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Thursday, January 8, 2009

"The Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd"

This is exciting news! While it is a small and humble beginning, news of the founding of a new women's community in France, the Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd, is interesting because it will apparently be one of the few (if not the only) women's community that is devoted to the Extraordinary Form AND is active in the world. There are quite a few cloistered/contemplative communities dedicated to the Extraordinary Form, but there are very few that are active in the world. There are certainly not any in the United States that I know of (someone please let me know if there are any). I have had the opportunity to speak with a priest in the U.S. that has talked about the need for such a community, and I certainly agree with him that I think there might be no shortage of vocations. Certainly there has to be a fair number of women in the United States that are drawn to the Extraordinary Form, feel God is calling them to religious life, but do not feel called to be cloistered. Think of all the communities in this country, prior to the Second Vatican Council, that only knew the Tridentine Mass and served the Church as teachers, nurses, and caretakers of the poor! Perhaps this will be option for these women sometime in the near future.

From Traditional Vocations Blog:

On 8th September, 2008, M. l'Abbé Philippe Laguérie, I.B.P., celebrated Mass in the small chapel of the Chateau of Arrou.

L'Abbé Laguérie, is the Moderator General of the Institute of the Good Shepherd. The Mass marked the foundation of the Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd, les Petites Soeurs du Bon Pasteur, something akin to the 'second order' of the Institute of the Good Shepherd.

The Little Sisters are seen above with M. l'Abbé Forestier, I.B.P., who is the Rector of the Institute's Seminary at Courtalain, during a pilgrimage made to the shrine of the Little Flower at Lisieux on 8th December, 2008. The formation of the Little Sisters is taking place at the Chateau of Arrou, which you can see below, not far from Courtalain, to the west of Chartres.

The sisters, now four in number, have come together to be formed in the spirit of the Institute of the Good Shepherd as apostolic sisters in accord with the vision of St. Vincent de Paul, the great Apostle of Charity.

Their beginnings, like those of the Good Shepherd, Himself, and like the beginnings of the works of St. Vincent de Paul, are humble and hidden.

However, they promise great things for the future. The Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd have entered upon an heroic journey to create a religious Institute, living the burning zeal of apostolic Charity while maintaining the great traditions, not only of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, but also that traditional religious life that was so often France's great gift to the Church.

Their website states that, as with the Institute of the Good Shepherd, itself, the proper Rite of the Little Sisters will be the Traditional Roman Rite contained in the Liturgical Books of 1962. May the good God grant them increase of holiness and increase of sisters!

Visit their website HERE.


Dante said...

WHY do we need any institutes of the "extraordinary form"? Doesn't the Vatican's designation of this liturgical form say enough: "extraordinary", as in not the ordinary, not the norm?

And don't you think that founding groups of the extraordinary form is working AGAINST a real liturgical reform in the Church? Those who love the holiness of the liturgy need to be in the ordinary" and "extraordinary" and see these two liturgical styles as of one piece. This way it all can become affected for the good like leaven in the dough.

Brad Watkins said...

Good question. I could give you numerous reasons why I think they are important and why they should exist, but none would be more important than the fact that most of the religious communities today that are dedicated to the Extraordinary Form were approved by or received the blessing of Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI - and have continued to recieve the support and blessings of Our Holy Father. I do not presume to be wiser than the successor to Peter, and trust that if he supports these communities and movements wholeheartedly and enthusiastically, we should as well.

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ESabeth said...

I have visited this foundation twice with view of discernment. The latest situation is as follows:

They are now not linked with the Institute of the Good Shepherd. Their bishop has asked them to change their name. They are now the little Sisters of the Mission of Holy Mary (Petite Soeurs de la Mission Sainte Marie). Sister can be contacted at missionsaintemarie@hotmail.fr

They are traditional apostolic with strong enphasis on the Holy Rosary and cathechism.