Nuns, Monks, Friars Linkfest! – UPDATED

It’s unusual to be writing much about monks, nuns and friars in February, but for some reason I have a flurry of news and reports, so here goes!

The Norbertine Sisters are a very interesting group of women. You know they make fabulous Christmas Wreaths each year (we had ours by the end of November and only just threw it out because it seemed oddball to have a wreath up at Valentine’s Day, but it still looked great, still wasn’t dropping needles!)

Well, the sisters are finally established as the first Norbertine Canonesses in the United States, with nine in the community of 20 making their final profession of vows:

This order is unique in that its professed members are called canons and canonesses rather than monks and nuns, mainly because liturgical prayer is at the core of their vocation.

The Norbertine nuns are the first cloistered nuns in the Fresno Diocese, and were welcomed in May of 2000 by the late Bishop John T. Steinbock. Locals call them “the sisters in the mountains.” It was 1997 when Mother Mary Augustine, a native of French New Caledonia, and four other women took the first steps towards “full autonomy as an independent canonry of Norbertine Canonesses.” Their convent is now called the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph of Tehachapi, California.

Congratulations to a lovely bunch of religious women and their thriving community, which supports the rest of us with their constant prayer.

Like so many burgeoning monastic communities, the canonesses have some building to do:

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More about Norbertine canons and canonesses, here and their photographer has more here

Sisters in Jesus the Lord; they’re the newly formed association of sisters dedicated to serving Russia.

They’ve just celebrated first and final vows in their community.

Mystic Monks: Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Wyoming went to visit with our coffee-making Carmelite monks and supplies pictures. The monks have scheduled a groundbreaking for their ambitious plans (keep drinking their coffee!) Check out their rendered walkthrough of a hermitage:

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Clothed in a Sacramental: Some time ago, we read this young woman’s very moving blog post as she prepared to enter the Passionist monastery in Whitesville, KY. Now she is clothed as Sister Cecilia Maria, and what a beautiful exhortation was delivered by the Prioress, Mother Catherine Marie on this occasion:

The very habit we wear is an outward sign of an interior clothing of our hearts with the Passion of Jesus, the mystery of redemption. Being with Mary at the foot of the cross, and offering the Victim whose death has reconciled the world to God is the very end of our Institute…

Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration: Sr. Mary John Paul and Sr. Veronica make first vows, and a number of other good news posts! Their sisters in Arizona are gearing up for another “Nun Run” to help finance their building plans.

The Carmelite Nuns from Vietnam have arrived at their new Carmel in Alabama. Catholics in Mobile have been very excited about this – they’ve renovated the monastery and given them a big welcome, as you can see in the video!

Benedictine Monks in Italy: A few days ago I wrote about St. Scholastica and was delighted to hear that some young Benedictine monks have established a monastery in Norcia — the birthplace of Benedict and Scholastica — that is still very new (it was only established in 1998) but already thriving! Their very informative blog is here.

Sigh. My Benedictine brothers are building their abbey; I wish they would invite me to visit, so I could tell you more. I’d find a way to get there!

Kathryn Jean Lopez notes the passing of a notable Dominican priest

Nashville Dominicans and The Manhattan Project connection. A great video!

Benedictine Sisters of Clyde, MO:
a first monastic profession

Dominican Friars, ministering to the Deaf: Lisa Mladinich has been writing some very interesting columns about how the church is working to enhance ministry and opportunity to Deaf Catholics. (Her latest — and fascinating — piece “Wordless Wonder” is here. Seems a good time to look at this Dominican Missionaries for the Deaf Apostlate

A Japanese Anglican Priest is crossing the Tiber. I like his face! He looks like someone I would want to know!

I like this face too!

A reprint of an inspiring and humbling story of a determined vocation.

A great new vocation site

An extremely rare
sort of ordination.

As ever when you feel inclined to help defray student loan expenses to support a vocation, the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations and the Laboure Society are reputable sources. In fact, one of the Laboure Society’s earliest assists, has just made her final vows – you can watch a slideshow of Sr. Mary Catherine and another Carmelite Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Los Angeles making final vows, here.

Little Brothers of the Lamb: a young man Patrick Gothman writes that he feels called to be a friar, and needs to payoff some debt, and has created a site called “make a friar”. I confess, this is a new community to me. But there are a lot of them popping up!

The Dominicans of Summit, NJ
will be clothing two new novices in a month’s time. You’re invited to guess what their new names will be

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Fred

    These wonderful communities are just a few examples of the breathtaking renewal of consecrated life that is occuring within the Orders that belong to the Institute on Religious Life and the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. Please support not just your favorite community, but also the IRL and CMSWR as they assist all their communities live authentic charisms within the Church

  • Carl

    Here in Northern New England we leave our wreaths up until Easter or spring whichever comes first. How does one order one from the Norbertines?

    We have been drinking Mystic Monk Coffee for a couple of years now exclusively. Great stuff, great cause.

    Thanks for the updates on all the other others too.

  • Leo Ladenson

    Two major errors in the notice on the Norbertine canonesses:

    (1) They are called canons or canonesses because they are attached to a particular church and/or because they follow a rule (in this case, the Rule of St. Augustine.

    (2) The Norbertines are not unique in the Church in being called “canons” or “canonesses.” Much more numerous are the Augustinian canons and canonesses, and there are and have been many other orders of canons throughout Church history and even presently.

  • Nicole
  • joshaurora

    My daughter visited this new community in their American place in Kansas City and was thrilled (she’s a sophmore at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS–a most wonderful place). They are one of the “new communities”. Cardinal Schonborn came to visit them (and spoke at Benedictine as well); he is their “overseer”.

  • Sal

    Thank you for the link to the Bp. of Wyoming and his visit to the Mystic Monks. My dh loves their coffee, but still thought that perhaps the ‘monk’ part was just a merchandising gimmick.
    He has now concede that they do exist. :)

    And I loves me some hermitages…

  • Kenjiro Shoda

    The Benedictines of Clyde, MO. are not worth mentioning in this blog or anywhere. They are the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, a group of radical femminst nuns which have discarded the holy traditional habit, and much of traditional monastic life in favor over the last thirty-five years of dissent, disobedience, and defiance against the Vatican, Church tradition,and liturgical traditions of the Catholic Church. Their liturgies are bizarre fabrications which are much more similar to Episcopalian worship services than Catholic Mass.
    They have declined over 40+ years from a high of over 300 totally devout, holy, and traditional Benedictine nuns, into the previously mentioned radical community of less than 85 aged femminists.
    They have closed all but 2 of their houses. They once had 10 houses in the USA.
    This group therefore, does not deserve any mention in your blog. You would be wise to delete any reference to them at all.

  • Dexter

    You’re absolutely right, Fred.