See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Intercessors of the Lamb: An intervention...

For bad habits?
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I wish - look at those colors.  Anyway - some people think the group is a cult.  I've seen them on EWTN and I have heard wonderful things about them... so who really knows for sure?  Mother Nadine is from the St. Paul, Minnesota Good Shepherd Sisters of the Cross, which may account for the lack of taste, but I'm sure that is not a canonical issue.  Nevertheless, Archbishop Lucas seems concerned:
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On Thursday, September 30, Archbishop George Lucas accepted the resignation of Mother Nadine Brown, foundress and general director of the Association of the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb. Lucas appointed the Rev. Gregory P. Baxter trustee of the association. Baxter is charged with governing, managing, and guiding the association.
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In May, Archbishop George J. Lucas retained the services of a canon lawyer to act as his delegate in conducting a canonical visitation of the Association of the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb. The Rev. James J. Conn, SJ, JD, JCD, a canon law professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, conducted the first phase of the canonical visitation last summer before returning to Rome. Conn examined the association’s  governance structure, in addition to reviewing the doctrinal, spiritual, moral, and financial aspects of the association. The visitation was conducted in accord with the Intercessors’ statutes and in accord with the Code of Canon Law. - Press Release
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From what I can tell, the group does seem a bit cultish - in a Medjugorje-Charismatic sort of way that is.    Let's see what the visitation turns up.  To be fair, it is my understanding the community is simply undergoing a visitation and is not under any form of canonical discipline or penalty. 
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Mother Nadine
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"Oh!  Oh!  I know!  Let's start our own order and we'll make the habits real pretty!  Then we'll go on EWTN and tell stories and we will help lots of people and we'll build a big foundation, and then, and then..." - Just pretending.
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H/T Spirit Daily

25 comments:

  1. The reason why we have teal [scapulars] is we're intercessors here on earth ... Our prayers go to heaven and we're kind of bridging the gap. And so, with earth being green and heaven being sky blue, we're in the middle. Blue and green makes teal.
    —Sr. Danika Boever

    Mmmmkay.

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  2. There should be a moratorium on using teal for any decor for at least one hundred years. Every doctor's office, every public lobby in the 'eighties was peach and teal. When I saw the film "The Village" I thought if only we could banish teal like the villagers did with the color red...

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  3. This is in our neck of the woods. We were told, by someone who ought to know, that the "financial aspects" are what triggered the visitation. It may be that there are irregularities, or simply some people who aren't very practical and don't know how to keep books. It is actually a good thing the visitation is taking place; if there are problems, they will come to light. I have a lot of confidence in Archbishop Lucas, I sure he will be able to sort it all out.
    And I have always thought that if they wished to be taken seriously, they needed to lose the teal. It just looks silly; and colors peoples' perception of them.

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  4. M. MacDonald8:37 AM

    My knowledge about this order is limited. I've read a couple of Mother Nadine's books and I've attended one or two of their events. I've never been to Omaha or to Medjugorje for that matter.

    My assessment is they are God centered and spirit filled. There is something good about these nuns that is hard to put a finger on.

    Personally, I have not adapted to their spiritual practices.. I'm just too tied to my traditionalist ways. However, I see very positive fruit from Mother Nadine's work. All things considered, this is the standard by which God Himself gave us as a guideline.

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  5. Good Grief! Some of the traditional habits are red,(Precious Blood), denim, (Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus) and even pink, (Sisters of the Holy Spirit). So why rag on this group because they wear white and teal?

    These men and women have come together to give their lives praying for the Church during a perilous time. They seem to spend most of their time on their knees, so to speak,preach compassionate living and are loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    What more does everyone want?

    As for not taking them "seriously" because they wear teal(???), I hope that was sarcasm because otherwise that was a mean and petty comment. As much as these folks pray and fast, I think God takes them very seriously, teal habits and all.

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  6. I like denim as an appropriate fabric for poor religious. Pink strikes me as weird too - and the red habits - not so much.

    Religious habits have often been modified over the centuries because they were a bit odd in the beginning. I think Rose Hawthorne's original habit was rather costume like and the bishop changed it to a more traditional Dominican style.

    Personally I think the Sisters of Life habit is ugly too - they do great work however.

    I'm sure the Intercessors are just fine and the visitation will take care of any irregularities. From what I know of them the group holds absolutely no attraction for me. That said, there have been founders asked to step down over the centuries and they have become saints in the process.

    No one ever accused religious people of having taste - and I'm quite sure they never lost much sleep over it either.

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  7. The latest news report indicated that there might be some irregularities, not only in finances, but in "internal" governance (spiritual direction, being one of the issues...VERRY touchy subject; this is a "hot potatoe", canonically).
    Hope this goes well for them.
    Really.
    As for the "teal"...I just have to make this remark; when we were beginning (and there has been a progresion of habits here; we're "set" for now, praise God), our directing canon lawyer just said to us, "No purple scapulars of St. Joseph, please...that's just TOO much!!"...he didn't have to worry...I don't look good in purple :-)! (Sarcasm alert, here!!)

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  8. And yet the purple velvet slippers with the Polo crest... JUST KIDDING!

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  9. LOL!!
    Now my secret is out!! Crap!

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  10. And...as an addendum...
    you don't know how tempting it is to make your new community "media savvy"...to want to have all of the spotlight and thus, the "money"...
    to be poor, obscure, and absolutely dependent upon the good Lord and His faithful is sometimes very excruciating...let me just tell you...
    but my one byline in all of this: if we are faithful, if we are Catholic, if we love the Lord and His Holy Church, all will be provided...sometimes not in the way we would like or want...but He is faithful.
    We, here, are not catering to any Philosophical or Theological or Liturgical whim..we just want to be Catholic...faithful to the Holy See and to the Sacred Traditions...
    and we get lambasted and rash-judged by both extremes...it's okay...it's a part of belonging to Jesus and His Church.
    We love all of you and pray for you every day!

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  11. I bet they picked the teal because it was on sale at the time...kinda like Mother Teresa did when she went shopping for a habit. It was the cheapest one she could find at the time. Nowadays the sisters of charity have to have their saris custom made to match the original one their foundress wore. I bet it's much more costly than the original. And for this group, I bet teal is costlier than it was when it was in the bargain bin (probably back in the 80s, would be my guess--is that when this order started?)

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  12. No one gets this or the other post. The habit thing is so not a big deal - I just do these posts in reaction to the religious people who flip out over people wearing jeans to Mass, women in pants, or women should wear a chapel veil, along with the ugly vestment contests so many bloggers love to post - not to mention good nuns and priests or bad nuns and priest in or out of habit or cassock, etc.

    Ding-dong.

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  13. Those of us who are part of "new communities" spectrum of the Church need to be ready to be called to task in whatever way...the discernment of the Church requires us to be under "scrutiny", criticism, corrections...whatever...anybody who gets their "undies in a bundle" over this is not ready for "real life"...in the Church or whatever...
    just get over it...teal habits; a "mixed" community (whatever THAT means...and I'll tell you, this bunch HERE (our little community) is not MIXED!!)...questionable practices (financial, spiritual direction, whatever)...all of this needs to be sorted out by Mother Church.
    Externals mean very little (although they DO mean something);
    but let me tell you, so-called traditional, orthodox communities have their "cracks in the cloister", to quote Fr. Groeschel...all that looks "good and holy" may have a whole lot wrong under the surface...just sayin'...
    that's why the magisterial teaching and episcopal oversight of anything "new" has to be given some credence by the proper authority and time...lots of it...

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. I had to delete my last comment due to a serious spelling error (LOL).

    Here is the commentary I just posted on my blog below the press release and the few tidbits added by Catholic News Agency following an interview with the diocesan spokesman:

    Kudos to the bishop for bishoping and for not just rubber stamping them based on past approval. He familiarized himself. He then took the necessary steps for the good of the souls in that community, which also protects the Church. We should remember, in charity, that these people have all given themselves to God. Let us pray that they will have the necessary humility, docility and perseverence to follow the guidance of Fr. Baxter and Bishop Lucas.

    There are many new communities emerging. No bishop would want to hinder the Holy Spirit. However, human fallen nature and poor formation - especially in this era when so many are poorly formed in the faith - can allow things which are foreign to will of God to enter. In fact, any new community will be vulnerable to subtle attacks from the Angel of Darkness as well, which could throw them off.

    Humble obedience and docility to a delegate, spiritual advisor, trustee, or whatever name you want to give them serves as a test in the "discernment of spirits". It serves to purify the community of those things which are foreign to the Holy Spirit and stemming from human weakness or Satan. As I have said many times, this kind of obedience is a gateway through which only the Holy Spirit may pass, and this same gate serves as a barrier to the Angel of Darkness who can mock humility, but never obedience... "non serviam".

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  16. Diane, thanks for that good update.

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  17. Just to be clear, that which I pasted here is my own commentary from the blogpost, not what CNA published - LOL.

    Go to my blogpost for the relevant CNA quote and related link for more.

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  18. Diane: Very well said. Thank you.
    I know that I am in awesome fear of the Lord...don't EVER want to do anything that would lead others astray; we have to be so very aware that the Devil is only too crafty...waiting to use our "predominant faults" and blind=side us;
    I NEVER wanted to found anything; good grief, I can hardly take care of my own soul, much less anybody else!!
    But, God does what He does.
    And thank Him, praise Him for the ecclesial "check and balances"...the local bishop not only should be, but HAS to be attentive to any "new communities"; I submit myself to the action of our local diocesan bishop and if he wants to investigate, correct or EVEN close us down...I will submit.
    I want to go to heaven; I don't want to be a founder!!

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  19. nazareth priest ~ Well, don't go anywhere! Whether you want to be a founder or not, I'm praying the bishop keeps affirming you - because I plan to go there! (God willing and all...)

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  20. People who dress like a slob at Mass should be shot! But, all are welcome.

    I can't help myself, really.

    Anyway, I've heard Mother Nadine speak. She was ok. I was, however, more greatly moved by Father Straub-on the same bill.

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  21. Thanks Cathy Pfelps! Say hi to Fred for me at the next funeral you picket. LOL!

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  22. Sorry, too busy in Court to picket these days but I appreciate the sentiment!

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  23. Did they cancel the Lawrence Welk Show?

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  24. Elizabeth10:06 PM

    Some years ago I was part of a lay group...even was in leadership as an Intercessor. Several things I experienced first hand. 1st heard Mother Nadine herself say she journaled with her body,but it did not answer her because she was not taking care of it. and she also said a person could journal with the kitchen table and imagine the memories it could share (I am sure I heard this and the journaling story with the body was repeated to me by one of the the nuns there) 2nd ran a retreat based on retreatants souls being with God before conception and having a relationship with Him before conception (Church teaching is souls are created at time of conception..and not before) 3rd journaling is the word of God. When I challenged this they had two responses. It was the persons own experience (one of the nuns talked about her conversations with God before she came to earth) and that God knew us before we were born. This was done in front of hundreds of people. The bible does state that God knew us before we were born, but it does not state we knew Him before we were born and is considered a heresy. 4th There were 8 or 9 attempts to contact Mother Nadine or the leadership to no avail. I did my best to be respectful and courteous. There were no responses although I did get through to the sister who was second in charge and did receive return receipts from the post office. I was finally instructed by two well known priests who are on EWTN to leave and also to contact the archdiocese, which did let me know that the Intercessors were in error and that they woud be contacting Bellwether.(the Interccessors home) This was several years ago. I found them to be quite coercisive and controlling and were not open to the clear teachings of the Church, of introspection or of honest reponse to legitmate questioning.

    . The final thing I experienced was when a person who lived on or near the property of Bellwether told me directly that Mother Nadine prayed to deceased Indians to make sure it was ok for them to build on sacred Indian ground. I was shocked and repeated it back to make sure I heard right; it was confirmed that I heard correctly. Their discernment for others, could often violate free will and defy common sense. I also questioned who discerned their discernment since there were other things that were questionable and suggested back then that they set up an advisory board to scrutinize their revelations and teachings which are often made public. People have trusted them have been hurt and if they are vulnerable have been duped into believing that questioning or leaving is probably the work of the devil and is taking you out of the will of God. I cannot verbalize how damaging this was to me personally and others I have seen. It took me a long time to stop being afraid of God because of what was strongly emphasized in that community. I know they need prayer and I do pray for them but I am concerned. I have never blogged and probably never will again

    I also want to question a new formation that is being set up for priests at Creighton University which mirrors the methodology used by by the Intercessors of the Lamb. The retreat masters have been on television a couple of times. They talked about using journaling in a way that was more like a back and forth dialogue with God. They believe this will lead to clearer direction to intimacy with God for the prists and seminarians. My question is who discerns all of this? There was no indication of in depth training in spiritual direction and psychology. Of course there may be some merit and I don't want to be uncharitalbe, but it can be communication with God , the enemy or plain talking to yourself. Bellwether has been very active in Creighten University so I am very concerned for the seminarians and priests who are going there on retreat. I am not sure if it is wrong or right to post, but God's will should prevail and if they need to get their house in order, it should be brought out. Thank you for letting me post

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  25. Elizabeth10:09 PM

    Some years ago I was part of a lay group...even was in leadership as an Intercessor. Several things I experienced first hand. 1st heard Mother Nadine herself say she journaled with her body,but it did not answer her because she was not taking care of it. and she also said a person could journal with the kitchen table and imagine the memories it could share (I am sure I heard this and the journaling story with the body was repeated to me by one of the the nuns there) 2nd ran a retreat based on retreatants souls being with God before conception and having a relationship with Him before conception (Church teaching is souls are created at time of conception..and not before) 3rd journaling is the word of God. When I challenged this they had two responses. It was the persons own experience (one of the nuns talked about her conversations with God before she came to earth) and that God knew us before we were born. This was done in front of hundreds of people. The bible does state that God knew us before we were born, but it does not state we knew Him before we were born and is considered a heresy. 4th There were 8 or 9 attempts to contact Mother Nadine or the leadership to no avail. I did my best to be respectful and courteous. There were no responses although I did get through to the sister who was second in charge and did receive return receipts from the post office. I was finally instructed by two well known priests who are on EWTN to leave and also to contact the archdiocese, which did let me know that the Intercessors were in error and that they woud be contacting Bellwether.(the Interccessors home) This was several years ago. I found them to be quite coercisive and controlling and were not open to the clear teachings of the Church, of introspection or of honest reponse to legitmate questioning.
    . The final thing I experienced was when a person who lived on or near the property of Bellwether told me directly that Mother Nadine prayed to deceased Indians to make sure it was ok for them to build on sacred Indian ground. I was shocked and repeated it back to make sure I heard right; it was confirmed that I heard correctly. Their discernment for others, could often violate free will and defy common sense. I also questioned who discerned their discernment since there were other things that were questionable and suggested back then that they set up an advisory board to scrutinize their revelations and teachings which are often made public. People have trusted them have been hurt and if they are vulnerable have been duped into believing that questioning or leaving is probably the work of the devil and is taking you out of the will of God. I cannot verbalize how damaging this was to me personally and others I have seen. It took me a long time to stop being afraid of God because of what was strongly emphasized in that community. I know they need prayer and I do pray for them but I am concerned. I have never blogged and probably never will again
    I also want to question a new formation that is being set up for priests at Creighton University which mirrors the methodology used by by the Intercessors of the Lamb. The retreat masters have been on television a couple of times. They talked about using journaling in a way that was more like a back and forth dialogue with God. They believe this will lead to clearer direction to intimacy with God for the prists and seminarians. My question is who discerns all of this? There was no indication of in depth training in spiritual direction and psychology. Of course there may be some merit and I don't want to be uncharitalbe, but it can be communication with God , the enemy or plain talking to yourself. Bellwether has been very active in Creighten University so I am very concerned for the seminarians and priests who are going there on retreat. I am not sure if it is wrong or right to post, but God's will should prevail and if they need to get their house in order, it should be brought out. Thank you for letting me post

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