Saturday, November 18, 2006

Where the Vocations are: Sisters of Life - Bronx, NY

I've profiled several communities and would like to make mention of yet another booming traditional religous order for women, which I knew about some time ago, but forgot about. One thing you want to do if you are considering religious life is to poke around their websites. Especially study the formation pages, prayer and community life pages, and look for their daily schedule.

The Sisters of Life in Bronx, NY are fairly new. As an example, here is their schedule:

Though apostolic needs may require local convents to re-arrange the general horarium below, all houses follow this outline:

5:00 am Rise
5:30 am Common Prayer - Office of Readings/ Morning Prayer/ Meditation
6:45 am Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
7:30 am Breakfast (silent with reading)
8:30 am-12:00 noon Apostolate (common silence kept)
12:00 noon Midday prayer

12:30 pm Lunch (silence broken)
1:30- 2:30 pm Personal recreation
2:30 - 5:00 pm Apostolate
5:00 pm Eucharistic Holy Hour - Rosary/ 45 minute meditation/ Vespers
6:45 pm Supper (silent with reading)
7:30 pm Community recreation
8:15 pm Compline
Grand Silence after Compline

You will find this kind of schedule, which varies between communities, on most sites. Some will have a schedule posted for professed, versus those in formation. The latter will have a greater focus on study time than is seen with professed, especially in the case of Mary Mother of the Eucharist Dominicans in nearby Ann Arbor, MI who are engaged in teaching, as well as the Dominicans in Tennessee, often discussed in the media.

You will also note that many of these new booming orders are semi-contemplative, as well. Some set time aside for "meditation" or "mental prayer". If you've ever seen a sister sitting in total silence with their eye's closed for considerable time, she's not sleeping (of course, being humans there are always occasional exceptions). Rather, she is engaging in mental prayer. Discussion of various forms of prayer is a whole subject in itself, but you can get introduced to it in the CCC.

More photos can be seen in the profile of the Sisters of Life at the Council of Major Superiors for Women's Religious, which is the leadership arm of more traditional religious orders.