Consecrated Eremetical Life - Questions

I’m a discerner that feels called to be a Sister, but fear that I would not be accepted due to my disabilities. Sadly, I was also of the feeling that I could not become a consecrated hermit, as a backup option; I need assistance with things at times, so cannot have complete solitude.

Yet after reading this article, they talk about two consecrated hermits living together, and that one has serious health conditions…does anyone know the set rules about this?

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Ask @cloisters.

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In the Eastern tradition, a skeet is a house of hermits. A laura, or lavra, is a possibility recognized by canon law. There is one diocesan laura recognized by their bishop – the Hermits of Bethlehem in the Heart of Jesus. They are located in New Jersey. Fr. Romano began as a hermit, then attracted followers.

I think the simplest thing you could do is develop a Personal Prayer Rule, with the assistance of a spiritual director, and seek recognition as a lay contemplative. You can even develop your own habit.

The Rule of St. Columba says that if a hermit has to have a servant, that they be Godly. Are you familiar with that Rule?

Hermits fell out of favor with the church fathers beginning with St. Basil the Great. “Whose feet will you wash?” he asks. (My answer: don’t go looking for the cross, it will find you). There is also the great danger of the solitary not knowing how to “fight” – the demons inhabit the desert, as well. St. Benedict advises that it’s best to start in the monastery, then go eremitical. This is so one becomes used to the discipline of routine, and learns how to “fight.” The Cluniac Benedictines had hermits within their communities.

Our emerging charism will have congregational recluses. Please click the second link under my signature for more information.

Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican

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Generally speaking, it depends on your concrete circumstances. If you are talking about occasional trips for groceries or medical appointments or to attend Sunday Mass at your parish, there’s nothing wrong with that. But eremetic life is not a “fallback” vocation. It is a special and fairly rare vocation in its own right. It does require a great deal of maturity and a call from God to live in the “silence of solitude”. Professed Catholic hermits who reach an age or health condition which requires more human interaction will have to modify their Rule of Life accordingly with the bishop’s approval. One does not of course, have to be a consecrated hermit. One could live an eremitic lifestyle without profession or even vows. (Remember that profession of vows only takes place between a competent superior who in this case is the diocesan bishop, which is distinct from a lay person simply making vows.). The blog, Stillsong Hermitage is an excellent resource for understanding the ins and outs of consecrated (Roman) Catholic hermit life. The laws differ slightly for Eastern Catholics.

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I was not, thank you for all of this information!! :grinning:

Thank you very much for the information! I did not mean any insult to the eremetical life in terms of being a “fallback;” it is just that I have spent long periods of time in solitude, and it is a comfortable state for me; I know that many would not feel the same way. But I know that it is a very sacred, important, and dedicated way of life…I’m sorry if I came off as flippant about it, newbie here :disappointed_relieved:

I feel more drawn to community in terms of finding that others help me to learn more about myself, which in turn helps me to love God, others, and myself in an evolving way…but I have been looking into the ideas of Personal Rule of Life, etc, to see what is the best fit. And again, I don’t believe that any convent would be willing/able to take me in, due to the disability issues (some of which are more easily solved in solitude).

The link in your signatre does not lead to the Rule. Here is a link to it. It also calls for the hermit to always remain naked…

I probably mis-wrote the post. The links after my signature lead to my organization and our emerging Charism, respectively. I didn’t have time to post the Rule link. Thanks for doing so.

Remaining naked means unadorned.

Well, don’t go shutting yourself out just yet. Read about the different Spiritualities, and see where you’re attracted.

A new Franciscan secular institute is for those with disabilities. I think they’re called the Franciscan Missionaries of Jesus Crucified.

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Where do you find that naked means unadorned? Just curious. And could you say more about your organization and its many “emerging charisms”?

I am thinking the “unadorned” came from a poster on the International Fellowship of St. Bruno (IFSB) Yahoo group. Here is another link which has “materially” inserted in parentheses after the word “naked”:

I have one emerging charism with many ministries in five different categories, which are typically Vincentian. Should those ministries develop into their own religious communities, may God’s will be done.

I don’t view a yahoo group as a reliable source; I meant something substantive. Meanwhile, “celticrossministries” seems to be schismatic or, at least, not officially recognized by Rome.

Again, what do you mean by “emerging charism”? I don’t know what that means, and would appreciate your saying more.

I’d suggest speaking to the Women’s Religious Vocations Director at your Diocese.

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The IFSB is very reliable. They have a working relationship with the Carthusians themselves, and several members are former Carthusians.

I define emerging charism as a group of persons working on their plan of life. Said plan of life consists of a Rule, when necessary, constitutions, horarium; formation program; remunerative work; stable source of habit parts; and two to four stable members. We are currently finding what works for us, as a society of apostolic life with a contemplative branch. We are online where formation is concerned right now, but once my personal situation stabilizes more, we will know in which diocese we will plant the brick-and-mortar novitiate. We are known to my diocese, Charlotte, NC, at the present time, with members in the dioceses of Knoxville, TN, and Fargo, ND. I have the support of the religious order priests at my parish, and of fellow parishioners.

My organization also offers two Yahoo founders’ support groups (one is private and invitation-only), where those of us who are in the same boat can share ideas and frustrations. There used to be a Fellowship of Emerging Religious Communities, but they disbanded some time ago. We were hoping these yahoo groups could in some fashion offer the same support that the FERC did. My Dominican spiritual director was the president and vice president of the FERC for many years. “Emerging charism” is derived from the former FERC’s name.

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I have never heard of a charism defined as a group of people. How many people are actually involved? I’ve also never heard of formation online. And, if you are married (I see you use the name “Mrs. Cloisters”), how can you be involved in the “we” of a vowed formation? But perhaps I am being nosy. Seriously, this all seems rather unusual to me, and probably not canonical.

I knew three nuns who used to call an expensive repairman every time a bulb burned out in a lamp in their living room. He’d come, change the bulb, and then leave with $50. So, don’t be so quick to sell yourself short. You may have abilities others in the order lack.

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A group of people coming together for a common religious purpose is known as a private association of Christ’s faithful without the intention of becoming an institute of religious life. That is what my main organization and CAMM both are.

The CCMM, which is Vincentian, is a private association of Christ’s faithful with the intention of becoming a society of apostolic life with contemplative branch. When we find out what works for us, we will present everything to a bishop, and he will issue us a letter, outlining that which we have given him. Then we will be known as a Private Association of Christ’s Faithful with the Intention of Becoming a Society of Apostolic Life Suri Juris.

After that will be Public Association, once we have grown on a local basis.

Diocesan Right recognition will come after about ten years. Pontifical Right comes after 25.

The main purpose of the letter is to assuage the fears of the laity. The faithful have a right to assemble. Canon law also says that if you see a situation demanding justice, and you have to associate to address the issue, just do it.

There are at least three other present-day married founders, one of whom wears a habit. One of the founders on our main founders’ group is a single parent. He had to adopt his neice and nephew after a family emergency. He is currently living the “Vigilists of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” Another founder, though single, has a married co-founder. His charism is the Society of Our Lady’s Crucified Martyrs. They will be a secular institute.

Canon law also says that every person is a charism – a gift to the world. There are some folks who have developed Personal Prayer Rules, adapted a habit, and have a letter from their bishop, recognizing them as lay contemplatives.

I am very much involved with the formation. Hubby’s in a terrible situation at work. His health is suffering, and I am praying very hard to St. Joseph that whatever needs to be done will get done, and hubby will be given the focus and insight to carry through properly. He always suffers during the winter when there is a lack of sun and daylight for exercise. In addition to our son’s passing, he’s also dealing with a stubborn 97 year-old mother. He’s had horrific overtime and travel demands for the past year. While I dread becoming a widow, I need to be involved in this community’s development because that is what I will be doing in the event of hubby’s passing.

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In the parish where I grew up, a dealer donated Cadillacs to the convent periodically.

However, maintenance didn’t seem to be part of the practice.

I recall being in it and them riding the brake, as it would wander up to 40 at an idle (and these were the mammoth ones of the70s.).

There were probably any number o men in the parish, including my father, who could have wandered up with a screwdriver had they known . . .



Indeed. I drove one of these land-yachts. Put it in drive, light a cigar, and enjoy Frank Sanatra on the 8-Track. Hoorah!

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I have a '72 Eldorado convertible in the garage. I think one more part on the carb and it’s back on the road.

And, indeed, it has an 8-track–for which I’ve picked up some redneck music.

I had it about a week when it occurred to me that it should have one, and, sure enough, the dial flips up.


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