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ladychapel: (Companion Creatures)
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 11:21 pm
Happy Feast Day, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha! She's the patron of ecology but doesn't that belong to St. Francis? He's a patron of many things, though, so I guess he doesn't mind. He's still the animal dude.

Speaking of animals, today marks my first full year of a dog-less household since Shannon went into the care of Blessed Kateri and St. Francis on this day last year. I've had at least one dog in the house since I was about 12 or 13 so it took a long time to get used to not having one around. I decided last year not to get another do since I have two cats now, and it's the right decision. Dogs are great, but I can't make the commitment to one at the moment, and I think the cats are enjoying their reign right now. I have to admit that, although I'm tempted by the occasional cute pup, I don't miss the work involved with having a dog and am not anxious to take it on again.

I sprinkled some of Shannon's ashes in my new flowerbed in front of my Mary statute in remembrance of her. It's blossoming with pink zinnias and has some morning glory and moon flower vines happily climbing. I'm still waiting on the daisies do something more than grow at a snail's pace.

In other news, my application has been accepted for the BTMI secular institute and formally began the process as an aspirant today. I met with institute's custodian at the Mother Boniface Center and have much reading and prayer exercises to do over the next six months. That's how long the aspirant phase takes. After that, I will begin the two year candidacy and then take temporary vows.
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.