Poverty, chastity, obedience

| December 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

Consecrated members to speak about ‘evangelical counsels’ as part of series at St. Agnes

The founding prior of a relatively new Italian monastery that follows the traditional Rule of St. Benedict will be the first speaker in a three-part series for the Year of Consecrated Life.

Benedictine Father Cassian Folsom’s presentation on chastity 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 14, in Schuler Hall at St. Agnes in St. Paul will be the first in the series on what are known as the “evangelical counsels” — poverty, chastity and obedience.

Vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are traditionally taken by members of religious communities of men and women. They are called evangelical counsels because they were the advice of Jesus in the Gospels (“evangelium” in Latin) to those who “would make sure of everlasting life and desire to conform . . . perfectly to the Divine will,” according to the Catholic Encyclopedia.

St. Agnes pastor Father Mark Moriarty said he doesn’t think that it is a coincidence that a pope who took the name Francis would call for a Year of Consecrated Life.

Father Cassian Folsom

Father Cassian Folsom

“One of the people who lived the aspects of consecrated life best was St. Francis,” Father Moriarty said. “He lived life in a strikingly simple and beautiful fashion. I think the Holy Father wants to get us reconnected to that.”

It was providential that Father Cassian was going to be in the Twin Cities, Father Moriarty added, because he wanted “someone who was living the consecrated life” to be one of the speakers for the series.

The Monastery of St. Benedict where Father Folsom ministers is in Norcia, some 70 miles northeast of Rome. The current monastery is located above the 5th century ruins of the house of St. Benedict and his twin sister St. Scholastica, and the monks there are charged with caring for the Basilica of St. Benedict and the spiritual, pastoral and physical needs of some 50,000 pilgrims who visit the birthplace of the two saints each year.

Along with his afternoon talk, Father Folsom will preside at the 10 a.m. Mass Dec. 14 and will lead vespers at 3 p.m.

Jessica Zittlow and her husband Richard Aleman are coordinating the series.

“We are excited about all of the speakers,” Zittlow said. “We have no doubt that each of their voices and perspectives will be fruitful contributions to this yearlong celebration, and look forward to sharing these speakers with the broader archdiocesan community.”

Did you know?One expression of consecrated life is vowed religious life within community. Priests, brothers or sisters in communities express the mission of Jesus in a variety of ways — embracing the spirituality, the charism and the teachings of the community’s founder. Members take vows that usually include poverty, celibate chastity and obedience.
From Cathy Bertrand, School Sisters of Notre Dame

Zittlow said she is particularly excited that Dominican Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith from Aquinas College will come to speak on the counsel of obedience. Her talk is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18.

“As a college president and a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia Congregation, she is both in a position of leadership for the Church and has professed a vow of obedience,” Zittlow noted.

“She embodied an exciting contradiction to the modern, secular concepts of ‘freedom’ and ‘leadership’ that I’m hoping piques people’s curiosity,” she said.

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“Faithful, faith-filled female Catholic leaders, particularly women religious, have so much to offer to the modern conversation about the true nature of women’s freedom and liberty,” Zittlow said.

Bishop Andrew Cozzens, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will deliver the third part of the series — on the evangelical counsel of poverty — at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 15. That part of the series will include vespers and a homily in St. Agnes’ upper church.

St. Agnes is located one block east of Dale Street at 548 Lafond Ave. in St. Paul.

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Category: Year of Consecrated Life