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  #1  
Old Nov 12, '07, 3:52 am
debraran debraran is offline
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Default EWTN and Vocations

Hi, I don't want this to turn into something about a particular priest/nun, but I have always wondered why EWTN doesn't attract men to the brotherhood/priesthood the way other orders do? The nuns seem "full" and many stay (a few leave) but the friars stagnate. Other orders, like the Domincan church I belong too, seem to be doing well considering the vocation shortage. (We have 3 priests at our church in CT) Fr. Groechel's order has grown a lot with over 140 now since they left their previous order, 10-12 years ago. They have a hard and very poor lifestyle, but grow and grow in numbers and faith. I suppose there are a lot of factors, location, "feel" etc., but it always stuck out that they were struggling. Once Fr. Francis joked with Fr. Mark that they scare everyone off and that Brother Leo was the first in 2 years to be on the road to priesthood. (I hope he stays) The young man that used to read the letters on LOTR left to join another order although they joked they tried to have him stay with them.

If an order is loyal to the Pope and faithful, what do you think makes one thrive and one not?
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  #2  
Old Nov 12, '07, 10:32 pm
ASimpleSinner ASimpleSinner is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

Quote:
Originally Posted by debraran View Post
Hi, I don't want this to turn into something about a particular priest/nun, but I have always wondered why EWTN doesn't attract men to the brotherhood/priesthood the way other orders do? The nuns seem "full" and many stay (a few leave) but the friars stagnate. Other orders, like the Domincan church I belong too, seem to be doing well considering the vocation shortage. (We have 3 priests at our church in CT) Fr. Groechel's order has grown a lot with over 140 now since they left their previous order, 10-12 years ago. They have a hard and very poor lifestyle, but grow and grow in numbers and faith. I suppose there are a lot of factors, location, "feel" etc., but it always stuck out that they were struggling. Once Fr. Francis joked with Fr. Mark that they scare everyone off and that Brother Leo was the first in 2 years to be on the road to priesthood. (I hope he stays) The young man that used to read the letters on LOTR left to join another order although they joked they tried to have him stay with them.

If an order is loyal to the Pope and faithful, what do you think makes one thrive and one not?
Do we have any good hard numbers about the membership?
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  #3  
Old Nov 13, '07, 2:26 am
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

I don't know "hard numbers", but I know what they said and what I can see on their site. I know I watched a show on vocations and they laughed they had "Brother Leo" but that was it the last few years. Fr. F said he didn't know why, "they scared them off?" and it was a little uncomfortable for a few seconds but then they let Brother Leo talk. He said he was doing okay, but being alone had it's good points and bad..."too much attention!" : ) They also were disheartened to have one of their staff pick a different order in NYC and Fr. Francis quickly glossed over that (it is a personal thing) and wished him well. They have a few stop by to check them out, but again, they joke, they must do something, because they don't stay. Fr. Mark joked once it was their location, Alabama isn't a big draw,but unsaid was why the nuns are busting at the seams.
I think not having the numbers can be a strain too, because the priests do more work. Sometimes visiters would think there were more, since the brothers dress the same.
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  #4  
Old Nov 13, '07, 3:21 am
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

This is Fr.Groechel's order....he wrote a wonderful book on the forming of the order and said he couldnt keep up with the added brothers and sisters in the photos. A Drama of Reform was the title. Very inspiring.

http://www.franciscanfriars.com/welcome/index.htm

It was also exciting to know about 15 from my neck of the woods went into the Dominican formation last year, about 150 in the area. I think that was the biggest class since 1960's Father Holt told us at mass. I always beleived the stricter orders will do better than the "wishy washy" ones. It made me tear up to see these men and women in different steps of formation.
That's why I was always quizzical about the friars at EWTN...could be nothing, could be tensions that go beyond the norm, or maybe that medium isn't as attractive to some.
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  #5  
Old Nov 13, '07, 10:31 am
chicago chicago is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

Quote:
Originally Posted by debraran View Post
If an order is loyal to the Pope and faithful, what do you think makes one thrive and one not?
It seems that the EWTN Franciscans have had growth spurts and struggles over the time of their lifespan.

One of things which is unique about them is just how public their ministry is. I don't know that everyone feels quite comfortable becoming a television celebrity, of sorts.

A lot, I think, has to do with community dynamics.

There may also be issues of overall space which they have available. If their order grew much larger, where would they go, what would they do? So, it could be argued that they are kind of "right sized" for their particular ministry.
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  #6  
Old Nov 13, '07, 12:12 pm
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

I would agree except they really seemed to want more members. It would make the work load a bit easier.
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  #7  
Old Nov 13, '07, 1:37 pm
Pious Mat Pious Mat is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

We also have to remember that a call to the religious priesthood is a very special vocation, and the religious priests we see on EWTN lead an especially strict life.

For Groeschel's order, for example, is a reform of the reform, meaning that the Capuchins were founded to more strictly interpret the ascetic views of Saint Francis, and the Renewal Friars are even more strict. Just the fact that they get up at 4.30 in the morning says something!

One of the hardest things about religious life is renouncing material posessions--a Diocesan priest can own some modest posessions of his own (some books, some vestments, a few CDs...) while Friars own nothing. I wouldn't be surprised if the renewal friars didn't even own their glasses or their toothbrushes! The life of a friar is also physically demanding.

This is a hard teaching, and is magnified by the fact that the friars we see on EWTN are subject to intense scrutiny--they're on TV, after all...
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  #8  
Old Nov 13, '07, 3:54 pm
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

Pious Mat, that's why I think it's wonderful how much Father Groechel's order has grown. I met him and a couple of his friars recently and you can just sense a warmth about them....well Fr. is a bit of a crumudgeon sometimes, but a sweet one. : )

I don't know if the EWTN friars have to work on the TV show, but they serve the monastary, have masses daily, and the brothers usually meet the public. I know they were expanding their priory in case they had more postulants come. I get a newsletter from them which keeps you up on things...doubt they'll mention the latest news though.
Then nuns also have a newsletter that is interesting and gives you a glimpse at some of the gorgeous statues, etc. they have inside.
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  #9  
Old Nov 13, '07, 3:59 pm
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

Pious Mat, that's why I think it's wonderful how much Father Groechel's order has grown. I met him and a couple of his friars recently and you can just sense a warmth about them....well Fr. is a bit of a crumudgeon sometimes, but a sweet one. : )

I don't know if the EWTN friars have to work on the TV show, but they serve the monastary, have masses daily, and the brothers usually meet the public. I know they were expanding their priory in case they had more postulants come. I get a newsletter from them which keeps you up on things...doubt they'll mention the latest news though.
Then nuns also have a newsletter that is interesting and gives you a glimpse at some of the gorgeous statues, etc. they have inside along with their schedule. I know I couldn't be comtemplative, too claustophobic for me, but I think it's a blessing to have so many called to it. We need their prayers!.
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  #10  
Old Nov 13, '07, 4:41 pm
Joannm Joannm is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pious Mat View Post
One of the hardest things about religious life is renouncing material posessions--a Diocesan priest can own some modest posessions of his own (some books, some vestments, a few CDs...) l...
Diocesan priests can own whatever they can afford. Most own their own cars. I know diocesan priests who own their own homes and even time shares or vacation homes. I know a priest who owns rental buildings. They usually buy their own personal computers, stereo equipment, televisions etc. I know several who own boats. The buy their own clothing, pay for their own vacations and meals outside of the rectory if they choose to eat out. I would say those things go far beyond some modest posessions. Granted there are probably many diocesan priests who live very modestly, but in my area most live almost as well as their parishioners. It all depends how well they manage their money, if they have an outside source of income, and how well their stock portfolio is doing.
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  #11  
Old Nov 13, '07, 4:47 pm
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

I agree, it really depends on the parish and how much money they have AND how the priest wants to live. I knew one that liked his own home, had his parents later in life I think or bought his own. Had a nice car, but never new. Some priests (like ours) came from a rich parish with expensive food and fancy rectory to leaking roofs and barely enough to pay the bills. He chose it though which I thought was very nice of him, he gave up a lot of material things, we gained a lot in devotion and holiness.
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  #12  
Old Nov 13, '07, 6:40 pm
ASimpleSinner ASimpleSinner is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

Just a random thought outloud (or written out!)

I am wondering if it isn't possibly the case that the EWTN Franciscan women aren't larger than the men because they were in fact founded by a woman?

Does anyone have more info or a website on the actual numbers, or the actual charism of the male members?
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  #13  
Old Nov 13, '07, 6:50 pm
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

I'll try to get numbers, but they never want to brag about small ones....it might have been in an old newsletter. I tend to leave them at church now though to share.
The women (nuns) are HUGE compared to the men. You should see them all crowded in a photo. On their web site, you can put the cursor over each nun and it will you their name.
You can see most of the friars either on the show or doing mass, although some of the ones doing mass are visiting priests. They do have a lot more brothers though.
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  #14  
Old Nov 13, '07, 7:23 pm
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

This is the nuns web site at EWTN in anyone is interested. Sometimes it has a few "bugs" but it is interesting.
http://www.olamshrine.com/
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  #15  
Old Nov 14, '07, 2:46 am
debraran debraran is offline
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Default Re: EWTN and Vocations

PS
I forgot the friars web site:
http://www.mfva.info/
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