It is easy to be disheartened these days about the state of Religious Life in the church. Vocations dwindle, convents are sold, religious men and women have all but vanished from our schools and hospitals. If you do see a Religious, you are probably unlikely to recognise them as such, so few wear the common dress of their Institute, if they have one. Its hard to see how some of the Institutes we’ve grown up with will be able to survive into the future. Most, it seems, will practically vanish with so few members, unless some miracle occurs to turn things around.
But all is not doom and gloom! We are, perhaps, in a time of changing of the guard. Some Institutes will go, and others will come. Some Religious Institutes are actually flourishing and attracting many vocations. There are some common features of these Institutes, which you can probably guess! I don’t need to rehearse the list at this time!
Here in Ottawa we are currently witnessing the birth of a new Religious Institute for women: The Queenship of Mary. (I have written about the Queenship here.) Getting established is an arduous business, as the sisters will joyfully testify! It really is a time of relentless testing, in all sorts of ways, to see if the inspiration for the Institute is of God or not. The sisters of the Queenship of Mary are approaching the next phase of formal recognition of their group, and Archbishop Prendergast SJ of Ottawa has given them approval to acquire land for their first convent.
The sisters need our help! First of all, and above all, they need our PRAYERS! Their desire is to love only Jesus, and his Blessed Mother, and they only want to do God’s will. Please pray for them.
Trusting in the providence of God, they also need our practical support. Land acquisition is a very practical matter. Please pray that they will find the right person(s) who can help them at this time.
And, perhaps you, dear reader, can help? Or you might know someone who can.
Please pass this message on!
Our Lady, Queen and Mother, pray for us!
St Joseph, pray for us!