Saturday, February 5, 2022

We continue and persevere. We have 14 Highland cattle going into autumn here in New Zealand. 

Plain Catholics have been on the internet (minimally) since 2007: 15 years. We still avoid social media as much as possible. We choose to focus on real life and real relationships with God and each other.

We continue to get queries from a number of places. All of them, politely and not-so-politely, insist we should form a community. As we have answered, Plain Catholics have never had a community. We are individual families with farms and ranches. This remains our charism and those Plain Catholics who have remained in contact all say that community is not a part of that charism. We are quite simply, not called to community. 

There are too many variables involved in forming such a community venture, variables that would take up too much time from family which is a focus for us. Re the logistics of forming and maintaining a Catholic community:

  • Land is far too expensive to support a number of families. 
  • Then there is the Rule of Life that would be necessary. Which one would be used to maintain harmony in a community of families? 
  • Which model is suitable to Catholic living? The Hutterites (who arguably have one of the most successful communitarian models) have a common heritage of traditions and culture. Plain Catholic families come from many different cultures, many different traditions.
  • Who would lead such a community? A priest? A lay leader? A deacon? An abbot?
Lay affiliation to a monastery is the closest that lay Catholics of any charism have come to having a lay community. These families such as Oblates of St. Benedict follow the rule of the monastery but own their own home and land. They do have a common lifestyle such as farming and ranching. They come from many different backgrounds with a variety of jobs in addition to farming and ranching. 

As has been noted, creating a communitarian type of charism does not fit the Plain Catholic charism. Plain Catholics can and do affiliate with monasteries but that is a parish type of relationship with the monastic community providing the sacraments.

If a single person is called to community we encourage that person to first explore the possibility of religious life in a monastic or convent type of community. There are many options from which to choose:
Active ministry
Active/contemplative ministry
Contemplative ministry
Missionary

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