Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Vocations Crisis — oh really?

by Steve Ray on December 7, 2004

Last evening I spend several hours visiting a convent with a serious vocational crisis. It has gotten so bad so rapidly that their convent property is covered in mud with trucks and bulldozers blocking the main road in. Women are being turned away. Last evening I saw the crisis again with my own eyes.

But the crisis is one that many religious orders would love to have. The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, a Benedictine order, moved into Ann Arbor Michigan about 8 years ago with a handful of nuns, around 5 or 6 of them, if I remember right. I taught Scripture for them for a year. They were solidly orthodox, dressed in graceful habits, each one glowing with a holy zeal and love for Jesus and Mary. They were not feminists. They were on a mission. They loved the Church, the Bible, and the Holy Father.

Now they are about 50 strong which explains the crisis. So many young women trying to join the order that Mother Assumpta, the foundress, has to turn them away. The mud and construction is due to a massive building project to enlarge the convent to handle the current sisters and postulants while making room for those on the waiting list. 

Mother Assumpta invited me to show my new DVD Paul, Contending for the Faith in their living room last night. I was greeted at the door by all of them, and walked through a hallway lined with beautiful women with glowing smiles, dressed in floor length white habits, full of grace and holiness. They greeted me with their usual warmth and childlike enthusiasm. (In Ann Arbor it is said these sisters don’t walk — they glide.)

They loved the movie, laughing and clapping. I don’t mind saying I had a great sense of satifaction since the movie took over a year of our family’s life to produce. And to have a group of teaching Dominicans enjoy my teaching documentary makes Janet and I especially pleased. It was a delightful evening — the fourth of its kind. We have one more DVD to show them, Peter, Keeper of the Keys.

One last thing, if you would like to help them by sending a donation or having a young women interested in becoming a nun, you can contact them through their website at www.sistersofmary.org. Your donation is tax deductible and will help solve a large and growing vocational crisis :-)


I’ve Arrived!

by Steve Ray on December 7, 2004

Today I received a letter from the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons, I think). They tell me I am now eligible to join — which must mean I am old and ready to get my wheel chair and cane.

But I don’t feel old! I don’t creak when I walk and I haven’t started drooling. My back is still straight and my wife says I still have a twinkle in my eye and a spring in my step.

But, I am going to join AARP anyway. Someday I may need them and maybe I can eat cheaper at our favorite restaurants. Plus my beautiful wife can now joke around with her friends that she is a member of AARP too (since she gets free membership as my wife :-)  I’ll let you know if it is worth the $12 a year membership fee.