Saturday, December 20, 2008
Signum Fidei: the incorruptibles...
This is the corpse of Sr. Raffaella M. of the Sacred Heart. She was the foundress of the Ancelle del S. Cuore di Gesu' and was from Spain.
One can pray before her blessed corpse on the Via Piave in the charming little convent chapel of the sisters, usually closed, but where the Ss. Sacrament is often exposed.
Posted by John Paul Sonnen at 4:03 AM
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Sad.Sad.Sad what has happened to her Order she founded since Vatican II.
The sisters no longer wear this beautiful habit, or any religious garb. They wear layclothes.
Also, the tiny commmunity in the USA (less than 30) are aged nuns in their 70's still pushing the worn out femminist dissident agenda in liturgy and the Church in general.
Their USA "Motherhouse" if you can call it that, "St. Rafaela Mary Center" on Coopertown Rd. in Bryn Mawr, Pa. is less that four blocks from my home.
It's an old estate the nuns bought in the 1940's, and used as their Motherhouse. Never large in numbers in the USA, there still were about 75 sisters in the USA before Vatican II, and this particular house (which also was always a retreat house), had about 25-30 sisters from the early 1950's all thru the very early 1960's.
They declined slowly, still wearing a habit of some dignified type until 1978 when they discarded it, in favor of layclothes.
The two private schools, 2 parish schools they stadded in the Philadelphia Archdiocese are all empty of sisters, though the schools still bear their name "Ancillae Academy" (Handmaids' Academy). They're gone from the 2 Italian parishes they staffed too, and have only 6 very aged nuns at their "Motherhouse" running a retreat center which is almost closed. Once they gave up the prayerful traditional retreat model, and adopted the improvised model highly charged with dissident theology and femminism, the number of faithful women coming for spiritual excercises and prayers plummeted to nearly nothing. They used to use a retreat model similar to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. No longer.
The Order will probably die out, at least in the USA (less than 30), but also down from 2,800 before Vatican II, to barely 1,100 today, all aged women.
Pray to St. Raffaela to bring her Order back to Catholic Faith and tradition, and the holy habit she gave them.
It looks like her community will not last long. And that's sad because they had a magnificent presence in the Church, in Rome and elsewhere.
Society no longer allows religious clusters to live on their own with out paying taxes. This is a very large part of why convents and monasteries are dying off. I do not know how many other countries tax the orders but the biggest example I can give is the Amish communities. Then our convents and monasteries, various temples and churches. Can no longer evade taxes by gifting your property to a church.
The next reason would be the esteem these organization are held in. Basically my example of how low they are held will be that children rarely ever pretend to be a pastor, monk or nun (exception ninja monks). The childish past time of make believe comes from the child's environment. Often pretending to have the same job, skills or calling of their favorite role models, like Batman.
Overall there has been a deterioration in moral and ethics. Few find a calling, or obsession that promotes their dedication.
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