S. Columcille and the New Evangelization

Hey All,

I am looking for a few good men and women, married or single, that might be interested in starting a community in the Atlanta area to live under the Rule of life of St. Columcille.

St. Columcille was an Irish Missionary who evangelized the Scottish and Pictish People alongside St. Luan. His Monastery in Iona, Scotland, was one of the most famous Monasteries in the Celtic world before the Norman Invasions of 1065. He was one of the Twelve Disciples of St. Finnian and would be the means in which the re-evangelization of the west would take place through St. Columbanus. His rule consists of 29 basic tenants and he focuses less on Theoria, which is access to God through the Intellect, and more on Theosis, which is access to God through the heart. The life of Columcille has its own spirituality and its own traditions in the Celtic tradition.

My hopes will be that the members of the community will get their Master Catechist certification course finished through the Archdiocese of Atlanta and work as Catechists within the Church to solve the lacking catechesis that our parishioners and young people are receiving. This would be an answer to the current call for the New Evangelization. While the mission of the community is Catechesis and strong Catechetical formation, it also involves a way of life of prayer and spirituality that is highly Trinitarian, Christocentric and Naturalistic. My prayers are that through the community, we might be able to revert our society back to God’s Church like St. Columbanus, through St. Columcille in Missionary Discipleship. Let me know if your are interested and I will send you the Rule and Constitutions to continue to pray over.

The Rule is confusing at first glance, but the constitutions help to relieve any seemingly conflicting issues. The habit described in the Constitutions is the original habit of St. Columcille and was typically received by its members. You do not have to be IN the Atlanta area, with modern technology we can utilize skype and other video media to communicate.

My organization supports you. Have you a website? Such would be helpful in bringing in new members.

Please live this first yourself, in some kind of uniform, have a spiritual director, and let your chancellor know about what you’re doing. If you don’t, and people inquire as to whether you’re known to the local Ordinary, things can get hairy.

Those unable to make vows are usually the first to be attracted. They are your lay associates.

If wanting online support, my organization offers the Fullerton Society.

Cloisters,

Thank you for your support, truly it is a blessing as I embark on this journey. I started down this journey a couple of years ago, but it came to a head only recently when I felt the Lord calling me to start the process a few months ago.

I am currently living the rule of St. Columcille on a daily basis and have an Anam Chara, or Soul Friend, who is a retired Priest of the Byzantine Catholic Church who has been with me during this whole process. He has been my spiritual director for about two years now. I have not taken to wearing the Habit of S. Columcille as of yet, I figured I would wait until the Ordinary approved of my way of life and then take on the habit. I currently wear the requirement of an Aspirant which is a white, or green button down or polo with a Celtic Cross.

I have not developed a website as of yet, but am going to work on it as time allows. Currently, I am a Youth Minister in the Archdiocese, so I am already working the charism of the community I hope to build. The community will be cross ritual so it is not just bound to the Byzantine rite.

Well, you can go about it in two different ways. The first is as a personal prayer rule, have it approved by the local Ordinary, and wear the habit. Then see if you gain adherents. The second way is what you’re doing – wearing the aspirant garb while living the charism. Once you’ve attracted adherents, and the group finds what works for them where the constitutions are concerned, then you can approach the bishop for recognition as a Private Association of Christ’s Faithful with the intention of becoming an institute of religious life suri juris. Even as an individual, you’re a Private Association with intention.

Have you any links to St. Columcille material of which you’ve spoken?

There are a few books that have are a part of the basic formation program I am developing.

The biggest ones are:

Celtic Spirituality by Western Christian Classics

The Celtic Monk by the Cistericians (which contains the rule of S. Columcille)

The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther Waal

and the biggest one which is The Life of S. Columba by St. Adamnon, Abbot of Iona.

These are just a few of the basic texts, there are more that can be pulled from as his way of life has been studied in more depth because of its effects on Scotland. The Iona community, which is an Ecumenical group of Churches who have rebuilt the Iona Monastery that he sent his disciples out from is also another great resource as they have many books and the like out of their press.

I just wanted everyone to know, that I have set up my website for my ministry if you are interested in following. It can be found at:

cscolumcille.org

Ah, the Rule of St. Columcille is the same as the Rule of St. Columba, which is the rule a lot of solitaries take on. That and the Albertine Rule of Carmel.

Sounds like you’ve got the beginnings of a secular institute. Was that the intention?

I was unaware of Secular Institutes, but they sound like what a Third Order would be (?) in which members are still living in the world.

This is not the case. The members will not live in the world, they will work for the Church and they will live a monastic life to a degree. They are not bound by the hours, as long as they are either participating in their ministry, or they are working with the flock. They will be DREs, Youth Ministers, Adult Faith Formation directors, they will provide catechetical training for lay catechists, develop schools for children and create an atmosphere of spiritual formation and educational advancement for all persons of a parish. The best model that you can use for what I envision is the Diocesan Model, or the Eparchial Model of the East. The Abbot, or Prior, leads the group and the whole community will provide for housing, stipends and regular benefits for members as they work in parishes throughout the country. Therefore, each house that the community sets up to take on a new position, for either a married man and his family, or two missionaries in a house, is meant to be a monastic community in of itself. The family participates within the ministry of the brother or sister and it is a vocational discernment for both the husband and the wife. The husband, or wife, does not need to take on the same vows as their spouse, but they do have to approve to take on this type of life should they be called. The spouse can have a regular job, and the communities are given stipends depending upon their needs. At some point, the goal would be to set up a catechetical school and training center for catechists to be sent out from and new members would have to stay to receive training for a couple of years, married would bring their families.

This is the Celtic Model of Monasticism. Monastic life was the life of the Celtic peoples, it was not just for the religious but for everyone, lay and clerical, monk and commoner. The member will wear the habit of S. Columba which is a white alb, with a white scapular, green and gold cincture and a green cape with hood, sandals. Here is a basic day:

NLT 5am: Personal Prayer and Meditation, Study (If the 13 psalms of the midnight office were not prayed, then they must be done, plus the Our Father and the Creed).
6am: Celtic Morning Office (Obligation unless give dispensation by the Community Leader, Community Leaders must get dispensation from local Leader).
7am: Breakfast
8am: At Post and doing tasks
9am: Mid-Morning Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours) (optional)
9:15-Noon: Work
Noon-12:15: Midday Prayer (optional)
12:15-3pm: Work
3-3:15pm: Mid-afternoon Prayer (optional)
3:15-5pm: Work
5pm-6pm: Free Time with Community
6pm: Celtic Evening Office (Obligation, same stipulations as above)
7-9pm: Spend time with Family/Dinner
9pm: Night Prayer
10pm-Midnight: Study
Bed: Can either be before Midnight, or if still up at midnight do Midnight Office.

This model is my basic calendar most days, it does vary according to the work I am doing and if I have a ministry meeting or something. In the event that daily prayer offices are missed, its suggested to pray a devotional prayer (ex. a decade of the rosary). This is the current model used by married priests in the Anglican and Eastern Catholic Church. It’s worked for over 2000 years which is the reason why I chose it, because it is a proven model.

My vision is that by providing strong faith formation directors to parishes that can do in-house catechetical training, it will strengthen lay catechists who are still working in the world, and provide pastors a well rounded faith formation leader who is centered in their spirituality, their education and their state of life. This will hopefully show laity that the religious life is not just for monks and sisters, but is the proper state of all the laity and start to redefine vocation from Married Life, Priesthood, or Religious Life, to Single or Married, and then the level of consecration: Priesthood for men, or cloistered Religious life for single, or consecrated religious life for married men and women, which was the model of the early Church.

Thank you for that information. A garment representative of the alb can be used. Either canon law or the GIRM regulate the use of the alb.

Secular institutes have some form of binding, usually consecration, but are not third orders, who make promises. I am understanding what you’re saying regarding the familial aspects of the Spirituality. This endeavor may go into the category of New Movements.

The Daughters of Charity pray one decade of the rosary at various times of the day, to make six.

I’ve been around the Catholic block for a while, so I do understand what you mean by new movement. My spiritual director asked me if I could get 4-5 more people to follow? I said I wasn’t sure, but it would be a big move for a lot of people to just give everything away to a single community and live a specific way of life (we all know the discernment that takes). I was told recently I was being to legalistic about this, and I see now that I probably am. When I was early in my faith I didn’t care what people said, now it seems as if I have back slid.

I honestly don’t want to make a new movement, I just want to live my faith and my rule in the way that I want to live it. Just church politics makes things hard.

Just keep a blog of your own living of the Charism, and I will get the CAMM/CCMM to praying. The two founder’s groups will, too.

Thank you so very much for your support and prayers cloisters! I pray that God will lavish his blessings upon you exceedingly!

Cell of St Columba found:

catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/07/13/sixth-century-cell-of-st-columba-discovered/

Certainly! That’s what we’re here for!

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