Ladies and gentlemen:
A protracted period of consideration on what my next step through life ought to be has led me to a conclusion that many might see as somewhat unusual. I’m a tutor and most of my clients are friends of mine who have asked me to instruct their homeschooled children. We’ve gotten to the point that I never even ask them for my regular rate any longer, and a sort of tacit agreement has emerged among us that all my extraordinary expenses can be covered upon the asking, the wages from my day job going towards my regular daily expenses. In the time, however, that these people have retained me, my functioned among them has grown merely from teaching the young into helping them with their strategic planning, into pastoral counselling, and the like. I’ve become somehow particularly trusted in religious matters, for the unusual situation that my friends, though not yet formally Catholic, are strongly TLM-preferent (as am I), and the diocese in which we reside is a dead zone, all the nearby pastors being quite hostile to anything resembling Catholic tradition. I know this is sad, but we skirt this by travelling into another diocese weekly. Needless to say, this situation is making it very difficult for them to enter the Church fully, but this is an issue I’m working on with a small group of like-minded Catholics.
Shut out from seminary for reasons unknown to me (but which I can probably guess rather accurately) and rather past the age that most religious institutes might want me (and never really having quite felt a draw toward most of them), I’ve been seeking consistently a means by which I might live a holier life. I’m unmarried, and, to be frank, don’t have much proclivity to marry, and I’ve rather fallen into a rather simple lifestyle, so I have that going in my favour. But now my friends and I are moving a little closer to a spontaneously emerging agreement according to which I would not renew my lease, sell off or donate most of my furniture, diminish my secular work to part time, and start working for them, moving from house to house as the need arises, in exchange for a place to lay my head, three squares a day, the necessaries for my paperwork, and extraordinary expenses such as auto repairs as needed.
It looks like this could be feasible within a months. My friends would of course gain the work I already do for them, of course on a more intimate level. More than that, though, I’d hope to be a more of a living witness to the Gospel, living a more ascetical, even quasi-religious life in their midst, and showing that, even despite the the hostility and obstinacy of the clergy and hierarchy we must deal with, Christ is still very much within our midst. I of course would gain something of a new orientation of being, retreating somewhat from a secular world that has never been very kind to me (nor is it really to anyone) in order to help develop souls and to help nurture a community that has spontaneously developed, going to bat consistently for a niche in the Church for the stable community 20 souls I’ll be working with, to profess the Gospel and to live according to the example of Christ more completely, and to work out my own salvation.
However this might fit into canon law, I’ve no idea, but that’s not a strong concern of mine as yet. I’ve not yet spoken to my spiritual director about this, though I plan to when next we visit. Moreover, the practicalities have to be worked out a little more completely. My question here thus will be somewhat open-ended. What would be your general impressions of such a thing based on the cursory information I’ve provided? Do you see any red flags that ought to be addressed before going forward with this? What sort of future might you see with this?
Thank you in advance for your replies.