Friday, November 16, 2007

Bishop Finn celebrating Mass in Ephesus with Benedictines of Mary

Some of the Benedictines of Mary enter Our Lady's House at Ephesus in Turkey

I know I posted on this before, but there was another picture-post up with a single, interesting shot (see below). On their blog, the Benedictines of Mary - a traditional monastic order, write about that photo :

Here you can have a little glimpse of eternity touching time. Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, DD, offered Mass for us in Our Lady's House at Ephesus, Turkey, each day of our pilgrimage, very early, before the typical crowd of 6,ooo other pilgrims arrived.

This is a bishop who truly understands and values a cloister in his diocese and he is a frequent visitor there as indicated by the many photo posts on the sister's blog. This time, it was some of the sisters who accompanied Bishop Finn to Ephesus, Turkey. It just so happens that they make their home at the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus in the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. You can see more photos in this blogpost at the Benedictines of Mary.

Bishop Robert W. Finn, D.D. is one of our Bishops with Backbone for many reasons, including a pastoral letter he wrote back in February against the plague of pornography.

Home page for the Benedictines of Mary

More about Bishop Finn, including a collection of his letters and statements at the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home


Moniales said...

Just a slight correction: the Benedictines of Mary are not cloistered (which is why they are on pilgrimage to Ephesus!) but they are a monastic community. There is a difference. The observe cloister in their monastery and don't have outside apostolates but they are planning a "finishing school" for girls somewhere down the road.

I made my 1st Holy Comunion with M. Therese's younger sister!

Diane K said...

Thanks much, sister.

But, I still don't understand the difference between a monastic community and a cloister.

Would it be considered "semi-cloistered?"

Interesting, indeed. I thought perhaps those were extern sisters in Ephesus.

Moniales said...

Well, first they aren't nuns but sisters. They are Benedictine which means they are monastic and so they don't necessarily fall under papal enclosure. Their main "work" is the Opus Dei.
The category of "semi-cloister" no longer exists and I don't think they would fit under that category even if it did.
There really isn't an "Order" of St. Benedict. Each monastery follows the rule according to their own constitution. Obviously, part of their monastery is probably enclosed for them to have the space necessary to a community and find silence, solitude, etc.
One of the Sisters who went to Ephesus is the foundress, M. Therese. I think it's great that they got to go.

Diane K said...

Great info, sister. Thanks for explaining.

But, if you are still reading - one more question.

What's up with "nuns" versus "sisters"?

I've always wondered and now that you mention it I have to ask :D

Anonymous said...

Moniales wrote that the Benedictines of Mary are not nuns, but sisters, and the difference between nuns and sisters is cloister or not.

I would like to offer some clarifications: First of all, nuns are nuns by the nature of their vows, not observance of cloister. Benedictine nuns make Solemn Profession (Profession of Solemn Vows, which existed long before most of the other Western communities of women). Simple profession or definitive oblature is what distinguishes a nun from a sister, be she a sister/member of a community engaged in or devoted to some active apostolate, or an extern for a community of nuns.

For Benedictine nuns, there can be different observances of cloister: papal enclosure (which some Benedictines observe, as in the Solesmes Congregation, or Carmelites, or some Dominicans, etc.) and constitutional enclosure (which others, like the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles observe). That is, by their constitutions, enclosure is regulated, in keeping with the charism of the community's observance of the monastic life, which is contemplative in nature. If what "moniales" said were true, than the Benedictines nuns in St. Walburga would be considered sisters, and they are not. They are nuns. The Benedictines of Mary are nuns. Substance for all this can be found in the code of canon law, both the previous edition (1917) and the latest (1983).

Secondly, whether the monastery opens a finishing school for girls or not, does not change the essence of the vows of the members. St. Therese herself attending Benedictine boarding school at an abbey of nuns. The nature of the school will be in keeping with the nature of their contemplative life. It is for this reason, the nuns do not plan to initiate it until there are at least 40 of them, so the contemplative aspect of their life will not be compromised. Trustworthy lay women will live with the girls and care for the girls when they are not instructed by the nuns, who will do so only during regular work hours within the monastic horarium. The Divine Office, "seven times a day and once in the night", Holy Mass and lectio divina, will continue unhampered.

This work of taking in boarding students for the finishing of their formation and education will only be undertaken as a means of behind-the-scenes assistance to priests in the spiritual formation of the young woman: where a woman's touch will be supplied, to help her learn to work with her hands, and meditate while doing so, to bring out the best in her, to prepare her to "rock the cradle, and rule the world" or to "gain the ear" of Christ as His consecrated bride in religious life.

Hopefully this will help clarify things. I have heard it said many times by the Benedictines of Mary, and one can contact them for any necessary further clarification.