Religious Life Ends

During the year 2008, our supervising Bishop retired due to health, and shortly after that, our Superior General left the Order for some reason.  In the process, the newly selected Superior General moved the Order to Ft. Lauderdale Florida.  A few months later, he petitioned the Archbishop of Miami, our new local See, to be our Supervising Bishop.  Several months later, in early 2009, the Archbishop of Miami shut the Order down on grounds that it was not set up correctly 13 years earlier, that it had not had correct supervision during that time, and therefore the vows given were not valid.  We had 24 hours to move out and turn everything over to the Church or other Non-Profit organization per our Rule of Life.  (I want to add here that he was 100% correct on the past of the Order, but I’m not sure he did the right thing in shutting us down, instead of allowing us to get back within Canon and working with us to get things right.)

I began looking for other Religious Orders to join, but was universally told that I was too old, being over 40, inching VERY close to 50 (turn 50 this month, as I type this!).  I was tentatively accepted to one Order and went to a Silent Retreat in preparation for being accepted, but in the middle of it, I was told that I would not be accepted due to age again.

One thing led to another and I ended up moving to Kentucky, continuing to study the Bible, the Catholic Faith, and learning all I can about God and His requirements on us.

After much prayer, and much reading and even more prayer, I very much feel the call to Religious Life, and have decided to follow the path of one of my Patron Saints, Saint Francis of Assisi, and have started a new Order, The Order of Brothers of Reconciliation, that will allow any male, 18 and older, in communion with the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and of sufficient health, mental capacity, and abilities to become a Religious into the Order.  Age is not to be a discriminating factor, only being in communion with the Church, the Canon of the church, and health, both physical and mental, will be considered.

In Christ!

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Knights of Columbus and Religious Life.

Shortly after Easter Vigil Mass, the Superior General of the Brothers and Sisters of Reconciliation informed me that I was officially accepted into the Order as a Novitiate, and the Monday after Easter I gave my initial private vows.  I was already in habit, which had already been blessed, etc., and my studies continued.

A few weeks later I was accepted into the Knights of Columbus and in one night did my First and Second Degree ceremonies.  Because I was a Novitiate in a Religious Order, i was told that a 3rd Degree ceremony was happening the next day an hour north if I wanted to go.  My Superior General told me to go.  In that I was only a Novitiate I sat the ceremony as a Lay person and went through the whole process.

I had reached my thoughts of being able to go into the Knights of Columbus Halls I had seen in the past.  (I am STILL to go into the one in Maryland, that I WILL go into one of these days!)

I was one step closer to putting on the habit I had dreamed of years earlier, and even before it had been created!

Studies got more intense and days grew shorter as I read and wrote more!

 

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Religious Life in the Catholic Church

When I got home, I looked up the Order, which had been “raised” about 9 or so years earlier.  It was small, and consisted of Lay Brothers and Sisters and was newly starting to have Religious Brothers.  All lived withing the vows of Poverty, Obedience, and Chastity to Station in Life.  To become a member, you had to be a Catholic in Communion with the Catholic Church and over 18 years of age.

While I was not yet a Catholic in title, I was finding that I was a Catholic in heart, and sent a letter to the Superior General asking to join the Order as a lay member, until I was accepted into the Church.  A few days latter, I was accepted as a Postulate, and I clothed myself, on my own, as a Novitiate in their Order.  I gave God my vows of Poverty,  Obedience, and Chastity to Station in Life.  (And in writing I gave the same to the Superior General.)

Over the next year, up to Easter, I worked with the Novitiate Master and my Priest as I would have if I had been in the Novitiate, completing all the requirements of a Novice in the Order.  I followed the Rule of Life of the Order, and went everywhere in the Novitiate Habit.

In Christ!

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    Shortly after Easter Vigil Mass, the Superior General of the Brothers and Sisters of Reconciliation informed me that I was officially accepted into the Order as a Novitiate, and the Monday after Easter I gave my initial private vows.  I was already in habit, which had already been blessed, etc.,…
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