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Chapter 14 - Religious Life:Dedicated to God

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Chapter 14 - Religious Life:Dedicated to God

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  1. Chapter 14 - Religious Life:Dedicated to God

  2. Religious Life Religious Orders Religious Congregations Religious Communities Groups officially recognized by the Catholic Church Offering a way of life for those called to profess the evangelical counsels

  3. Rule of Life Unique to each religious congregation How to fulfill the mission or purpose of the congregation

  4. The Essentials: Community, Prayer & Service • Community • Support and Challenge • Religious need support and affirmation of other people • Challenge the religious to remember God is present in their life

  5. Saint John Baptist de La Salle • The Strength of a Community of Teachers • Founder of the Christian Brothers • Patron saint of teachers • He opened a school to educate the poor boys of France • He formed the instructors of the boys, “writing masters” into a community • The community provided support, discipline, a sense of purpose, a role in church ministry and the strength to carry it out

  6. Saint John de La Salle

  7. The Essentials: Community, Prayer and Service • Prayer: Focusing on the Center of Life • Keeping faith that love will lead to God • P. 267 laywoman Marcelle Bernstein • Deepening the Relationship with God • P. 268 the Rule of the School Sisters of Saint Francis

  8. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux “Brothers, the whole object of our lives is to love and to make ourselves lovable.”

  9. The Essentials: Community, Prayer and Service • Service: Meeting Needs in the Human Community • Religious serve in a myriad of ways • Religious express Saint Bernard’s “love” through service • Communities were founded in response to specific needs/ open to change

  10. Mother Teresa of Calcutta The Missionaries of Calcutta Shelter those who are dying Care for the homeless and poor people

  11. Religious Vows: Commitment to the Evangelical Counsels • P.270 • Religious Vows – oath or promise committing oneself to a religious lifestyle • The vows taken by the consecrated religious are the “Evangelical Counsels” • Evangelical – pertaining to the good news of the gospel • Counsels – recommendations or advice

  12. Those in Religious Life • Live the evangelical counsels • Poverty – little or no money/possessions of their own (p.271 Sister Ann) • Chastity /Celibacy – live morally, remain single • P. 272 • Obedience – do the will of God and the bishop

  13. 3 Types of Religious Congregations Contemplative Mendicants Service Congregations Communities in each category have developed distinct manners of living religious life, but have adapted their lifestyle to changing needs and circumstances

  14. 3 Types of Religious Congregations • Contemplatives • Their way of life centered primarily on contemplation, meditation, or communion with God • Carmelites, Trappists, the Poor Clares and the Benedictines

  15. Thomas Merton The contemplatives’ rules help men and women to focus their attention on God Thomas Merton, the best known modern contemplative Merton’s writings and reflections have inspired millions (p.275)

  16. Saint Benedict 6th century man who left the sophisticated but corrupt life of Rome to go into the hills and pray. Many men and women followed him and his sister, Scholastica.

  17. Rule of Benedict • Today most Western monastic orders follow the Rule of Benedict • Prayer, work, rest • Contributions to Western Civilization • Monasteries were like small towns (farmers, cooks, masons, etc.) • They offered libraries and schools • A tradition of hospitality • Treat everyone as you would treat Christ p.277

  18. 3 Types of Religious Congregations • Mendicants • Heresy and clerical corruption were beginning to divide the church in Europe • Mobile preachers were needed to travel the countryside • The term mendicants means ‘”beggars” – they depended on the good will of the people to survive (p. 278)

  19. Mendicants • St. Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226), Italy • Founded the Franciscans • Saint Dominc de Guzman (1170 – 1221), Spain • Founded the Dominicans

  20. 3 Types of Religious Congregations • Service Congregations • Many new religious orders have been founded in the last 400 years • They provide crucial human services for the church and society

  21. Jesuits Founder: Saint Ignatius Loyola Largest men’s order They run schools, colleges, universities and missionaries all over the world

  22. Daughters of Charity Founders: Saint Vincent de Paul & Saint Louise de Marillac Largest religious order of women They work in hospitals, orphanges, schools & clinics

  23. Service Congregations • Missionary • Maryknolls • Society of the Divine Word • Medical Mission Sisters • Education • Marist • School Sisters of Notre Dame

  24. Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Mother Cabrini (1850 – 1917) Wanted to work with poor Italian immigrants who came to the U. S. Founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart Crossed the Atlantic Ocean 37 times!

  25. Service Congregations • Sister Mary Scullion • Sisters of Mercy • Project HOME 1989 to aid poor people in Philadelphia • Brother Jeffrey Gros • De La Salle Christian Brother • Works to unite the Christian communities

  26. Discovering a Call to Religious Life • Meet the Requirements • 1. Flexibility & Tolerance • 2. Intellectual & Physical Qualities • 3.The ability to live as a celibate

  27. Religious Formation Before making a vowed commitment to religious life, a period of preparation is necessary 1. the novitiate – a novice studies basic theology and spirituality, history of the order

  28. Religious Formation 2. Professional training – religious are active in many professions 3. Vows – religious take annual vows for several years before making the final commitment of perpetual, or lifetime, vows

  29. Small Numbers, Big Results Over the last several decades the number of religious has declined Many congregations and orders have taken measures to continue the work of the order Lay Volunteer programs have come on board to help with the work of the community These lay volunteers join affiliate programs where they are known as “associates”

  30. All vocations witness to God’s love and call us to care • Jesus gave these callings: • Preach my message • Continue my mission • Do this – through the signs I’ve given you

  31. Clergy continue Jesus’ actions • Bishops, priests, & permanent deacons use the Sacraments to continue Jesus’ work

  32. Those who live the religious life • Imitate Jesus by living the “Evangelical Counsels” • Poverty • Chastity • Obedience

  33. Members of the ordained and consecrated ways of life • Are well prepared • Address social needs • Are respected for their valuable contributions • Consider those callings and how to support those who live them

  34. Discerning a Vocation • People experience God’s call to a vocation in uniquely personal ways

  35. Discerning a vocation • Attraction Discovery: • Connecting with someone you admire • Learning more about the way of life • Seeing whether you’d be happy in this way of life • Exploring other options

  36. Any vocation should be chosen freely • This is what I really want to do. • This is what I’m best suited for. • I’ll be happiest and able to give most in this way of life.

  37. Challenges of those in the consecrated or ordained lifestyle Remaining in touch with human needs and conditions Attracting new members Loving everyone – especially those who are neglected or rejected

  38. Achievements and rewards Helping us realize how God lives among us Experiencing the earthly and eternal fulfillment of a life of service Helping raise society’s consciousness on concern for others Making important practical and spiritual contributions

  39. Sacraments and Ordained Life • By Baptism, all Christians share in Jesus’ priestly ministry of service • The Eucharist celebrates Jesus’ presence among us and is central to all ministry • The Sacrament of Holy Orders • Consecrates priests with God’s special grace to continue Jesus’ mission • Is a permanent gift involving a lifetime commitment

  40. Different degrees of priestly consecration • Popes and bishops • Most fully consecrated • Usually preside at confirmation • Ordain new priests • Oversee a Church territory

  41. Different degrees of priestly consecration • Priests • Preside at the Eucharist (consecrate the host) • Reconciliation • Last rites • Other sacraments • Baptism, marriage, funeral services *Pastor of a parish

  42. Different degrees of priestly consecration • Deacon • Help with mass / read gospel / give homily • Baptism • Marriage • Funeral services *Help with parish duties

  43. Priests try to serve among the people by • Encouraging participation in the sacraments • Helping others understand Scripture • Sharing Jesus’ message in practical ways • Giving priority to Christ’s gospel • Promoting inter-church and inter-faith understanding

  44. Priests try to serve among the people by • Being committed to social justice and the common good • Helping form community • Giving attention to those in need • Serving all persons • Showing compassion to sinners and those weak in faith

  45. Being a Priest • Challenges • Coping with unrealistic expectations • Living a celibate life • Being constantly available

  46. Being a Priest • Rewards • Being able to establish meaningful programs • Being freer to love and serve • Experiencing the joy of bringing people closer to God

  47. Being a Priest • Signs of a call to the priesthood • Being recommended by others • Having the necessary health, motivation, and personal qualities • Wanting to live and to love others in this way of life

  48. Being a Permanent Deacon • In the early church • Proclaim God’s word • Assist at the liturgy • Do works of charity • Women in the early church could be deaconesses, whose ministry was service Many Catholics would like to see the ministry of deaconess restored

  49. Today’s Catholic Deacons Are transitional or permanent Are prepared for at least three years; ordained for life Participate to a degree in the Sacrament of Holy Orders Help preside at the sacraments and other rites, lead prayer, give homilies May be single (must remain celibate and may later become a priest) or be already married Must be a certain age and, if a permanent deacon, may pursue a secular job

  50. Those in Religious Life • Live the evangelical counsels • Poverty – little or no money/possessions of their own • Celibacy – remain single • Obedience – do the will of God and the bishop