Do monastic communities change their focus?


Or should I ask, can they? What if one has been discerning that targeted vocation and has ordered one’s life to fulfill that and now that has changed. Can we assume God is saying no? But what if one has been discerning yes?

Hoping to console a few devastated postulants.


I am sorry but your question is too vague and non-specific for me to even attempt to answer you. Are you asking, for example:

*]If a monastery of monks could change a work it has undertaken (such as running a college or seminary)?
*]If a cloistered monastery of nuns could alter its observances?
*]If a monastery of monks or nuns could, for example, go from being Benedictine to being Cistercian?
Also, I note you are Maronite. Are you asking about what would be an Eastern rite monastic community? The prescriptions governing such institutes will be different from those governing the Latin rite.


A Latin rite house for religious serving the community at large, Hispanics, TLM, etc now choosing to eliminate the former two aspects of their outreach, no explanation. Comes at the heels of a very generous donation, may have had strings attached, sad.


The answer is yes. There is a monastery of cloistered Benedictine nuns in Quebec that were formerly nuns of the Precious Blood. One or two left, but the majority voted to make the change of orders.

Other monasteries have changed their commercial focus, one monastery I know has changed from lithography to beer-making. Lastly, yes they can change their observances within the context of their rule. For example a Benedictine monastery could adopt a different approved schema for their Divine Office. Such was done by the house I’m affiliated with in the '80s.

Lastly, again a house could chose to adopt the TLM, or go the other way as well.

It’s an internal house matter really, it’s the same as any decision you make in your family. It’s nobody else’s business. You may never know the actual reasons for a change, such things are decided in chapter and the ultimate decision lies with the abbot, at least in the Benedictine order, or the Superior General in some cases of other orders.


Yes, I guess it’s their prerogative, but many supporting individuals and families have ordered their lives, moved closer because in this large sprawling diocese, no other parish/monastery offers the TLM except two non-aligned with Rome.

I commiserate with the children. My life changed abruptly because of such church decisions, no explanation, it wounds your soul. I have never fully recovered.

I guess it’s about the money and not the care of souls. The flock is now shepherdless and will be scattered. Lord, have mercy.


I think perhaps your expectations of the community were unrealistic. Not trying to be flippant, but it’s unrealistic to expect a religious community to adapt to the desires of the laity when the needs of the laity (aka a valid Mass) are available elsewhere or within said community for those living nearby.

closed #7

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