Saturday, May 14, 2011

Church, Chapter and Service: Crosier Concerns

The Crosiers meeting in Provincial Chapter from June 8 – 17, 2011 at Onamia, MN, will have the task to set direction for the next three years of Crosier life in the Province of St. Odilia.  The Chapter charges its elected delegates from the two Priories of Onamia and Phoenix and the Proprovince of Wahyu Salib in Papua with this task.

The News and Forum is a pre-Chapter bulletin with articles of interest written by members of the Chapter.  I have written an article with reflections on three very basic themes of the Crosier Constitutions, namely, the Order’s relationship with the Church, the Order’s “capitular vocation” and the Orders strong orientation to service.  You can read article by clicking on this link: Church, Chapter, Service.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Annual Giving: Crosier Apostolate

The Crosier Apostolate is the Annual Giving Program of the American Province of St. Odilia.  Its goal is to provide a regular source of funding for Crosier life and mission.

Members may enter at the $100-a-year or higher levels.  Benefits include, among other things, daily prayer by the Crosiers for members' intentions and invitations to participate in special events with the Crosier community.

Click on the first link below to read the substance of a homily I gave at the Masses at St. Andrew Parish in Chandler, AZ, this past weekend to invite parishioners to join the Apostolate.  The second and third links are the informational brochure given to persons interested in becoming members.
Apostolate Homily  
Brochure p 1  
Brochure p 2

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Recruiting Community: Jester of God

The Crosier Community as Recruiter

Blessed Junípero Serra, S.J., the founder of the missions in Mexico and California, is the patron saint of the Serrans, a national organization of Catholic men in the U.S., dedicated to vocation ministry.

The jester is the medieval equivalent of our modern-day clown. The jester shows up in unusual dress and creatively attracts attention to ordinary human experience, causing both light-heartedness and reflection. Is that not how we must be in our recruitment efforts today?

So much of our vocational approach seems old and worn out. Perhaps we need to learn from the “jester of God” how to appear before the world of potential candidates in new ways that touch their sensibilities, hold their attention and attract their spirits to us. This will mean innovation. How can we become more of the innovative “jester of God” in our Crosier vocational efforts?

In the graphic above, the Crosier “jester of God” enters the scene in distinctive costume (charism), his consecration symbolized in his three-tasseled hat (vows). He holds up a mirror for others to see the deepest meaning of the human experience (Paschal Mystery).

The thumb on his right hand points upward as he draws the crowd behind him into a dance toward the better place (Kingdom). His gestures genuinely and compassionately embrace the suffering society around him (service). He is evidently a "coach" for passage towards hope.

He shows himself first and foremost to be brother, sharing life with others of like spirit, his heart beating with Augustinian inspiration (community). He is a celebrator, sure-footed and spiritually free, even contemplative in his joy over salvation from God (liturgy). Is this not the "jester of God" vocationally interested people today can identify with?

For a fuller reflection on Crosier recruitment, click this link: Reflections and Convictions

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crosier Vocations: An Open Letter

The Crosier Province will meet in Provincial Assembly and Chapter at Onamia MN from June 5 - 17, 2011, with the theme "Living Foundations . . . These Stones Will Shout."  The Assembly will be an opportunity for all the members of the Province to pray and speak with one another about the challenges and blessings of the last ten years in the "Decade of Transformation" and through the implementation of "Vision 2010."  The Assembly will use a method of reflection called C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E, inspired by the Confessions of St. Augustine.   The Provincial Chapter, whose task is to give direction to the next three years of Crosier life in the U.S., will focus on discerning the best strategies for continuing the renewal of Crosier life.  A critical area that will be under consideration is the recruitment and formation of candidates. 

The vocation scene in the Church and in our country is evolving.  Vocations are out there.  It is important for us to be in touch with the aspirations and sensibilities of men today who are exploring a call to religious life, a call to Crosier life.  There is always room for confidence in an Order that was once reduced to four old members in two communities in Holland in the mid-1800's. 

As a contribution to the discussion, I wrote an article called "An Open Letter to the Crosiers from Your Potential Candidate."  It is based on what I have heard about the potential candidate today and what I imagine is going on in his heart and mind.  If you would like to read the "Open Letter," please click on the following link:  Open Letter

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Crosier Spiritual Exercises

The CROSIER SPIRITUAL EXERCISES are a spiritual method and discipline that come out of the 800-year-old tradition of Crosier religious life.  Inspired by the Paschal Mystery of Jesus, the Exercises lead you thoughtfully and prayerfully through your experiences of the Cross toward real personal transformation.
All of us want make a bigger difference in our world.  You search for your part in God’s plan.  But there is always the Cross.  Is it an obstacle or an opportunity? 
The CROSIER SPIRITUAL EXERCISES help you know God better in the sometimes difficult circumstances of your personal life.  They help you see in your crosses a path to a holier and more committed Christian life.  The Exercises help you become freer for what God calls you to be and do.
Through self-reflection, guided prayer and the accompaniment of a skilled “cross-coach,” the Exercises aid you to face suffering courageously.  The Exercises invite you to embrace the Cross, which always gives promise of healing, more abundant life, greater freedom and deeper hope.  As a result of the transformation that the Paschal Mystery brings, you are better able to serve the advancement of the Kingdom of God. 
The Exercises lead you through four spiritual movements.
1.  The first movement, called Via-Sacris, describes the "Holy Way" that the Cross in your life invites you to go.  You will understand more about the Christian journey from Baptism to the Kingdom of God.  You will have the opportunity to deepen your conviction about embracing the Paschal Mystery of Jesus as your way to new life on that journey.
2.  The second movement is called Calvaria, the "Place of the Skull."  It will help you name your cross more exactly and learn more about its meaning for your life.  You will identify at least one significant experience of the Cross, a "skull-place" at this time in your life, to work through in the remaining two movements of the Exercises.
3. The third movement, In-Tenebris, "In the Darkness," will accompany you in the darkness and abandonment we all know as part of suffering.  You will explore your cross more fully through self-reflection, prayer and conversation with your cross-coach.  You will see your "skull-place" more clearly, understand your struggle with it better and begin to see the reasons for hope in your situation.
4.  The fourth movement is called Pax-Vobis, Jesus' Easter greeting of peace to his disciples.   Here you will begin to know, in a new way, God’s gift of resurrection through the experience of the Cross.  You will recognize new life, celebrate it with joy and see how you can be a witness of hope to others you know who are suffering.

If you would like more information about the Exercises, please contact me at  To see the full text of the CROSIER SPIRITUAL EXERCISES, please click on the following link:  Crosier Spiritual Exercises

Monday, April 25, 2011


This blog is dedicated to reflection on the Gospel and on religious life.  It aims to provoke thought and deepen commitment.