S. Mary Shaw, ASC

Recall, in the 60’s Religious Congregations were called to Adaptation…adjusting to the “changed conditions of the times.” Prefectae Caritatis says, “That even the best adjustments made in accordance with the needs of our age will be ineffectual, unless they are animated by a renewal of spirit.”  (Perfectae Caritatis, 10/28. 1965)  Important in this document was the call to all to ‘return to the original spirit of the institute’.   Sometimes, we feel we have done that…and to an extent we did for the time.  The “Yes” of each of us continues!

Fast forward to 2022 Ruma … beautiful acronym for Religious Under Major Adaptations.  The aging and sageing brings changes. Numbers begin to decrease and buildings are too massive to maintain for those living in them.   But the charism, the Crimson Stream, flows and continues to flow more than ever.  Oh, it is so vibrant!

The stream courses to the Benedictine Center. A center for those downsizing and ministering from their spirituality not buildings. Yes, each Sister, sharing the reality of life, blood and strength, anchored in the Precious Blood Charism and freely shared by all and with all. One could really name the movement, a Laudato Si’ Action Step…incarnated not intellectual.

Benedictine Center

Blood, Empowering Neighbors, Engaging Daily (in the deserts) In a Compassionate (community) Togetherness, Interdependent New Environment.

Center…Compassionate Encountering Nudgings Towards Each Resident.

That is a level of Adaptation and returning to the original spirit of the institute, that we haven’t experienced in a number of years.  It is drinking deeply of the ‘Cup’…but very transformative. It is living indeed from the essentials. Yes, the crimson stream still moves beyond that first dwelling place…for life is moving and far from stagnant.  It will continue to move until the last small rivulet merges with the Stream and all shall sing, “Glory be to Jesus”! Yes, he has clothed me in the garments of salvation, and wrapped me in the cloak of integrity” (Is. 61:10).  Adorers Rejoice as you continue to adapt and return the spirit of the Institute…greater than ever!

1 thought on “Ongoing Adaptation”

  1. My aunt, Sister Elizabeth Kolmer, is one of those that just moved from Ruma. Her life has centered around Ruma since she was 14 or 15…and this move is so hard/sad for us to reconcile. Elizabeth’s attitude is an example of the Order’s long held belief in always keeping an open heart to change and looking forward to what new paths are before them, I appreciate this acknowledgment of their journey and how the Benedictine Center can offer a new, fulfilling home.

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