The Charitist Voice
“For the sake of the Kingdom”
~~~News from all over~~~
Bro Lou Anthony celebrated his birthday this month-----may you have many, MANY more!
Sr Pat and Bro Guadalupe traveled to Vallejo, CA the last weekend of September to conference with Bro Lou Anthony regarding the Postulancy
and Novitiate booklets. A lot was accomplished in terms of refocusing and streamlining the Foundation Program. The finished result will be forwarded on to the Community for review and approval soon. But the time together was quite pleasant and refreshing. God’s Blessings on Bro Lou for his hospitality!
Our very own Yossi and his life partner Jim will be traveling to Madison, WI the weekend of Oct 24th-26th to sight see. Yossi will also be attending a Basic Shamanism workshop sponsored by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, founded by Michael Harner, the author of Way of the Shaman.
Travel mercies on you both...have a GREAT time!
Bro Henri and his dear wife Kathy hosted a Transitus Party to celebrate the feast of Holy Father Francis on Friday evening of October 3rd. (Though Francis’ feast is Oct 4th, the 3rd is when he passed into the Light. Legend says that at sunset he breathed his last, and flocks of singing larks lifted up from the hut where he died, to fly into the sunset.)
20 friends were in attendance from Associates in Ministry, to Prison Ministry, and the Franciscan Community at Sunshine Cathedral. Bro Mike of the Interfaith Franciscans led everyone in the Prayer of St Francis,
and Pastor Grant Lynn Ford blessed the canine Associate of Grace House: Rusty. They celebrated with lasagna, pizza, salad, meatballs and sausage. A special St Francis cake was enjoyed for dessert.
Bro Henri continues to enjoy the Prison Ministry at Conte Correctional Facility of Broward County. It is a common sentiment among the whole Prison Ministry team from Sunshine Cathedral that they receive more from the prisoners than they could ever give or offer in return.
Some prisoners have a depth of spirituality that only a “head-on” run into their humanity and a dedication of their life to the Gospel of Jesus could provide. Their stories of conversion are awe inspiring. Please, keep the prisoners and Ministry team in your good thoughts and prayers.
We have lost a Companion!! No, seriously, it seems that no one has heard from Bro Arnie lately. I place him in the Hands of the All-Holy, but if anyone has any info or way to contact him, please share. Bro Arnie has had a rocky path to walk these last many months, please lift him up at your prayer times.
Bro Guadalupe had a chance to join Bro Mark and Sr Pat, and our Postulant Dauriel, at the National Convention of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch. He attended the consecration of their new bishop for Kansas. It was a marvelous time together visiting and enjoying a great meal.
Bro Guadalupe gave a presentation on the Order of Charity last month at his home parish. It was so well received, that those who missed it have demanded a rerun. So....Brother will be making the presentation again on 16th November. He has also taken over the Blood Pressure checks offered every last Sunday of the month at his Parish. He is excited that his Mother will be visiting that weekend and will be helping him; she is an LPN with many years experience. It should be a great time!
A mild-mannered man was tired of being bossed around by his wife, so he visited a Psychiatrist. The doctor said that the man needed to build his self esteem, so he gave him a book on assertiveness. The man read the entire book on the way home while riding the subway.
When he finally arrived , he stormed into the house and stalked right up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face, he said, “From NOW ON, I am the ruler of this house and my word is LAW! You are preparing me a gourmet supper tonight and when I’m finished dining, you will have a sumptuous dessert for me.
Then, after I’m done with that, you are drawing me a hot bath to relax in. And when I’m finished with THAT, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?”
“The Mortician,” his wife said in a flat voice.
A Personal Bill of Rights
Life has more choices besides “mere survival.”
Realizing that,I therefore:
Have a right to say “no” to anything that is not safe, or that
I do not feel ready for;
Have a right to all my feelings;
Have a right to make mistakes;
Have a right to terminate conversations with those who make
me feel diminished or humiliated;
Have a right to change and grow.
I will always remember:
Life should not be motivated by fear;
I am probably NOT guilty after all;
There is no need to smile when I cry;
I can be healthier than those around me;
Its okay for me to be relaxed, playful and frivolous;
It is important to set limits and take care of myself;
I can be angry with someone I love;
I must take care of myself, no matter what circumstances I am in;
I do not have to be fully healed to be fully WORTHWHILE;
I do not have to be perfect to be perfectly happy;
I do not have to be perfect, period. Only God is........
Friends for the Journey...........Holy Souls whose lives bear testimony to the Charitist Spirit and Principles.
Foundress of the Maryknoll Sisters
Mollie Rogers believed her vocation had its birth one summer evening at Smith College, when a crowd of fellow students rushed outdoors singing “Onward Christian Soldiers,” after signing the Student Volunteer pledge to go to China as Protestant missionaries. She shared their exhilaration, but regretted there was no similar Catholic mission group she could support.
Several years passed, and 1905 found Mollie working as an instructor at her alma mater. She was still anxious to do something and sought out Fr James Anthony Walsh, a young Irish American priest who was the local Boston director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He accepted her help in starting a new journal that aimed at stimulating mission awareness among American Catholics.
Fr Walsh was collaborating even then with Fr Thomas Price from North Carolina on a plan to establish an American foreign mission society, with China as its territory. This was a high goal: the United States itself had been mission territory until 1908.
But in 1911 the two priests won support from the American Bishops to establish a mission seminary; this was the beginning of Maryknoll.
Mollie was one of a small group of women who volunteered to help with this new project. But as this Society began to take shape, she saw that women could play a more direct part than just mere helpers to the priests. Why couldn’t women serve as overseas missionaries as well? She convinced Fr’s Walsh and Price of the concept; female missioners would more easily relate to China’s women. But the two priests felt that to fulfill the plan they should form a religious congregation. Though Mollie had no special call to be a nun, if that was what it took to become an overseas missioner, she was willing.
There was obvious resistance by the Vatican to such a “nun,” because they felt women wouldn’t be able to endure the rigors of missionary work. But in 1920, despite much reluctance, Rome gave its approval.
Mollie envisioned her community as a departure from the traditional concept of religious life: she wished her Sisters to live among the people they served and not confined to monastic enclosures, so that they might bear better witness to the Gospel.
In 1921, Mollie took the name of Mother Mary Joseph, and with 25 other women, took her vows as a Maryknoll Sister of St. Dominic.
The Community was helped early on by other women’s religious communities, but Mother found it difficult to adjust to the spirituality and mind-set of these Sisters rooted in old world traditions. She wanted to adapt her community to the need of the Mission.
Refusing “to be hampered by an over-regimented and parceled-out prayer life,” she strove to impress her Sisters with importance of individuality and flexibility. Mollie
said of the ideal Maryknoll Sister, “ I would have her distinguished by Christ-like charity, a limpid simplicity of soul, heroic generosity, selflessness, unfailing loyalty, prudent zeal, gracious courtesy, an adaptable disposition, solid piety, and the saving grace of a kindly humor.”
The Maryknoll Sisters first served among Japanese immigrants on the West Coast. Soon Mother Mary Joseph’s dreams were fulfilled when her Sisters went to China, branching out into other ways of service. They continued to spread to Korea, the Philippines and eventually throughout the world. She followed her Sisters’ work with maternal pride, making several trips overseas to personally witness their progress. But her vocation was to remain at the Motherhouse, directing the Congregation until her retirement in 1950.
She passed into the Light on October 9, 1955, leaving behind over 1100 Maryknoll Sisters serving throughout the globe. In later years these very Sisters would serve despite wars, persecutions and sufferings. In the 1960's they would work for social justice and the ‘option of the poor’ for all those they served. They continue to draw inspiration from Mother Rogers, who said, “Love, work, prayer, and suffering will sustain us in the future as they have in the past. All who are here now, all who will come after us, will have no other tools than these with which to build.”
Excerpted and adapted from the book,
ALL SAINTS, by Robert Ellsberg
“There is nothing more astounding than Life.... just as it is....nothing more miraculous
than Growth and Change and Development, just as revealed to us. And as happens so often when we stop to regard God’s work, there is nothing to do but wonder and thank God, realizing how little we planned, how little we achieved, and yet how MUCH has been done.”
---------Mother Mary Joseph, MM
A man went to see his doctor. Upon examining him, the doctor gave the man only six months to live.
After six months the man had still not paid his doctor’s bill.
So..........the doctor gave him ANOTHER six months to live.
Brother Lupe’s musings
As I write this, I realize how truly blest I have been these last few weeks. Truly blest! I have been given the chance to spend time with other Charitists, face to face, TWICE in the last month and a half. One realizes how precious community is; none of us is geographically close enough to another Charitist to be able to spend time together daily, or even weekly. We are vowed Religious with a unique call who need each other, inspite of living singly or with life partners and/or family.
There are MANY new religious communities forming everywhere; surfing the Internet will show you how they abound. From the painfully traditional and dictatorial to the wrecklessly and blatantly liberal; from the ‘wanna-be more Roman Catholic than the Roman Catholics’ to the ‘send in your dues and YOU TOO can be a monk,’------- they are all out there.
All this has made me wonder, WHO are we, exactly? WHAT do we have to offer, exactly? WHERE are we going, exactly? Will we grow? Will we be scattered all over the world, like the Maryknoll Sisters spoken of in the previous article? Or we will remain a very small Order, a kind of spiritual club? Are we listening to the promptings of the Spirit, or filtering it through our own hesitations and preferences? What makes us exclusively CHARITIST? HOW are we unique?
Those who attended General Assembly in May came with many emotions: trepidation, resignation, fear, joy, hope, trust, worry, love.
And what came out of General Assembly? Rebirth, focus, growth, direction,
The Eternal raises up what is needed, when it is needed. We have been raised up, through the ashes of past hurt and changing leadership. The Founding Document continues to guide and inspire......and the All-Holy has given us a purpose.
And......what is our purpose? Each of us will give a different answer, and each would be valid. Regardless of the answer, We are the face of the Ecumenical Order of Charity, where ever we serve. The world will evaluate the EOC by using us as the means of measurement. That means for many of us, our example, or testimony in Quaker parlance, must be exclusively Charitist and not only the testimony of an ordained clergyperson.
Bro Dale’s faith journey has taken him on a path that led him beyond the Community he founded. But the rule of life he composed is Spirit-breathed,
and is rich fertile soil in which to grow.
The Founding Document has the answers to all the questions I have raised above. It teaches us that we are part of a larger Whole; that we are connected to one another by so much; that we are thereby equipped
to live our Religious life alone or in house with other Companions, and BOTH are precious and valid.
Through the Vows we take, and especially the two that are exclusively ours, the Founding Document calls us to trust the Eternal and serve the Divine in everyone we meet, wherever we encounter them. It calls us to Joy! It calls us to weave both ancient and modern into a vivid new tapestry of Vowed Living that is big enough to wrap around any who seek its comfort.
I believe we are called to till the soil and prepare it for those who will come after us; to remember those who have gone before and changed their Path, or stepped into the Light; and to celebrate where we are right now.
This is God’s handiwork, and perhaps we will grow to have companions the world over.....or be no more that 20 or 30. But I trust that God will trim and nurture this vine until it flowers more than any of us can imagine.
This is an exciting time, and God has called each of us to participate in something holy and great. So Mollie Rogers’ description of the ideal Maryknoll Sister should be applied to the ideal Charitist as well, especially the sense of humor part! Be at peace and know that we are not building alone, or blindly........God breathes through our Founding Document so as to breathe through us. May we pass on this Divine Breath to all who need Its Quickening!
This month’s newsletter therefore has a few articles to give us a spiritual boost; something that we would seek and receive from a fellow Companion if we were living together in community.
“We believe ourselves to be part of the Divine Flame, and that same Indwelling Flame is the common factor in all Life. Knowing that we are all one, and that all Life has value, we take seriously our responsibility for others and for all Creation. Consequently, we honor the one eternal law of the Universe: We hold that all things and events are part of an indivisible whole and that the highest law of Life is to do no harm to any living creature.”
—from the Preamble, paragraph 2, of The Founding Document
.....a word, from the WORD.....
“ My child, shun evil of any kind and everything resembling it. Do not be prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Do not be fanatical, nor quarrelsome, nor hot-tempered; for all these things beget murder...........On the contrary, be gentle, ‘for the gentle will inherit the land.’ Be long-suffering and merciful, guileless, quiet and good; and with trembling treasure forever the instructions you have received. Do not carry your head high, or open your heart to presumption. Accept as blessings the casualties that befall you, assured that nothing happens without God.”
------taken from The Didache, also called
The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles
Circa 70-90 A.D.
Verses 3 : 1-2, 7-9a, 10
An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery. He had insisted that his own son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As they were about to begin anesthesia, he asked to speak directly to his son.
“Yeah, Dad? What is it?”
“Don’t be nervous son; do your best and just remember, if it doesn’t go well.....if something happens to me......your Mother is coming to live with you and your wife........”
Lifting up one another in Prayer............
For Birthday blessings on Bro Lou Anthony this month;
For Sister Seal and Brother Arnie, that the Spirit overshadow them as they work to resolve the various obstacles in their lives............that all go well and smoothly;
For the inmates and Ministry Team at Conte Correctional Facility;
For Humanity and all the troubled spots of the World:
Afghanistan and Pakistan;
Liberia, the Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Yemen;
Northern Ireland and North Korea;
For these United States;
And for anywhere that one of God’s own raises a hand against another
in judgement, anger, hate or revenge;
For all the victims and makers of war and want;
For all our dear ones near and far;
For the sick, and those with any need;
For our departed Charitist Companions and all the Departed;
For the Community, Companions and Associates of the Order of Charity;
For our various ministries and all our private petitions;
For all our praises and thanksgivings;
We lift all these concerns to the Light, and thank you oh God,
for all Your blessings upon us.....
For all You are, and all You do,
Oh God-Creator, Redeemer and Renewer of all things,
accept our deepest praise, worship and thanksgiving.
“The life of the monk/nun as seen through sentimental eyes can be easily misunderstood. It’s a tough life, in which sensitivity to Interior thoughts and feelings are intense, and a similar attention to the presence of others in the Community makes relationships particularly challenging. In modern life it may appear that real work is located in the heroics of surviving and succeeding in the world. For the Religious, the challenge is in nonheroic intimacy with oneself, with others, and with the world.
The monk’s/nun’s occupation is soul work. In religious community I was always told that the mere presence of a priory in the neighborhood was a contribution to the area. If we do not have Religious in our midst, we might not know of this soul-centered approach to life that they model, teach, and demonstrate.
Our task is to discover how to bring the soul closer to the center of a generally secular life and make the switch from heroics......to intimacy.”
-------from Meditations; on the monk
who dwells in Daily Life,
By Thomas Moore
A litany of release
(Take a moment to clear your mind, and then place yourself in the Loving Presence of the Divine.......)
Thank You, oh God, for hearing my inner call, and
Drawing near..........Thank You for bending low and
listening to me as I pray:
If I am holding on to something that is not intended for
My life..........................................Help me let it go!
If I am holding on to past hurts and pains,
..............Help me let it go!
If someone cannot treat me right, or love me back,
Or see my worth...........................Help me let it go!
If someone has angered me..........Help me let it go!
If I am holding on to thoughts of evil and revenge,
.............Help me let it go!
If I am involved in a wrong relationship or addiction,
.............Help me let it go!
If I am holding back on talents and abilities,
..............Help me let it go!
If I have a bad attitude.................Help me let it go!
If I am judging others to make myself feel better,
............Help me let it go!
If I am stuck in the past and You are trying to bring
Me to a new level of grace............Help me let it go!
If I am trying to fix something that cannot be fixed,
.............Help me let it go!
If I am stressed and depressed, and short on trusting
You..............................................Help me let it go!
If there is something that You are handling, but I keep
Trying to do it my way.................Help me let it go!
Oh Keeper of the Stars who dwells in my very soul,
I seek your Peace and Healing. Only You can set things
Aright; help me release everything that prevents the
Renewal You desire for me. Make me a mirror of Your
Joy, Your Presence and Your Care.
You have chosen the music for my life......now lead
Me in the Dance!