Tag Archives: consecrated men and women

Traditional consecrated life is the Church’s life-blood

Heilengkreutz monks2.jpgFebruary 2, Candlemas, is since 1997, World Day of Consecrated Life was instituted by Pope John Paul II. Candlemas is a feast of encounter. In years past the Pope celebrated the Mass but this year he’s celebrating Vespers. Four years ago I was there with some friends and it was a widely beautiful experience because we were united in prayer and in communion with Pope Benedict with all the various charisms –religious orders, congregations, religious and secular institutes– called by the Lord into existence for the entire Church, not just for a select few. While a man professes the vows of a Capuchin or Benedictine his vocation is for his own salvation and for the witness of the Resurrection. It is not a case of either-or. This is an important point: a day of prayer like the one for consecrated life is not exclusively for those in vows, but for all of the faithful who are called to live a life of holiness, a life of conversion rooted in Baptism. Pope Benedict notes three aspects of the day of prayer for consecrated life: to thank and praise God for the gift of the consecrated life, to promote and appreciation with all the faithful of this vocation and to invite all the vowed people to recognize what the Lord has done in them through the Gospel.

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Consecrated life points beyond the present

We believe that our life, though as ordinary as ourselves, speaks of more than ourselves. For when we are present in the neighborhoods and cities of the human community, we are a prophetic presence pointing beyond ourselves to the very mystery of God.

Sister Laureen Grady, OCD
Carmel Charter of Life

Paying down debt to follow Christ


You wouldn’t believe it, but young people discerning a
vocation to the consecrated life and/or priesthood in the USA, today, face the
problem of debt.

Personal debt is one thing and we all have to watch our
spending. And we are the ones who to repay the credit card companies, not someone else. It is a very true experience to say that consumerism often replaces Christ as the focus of our lives.

BUT the
significant problem at hand is the amount of education debts young people have to pay
off before following the vocation given to them. Many young people went to the university, received a good education and now felt called to serve the Lord and the Church as a priest or sister and can’t because they have repay their college loans. It is the responsible thing to do. It is also the thing that will prevent someone from actually fulfilling their calling. Large college debts make a
person ineligible from entering a religious order or a diocesan formation
. Some religious orders will make some arrangement if the debt is “reasonable”
especially if the candidate is “worthy.” Many will not because their own income is not capable to lend that kind of assistance. Again, personal debts are the responsibility
of the person. The video on the Mater Ecclesiae website (see below) speaks of grants and the tough call made in discerning who gets help, who doesn’t. These grants assist in paying off
those college debts.

Perhaps as an act of charity we could make a charitable offering
to one of the agencies helping these young men and women deal with their
educational debts. Christmas is a time for giving with love.

This article, “Debt, the Vocation Killer” gives some perspective on the matter. Plus, there are worthy organizations that help in dealing with the educational debt like the Laboure Society and Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations.

St Dominic’s Monastery: 1st anniv in Linden, VA

Today, June 24, is the first anniversary of the dedication of Saint Dominic’s
new monastery in Linden, Virginia. 

St Dominic's Monastery cloister.jpg

What an amazing year! 
This summer four young women will enter the Monastery as postulants.  As
envisioned, the Monastery is acting as a magnet attracting young women to
devote their lives to God. The life follows the traditional form of Second Order Dominican nuns with the night Office, the grill, silence, sacrifice and prayer. The nuns rarely leave the cloister and are completely focussed on Christ. They carry to Him our deepest needs through their prayer and sacrifice.

I would like to encourage everyone to send Sister Mary Paul (the
prioress) and the nuns at Saint Dominic’s Monastery an anniversary card and, if
possible, to include an anniversary gift – a check to support the formation of
their new members. 

Cards can be mailed to:

Sister Mary Paul, O.P.

Saint Dominic’s Monastery

2636 Monastery Road

Linden, VA 22642

My friends Fathers Gabriel and Jordan as well as the laywoman Julie tell me the life of the monastery is going extremely well and the need for assistance is also great. So, I think the life of these Dominican nuns is VERY worth a sacrificial gift. Don’t you?

New website for the Nashville Dominicans

Nashville OP.jpgThe Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia have a new, beautiful website. Visit them here.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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