Monday, August 06, 2007

For Contemplative Redemptoristine Nuns Today is the Solemnity of the Transfiguration

This is a very special day for all Redemptoristines around the world. On this day in 1731 the newly born Order of the Most Holy Redeemer received their red habits. Yes, red. The color of charity, the color of the love which they were to 'put on', as they were to be 'robed' with Jesus Christ so as to be His "living memory."

We chose this day to have the final of three special versions of Midday Prayer which included the opportunity for the last group of three sisters to share special memories of their lives in community. These occasions are part of our celebration of the 50th Anniversary Year of the founding of this monastery.

Sister Mary Jane, the one with the computer keyboard in her lap, treated us to a slide show of shots from old photo albums beginning with her entrance in the late 1970s. Sister is our bursar and very adept at all things technical. She frequently pointed out how she used to have brown hair!

Sister Moira, who entered late in the 1980s, spoke of her very first visits to the monastery, of how quickly she recognized that it was "home", that this was the place where she would live out her contemplative vocation. Her first years here taught her flexibility in community as changes were explored and followed by the eventual decision to build a new monastery. She spoke very movingly of her privileged experiences in preparing for the funeral rites of two sisters. And she expressed her gratitude to the community for the unforgettable memory of support during her bout with cancer.

As for me, I spoke of how I hardly felt qualified for this memory sharing because I have been in community for only seven years. But when I gave it some thought I figured out that I have known the community for a total of seventeen years by including my ten years as a lay associate. This is over one third of the fifty years we are celebrating. All during those first ten years the community extended many invitations to join them for educational and spiritual experiences and I got to know a few of the sisters quite well. My mind was flooded with memories of our old monastery which, while rather institutional and much too large, had a beautiful chapel, a retreat hermitage in the old infirmary and many places to hide out and just be. There was a small oratory above the choir that looked down onto the sanctuary of the chapel. I called it a 'nest.' I spoke of fond memories of all the shared endeavors, working together to create prayerful liturgy, to imbibe the charism, to offer programs for religious and laity and to celebrate the blessings of God.

Lord, how good it is that we are here.


Moniales said...

Congratulations Sisters!
Fr. Dennis Billy, OSsR is here with us for a few days for some lectures. I wonder if HE knows what today is for you!

Anonymous said...

"This is a very special day for all Redemptoristines around the world. On this day in 1731 the newly born Order of the Most Holy Redeemer received their red habits. Yes, red. The color of charity, the color of the love which they were to 'put on', as they were to be 'robed' with Jesus Christ so as to be His "living memory."

I cut/pasted this quote from your page.
I am a vocations promoter in Philadelphhia. I have heard of a few young women who were interested in the traditional Redemptoristine vocation, but were deeply disappointed and quite turned away from your Order when they saw that your community
1). No longer wears the traditional Redemprotistine habit in any of the houses of the Order posted on the internet. There might be some somewhere....but in the USA, Canada, England, France there are none that we found.
Also the populations of sisters... in the USA but also elsewhere, especially where the community has discarded even the habit, and adopted radical progressive wacko liturgical deviations (femminist liturgies, liturgical dance, etc.)
the members of the communities are very aged (as are the 2 USA communities). Some are on the point of extinction.
The 2 monasteries in the USA will not survive for long. Neither will other liberal houses.
My suggestion is to return both to the traditional Redemptoristine habit, and the traditional life. If not, your communities....and perhaps the whole Order will rapidly go extinct. This is already happening in the USA with hundreds of liberal femminist Orders of sisters....mergers and outright disbanding of communities is happening. Closures of liberal cloisters of Carmelites, Dominicans , Poor Clares and Visitation nuns in the USA is accelerating. Three cloisters were closed in the month of January alone.
Your 2 USA houses, and those in Canada and elswhere will not survive another 10 years if you don't return to the habit, and to the strict traditional life potential vocations are looking for.

Anonymous said...

I am curious about the lay associates of your order. How can I find out more?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,
Although I find the Feb 9th comment rather harshly put and un Christian in tone, I can not help but agree with it in essence. Have you read Mother Angelica's book? Her witness of standing firm on truth and the sacred Traditions of the Church and others such as the recent USCCB's letter to the new president and the holy Father's address to Speaker Polosey, are the kind of steadfastness that people are looking for. They have had their fill of reletavism they want the truth. Incase anyone had not noticed, there is a revival going on in the Fullness of the faith that is the Catholic church that the numbers obscure. It is coming from convets who have come to the Catholic church through reason. I am one of those entering this Easter and although it is too late for me to become a cloistered nun which would be my desire, as a wife and mother I would dearly love to join an order in a secular way if I could. At adoration last week I learn't about St Alphonsus ,I believe he may be my patron and as I was searching for more information on him I found the sisters in my native England. Although I went to convent school in England through 8th grade, sadly I had never heard of them nor any other contemplatives for that matter. Being a cloistered contemplative is a great Grace but there needs to be someway to educate the people about your work and you are doing this through your blog, well done. You must also witness to us though the truth by being pious and your attire would certainly be a witness to that.
May God bless you. MACM , Indiana