Category Archives: Men’s communities

Maryknoll Celebrates Centennial

As reported by Catholic World News, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers celebrated their 100th anniversary at an October 30 Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was the principal celebrant, and Father Jan Michael Joncas–the composer of “On Eagle’s Wings”–composed a special musical Mass setting for the anniversary.

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers were founded by the U.S. bishops in 1911 as the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America. The average member is now 74 years old; according to various editions of the United States Catholic Mission Association’s handbook, 158 Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers now serve abroad–down from 279 in 2004.

Despite the many successes of devoted Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers over the past century, the community has been criticized in recent decades for adopting an overly politicized approach to missionary work.

New Canadian Monk

Here’s an uplifting story from The B.C. Catholic, the publication of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, on a young man who just made his perpetual vows as a Benedictine at Westminster Abbey in Mission, British Columbia.

John Marple (now known as Frater Caesarius) was the fourth of eight children, who began homeschooling when he was in second grade.

“[Our parents] pulled us out of school because they wanted to bring us up in our faith,” said Frater Caesarius. “They taught us solid doctrine.”
The family went to Mass every morning. “We actually went to the Pastoral Center at the 8 o’clock Mass for quite a number of years.” On weekends the family attended Mass at their home parish. Frater Caesarius was homeschooled untill Grade 9 and completed high school at Austin O’Brien Catholic School.
The road to discovering his vocation was not an easy one, but thank God for his parents, who obviously made his formation in the faith a priority.

Canons Regular of St. Augustine

Check out this exclusive interview with Fr. Elias Carr, Fr. Daniel Nash, and Fr. Bruno Semple of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, courtesy of Catholic Lane.

These priests have just established a new American foundation: the Canonry of St. Leopold, in Long Island, New York. Click here for the second part of the interview and for more information on supporting their mission. You may also check them out on Facebook.

The canons’ blending of community life with diocesan ministry offers new possibilities for U.S.-based priests.

Friar Proof

Last March, in a post entitled “Putting Out Friars!“, we commented on the new springtime of vocations experienced by the St. Joseph province of the Dominican order. 

Now, courtesy of Creative Minority Report,  we’ve learned that the community has posted new photos of their novices, who typically receive their habit on August 8, St. Dominic’s feast day.

This photo shows the novices who just finished their novitiate together with those coming in. Please pray for them!

Marians of the Immaculate Conception

Check out this inspiring, new vocations video from the Marian Fathers, courtesy of Roman Catholic Vocations: For Christ and the Church: The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The video includes commentary from the community’s dynamic vocation director, Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, whose dramatic conversion story has touched countless souls around the world. For more on the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, including their devotion to Mary and their promotion of the message of divine mercy, click here.

Band of Jesuits

In the Fall 2010 issue of Jesuit Journeys, Jesuit Michael Rossmann describes his community’s new “Hearts on Fire” retreats for young adults. During the summer months, a group of young Jesuit  priests and scholastics travel from city to city, opening the treasures of Ignatian spirituality to eager audiences.

Some excerpts from Rossmann’s article:

“It was deeply exciting to share our spirituality. I did not completely recognize just how helpful the Spiritual Exercises and Ignatian spirituality were for people today until a retreatant expressed how she felt as if she were the only one in the room as we went through the ideas of consolation and desolation and Ignatius rules for discernment in that it was connecting with her on such a deep, personal level. . . .

“We targeted young adults in their 20s and 30s. Many expressed they had gone on retreats during high school and college but had not been to a retreat in a long time and had never encountered something like this.We shared the Spiritual Exercises and the spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer, and people found it remarkably fresh and relevant.

“Really, we were simply messengers. We discussed Ignatian contemplation, led them through a Gospel scene, and then gave them time to practice on their own–an experience many found deeply valuable and something that they could integrate into their own prayer lives. While we expressed this through our own voices with particular stories and insights from our own experiences, for the most part, we simply shared with others the immensely rich gifts that lie at the heart of our Jesuit spirituality. . . .

“There were four or five of us Jesuits there each weekend to give talks, play music, and lead prayer. . . . Not only did we have a blast hitting the road, but we grew in community and in our own vocations. And people saw this. It was illuminating to read many evaluations that noted our evident camaraderie and how this contributed to a great retreat atmosphere.”

Click here for a blog post by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J. of the Apostleship of Prayer on the “Hearts on Fire” retreats. And check out this vocation website for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Jesuits.

Putting Out Friars!

In reading the CARA report this week on the men who will be ordained as priests this year, I noticed that among those responding to the survey, the Dominicans and Jesuits tied for the most ordinations by a religious community this year with nine.

Since my daughter is a postulant with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, I’ve very familiar with the vocation boom experienced by those sisters as well as by the Nashville Dominicans. However, I wasn’t aware that something similar is happening on the men’s side.

Along those lines, check out this video, courtesy of Creative Minority Report, concerning Dominican vocations in the St. Joseph province, where they had a staggering 21 young men enter novitiate last summer.

Mercedarians Show Healthy Signs of Growth

Go to Fr. Joseph's Facebook page.
Pope John Paul II with Mercedarian seminarians

When Fr. Joseph Eddy was looking for a religious community to join ten years ago, there were several characteristics that just had to be there. He found these and more in the Order of Mercy.

“I was looking for a community that was Marian, Eucharistic, and faithful to the Magisterium,” explained the 33-year-old priest, who was ordained in 2008.

“It was amazing to find this ancient order which possessed all the characteristics that I was looking for,” said Fr. Joseph, who serves as the vocation director for the order, which has as its formal title, The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy.

The U.S. branch of the order boasts of ten men in formation against a backdrop of 22 solemnly professed friars. “That’s a healthy sign,” Fr. Joseph said. “The older orders such as ours tend to struggle to get vocations. God is blessing us with these new men, and we look toward a grace-filled future.”

The order’s friars, which consist of brothers and priests, wear crisp white habits, pray the Divine Office together, and live a community life based on the Rule of St Augustine. The men teach in schools, administer parishes, and engage in other apostolic work.

No wonder the order is doing well. Traditional groups are those that are attracting vocations today, according to a 2009 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

The Order of Mercy, also known as the Mercedarians, has its U.S. motherhouse in Philadelphia. Their website is Hear the men chant the Salve on their YouTube video, or visit Fr. Joseph’s Facebook page.