Terre Haute Carmel Growing and Inviting Women to a Weekend Visit!

A few years ago, I had the blessing to visit the Carmelite monastery in Terre Haute, Indiana. Since that time, their community has really blossomed with young vocations! There are twelve solemnly professed sisters, one who has professed temporary vows and 3 novices. They also have 2 sisters living with them from China who are learning skills for forming young sisters. All this adds to a vibrant community!

If you would like to learn  more about their life as Daughters of St. Teresa of Avila, there is an opportunity coming up. The nuns are hosting a discernment retreat weekend on May 26-28, 2017, at their monastery. During the weekend, you will have the opportunity to learn about the Carmelite way of life and participate in their monastic schedule, inside the enclosure of the monastery. You will also join the nuns for Mass, recreation and meals. What a privilege!

COME & SEE!

The monastery can trace their roots back to the foundation of the United States and almost back to St. Teresa herself!  Here is a brief summary of their history:

The journey in Terre Haute began on the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7, 1947. The bishop wanted a second Carmel in his diocese to be a presence of prayer in an area where there were few Catholics.  The Indianapolis Carmel, who responded this this request, traced its own roots back to the Bettendorf and Baltimore Carmels, to the original foundation made at Port Tobacco in 1790. This Monastery was the first house of Catholic religious women founded in the original thirteen colonies of the United States of America. The nuns who founded Port Tobacco, in turn, came from Hoogstraet Carmel in the Lowlands. Hoogstraet Carmel was under the direct influence of Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew, St. Teresa’s trusted companion and nurse, who had spread the Holy Mother’s vision of Carmel into countries and cultures far beyond its birthplace in Spain.

For more information about the discernment weekend, please contact Sr. Clare Joseph, OCD, at vocations@heartsawake.org or visit www.heartsawake.org.

 

Thomas Aquinas College Expanding East!

Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, California, will soon have an East Coast campus. They have entered into a preliminary grant agreement with the National Christian Foundation (NCF) to accept its gift of a former secondary school campus in Northfield, Massachusetts.

A portion of the 217-acres, located 90 miles northwest of Boston, will be given to Thomas Aquinas College. The campus is comprised of 40 main buildings including dormitories, academic and administration buildings, a library, science hall, auditorium, music building, gymnasium and a chapel. The facility, previously home to Northfield Mount Hermon School, was founded in the 19th century as a preparatory high school by noted evangelist and bible scholar Dwight L. Moody. On part of the property, the Moody Center will continue to preserve his legacy. And, “has the opportunity to again re-establish the property as a preeminent location for teaching and training biblical scholars,” said Emmitt Mitchell of NCF.

Dr. Michael McLean, President of TAC said: “We have been considering, therefore, the possibility of a second campus. Given the tremendous challenges and costs involved, the question would have remained no more than academic—but for this extraordinary opportunity that the National Christian Foundation has offered us. Never did we imagine we could acquire a campus so fully developed and so beautiful.”

TAC is at full enrollment so this new opportunity gives more students access to their outstanding curriculum while maintaining an intimate community of learners. When fully realized, the campus will be able to support an enrollment of 350- 400 students.

Most Rev.  Mitchell T. Rozanski, Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield plans to do whatever he can to help  Thomas Aquinas form “faithful witnesses to Christ in our Catholic faith.”  Dr. McLean was greatly encouraged by this pledge of assistance and said: “We look forward to working with him to provide even more young people the intellectual, moral, and spiritual formation they need to serve the Church and our country well.”

At Thomas Aquinas College, students acquire a broad and fully integrated liberal education. The College offers one, four-year, classical curriculum that spans the major arts and sciences. Instead of reading textbooks, students read the original works of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization — the Great Books — in all the major disciplines: mathematics, natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology.

Vocations Boom at Holy Resurrection Monastery

Holy Resurrection Monastery is sui juris (self-governing) monastic community of monks located in Saint Nazianz, Wisconsin. Founded in 1995, they are under the Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St George’s in Canton, Ohio. They are committed to the revival of traditional Eastern Christian monastic life, following the liturgical and fasting regulations of the Byzantine tradition.

There are four monks in solemn vows, four novice monks, and one postulant. They also have serious discerners in contact with them. “With the rampant secularism in our society, it is a difficult time for monastic life,” says Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis. “However, given the small size of the Eastern Catholic Churches and the newness of more traditional monastic foundations, I believe, by God’s mercy, Holy Resurrection Monastery is doing quite well!”

People in the Roman Catholic Church, numbering about 1 billion members, often do not realize that about 20 million Catholics belong to the 21 Eastern Catholic Churches. The monks believe that the Eastern Churches have a lot to contribute to the New Evangelization. “The New Evangelization must offer many things – including sound catechesis, moral guidance, social action, and reverent worship. All of these things, however, must be put into their proper context. They are ultimately not ends in themselves, but aspects of the path to union with God.”

The monks in Saint Nazianz:

  • Pray, for their own holiness, the Church and all the world. They receive hundreds of prayer intention requests a month, writing each name entrusted to them in their remembrance books known as “Dyptichs.
  • Offer hospitality through their retreat house. Spiritual direction is available.
  • Evangelize by going out to parishes, prayer groups, Bible Studies and other organizations. They also give parish missions, write online articles, and work ecumenically.
  • On most days they have the custom of sitting together silently as part of the morning and afternoon services to pray the Jesus Prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It was the highlight of my retreat with these wonderful monks!

“The closeness of the transcendent God is not a theoretical abstraction. It is a fact – the most important fact there is. The divine presence must become the basis of the believer’s whole life, through that harmony of liturgical and contemplative prayer which is the foundation of Christian mysticism.” (Click here to read the whole article)

During this Lent, a generous benefactor has offered the monastery a matching fund grant of up to $50,000. Which means that every $1 donation will be matched up to $50,000. If you would like to support this growing monastery, please visit their website.

Ven. Henriette Delille Exhibition Opens in New Orleans

The canonization cause for Ven. Henriette Delille (d. 1862), foundress of the Sisters of the Holy family in New Orleans, continues to move forward. Twenty-nine years ago, her cause was opened and in 2010, Pope Benedict declared her Venerable. As the Sisters celebrate their 175th anniversary this year, they are hoping that the details of a miracle, attributed to Henriette’s intercession, will be accepted and authenticated so that Henriette can be Beatified during this eventful year.

The Sisters of the Holy Family were founded in 1842.  The sick, the infirm and the poor were the Sisters’ first concern and the “dearest objects of solicitude,” but they also sought “to bring back the Glory of God and the salvation of the neighbor by a charitable and edifying behavior.” Henriette’s antidote to the dissolution and irreligion of the time was to “teach the mysteries of the religion and the most important points of Christian morality.” One of her priorities was to promote the Sacrament of Marriage. How we need Henriette’s powerful intercession today when families are so under attack!

An exhibit on her life at the Ursuline Convent Museum in New Orleans opened late last year and runs through September 2017. Created by the Archdiocese’s archivist, it highlights the life of Henriette, born to a French father (it is believed) and mother who was a “free woman of color” of French, Spanish and African ancestry. Her great, great grandmother, Marie Ann, was a slave who purchased her freedom. The women in Henriette’s family were free, independent and well-to-do. But Henriette broke with family tradition, choosing instead to devote her life to the Lord as a “humble servant of slaves.”

A documentary on her life is available and for more information on her community and her Cause, please visit the Sister’s website.

Closing Mass Celebrated for the 800th Dominican Jubilee

On January 21, 2017, Pope Francis presided over the closing Mass of the Dominicans Jubilee, which began November 7, 2015, celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order. The Mass took place at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, in Rome.

Why at St. John Lateran? Because during the time of Saint Dominic, it was the residence of the Popes. “On this our special day, gathered by Jesus again, together with Pope Francis we want to contemplate the roots of our Dominican identity anew. To put it in a different way, before contemplata aliis tradere first we must contemplari.”

The Holy Father quoted St. Paul’s letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4), some of the most beautiful passages contained in the New Testament, where Saint Paul urges his followers to “proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.”

Today, too, says Pope Francis, “Truth is also made up. We move in the so-called ‘liquid society,’ without fixed points, without axes, deprived of solid and stable references, in a culture of the ephemeral, of usage and of discarding. Highlighted clearly in face of this worldly ‘carnival’ is the opposite scenario that we find in the words of Jesus….: ‘Give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.’ And how can one pass from this pseudo festive superficiality to glorification? It is realized through the good works of those who, becoming disciples of Jesus, have become “salt” and “light.”

Jesus says it very clearly: if salt loses its taste, it’s no longer useful. Alas if salt loses its taste! Alas a Church that loses her taste! Watch out for a priest, a consecrated person, a Congregation that loses its taste!

“Today, we give glory to the Father for the work that Saint Dominic carried out, full of the light and salt of Christ, 800 years ago; a work at the service of the Gospel, preached with the word and with life; a work that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, has helped so many men and women to not be dispersed in the midst of the ‘carnival’ of worldly curiosity, but who instead savored the taste of healthy doctrine, the taste of the Gospel and became in turn light and salt, craftsmen of good works … and true brothers and sisters that glorify God and teach others to glorify God with the good works of life.”

One of our Affiliates, the Dominican Nuns in Marbury, AL, were so happy when they received a call in October that the Master General of the Order of Preachers, Father Bruno Cadoré, O.P., wanted to pay them a visit. He arrived in the evening and left in the morning but it was a great honor and delight for them to have the successor of Saint Dominic in their midst, particularly since Marbury is not exactly on the beaten path!

We pray for the Lord’s blessings on all of the IRL’s Dominican communities who celebrated this past Jubilee Year with so much joy and fraternity:

Dominican Friars – Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus – Oakland, CA

Dominican Monastery of St. Jude – Marbury, AL

Dominican Cloistered Nuns – Farmington Hills, MI

Dominican Cloistered Nuns, Monastery of Mary the Queen – Springfield, IL

Dominican Contemplative Nuns, Corpus Christi Monastery – Menlo Park, CA

Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary – Summit, NJ

Dominican Monastery of the Infant Jesus, Cloistered Dominican Nuns – Lufkin, TX

Dominican Monastery of the Mother of God – West Springfield, MA

Dominican Nuns, Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary – Buffalo, NY

Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne – Hawthorne, NY

Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist – Ann Arbor, MI

Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia – Nashville, TN

Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary – Milwaukee, WI

Dominican Sisters, Immaculate Conception Province – Justice, IL

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St. Dominic, pray for us!

You can visit our website—ReligiousLife.com and go to “Vocation Search” to find more details on each community.

 

 

 

 

 

SOLI Sisters to be Featured on EWTN!

Congratulations to their new novices, Sister Marie Vianney, SOLI and Sister Maria Joseph, SOLI. And their new postulant Jessica!

Be sure to watch EWTN on February 28, 2017, when one of the IRL’s communities will be featured on EWTN.  A 30-minute video on the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate, a (newish) religious community in Canada, will be broadcast at 6:30PM (EST).

The video is an inspiring, intimate look into the apostolate of the SOLI Sisters from Cambridge, Ontario. This community of sisters in Canada is bringing about a renewal of authentic Catholic catechesis in the schools they serve, and in their care for the elderly. This deep love for young and old, as the Sisters daily strive to answer the call of becoming a true Bride of Christ, gives witness to their unwavering faith.

Mother Dorothy (l) and two SOLI sisters

The sisters are also expanding into new mission fields! At the invitation of the Bishop, the sisters will be assisting in Catholic education in the Diocese of Peterborough, Ontario, where  Sr. Bernadette and Sr. Mary Catherine have been appointed Principal and Vice-Principal respectively of Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic School.

The sisters were founded in 1977 by Father Lloyd Ryan and Sr. Mary Josephine Mulligan, formerly a Grey Sister. They both saw the need for a new religious order of women who would be dedicated to living the religious life authentically and teaching our Holy Catholic Faith with courage. This fervor and zeal for promoting the Truth with religious solidly formed with the essential foundations of religious life sounds much like Father John Hardon, S.J., who founded the IRL to support communities such as these, striving to bring the light of Christ to our secular society.

You can order the video from EWTN, a great resource for anyone seeking to inspire a young woman to consider religious life!

Dominican Sisters of Mary in Texas – Expansion Plans

The Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist are hoping to build a new religious house outside of Austin, Texas.  Eight sisters arrived in Texas in 2009 and are now teaching in two elementary schools and a high school.

In 2011, they purchased almost 61 acres of land, ideally located for the community to serve schools throughout Central Texas. By 2013, they completed the construction of a temporary mission convent on the site, allowing the Texas Sisters to live in community and work on-site to oversee the larger Religious House project. The sisters are currently in three cities: Buda, Austin and Georgetown, home of their future Religious House.

Sister Elizabeth Ann O’Reilly, OP, said that whenever God opens a door, “He definitely lets you know.”

“In Texas it happened so fast it seemed He was shoving us through,” she said. While they have missions in six other states, Texas will have the second priory for the education and formation of new sisters.

As foreseen in our managed growth plan, the Motherhouse in Ann Arbor is now at capacity, and it is necessary for our community to add a facility in another location in order to fully provide for the spiritual and temporal needs of our Sisters. We are moving forward with plans to build the first phase of a Priory in Texas which will house, form and educate up to 50 Sisters ready to live our Dominican vocation of preaching and teaching the Gospel of Christ across our nation.

To fund our growth, particularly the first phase of our Texas Priory, we are asking old friends and new to join us in supporting the young women who are responding with an all-embracing “yes” in service to the Church. Those who support our mission will be sharing in an effort than can only be measured by the many lives that will be changed through our work in Catholic education for years to come. We invite you to prayerfully consider helping us in this faith-filled effort for the Church in the United States by becoming a member of the Circle of Faith.

If you would like to make an donation to support this important apostolate of teaching and evangelization, please visit their website. Or consider one of their upcoming Vocational Discernment Retreats (February, April and November).

Come & See Vocation Assessment Program

Three postulants from a happy Come & See customer!

What are the best ways to attract vocations? Certainly, effective use of the internet can be one of the best ways to light the fire of a young person’s vocational call.

This is what TreeFrogClick is doing, helping communities to find vocation candidates with their Come & See Vocation Assessment Program. Not only does it peak their interest but it develops their interest over time. The program uses internet ads and a customized quiz to attract young single devout Catholics who may have a religious or consecrated vocation.

TreeFrogClick believes that their program is unique. There are three aspects of their program that differentiate it from others:

  1. First of all, the names you get are for you only; they are not shared with anyone else. These candidates have responded to ads with your name and images on them.
  2. Secondly, the ads are highly targeted. They advertise only to those within a certain age range, those who are single men or women, who are likely to be practicing Catholics, and who are from the United States. With these safeguards, you don’t get an overwhelming number of the wrong candidates.
  3. Thirdly, they work with their own proprietary target list of more than two million devout Catholics, developed over years of research. They target only those who have an interest in and the practice of the Catholic faith. Thus, their system stands out from approaches that use search ads, generic ads on Catholic websites, or printed ads.

The initial quiz probes for interests and capabilities, including a candidate’s practice of the faith, whether they have thought about consecrated life, and so on. They can also filter out those with certain personal problems.

Georgetown Visitation

The second part of the program involves an email newsletter service, in which regular newsletters are sent to these candidates to inform them of the consecrated life, and develop their interest in your specific community. These newsletters are custom-written for you.

Sr. Anne Francis Nganga, of the Georgetown Visitation Sisters is happy about the ad campaign. “It went very well and seven of them want to come back for further discernment.”

TreeFrogClick has found that it’s not enough simply to identify candidates. You have to educate  and keep your name in front of them so that when they decide to enter religious/consecrated life, your community is foremost in their minds.

The Mercedarian Sisters in Cleveland are also pleased with the results. “Kevin, of the eight girls who came to the retreat, one girl came from the recent Quiz Info. And three others came because even though they took the quiz two years ago, they kept receiving the newsletters!!! Good job, thanks!” said Sr. Jeanette, vocation director.

If you would like to find out more information about the Come & See Vocation Assessment Program, please visit their website or call 708-393-4098.

Holy Father’s January Prayer Intention – Christian Unity

Christian Unity

That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.

For more information, please visit the Apostleship of Prayer’s website.

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