Assertive Love?

If there is one thing that I have been noticing a disconnect with in my own life it deals with my differing assertions regarding Christian unity. Online I am more than likely to state the Catholic Church as the Church. However, in conversations with my Baptist, nondenominational, or Protestant friends I lean toward Christian unity.

Wounds to unity

817 In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.”269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body – here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 – do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes.
Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which
arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271

818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”272

819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth”273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.”274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”276

But how assertive in the Truth of the Catholic Church is to be exercised by Her members?

Religious Order Adjusts to Changing Times

Chesterfield, MO
A group of aging nuns say they must close a 40-year-old Catholic school in suburban St. Louis in June.

The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood plan to sell the Linda Vista school and the land it sits on to the highest bidder. They say they need to raise money for the retirement and health care of the order’s 200 members.

On average, the sisters are 75 years old.

The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, like many other religious orders around the nation, have fewer members than they used to.

In 1965, about 180-thousand sisters worked in elementary schools, hospitals and with other missions. There are now fewer than 67-thousand nuns in the U.S.

Parents want to keep the school open in Chesterfield. They say they have offered to buy it.

Source Copyright 2007

Nuns take campaign against female circumcision to World Social Forum

NAIROBI-Nuns take campaign against female circumcision to World Social Forum

A congregation of Catholic nuns campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya called for more concerted effort to end the practice.

Speaking at the ongoing World Social Forum (WSF) in Nairobi, Kenya, the sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), or Loreto Sisters, said the practice is widespread in Kenya, and its eradication is necessary to the restoration of women’s sexuality.

The nuns are carrying out a nationwide campaign against FGM, which though illegal in Kenya still goes on, mostly clandestinely.

“We are training young boys to vow that they are going to marry uncircumcised girls,” said Sr Dr Ephigenia Gachiri.

The sisters are promoting alternative rites of passage for girls that do not involve excision. Sr Gachiri last year published a book on the subject, titled Christian Initiation for Girls.

She told participants at the WSF that the church is a powerful institution that can help curb FGM. Already a number of parishes across the country are involved in awareness creation and provision of alternative rites.

The Loreto Sisters are also training community leaders on FGM and offering counselling and skills training to the victims of the practice.

Source © Independent Catholic News 2007

Parents and Happiness

Often the most upsetting or difficult issue for me to adjust to in the discernment and vocation process is that of my family. I spent 2.5 hours last night phoning discerners in the LA archdiocese for the upcoming 7-11 Ministry Day. It was work, I left a lot of phone messages, and got hung up on. However, in the end … I had fun. I enjoyed doing it and being helpful.

It made me happy.

I went home, and had to leave my happiness and smile in the car. I could not go home and tell my parents what a wonderful time I had phoning people, convincing them to attend, giving them alternate options to their (supposed) obligations, and such. I thought it was funny how Sister Kathy said that I should call the men, because they’re more likely to respond to a female caller than a male. Apparently the seminarian did not have much luck earlier in the day. I didn’t either, but I had fun. I also had cranberry-apple flavored tea.

Or how I spent 3.5 hours on Sunday morning with Opus Dei during their day of recollection and I also had fun with that and could not go home and tell my parents about it.

I have noticed that I do not talk about a vocation as a “what if…” or as a “maybe”, but as a reality that will happen upon graduation from graduate school. I have said yes to Christ in my heart, and it is now just a matter of finding the right order. I am looking at orders in educational settings whether a grade school or a college because that is where my degrees lead me, and also orders that wear habits. I want to be that candlestick sitting in the window, and not under the bushel basket.

It’s just that not being able to share this journey with my family tears at me; somehow this makes leaving them behind harder.

Women’s orders involved in higher education

Sister,
I have class soon, but I wanted to ask you a question.

Being online and blogging I’ve come across a noviate for the Society of Jesus. I have noticed that the SJ is rather scholarly and studious: in publications and academic environments. Are there such orders for women that are in professional writing or as professors in universities and such?

I ask because I’m fairly academic and like the learning environment a lot.

***
Dear Megan,
Yes! The SJ’s are only men.

But there are orders like the Dominicans, Srs. of St. Joseph, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, etc that teach at University level.

I could place you with one for the 7 11 day if you want.

Hope you have a good day!

Sr. Kathy

***
Awesome!!