Saturday, 5 September 2009

Spiritual Mothers' National reports: Spain; Italy; Australia

Our blog has only one direct contact in Spain and she is a 'hidden' mother of priests. However, without disturbance to her own interior life, she has been working quietly and steadily behind the scenes and trying to find out what response there has been in Spain to Cardinal Hummes' pleas for 'feminine souls' to offer themselves to the Church as 'consecrated' spiritual mothers of priests.

The general picture seems to be that there are many women both lay and religious who have been privately living out their spiritual motherhood for years. They are often actual mothers of priests, or their sisters; or they live their spiritual motherhood as part of their professed lives as cloistered nuns. (Some Orders that she mentions are: Poor Clares, Slaves of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of the Immacualte, and Capuchin Franciscans.) It is a joy for us to know that these hidden mothers are there in Spain, but so far, it does not seem that Cardinal Hummes' document has resulted in widespread knowledge of the call expressed within it.

On the other hand, she has found one actual group of 'mothers' and its members have agreed to see if they can find out more about what may be going on in other dioceses of Spain.

As our friend points out, August is not a good month because many bishops and priests are away. Anyway, she has assured me that she will not give up, and I'm sure you'll all want to join me in thanking her for the information she has already provided, and to send her the assurance of our prayers for her, and for the success of future enquiries.

Another country where we have only one contact. She is fluent in English so is going to be a great help to us. At the moment she is out of Internet connection and in the meantime is going to try and connect from her parish.

She tells me: "Our initiative of spiritual motherhood is tied to the fraternity 'Two Hearts' to which I belong. Our image of spiritual motherhood is to Bethany and has the faces of Mary and Martha. On the one hand, it seeks to take care of priests by offering them materially the warmth of a family.....on the other hand there is a listening to what priens want to say and share about their lives. Furthermore, we pray for the healing of the priests wounded in body and spirit. We are praying for some seminarians and boys in vocational discernment to the religious life."

We will all look forward to hearing more about the Fraternity, and perhaps some detail as to how widespread it is in Italy.

That reminds me. I have a priest friend in Rome and have been meaning to contact him for days. He may be able to tell us what's going on there.

Spiritual Mothers here are in New South Wales and Queensland. They have reported as knowing of some very good initiatives in these States, not many but a few worth mentioning. I am promised more detail soon. In the meantime our main contact has seven children of her own as well as being a spiritual mother of priests. We will be patient!!

Thank you again to all these Sisters in Christ who have made this report possible.

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