Just continuing to explore the Church.
I have searched for information on missionary orders, and mostly found thread which putter out after a few posts. I am really moving away from the idea of diocesan clergy, as I come to get a better grasp of what the nature of the priesthood is (‘alter Christ’ and its sacramental nature), and how I could embody those values.
I have researched the following orders, semi-extensively:
-Society of the Divine Word
-White Fathers, Missionaries of Africa
-Holy Ghost Fathers
also, not totally missionary:
I have a lot of questions, though, and I am wondering if anyone has any experience, impressions, or even second hand stories about any of the orders, listed above?
Do any of them have a unique elan, an outstanding espirit de corps? I’ve noticed that the clerical garb of the Redemptorist is unique, and I suppose this says something about their readiness to oppose secularization.
I have also researched the chief theologate which many of them seem to use–the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago… I am wondering what the education will be like here? What can I expect? I know that the formation overall will be much more community-based, and it sounds a lot more satisfying than if I went to a diocesan seminary. I just wonder to what extent academic factors into their formation (especially at their theologates?).
I believe that a lot of the world’s problems today have their roots in theological error, so I am wondering if I would have the opportunity of studying theology or canon law if I enter any of these orders?
As an American, will they likely send me to an America mission? I would prefer to be dispatched to a country like Tanzania or Cambodia where the RCC competes with (along with Protestants) an equal or greater proportion of Muslims. The White Fathers’ charism deters me, insofar as they seem unwilling to offer evangelical work in Muslim nations: just aid and ‘dialogue’.
The SVD, alone, seems to be the only order willing to send missionaries with evangelical instructions to these hot zones.
I kind of have a traditional bias, so if any of the above also share a traditionalist bent (unlikely, I know), I would appreciate knowing.