Community Database

By | Jan 21, 2009

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My husband and I have been tossing around an idea for a while now of creating a searchable database of communities to help women more easily find a compatible community.  It would be a free tool for both the communities and the women who are discerning.  I sketched out some criteria to start with, but I’d like to hear from you what you would find helpful.

The criteria I’ve listed so far are:

  • Habit
  • Type of Order (contemplative, apostolic, monastic)
  • Size of order as a whole
  • Size of communities within the order
  • Communal prayer
  • Primary ministries/work
  • Age Limits
  • Education requirements.

What other criteria would you find helpful to have in a database?  I’ve thought about location, but not sure how to do that.  But programming it is my husband’s job.

If you are active on other vocation boards or e-mail lists, please share this with others so we can get as much input as possible.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Wednesday Discernment Link: Nuts and Bolts of Vocation Discernment

By | Jan 21, 2009

This week I found a great podcast called The Nuts and Bolts of Vocation Discernment.  The podcast seems to run every few weeks without a set schedule, but they already have been running for one and a half years, sponsored by the Diocese of Albany.  If you are listening in when the podcast takes place, you can call it and ask questions.

The next podcast is this Friday, January 23, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.  Listen and call in if you get the chance.  I’ve listened to a few of them, and they really are quite interesting.

Tuesday Book Review: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily

By | Jan 20, 2009

I first read Sr. Joan Chittester’s book, Wisdom Distilled From the Daily almost 15 years ago, when I was discerning religious life.  While I believe it has great significance for those discerning vocations, I think it is also a book appropriate for anyone attempting to live an authentic life of love.

The Rul of St Benedict was written centuries ago for the monks of his order.  But it is a rule that is easily adaptable to any state of life.  What always struck me more than anything else about Benedict’s Rule is it’s kindness and generosity.  Every rule is written for those with love and consideration for others.

Sr. Joan Chittester brings this beautiful rule forward into the modern world and applies it to the modern day struggles.  Well, not entirely modern day as it was written almost 20 years ago and society has changed a great deal since then.  But her words are still applicable today.

The point of the Benedictine Rule is to build our spirituality on our every day experience.  Sr. Joan does a great job of bringing into the every day experience of modern life.

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Video Monday: Poor Clares ~ Galway Ireland

By | Jan 19, 2009

This has to be one of the best Poor Clare videos I’ve found so far on YouTube. This 10 minute video was shot by a local news agency, and captures a very personal look at women who have entered there in the last decade. I highly recommend it to anyone who is discerning religious life.

The nun’s website is at Poor Clares Galway – Ireland.

Theme Update

By | Jan 17, 2009

I’m in the process of updating to a newer theme on the site. If things appear broken, just check back in a few hours and they should be fixed.

Video Monday: Interested in Becoming a Sister

By | Dec 29, 2008

This is a vocation video of the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs. It’s essentially a slide show with a musical background. The song, “Swimming to the Other Side”, is worth watching the video all by itself. I must go find a copy of it somewhere.

Tuesday Book Review

By | Dec 8, 2008

Learning the Art of Discernment
I first read Weeds Among the Wheat, by Thomas Green, SJ, early in my discernment of religious life. I had first read his book, Opening to God, and found it so helpful, I purchased several of his other books.

Weeds Among the Wheat is a book specifically about discernment. As in Opening to God, Green writes simply of a profound subject, how to discern God’s word for us in our lives. How to hear His voice.

Every day we are inundated with stimuli. Television, books, newspapers, radio, internet, friends, family, coworkers, pastors. How do we, among the cacophany, hear that small, still voice that tells us His plan.

After each chapter, Father Green offers exercises to help us learn the art of discernment. These exercises can have a profound impact on the development of our spirituality and on how we act upon the message of God leading us forward.

“Where Prayer and Action Meet”
Our discernment should always lead to decisions and actions. That, after all, is what discernment is all about. Discernment isn’t something that we do once and then never think about again. Discernment is something we do every day, day in and day out. Every decision we make should be discerned in light of our beliefs. Weeds Among the Wheat can help us all to learn how discernment functions so that we can continue to discern God’s path for us throughout our lives.

This is a book that is valuable not just for those discerning religious life, not just Catholics, and not even just Christians. It is an important book for anyone who is discerning any decision in their lives according to their beliefs.

Video Monday – Poor Clare Nuns – USA

By | Dec 8, 2008

This is a beautiful and rare glimpse into the life of Poor Clare Nuns. The narration is a bit stilted, but well worth listening to. This was filmed in the Belleville Monastery. It’s an excerpt of a video from EWTN.

Video Monday: Benedictine Sisters of Clyde MO Part II

By | Nov 24, 2008

Last month I posted the first in this series from the Benedictine Sisters in Clyde, Mo. Today’s installment is Part II of the series.

Friday Community Highlight: The Eudists of the Eleventh Hour

By | Nov 21, 2008

The Eudist Servants Of The Eleventh Hour is an association of the faithful whose members are sisters who are mature women who love Jesus and want to follow Him by serving the poor and the needy. The Eleventh Hour refers to the scripture where Jesus calls the last, and signifies that the community is for older women, generally between the ages of forty five and sixty five. (from the website)

The Eudist of the 11th Hour were founded by Mother Antonia Brenner.  Mother Antonia, though raised in Beverly Hills, lived under private vows for years, providing care for prisoners in La Mesa penitentiary in Tijuana, Mexico.  In 1997 Mother Antonia received permission to extend her ministry to other women.

The Eudists of the 11th Hour is a community for older women, generally 45-65, and age range where many communities will not accept them.  Each woman must be self-supporting and provide for her own healthcare.  Women who are discerning with the Eudists may spend 6-12 months with the community in Tijuana.  Vows are made for one year and renewed annually.  Members may continue to live in their home community, or they may live with the community in Tijuana.  However, they must still be self-supporting.

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