Sept 9 – Conversation Groups – The Regular Visitation

Our September Conversation Groups provided us with the opportunity to prepare for our upcoming Regular Visitation which will take place in a few weeks.  We were asked to consider a list of 14 important aspects of community and then share what we consider to be the three most important at this time, providing reasons for each choice and rank.  We also reflected upon and shared where we believe the Spirit has been active in our community since the last visitation and where we hope the Spirit will act in the next two years following this visitation.

The 14 aspects of monastic life we reflected upon were:

  1. The level of charity, obedience and unity in the community
  2. The spirit and celebration of the liturgy
  3. The balance between lectio, prayer and work
  4. Silence and separation from the world, and observance of enclosure
  5. Fidelity to live monastic ascesis in evangelical poverty and simplicity
  6. Hospitality and apostolate
  7. The service of the various officers
  8. The functioning of the various councils
  9. The financial condition of the monastery and its temporal administration
  10. The quality of initial and ongoing formation
  11. The relationship with the absent brothers and the foundations
  12. The state of the physical health of the community
  13. The relationship with the Order
  14. The relationship with the local Church

Conversation Groups (CG)

The purpose of the CGs is to provide a forum where the brothers “come together to listen to the Spirit speaking through one another,” to foster skills of good communication that will promote mutual understanding and trust (Gdlns 2), and to provide the superior with the data he needs for taking decisions with foresight and fairness by the brothers humbly and honestly expressing their views (RB 3)