More to rejoice over today. Welcome home sisters!
From Catholic News Service:
Spokane Diocese welcomes formerly schismatic nuns back into church
By Deacon Eric Meisfjord
Catholic News Service
SPOKANE, Wash. (CNS) -- There are several paths within the journey that has brought 15 women religious into communion with the Catholic Church: care, compassion, interaction and, most certainly, prayer. Even technology played a part.
But one of the key turning points in the journey was watching the moving funeral liturgy for Pope John Paul II.
Two former members of the schismatic community at Mount St. Michael in north Spokane discussed their return to the Catholic Church in an interview with Inland Register, Spokane diocesan newspaper, at their new home at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center in Spokane.
The Mount St. Michael community believes in a theological position of "sedevacantism," which, expressed simply, means that because of heresy, the chair of Peter has been vacant since Pope Pius XII, who died in 1958.
Individually, some members of the Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen at Mount St. Michael found themselves beginning to question that position.
"It wasn't like we planned anything, or the sisters came together to this conclusion," said Mother Marie de Lourdes, moderator of the community. Rather, individuals began to reconsider the position, "and discovered others on a similar journey," she said.
Sister Francis Marie said a key point for herself and others was watching the "very moving and rich" funeral liturgy for Pope John Paul. The sisters then began to follow the story of his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, on the Internet.
"I noticed the good that he was doing," she said. "I sat up and paid attention: We had a good man, a good pope." That idea was almost impossible, according to the strictures of the sedevacantist position, she said. "But he seemed to be doing what a good pope would do."
Pray fervently for the return of others and ultimately, the full order.
Catholics who have an affinity for the traditional form of the Mass and for traditional communities, need to be very careful. Schismatics believe they are the Catholic church and therefore, will use the title accordingly. When in doubt, check with the diocese where a parish or religious order resides to find out if it is in communion with the Catholic church. In general, it can be difficult to discern through a website. It's easier to tell by what is lacking - that is any link to the Vatican, or any Church document from Vatican II forward. However, this is not something that can be used exclusively as not every legitimate Catholic site has links to the Vatican. Once again, check with the respective diocese.
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