Sunday, August 30, 2009

Work Day at Cor Jesu

Satuday, August 29th, was a work day at our Cor Jesu Oratory and future Priory.
About twenty people, monastics, lay members, family members and a family that comes to our Sunday Extraordinary Form Mass helped us in various capacities to make the place ready for futher renovation.

They put in a full day of a lot of hard, grueling and dirty work.

God has blessed us with many who are willing to give their time and effort to make this future home of the Nazareth Community a reality.

We are looking for benefactors to assist us in the next stages of our renovation.

Log onto or for further information.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Living the Life of Nazareth

Sometimes people will ask, "What is your charism?"

I think this is a good question. In this day and age of so much confusion about consecrated life and religious life, it is important to have an adequate explanation.

The charism of our association is rooted in what we call the Nine Elements of Nazareth (take from the allocution of Pope Paul VI at Nazareth in 1964; you can find it in the Office of Readings for the Feast of the Holy Family in the Liturgy of the Hours): silence, contemplation, poverty, chastity, obedience, work, prayer, study and charity.

All our members live this spirituality according to their state in life.

As monastics, we live this according to the classical contemplative life in the spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict. Last September 8th, the Feast of the Birth of Mary, we began to wear a black scapular in honor of Saint Benedict. The Sacred Liturgy holds a "pride of place" along with sacred reading, lectio divina, and work.

We have a special work as monastics: the writing of sacred iconography. To share the fruits of our contemplation and to assist others in their journey to God we are committed to the Sacred Liturgy (in both Forms using Gregorian chant) and the writing of icons.

By our simple monastic life, we aspire "to live at the Heart of the Church, our Mother," in the words of Saint Therese of Lisieux.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's in a name?

Sacra Domus Nazarena...the Holy House of Nazareth.

This is the core and central charism of the Institute of Saint Joseph. We are a Public Association of the Christian Faithful (1998) in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, when he was our diocesan bishop, erected our association to this level so that we can officially live our charism as a recognized Catholic "public juridic person."

The name of this blog, Sacra Domus Nazarena, is the focal point of our spirituality, reminiscent of Blessed Charles de Foucauld and the Teresian Carmel: a place of simple, ordinary, hidden life with Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

I am superior of the monastic branch of this association, the so-called "fullness" of our association's spiritual life, the "heart" of our association of lay faithful, consecrated and married, and diocesan priests.

This blog is to be a record of our foundation; in particular, our renovation of the former Sacred Heart Parish in Edson, Wisconsin, graciously given to us by the pastor, Father Robert Nelson and parishioners, to be our permanent home, the site of our future priory for men and residence for our internal oblates (a Sister and diocesan priest). We have named this foundation Cor Jesu Oratory and Priory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

We live our monastic observance in the spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict, the Father of monasticism in the West, and our Constitutions which give us the particular spirit, nature and charism of our association. The Sacred Liturgy is of prime importance to us, especially in the monastic community. We celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite each Sunday and frequently throughout the week at our conventual Mass. But we also celebrate the Ordinary Form in both Latin and English, as well. We celebrate the Divine Office seven times each day and incorporate the Latin Gregorian chant into the English Office. Each Sunday we celebrate the Divine Office according to the 1962 Breviary in sung chant at Vespers.

We live our monastic life in a simple but dedicated manner. Our other secular members are committed to being "contemplatives in the world" and we are charged to be the "heart" of our association, as monastic life is to be for the Church.

What is in a name?

Hopefully, we will live more faithfully each day this call to Nazareth, a life dedicated to the Eucharistic Lord, His Holy Mother, and faithful Guardian.