Friday, July 30, 2010


... I know it's not bird seed, but these gals could use you kind financial support.

can you imagine... "The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate have a goodly number of vocations; especially sisters who at the moment belong to the “active” branch who have a vocation to the contemplative life."

Photo source.

Recipe for a "goodly number of vocations"; some habits and a dash of Latin. Voilà!


Julie said...

Are they armless?

Just another mad Catholic said...

What I don't get is why on earth they can't raise at least SOME of the money themselves? I know that manual labour is a foreign concept to fransiscans but don't they get that we're in a recession, people don't have jobs and that last thing they can afford is to give money so that people they don't know can spend all day praying whilst they are strungling to feed thier families.

I wouldn't mind helping the F.SS.R who are pretty much selfsuffcient, preach missions and run a quarterly newspaper to boot but this lot DO NOT get my dime even if they do use the TLM exclusively.

The Crescat said...

uh oh. you did it now, Jack.

Christian said...

Violin! Cello!

The Crescat said...

I am so grateful for my proof readers.

Lee Gilbert said...

The Franciscans, like the Carmelites, and Dominicans, are a mendicant order and so they beg.
That is part of their charism. As for praying while others are struggling to feed their families, a life of prayer is also a battle. Nothing is more practically useful to the Church and the world than the contemplative orders.

Yet, if you think they are "useless eaters" (Not your words, but your implication), why should you bring blessings down on your head by giving them anything at all?

Just another mad Catholic said...

3 points lee

a) Nearly all the Carmelite and Dominican convents I know of (both in England and the US) at least attempt to support themselves via manual labour (and in many cases are quite self-sufficient)e.g. the Dominican Sisters of New Jersey have their soap business, the Carmelites of Notting Hill produce altar bread (in addition to growing nearly all their own fruit and vegetables) and manual labour is second nature to the Benedictine family, as far as I am aware ( I was looking into joining them) the Dominican friars in the UK try and support themselves through their teaching work at the local University, I have no problem supporting Orders that at least try and support themselves – I get annoyed when Orders who as far as I can see do not lift a finger to support themselves turn and ask us laity to part with our hard earned cash so that they can spend extra time praying (the herald article said that they spend 7 hours per day praying – now assuming they sleep for 7 hours that leaves 10 hours of the day some of which could be spent working- have they heard of the Benedictine idea of Work as Prayer?), especially during these hard times where many people are having to tighten their belts – including myself.

b)YES Prayer is a battle- as someone who spends around 3-4 hours a day in Prayer (including Holy Mass) I can testify that it is often times incredibly hard and many times I have to literally force myself to pray by sheer force of will. – I would love to be a contemplative Carmelite Monk in Wyoming but heck even they are trying to be self supporting as much as possible.

c)I wouldn’t go so far as to say they were ‘useless feeders’ but as I said above I do get annoyed when Orders who to my eyes rely on others to feed them (based on my reading of the Catholic Herald article) and as for calling down blessings – I don’t support orders such as the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer( who whilst they need a little practical help now and then with tasks such as baling hay are very self-sufficient) , the FSSP etc for ‘supposed blessings’ I might receive (I certainly haven’t noticed any coming my way) I do it because I judge the work they do to be important i.e. restoring tradition in a legal manner, I honestly don’t see how the FSI actually contribute to the Church, it might be because I have a bias in favour of the OCD whose members are not afraid to get their hands dirty.

Jamie said...

Wow. I'm sorry if this comes off as rude, but you "don't see how the FSI actually contribute to the Church", and you're going to be a priest? While I am very happy that you're considering the priesthood (from your profile), I hope nobody who thinks they have a vocation to a mendicant order comes to you for spiritual direction. Holy Mother Church has long considered contemplatives the "heart of the Church". The Church needs these modern Annas to pray for all of us who live in the world so that we don't become corrupted by it. I don't understand this mentality...they've given up everything so they can pray for you all day.

Suburbanbanshee said...

I've never seen someone complain before that a modern order followed the stricter interpretation of their rule. It's like getting offended because the Trappists won't talk to you. :)

A really strict begging order relies on Providence alone. So no, they're not forcing anything on anybody. They're waiting for God to provide, that's all. It's not the vocation I'd pick, but then, God didn't pick me for it, either.

So I and my personal property thank God that the Church isn't in the business of forcing a single conformist way of life on any of her lay children, much less on all her religious. :)

Just another mad Catholic said...

3 points

a) I take back the last point in my 2nd post; I am after all hoping to be a contemplative/active contemplative monk someday.

b) I'm not complaining about them following the rule its just that sometimes I think the Franciscans can appear to be a bit holier than thou about their emphasis on poverty (quarrals over how 'strict' to be seem to be at the root cause of the breakup
in the Franciscan family). It sounds almost as if they are saying 'we can't even own the property rights to our convent, arnt we sooo holy'.

c) The two Orders I'm seriously considering are both very faithful to thier rule (OCD, wyoming and FSSR, papa stronsey).going back to the FSSR they have a heard of livestock from which they get their milk, they fish they produce a quarterly paper, they are adding to their Monastary buildings and they still have time for 3 hours of prayer + Holy Mass in addition to praying the full Traditional office and the Rosary each day, considering the current economic climate couldn't the sisters try and rasie A bit of the money themselves?

nazareth priest said...

To be fair to Jack (I speak as a contemplative priest following the spirit of the Benedictine Rule), there is a bit of tension between the mendicant spirit and the Monastic spirit (according to the understanding of St. Benedict)..."he who does not work, should not eat" (St. Paul).
While this does not in any way disparage the understanding of Divine Providence (God will provide...we live by this, as well), the Benedictine understanding of living by the work of one's hands is a sense of responsibility; yes, the Rule of Benedict calls for seven hours of prayer in addition to several hours of "lectio divina" and private prayer...but being "self=supporting" is a part of the understanding of responsibility and sharing in the "sufferings of the poor, working class, etc.".
It's an on-going tension.
Most contemplative communities MUST rely upon the offerings of benefactors in order to fulfill their first call: to pray.
This is just a opinion of someone who is in a community that struggles financially, attempting to support ourselves, but in very real need of help from the faithful to make our meagre payments for insurance, groceries, daily necessities...nothing other than substistance.
To be completely dependent upon benefactors CAN make others somewhat suspicious, aggravated, etc.
Just some thoughts.

Badger Catholic said...

I LOVE these sisters!