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March 22nd, 2010

ladychapel: (Christianity)
Monday, March 22nd, 2010 05:28 pm
I went to the Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute retreat this weekend. This is the secular institute I'm thinking of joining. Secular institutes are relatively new in the Church. They're for consecrated lay people who live in the secular world as opposed to a religious community. Like religious you do take vows and follow the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, although they are lived out differently.

Actually, it is a pious union, kind of a secular institute in waiting. They need 50 members to be a full-fledged institute, and they have 19 right now, including members in Puerto Rico. I would be the youngest if I joined. Some of the members are quite elderly and infirm. This gave me some pause, at first. Was I joining a group that was dying out? That's not really the point, though. I feel called to this path, the path of a vowed lay person, and their spirituality appeals to me. I want to follow the call no matter where it leads. It feels very right for me as I don't feel called to either marriage or religious life.

The BTMI is part of the Missionary Cenacle Family, a spiritual family founded by Father Judge. Not Father Mychal Judge, the Franciscan. This is Father Thomas Judge, a Vincentian. That works nicely since I was born on St. Vincent de Paul's feast day and count him as one of my patrons. In addition to the secular institute, the Cenacle has three additional branches: The Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity (the sisters), the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity (priests and brothers), and Missionary Cenacle Volunteers.

The spirituality centers on the Trinity, especially the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit. The missionary aspect is lived out where ever you happen to find yourself in life. There is a special emphasis on 

The retreat went very well, and I told the general custodian that I wanted to pursue the discernment and application process. If you pray, please remember me and the Cenacle Family in your prayers.