Random Nun Clips

Apostolic or monastic?

Podcast Recorded: August 16, 2023

There are many similarities, and some big differences, between apostolic and monastic religious orders.

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Show Notes

Feels Like Home: A Single Catholic Woman’s Guide to Religious Life in the U.S. by Susan Flansburg - CatholicSisterGuide.com


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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by one of our sponsors, the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Why don't we talk a little bit about each category, just to give our listeners a sense. I'll talk about the apostolic, since my community -- Sisters of Charity Leavenworth -- we're apostolic. And so we really are living in neighborhoods, we're not necessarily living in a convent, per se, which means having the, the Holy Eucharist and have a chapel. So we're in a rented house. But we have ministry, and we share life together. We pray one or two times a day, have personal prayer, but our main focuses outwards, t get to know our neighbors. And our motherhous is more for sisters when it's time to retire from active ministry and move more into a prayer ministry. So that's a very small definition. But I will say one crossover is the sister I live with, Sister Pat, was a missionary for four years and actually went to South Sudan with Solidarity for South Sudan. She has an adventuresome spiritual bond and taught teachers how to teach in that country. We say Jesus sent His apostles to go out and and spread the good news. And so that's where apostolic comes from. Do you want you want to talk about monastic?

Susan Flansburg  
Sure. So in contrast, monastic -- which certainly includes the Trappistines, who are 100%, cloistered -- and even there, though, there are levels of cloister. There are some communities that still have a grille so that nobody sees their faces at all ever again. But our Trappistines here on the Mississippi River and the ones who are featured in the book, obviously, because I interviewed them face to face, make exceptions to the cloister. But back to monastics: monastics can be cloistered like that, or they can be active within their lives, meaning they can go out some of them actually go out for ministry, like an apostolic. The difference for those groups like the Benedictine that I served several years ago -- my Benedictines would go out for their ministries, but come home for dinner and leisure, and they lived at the monastery. A monastic community largely lives under one roof. Unlike many apostolics -- and I will not say all; there's a group of apostolics in Nebraska who are fully habited and come home and live together after school. They are teachers. But they are not monastic. So it kind of depends on how you see yourself too, I think, to some extent. But the monastics, yes: they all live together, they all pray together. And by prayer together, I mean, they all go to chapel whenever their first time is --whether they begin with matins at o'dark thirty, or lauds, they are together in chapel several times a day.

Sister Rejane  
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This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.

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