I cannot give out the priest’s name without his permission. He is an American Dominican working in Canada, and is former president of the (defunct) Fellowship of Emerging Religious Communities. He knows the ins and outs of founding/refounding communities. He had been a member of an emerging community before his time with the Dominicans. He is a habit maker, and will be assisting with not only vocational discernment and formation, but with reproduction of the habit as well. “If you renew the Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor, I will help you in any way that I can,” were his exact words.
We have started the Fullerton Society to fill this gap which the Fellowship’s demise has created.
Resources cannot be assembled until the discerners are reasonably sure they are in the right place. The true aspirants to a new/renewal charism know in their hearts that they have found their vocations and have tremendous flexibility and unconditional love which grow deeper with time. They ignore critics, who are regarded as nothing more than a severe thunderstorm.
The renewal of the DSSP community will likely come from a listserv discussion group, like the Gilbertines are doing. The listserv acts as a rally point. Based on the membership of the listserv, statutes are drawn up for a private lay association. Within this association of the faithful, the preparatory association of renewal aspirants will begin talking to each other via another listserv, and the group will grow in cohesion from there. We have developed the four tier system which will accommodate everyone from non-Catholics interested in living the life to the members of the preparatory association.
The website for the DSSP renewal is all that exists at the present time. We do not know where the community will emerge, nor in which diocese. Having professed sisters involved is known as the founder’s novitiate, and is done after developing the formation program. The sisters have to know what to teach the aspirants. Founder’s Novitiates are $100 per month per person for a year, so the group has to be reasonably sure they’re in the right place before making such an investment.
We put contact people on the websites when they are ready to become the contact persons. This is only after they have discerned enough of the charism to know what they’re talking about and have been living it for some years.
I realize that there are “cyber convents” out there. I have no control over that. We utilize the internet until the Spirit moves us to do otherwise.
If discerners are truly concerned about whether or not we are real, they usually include a phone number. We are obligated to follow our charism inspirations, especially if they are in response to discerner needs. When the discerners’ souls find a match with our charisms, we will support their discernment process and assemble resources as necessity dictates.