestions and offer me prayer support. I have a spiritual director who challenges me to live the Gospel daily. He told me that many saints refused to please men. Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila is about having an authentic experience with the Lord provided that one does fall into pride...pleasing others to get attention.

I ask for your prayers that God would change my heart. I realize that sometimes I want attention from others because I am discerning a call. I don't want to please the world. I desire to please God alone.

I will be visiting a community in October. The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows in Oregon are traditional and they follow the Magisterium. The superior general, vocation directress, and a postulant will be on a Catholic radio station in Portland. Go to www.kbvm.fm for more details.

Pax et bonum!

14 comments:

Matthew Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 4:05:00 PM PDT  

Prayers coming your way for your discernment for the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of our Lady of Sorrows.

(I have a devotion also to our Lady of Sorrows)

HopefulBride Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 6:44:00 AM PDT  

Prayers for you Eileen. What time is the postulant and VD going to be on? I would like to listen in..

Eileen Bellamy Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 1:43:00 PM PDT  

Thanks for your prayers!!

Hey Hopeful, here's how you get the broadcast.

Go to www.kbvm.fm
Click on the link Audio Archives
Go to IN PERSON w/Dina Marie heard weekdays at 8am
Scroll down until you find September 19 broadcast.
Go back up to press play on the player.

It was awesome to listen to them!!

Matthew Monday, October 17, 2011 at 6:01:00 PM PDT  

Eileen,

When do you visit? I'll keep you in my prayers.

Also, I also operate a Catechism website that seeks to provide adult faith formation. We are looking for volunteers. If you would like to know more, please let me know.

Peace in Christ and our Lady.

Anonymous,  Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 9:09:00 AM PST  

Hi everyone-I found this blog at the Institute for Religious Life website.

I'm older than most people here, I think: 57, to be exact. When I was in my mid-teens to mid-twenties, I thought of being a Discalced Carmelite nun (I loved St. Therese-still do!). I spent those years writing and visiting a monastery in Upstate NY. I still keep in contact with them to this day, though they have moved to another diocese in the state. But I digress...

However, in the end the nuns did not accept me as a postulant. The Prioress, who was also the Novice Mistress, told me that I had 'a love and a loyalty to the Order, but not a vocation'. Strange to say, I accepted her words (one of the few times in my life where I 'felt' grace at work in me) without any protest.

Since then, I've been in two Third Orders in succession: the Franciscans, and then the Discalced Carmelites. I did like the years I spent with both, but I walked out of the first (the leadership were going to go off and 'do their own thing'), and was 'charitably dismissed' from the second (after a series of grueling written and verbal evaluations). No grudge against either of them....

But, the older I get, the more I wonder, 'what does God want of me in my life?' I sometimes get emails from a site which offers retreats at convents, but they're for the most part out of state. I can't afford going to them right now.

I go to a chapel which offers the Traditional Latin Mass, but only on Sundays and holy days-no daily Mass. The priests come from outside the area, and so there's no opportunity for any spiritual direction. I'm in 'limbo'; most of the 'good' communities will not even look at someone of my age. They will only take the young, and usually the upper age limit is 35.

I live a simple, hidden life. I feel like a nonentity, a useless member of the Mystical Body of Christ. I'm not overly 'gifted' or 'talented' (can't stand it when all I hear or read about is 'using one's gifts and talents'). I'm not into any kind of 'ministry' (another word which I feel is overused-should be limited to the priesthood alone). I'm a nobody.....

What does someone like me do with what's left of a miserable life on this earth?

I apologize for the length....guess I need to vent every once in awhile, since I have no family or at-hand friends....

Barb from Upstate NY

Matthew Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 9:34:00 AM PST  

Barb,

Have you considered the DAUGHTERS OF MARY, MOTHER OF ISRAEL'S HOPE?

Latest news: http://vultus.stblogs.org/2011/09/in-the-sight-of-angels-and-of.html
http://vultus.stblogs.org/2011/09/in-the-heart-of-the-church-you.html

Web page: http://www.motherofisraelshope.org/

The monks of Our Lady of the Cenacle Monastery are Tridentine but the sisters I think will be more flexible in that regard. I did read that they plan to have Masses at their convent ad orientem.

Anonymous,  Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 9:43:00 AM PST  

Matthew,

Hi there-wow, I didn't expect a response that quick! Thanks!

Yes, I do know about Rosalind Moss's community in Oklahoma. I saw her recently on 'EWTN Live' with Father Mitch Pacwa. I also read about her on Catholic Answers Forums-there's an ongoing thread about the community.

I'm not really that attracted to an active community, however. I'm not one of those 'beat-'em-over-the-head-evangelizing' types; I'm of a quieter nature. I would not fit in a place like that, being so very new and all. I'm a rather shy person.

Rosalind is not young-suppose she were to die while her community is still finding its feet? Would it survive her? Can't take that kind of a risk....

Barb from Upstate NY

Matthew Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 9:46:00 AM PST  

I would encourage you to look through the links in our sidebar under Vocation Links: Women to see if any of these communities are ones to which you feel you may be called. Some accept older vocations.

Anonymous,  Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 7:35:00 AM PST  

Matthew-

I looked at 'some' [not all] of the links you provided. And it kind of looks like that the upper age is mostly 35 years of age.

The only one that didn't have an upper age limit was the Benedictine nuns of Oxford, England....I don't think I'd want to pull up roots and go overseas, even though I have a dear friend in that country!

I just don't know....I feel so lost...I don't know what to do...

Barb from Upstate NY

Matthew Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:48:00 PM PST  

Barb,

I hope that you do pray the Rosary daily and pray the Divine Office. In so doing, at least you help fulfill our Lord's command to "pray without ceasing."

To fulfill one's current vocation in life with care and with resignation, is to fulfill the will of God at the moment in your life.

Anonymous,  Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 9:25:00 AM PST  

Matthew-

Yes, I do pray my Rosary-daily! Never let a day pass without it.

Re the Divine Office: I used to pray it when I was in the Third Order Discalced Carmelites (that was part of the Rule of Life). I sometimes have prayed the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But I don't pray the Office on a regular basis.

I also go to our local Adoration Chapel in the morning. I find it easier to pray there than at home, even though I'm the only one living at my house.

Barb of Upstate NY

Matthew Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 9:53:00 AM PST  

Barb,

I created a home altar with icons and statues as well as other holy things on it (place to keep the Epiphany Blessed Chalk, rosaries, palm braches, etc)

I find it easier and much more prayerful to pray the Divine Office at home now because of it.

Matthew Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 9:53:00 AM PST  

And, since the Divine Office is such an important part of a community life, starting and praying regularly now won't hurt you.

I know that the Divine Office & Little Offices can even be found online now.

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