Chatting about: Mutuality

This Sunday’s Chat found the chatters “dreaming up” a “Visitandine Village” and other possible ways of mutual sharing, like a home Visitandine Chapel.

We  talked about mutuality- between you and the monasteries and how we could enhance it, both ways.

Oct 28 2012, 7:16 PM

Ca: I think I could contribute to that!

Sister : That intrigues me already!

Ca: Having hopscotched my way across the country to different places and different orders, I have a tiny basis for comparison and I’d wish I’d known, or why didn’t someone just tell me?

Sister : Known what?

Sister: Since neither of you are near a Visitation it increases the challenge

Ca: For instance, when I went to New Skete, Eastern Catholic, they invited me to participate in all facets of their lives and spent much time with me

: I thought all Come and Sees were like that, so when I went to a Benedictine place next, I was sorely confused to find that instead of a Come and See I was a mere volunteer and spent almost no time with the sisters

Sister : But you were discerning- the first time if you just wanted to benefit from their spirit would the approach be the same

 Oh so they did not explain their program

 For ex in Minn Vis you can relate to the community in 5 different ways

 Men or women for most of the programs

 You pick up the spirituality

You share the ministry and the prayer

Ca: I love the idea of a companion already

Sister: Or you can be an intern or in a Salesian leadership program

Monastic immersion and discernment are just for the women

 The companion progran means you live in a place near the Srs and join them in being a presence to the poor

J: so like the 3rd order of others?

Ca: the companion stays with the discerner all the time?

Sister : Not a 3rd order exactly- and it’s not discernment -it;s a sharing of a ministry of “presence”

It is hard to define but Minn is a different sort of community

How could we develop it with the more traditional monasteries is what I’d like to do

Ca: oh, so the companion program is not part of the discernment program

Sister: No but the monastic immersion program is- a six month one

The others are one year commitments

J: in MN it isn’t a monastery?

Sister : It is but a different kind- they live in a regular type house and are a presence to the community in a way the more cloistered ones are not

Oct 28 2012, 7:27 PM

But if you read monastic history  All monasteries were into hospitality and were there for all people- there was a give and take; it would be great if we could do that

Ca:yes, wasn’t that considered a main responsibility?

Sister : somehow!

But so were the medieval monasteries and yet they formed villages of people around them

Ca: What is the difference between the Salesian charism and the Benedictine charism?

J: see I would love that Sister…to live around a monastery like that

Ca: me too! Only inside is better…

Sister : Benedictines community life is similar- but they are prayer and work and they study more than we do

J: like to live in your compound separately but in same compound

Sister : Like a Salesian village or something?

 I think the Franciscan- Little Portion- is something like that

 Now if we wanted to develop little Visitation environments where each of you live how could we do that? Is this way out?

Ca: it’s not way out. Would a little chapel area in the home be appropriate?

Sister:  A chapel area in the home- that sounds like a possibility

Sister : Maybe enthroning the Sacred Heart is another way of doing that

J: I have this image in mind from what you are saying….the community outside walls is another type of community…they share all prayers with you..can enter walls any time for adoration or Mass or just to pray in church…volunteer for you in whatever way…either work for you or themselves like my case would be before you have need

Ca: yes, the Sacred Heart could be enthroned in a home chapel. Me, I’ve got Divine Mercy pictures in every room

J: community within a community for those that can’t join

Sister : Both of your descriptions are possibilities- one is sort of happening in MN

J: like the Benedictines you mentioned years ago

Sister : but could be expanded elsewhere

Sister : and if you can’t physically move near a monastery you have a home chapel

share the prayer- the intentions; join the chat to keep in touch!The spirituality

 I guess it’s not too far out!

For those who want monastic community life of course a home chapel is not enough. But for families or singles who are more eremitic… it has possibilities

J: sorry for all the questions…so interesting

Sister : The point would be to grow in the spirituality- or even to prepare for an eventual monastic vocation-even another Order’s..none of us are limited to one spirituality all the time. We learn from each other

Ca: so really the only requirement would be the desire to live a more contemplative life, more like a third order?

Sister : Yes, can you envision that? Is that a do-able mutuality and a service we could provide for one another

Ca: yes, I can definitely see that

J: Yes I see it also

Sister : Uniting in prayer, maybe once a day at the same time, given time differences: or once a week

J: I like how you put that Ca…third order contemplative

Oct 28 2012, 7:56 PM

Ca: yes, that could allow for more ‘remote” companions

Sister: Yes, remote companions. The Daughters of SFDS call that type of thing “isolated daughters”

Ca: is there a way the “isolated daughters” could participate in the work of the monastery?

Sister : Probably by computer, yes or if one is good at “crafts” yes

Ca: If, for example, the monastery runs a school, could the isolate be a tutor?

Sister  like making Sacred Heart badges, our specialty

Sister  Yes definitely a tutor

J: like I take care of local Shrine’s website remotely

Sister : yes, exactly

 even a remote tutor, by computer!

Ca: yes, and the badges could be given out in our parishes outside. I could tutor English and reading comprehension

Sister : Yes we are big on language arts here- we are literacy based in our education

we have authors circles in second grade! they sit in a chair and critique each other and have a consultant!

Ca: wow, that’s so cool!

Sister : And the badges at the parishes are a great idea

S M :We need a pioneering group of Visitation Sisters to move into the future, too!

 A contemplative, Visitation presence is essential to our schools.

 “May the Spirit’s wind always be our counsel and our strength and fill us with the spirit of reverential fear for the Eternal Father,” SFdS says.

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