On August 15, 2015, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious will release a new film on religious life called For Love Alone. The 18-minute video was produced by Grassroots Films.
Mother Mary Clare Roufs, ACJ, and Sr. Clare Matthiass, CFR, went on a two week blitz around the country previewing the film in locations ranging from College Station and the Aggies in Texas to seminaries and finally, appropriately enough, to Hollywood.
Here are some comments:
At the Wake Up the World rally in Toronto, Canada: “Many of us have not grown up or ever met nuns. This film gave us the perfect exposure to what the consecrated life is like. What a beautiful insight!”
In West Palm Beach: “The comments from the Sisters and all those in the film are so honest. You can tell they are speaking from a place of truth, and it just pierces through your heart. It is a film that is not just for Catholics, anyone can watch this film and be captivated by the beauty of Religious Life.”
From a seminarian in Denver: “Though this movie is about Religious Life, ultimately it is about ones encounter with the one we love -Christ Himself. For me, as I watched the film, it was as if my heart was being pierced with a longing for this intimacy with Christ. The film moved me deeply and made me want to go straight to the chapel and pray. He (Christ) is the reason I want to be a priest. Thank you for this beautiful, beautiful film!”
From an aspirant in Vancouver: “The film was exciting! I feel it was a good representation of the excitement I feel about my call to religious life. I would love for my parents to see this film!”
Click here to be notified when the film is released!
And thank you to the Hilton Foundation for making this project possible.
At the IRL National Meeting banquet, held on April 6, 2013, Mother Mary Clare Millea, ASCJ, received the Pro Fidelitate et Virtute award from the IRL in recognition of her extraordinary fidelity to the consecrated life, as well as her tireless dedication as a daughter of the Church. Mother is Superior General of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was the Apostolic Visitator for Institutes of Women Religious in the United States.
In the news yesterday was the report that Pope Francis reaffirmed the findings of the Assessment and the program of reform needed by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). Archbishop Gerhard L. Müller, the prefect for the Vatican’s doctrine congregation and Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, who was named to carry out the reform of the group, met met in Rome with conference president Sister Florence Deacon on April 15 among others.
Archbishop Müller thanked the sisters for their “great contribution” to the Church, “as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor” that have been founded and staffed by religious. The assessment noted that while the LCWR promotes social justice issues, it largely ignores matters of life, marriage and sexuality, which have played a large role in recent public debates. At their conferences, the talks included those with “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”
Let us all pray that the LCWR, the affected communities, and those responsible for carrying out the reform may act in good faith, with the help of the Holy Spirit and strive to achieve the unity under Holy Mother Church so desired by our Lord.
For more information, see the Catholic News Service.
The National Catholic Reporter recently had an article about a group of “old-fashioned nuns,” actually what I could call a timeless group of sisters carrying on the traditions of the ages. The LCWR was meeting nearby and the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus were carrying on with their work of caring for the aged and pre-schoolers.
These sisters belong to the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), a group that comprises about 10,000 sisters and according to the article, they are young and growing. About 15 years ago, these Carmelites were “stagnant,” not attracting vocations. But then they emphasized their traditional life and vocations started coming in. Many young women are attracted to the wearing of the habit for as Sr. Mary Michael Reiss, 27, says: “I thought if I’m going to do this with my life, to give everything, I want people to know about it, darn it! I wanted the whole church.”
The spirit of the Carmel DCJ comes from the faith experience of Mother Mary Teresa of St. Joseph. Meditating upon and contemplating the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded and bleeding, yet burning with love for mankind, a desire was born in her to love the Sacred Heart with her whole being and make Him loved in every heart He had created.
For more information about this IRL Affiliate Community, see their website.
There is an interesting article in The National Catholic Register regarding the history behind The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) doctrinal assessment.
A little background: The Vatican established the LCWR in the 1950’s (originally named the Conference of Major Superiors of Women in the United States). In the 1980s those religious communities that did not share the political and religious views of the LCWR petitioned the Holy See to allow them to form their own association. This was finally done when the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) was established in 1992.
The IRL Affiliate Communities are part of the CMSWR. Go to our website to see a list of our communities.
According to the article:
The average age of the members of LCWR communities is 73 and increasing, while their numbers fall. Meanwhile, what of the CMSWR? They represent 20% of all the women religious in the U.S., more than 11,000 sisters, but they are young, with an average age of 35 and falling, and they are growing fast. They are happy to state their fidelity to the magisterium of the Church, to pray together as the central focus of their lives, to work together in community apostolates, to wear recognizable religious habits and, above all, to promote and protect their consecration to Christ as the source and goal of the Church’s life.