August came to a windswept and wet end and was followed by a warm and sun filled September. Apologies for the gap in blogging, Fr. Damian, the blog editor, was away from his desk and leading an ight day retreat for the Institute of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (The Leaven). The Institute is part of the Carmelite family and began at Aylesford in the 1949.
Secular Institutes are the newest form of consecrated life in the Church. Unlike
religious, members of Secular Institutes live entirely in the world. Like all other
lay people they share the responsibility to live gospel values and attitudes in
family and social relationships and the work place whether it be the office,
factory, shop, hospital, school etc. Like religious they are called to live their commitment through the vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience.
Although in the early 1900's there were groups living a secular institute lifestyle
it was not until 1947 when Pope Pius X11 issued the Apostolic Constitution
Provida Mater Ecclesia that some groups were canonically raised to be secular
institutes of pontifical right.
The retreat was an exploration of the call to discipleship. What is a disciple? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? How can we sustain our vocation to be disciples? What examples do we have of discipleship? How do we incarnate our discipleship in a way that responds to the needs of the Church and the people around us?
The retreat was prayerful and silent. Hopefully those who were on the retreat left the Cold Ash Retreat Centre, renewed and refreahed.