Sunday, July 18, 2010

Maronite nuns seek home on SouthCoast.

One of the benefits of living in the age of Internet is being able to keep up with news from around the world. Whenever I have easy and reliable access to the Internet and insofar as my schedule permits it, I try to take a brief daily glance at my hometown newspaper, the New Bedford Standard-Times. I've been able to keep to this routine in Innsbruck, which is how I came across this article in yesterday's edition about a new and still very small group of Maronite religious sisters that is seeking a home in Southeastern Massachusetts. Here's an excerpt:
The first Maronite congregation of active religious sisters in the United States would like to settle in SouthCoast.

Seeking property suitable for a monastery, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light wish to relocate in a pastoral setting, offering a house with 5 to 10 acres of land.

The sisters live the communal life through a balanced rhythm of contemplative prayer, work, study, meals, fellowship and recreation, silence and solitude, exercise, leisure and rest.

"We need plenty of space to walk, garden, set up a shrine and the privacy we would want to have for our way of living," said Mother Marla Marie Lucas, foundress of the order.

The convent will need a guest parlor to greet visitors, a library and ample reserved space for the privacy of the sisters.

"It has to have that sort of potential," she said.

The place where young women will discern and begin their journey in religious life, the monastery also will serve as a gathering place for the faithful, offering conferences and retreats.

"We are called to be the spiritual mothers of our people, to nurture them in the spiritual life and be available to them," Lucas said.

Logistically, SouthCoast is strategically placed.

"We have many parishioners here and are readily accessible to three of our parishes," she said.

In full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, the parishes are Our Lady of Purgatory Maronite Church in New Bedford, St. Anthony of the Desert Maronite Church in Fall River, and St. George Maronite Church in Pawtucket, R.I.

Six other parishes are within commuting distance. The diocese, the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, covers 16 states.

So far, the sisters have placed one bid on a local property.
To read the rest of the article, click here. You can also learn more about the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light by taking a look at their website. I hope that the sisters' plans come to fruition, as Southeastern Massachusetts could benefit from the presence of a contemplative religious community with Eastern Christian roots. May the Maronite Servants find the home that they are seeking on the SouthCoast, and may God bless their efforts. AMDG.


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