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Father Deacon Lance:

I am on the mailing list of a new Carmelite monastery in Wyoming (Latin) that cannot seem to find the space for all the new young men who have expressed interest in becoming cloistered monks. They are in the process of building a monastery of stone buildings and cells and have had young men apply from as far away as Australia.

There is another new monastery--Benedictine--established in Oklahoma (Latin) that seems to be having the same problem.

Interestingly enough, both have made their liturgical life revolve around the Extraordinary form of the Latin liturgy.

This while so many other foundations haven't had a vocation in years.

As an aside, I have a relative in an (women's) order that hasn't taken in anyone new in almost the 39 years my wife and I have been married. Go figure.

Bob

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And we should care about the Extraordinary Form Carmelites because . . .?

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Originally Posted by Ot'ets Nastoiatel'
And we should care about the Extraordinary Form Carmelites because . . .?
Another example of traditional monasticism flourishing while modernized orders wither. The Byzantine Carmelite nuns in Sugarloaf are yet another example.


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Originally Posted by theophan
Father Deacon Lance:

I am on the mailing list of a new Carmelite monastery in Wyoming (Latin) that cannot seem to find the space for all the new young men who have expressed interest in becoming cloistered monks. They are in the process of building a monastery of stone buildings and cells and have had young men apply from as far away as Australia.

There is another new monastery--Benedictine--established in Oklahoma (Latin) that seems to be having the same problem.

Interestingly enough, both have made their liturgical life revolve around the Extraordinary form of the Latin liturgy.

This while so many other foundations haven't had a vocation in years.

As an aside, I have a relative in an (women's) order that hasn't taken in anyone new in almost the 39 years my wife and I have been married. Go figure.

Bob
I love their coffee and tea.


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We should care about the growth of the extraordinary form Carmelites because we are all part of the One, Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church, I'd say...

We have been blessed to visit the Benedictine order in OK, Our Lady of Clear Creek, & it was wonderful!

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The crux of the matter re. modernisation and habits is not why active orders sought to modernise and subsequently die away but whether in the modern age religious are necessary to do something the laity can do. Whether you are Orthodox or any kind of Catholic the lay vocation is still a huge untapped resource, due largely to poor formation as laity, identity crises stemming from misinterpretations of things like Vatican II, growing pains from immigrant to blue collar to suburban parish life, etc.
Traditional communities do well because they are doing something the laity cannot do, which from our perspective is: not trying to do a layperson's job.

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Originally Posted by Mark R
Traditional communities do well because they are doing something the laity cannot do, which from our perspective is: not trying to do a layperson's job.

You may be right that some traditional communities may be thriving on account of their difference from ordinary experience of most lay people. You may be especially right about those Latin communities that some have made the Extraordinary Form of the Mass the center of their liturgical life. However, in the big picture, I don't agree about what monasticism represents, or should represent, for the ordinary experience of most lay people.

Monasticism is fundamentally a lay movement. The undertaking of monastics is to live out the universal Christian vocation. Accordingly, monasticism can serve as a sort of reference point for all of us, not only or particularly the ordained, but rather and more importantly, the baptized. To that extent, I have wondered if the 'difference' you notice in the life of some of these newer communities isn't something of a distraction. from this central purpose To be clear, I'm certainly not complaining about them and I am delighted that new monastic communities seem to be springing up. But it's their pattern of life (traditional monasticism), rather than the latinity of their worship (traditionalist liturgy) that I think is genuinely important.

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Zita,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Thank you for posting the memo of the passing of Sr. Flora. She was a magnificent person who combined hard work and deep spirituality every moment you saw her.

She and Sr. Alberta immigrated to the US from Hungary about the time of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. They found their home here in the newly established Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapocs. Rev Alexander Bobak established the Shrine in Welshfield Ohio (about 40 miles east of Cleveland) with great determination, intense zeal and a minimal amount of funding.

Sr. Flora immediately went to work.

With only a few sheds and many volunteers, she and Fr. Bobak did much of the heavy work. You would always see her on her knees working in the shrubbery, the kitchen and all over the grounds of the Shrine. She was always busy and hard at work, but never complained or asked for help. You just wound up helping her simply by her own example.

She was also an amazing beacon of hospitality. No matter when you went to the Shrine, there were always huge vats of chicken, rice, salad, etc., available in large quantities for visitors. And depending on the tastes of the gentlemen involved, there was always a bottle of whiskey brought out from a private area. (My dad, of blessed memory, had only to walk into the kitchen and Sr. Flora would immediately bring out his libations).

She devoted probably 40+ years to the Shrine, working hard, praying fervently, and preparing for visitors. The highlight of the year was always the Pilgrimage at the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos in August. In the early years, well over 100 busses plus many cars would stay at the Shrine for the weekend. Those are good memories, which today have unfortunately a fraction of that activity.

Whatever Sr. Flora was doing, whether working or praying, she did with an internal intensity you realized that came from within. Some may see this as a saintly quality. I would not disagree.

It is a tremendous pleasure to see the continuation of her efforts in the establishment and of the Sisters of Christ the Bridegroom Monastery.

May God grant to His departed servant, Sr. Flora, blessed repose and memory eternal!

Boldog nyugalmat és örök emléket!

Fr Deacon El

Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic

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Glory to Him forever!

Fr. Deacon El,
I did not know Sr. Flora personally, so I thank you for sharing this beautiful insight into her life!

I see you are from Centreville. I grew up in Chantilly & still have family there. Small world. smile

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Quote
And we should care about the Extraordinary Form Carmelites because . . .?

I'm not necessarily endorsing the form of liturgy used. My fascination is with the fact that these two orders have sprung up and have had such a draw with the young people who apply. Their concern seems to be with guiding people toward the Lord and with faithfulness to the Church and her teaching--something that seems to be lacking in many of the modernized orders. Or so it seems.

Bob

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Dear Bob,

The monastery you mention is working on restoring and using the full Carmelite Rite of the Holy Sepulchre - which I think is different from the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite (correct?).

The same is true of the Benedictine monastery, although the Benedictine Rite only extended to the celebration of the Divine Office rather than any form of the Divine Liturgy (e.g. Benedictines at Durham practiced the Rite of Durham with respect to the Divine Liturgy).

I would say people are attracted to liturgical beauty, traditional forms and challenging self-discipline. The people seeking entry to these monasteries are not those who grew up with the Tridentine Liturgy and who wish it came back.

In the case of the Carmelites, however, and their relation to the Eastern Churches, I was blessed to carry on a correspondence with the late, great Archbishop Raya (+memory eternal!!) and asked him about the Carmelites at one point.

Among other things, he told me that he had always had Carmelites under his omophorion, both Latin and Byzantine, since the Carmelite Hermits were originally of the Greek Church, not the Latin.

Also, that the reason why St Simon Stock and his Carmelites were about to be ejected from England and Europe (which occasioned the famous vision of the Virgin Mary granting him the Brown Scapular) was because Roman Catholic Europe considered the Carmelite Hermits to be an Eastern monastic community who, essentnially, should stay in the East . . . Their original habits had brown and white stripes on their mantles - resembling the mantles of Eastern Hierarchs.

It was only with St Albert the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem that the Carmelite Rule was formalized and only later still that they came to resemble a Western Order as a whole.

Also, we should indeed be interested in such movements toward ancient monastic traditions among RC's because ultimately the reunion of East and West will only come about when everyone will drink ever more deeply of the ancient Patristic waters.

The current RC liturgical movement is, by some accounts, a modern adaptation to Protestant liturgical culture.

Alex

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Also, that the reason why St Simon Stock and his Carmelites were about to be ejected from England and Europe (which occasioned the famous vision of the Virgin Mary granting him the Brown Scapular) was because Roman Catholic Europe considered the Carmelite Hermits to be an Eastern monastic community who, essentnially, should stay in the East . . . Their original habits had brown and white stripes on their mantles - resembling the mantles of Eastern Hierarchs.



Alex

I like your post, Alex; I just thought this part could be expanded a little bit. The Carmelites encountered opposition, especially in England, in a context in which there was general angst on the part of secular clergy (and by angst I mean a range of attitudes, from concern to ferocious opposition) vis-a-vis the "new" religious movement of the thirteenth century (especially the mendicants). The Carmelites were caught up in all of this, but they did receive a bull of protection from Pope Innocent IV in the 1250s which ended the controversy.

The rapid diversification of religious life in the thirteenth century is an amazing thing . . . the Father brings forth from his treasure-trove things new and old.

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I thought you were going to say "No bull . . ." smile I'm happy that was not the case then!

I love everything about the Carmelite charism and their original icon of Our Lady of Mt Carmel is a Romano-Byzantine icon, "La Bruna" or Our Lady of Naples.

The scapular as a symbol of the Holy Protection of the Theotokos is an ingenious sacramental!

Alex

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Aug 1, Feast of the Procession of the Holy Cross, Bishop John recognized Chrst the Bridegroom Monastery as a Public Association of the Christian Faithful.


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A little late but:

On September 27, 2019, Bishop Milan Lach completed the canonical process of the founding of our monastery, establishing us as a sui iuris monastery of eparchial right, and approved our typikon (rule of life). On September 29, 2019, Mother Theodora was elected hegumena (abbess), and on September 30, Bishop Milan publicly announced the canonical establishment and performed the liturgical institution of the hegumena.


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