Monday, February 21, 2011

Final post in current Stanbrook series; the need to rediscover, understand and promote the Contemplative ideal

I intend to put up the final Stanbrook post on Thursday, although it may be possible before that. Largely, it will be about the influence Dame Felicitas Corrigan had on me, and will contain my tribute to her.

The previous post to this one gives a clue as to what kept me busy all morning. (The afternoon was a wash out because it was shopping day, a weekly item on the agenda which I dread and detest!)
I had already decided to send links to NLM re photos of the old and new Stanbrooks. It is merely a matter of recording history now, and the photos will be seen by many more people at NLM, if only they see it as important enough to post them. (Anyone is welcome to forward these links, the more exposure, the better.)
After reading Father Tim's post this morning (thank you Father). I contacted Catholic Heritage by email and have not had a reply yet. They are a specifically Irish group devoted to the EF Mass. In spite of the strength and effectiveness of the English and Welsh LMS, perhaps we need an English/Welsh equivalent of this group. However the suggestion about having a Year for Nuns started me off on a search for names and addresses of people we could write to in Rome in order to earnestly suggest a 'Year for the Nuns'.

Some of you may remember that several months ago I learned from experience that it is pretty useless to write directly to the Pope. (It wasn't like that at the beginning of his Pontificate, so it was quite a painful lesson to learn.) Writing to the Dicastery most closely concerned, therefore seemed the best first step. So I began to look up names and addresses at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, in order to post them here for you. Archbishop Tobin is the Secretary, so for Anglophones, he would be a good idea. Then I discovered a John Allen Interview with one of the under-Secretaries, Sister Enrica Rosanna, a Salesian nun, who was appointed to the post by Venerable John Paul II in 2004. The Allen interview is long and very informative about Sister Enrica's history and attitudes. It can be found here and I recommend you read or re-read it. She is 72 now and still in post as the first woman ever to hold such high responsibility in the Roman curia. I will study it again but the first perusal kept me busy for some time this morning. Apart from anything else she makes a lot of points that I simply have not had time to include in short blogposts, and of course she expresses them more cogently than I could have done, even with all the time in the world!

Later this week, I will post the other information I found, to save you the trouble of looking up addresses etc. The more letters the Dicastery receives, the more chance there will be of a 'Year for Nuns'.
The reason I think this so important is that I believe it essential that we pray for female vocations to the Contemplative Life. The 'they are wasting their lives' argument must be refuted and countered. There needs to be a Church-wide new apologia for the female contemplative life. They are doing well in the traditional pockets of the Church, (Dominicans at Ann Arbor USA, Franciscans of the Immaculate in Lanherne UK for instance, but in mainstream Catholicism, as Fr Mark suggests in his comment, the modern revisionist trend (at least in England) is moribund, its minimalist architecture passe and cold. For the good of the Church, new life must be breathed into it.

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham produces the first 'home-grown' traditional Order in the UK. I think there's a beloved and Most Holy gentleman in Rome who wouldn't be surprised either, in fact he's probably counting on it!

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