Religious Choose to live in communities; vow solely to serve God Publicly profess the evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity and obedience Sisters, brothers, priest who belong to Religious Orders Religious Orders: groups officially recognized by the Catholic Church as offering a way of life for those called to profess the evangelical counsels. Also known as religious congregations or religious communities
Christian religious communities Began a few centuries after the Resurrection of Jesus – desert to pray, fast and meditate on the word of God. Members are nuclear physicists, spiritual direction, administrators, missionaries, lawyers, doctors. Each group is unique and has a unique charism – ministry and a unique rule of life on how to live out that charism Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity
Three Essentials: Community, Prayer, Service Community Life: Support and challenge each member. From convents, brothers’ residence, rectories to the same plus apartments. Saint John Baptist de La Salle, aka Christian Brothers worked with poor boys who roamed the streets of seventeenth - century France. (St. Gabriel’s Hall)Christian Brothers
Prayer: Focus on God Prayer can be the Eucharist, Para liturgical services, meditation, shared reflection. Prayer is a central experience in religious life.
Service: in various ways, depending on the charism and gifts and talents of each member. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Missionaries of Charity)Missionaries of Charity Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling – Joseph House Village in Salisbury, Maryland Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul (& Louise de Marillac) opened Marillac House in Chicago in 1940’s to serve in a high crime area. Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul
Ruined for Life (We are all called to be religious) JVC: Four “pillars” or values Simple living Spirituality/prayer Social justice community Catholic Network of Volunteer Service Catholic Network of Volunteer Service Survey of former JVC volunteers 18% work in nonprofit field (compared to 7.4% of general public) Half work in service 96-98% donate regardless of income 92% vote in presidential elections 71% women
Three Religious Vows: poverty, chastity and obedience “evangelical” because they are Gospel- oriented, striving for the charity of the Gospel. Public vows living according to the way of Jesus as best they can. This is consecration – a divine action and gift from God. God calls a person whom he sets apart for a particular dedication to himself.
Poverty Doesn’t mean destitute; comes from the word poverty (from a Latin word meaning “little”.) Few material possessions to avoid distractions that accompany ownership. Live simply, share their resources with others. The goods of this earth are meant to serve everyone’s needs.
Chastity It includes the pledge to be celibate. Vowed chastity is rooted in our intimacy with God and in a deepening love and compassion for others, esp. those most in need Chastity gives them the freedom to love and respond to needs, a pledge to build community and shows reliance on God.
Obedience Latin word meaning “to hear.” Pledge to listen (discern) to the call of God – God’s will. (Remember when we listen we are trying to understand what is in the mind of the other person.) Learn the will of God in human ways – through the church, the Bible, in their constitutions and community decisions, signs of the times and esp. in the needs of the human family.