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July 24, 1998     The Message
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July 24, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 i ....... rent orders, different spiritual traditions By FATHER JOHN $1N, O.S.ES. : Catholic News Service religious orders way of life, a frame- r Christian living. It is: of life rooted in lived in community of life available to all S in some measure. member of the Oblates a local Benedictine to make a private in the monks' 5 a.m. for me was a rich experience. Though to the Oblates, I ben- sharing for a few a contrasting way of and living. order is commit- church's great traditions. The mem- their lives around it, its present-day impli- share the tradition Who seek a fuller spiri- Catholics experience Spiritual traditions while house conducted order or by hear- steeped in Jesuit, Franciscan or "Catholic religious orders embody a... framework for Christian living. It is... rooted in prayer,... Iived in com- munity with others,.., available to all believers in some measure," explains Oblate Father John W. Crossin. CNS photo, above, by John Poll, right, by Roger W. Neal L- spirituality at a parish staffed these orders. ious orders' spiritual tradi- wealth of differing Catholic on the spiritual life, which differing spiritual people. stress and working togeth- example reminds us that our relationships with one another are criti- orders. And religious orders have served cal for our spiritual growth, generations of poor people. Many religious orders also have As religious-order members have embraced specialized works such as hos- declined in number, we have lost access pitals;orphanages, soup kitchens, inner-' m through these works -- to their city ministries and schools. The orders have been intensely concerned with the church and its people's well-being. New immigrants and refugees have benefited from the ministries of religious Marketplace ......... discussion point: does your monastery conduct for lay people? unique spiritual gifts. This is not to deny that uniquely dedicated and gifted lay people have replaced them. However, there is a loss of access to the religious orders' special spiritual traditions. Their lay colleagues are often the first to com- ment on this absence. As fewer religious orders staff schools, for example, there are fewer opportuni- responses from readers: r facilities for small group retreats .... But the principal program is a min- We offer a guest house where a person can.., have a chance and reflection." m Sister Jeanne Marie Pearse, OSB, Windsor, N.Y. retirement center for elderly Christian brothers, and we make our cen- literally thousands of lay people for parish retreats, school retreats, Workshops. We also provide an eight-week Christian summer (youth) Brother Louis Welker, FSC, Lafayette, La. Andr6's Abbey, we have structured retreats for youth and retreats and for adults .... Private retreats for individuals are also available. Daily Other times of prayer are open to the public. There is... the Oblate Pro- individual can be associated with the monastic family." Brother Benedict Dull, OSB, Valyermo, Calif. a retreat house for the laity.., alternating weeks for men and women. , chaplain, a monk priest, who is available for the retreatants for spiritual -- Father Raphael Prendergast, OCSO, New Haven, Ky. YOur Voice: edition asks: How can a family make more time for itself when it to make more time for others? respond for ossible publication, please write: Faith Alive! 3211 Fourth ton, D.C. 20017-1100. ties to learn from their religious experi- ence. Here I can't help recalling how much I learned in high school about St. Francis de Sales just by asking a few questions of the priest-moderator after track practice! In a somewhat indefinable way; religious orders remind us that God both is present with us and infinitely above us. They draw us deeper into the mystery of God. Oblate Father Crossin is the author of "'Friendship: The Key to Spiritual Growth," Paulist Press, 1997. Food for thougn00 How "distant" -- how far removed -- is the lifestyle of an abbey from your lifestyle? When as a teen-ager I first accepted an invitation to visit the Benedictines some 50 miles from my home, I approached the abbey with curiosity  and unease. I found that the monks prayed a lot  and they didn, t seem to mind. Being a teen-age boy, I found that I certainly didn't mind when it was time to eat at the abbey. Above all, I found that the monks made me feel completely welcome and accepted. I returned again and again. This took place over a couple of years when my father was terminally ill. So I think it's important to say that the monks' hospitality was accompanied by a large dose of understanding, which made a huge difference at that difficult point in my life. Many years later I still think of that monastic family as a real family. I never think of the monks as "distant" or removed, though I believe there is much to learn and discover through them. What I believe is that the bonds between monks and the laity are much clos- er than many people imagine. David GibSon Editor, Faith Alive! , i r ,,1: i : II ft ' ,, i i Hi ,.. i r ,i i i , . i ii, J Faith Alive resumes in September Faith Alive will be a feature of the Message each week' stang Sept, 4. :