Solitary Bird (solitarybird) wrote,
Solitary Bird

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The Plan

Updated January 3, 2008

Having determined that there are no Episcopal monastic communities of hermits I can join, I need to find a way forward. As of now, I am moving forward on two fronts simultaneously--finding out whether being in a religious order is an option, and, alternatively, finding a context in which to be a solitary.

I have only discovered two viable options in each front (and have eliminated one, see below).

  1. Religious Order
    1. Sisters of St. Gregory
      1. not contemplative - not eremitic - I don't live in a monastery
      2. I keep my job and apartment
        I eliminated this option, because their charism is just too different. They are all about working in the world and having a very visible presence. My calling is to a hidden vocation.
    2. Order of Julian of Norwich
      1. contemplative - not eremitic - I live in a small monastery
      2. I give up everything and live there
        For now I have eliminated this option; I know that I am not called to live in close-knit community, and truth be told, I don't want to wear a habit!
  2. Solitary
    1. Solitaries of DeKoven
      1. contemplative - eremitic - I don't live in a monastery (I think)
      2. I keep my job and apartment (I think)
        I am keeping this option on a back burner; although I think it's unlikely I'll end up there, it seems like it could be a viable alternative.
    2. Independent Solitary (profess vows before a bishop, without joining an order)
      1. contemplative - eremitic - I don't live in a monastery
      2. I keep my job and apartment
        This is the option I am currently pursuing as of January 2008; it just seems to make the most sense.

Well, technically there is another option, which is to become a Roman Catholic, in which case there would be several other religious orders available. But that ain't gonna happen.

I have inquiries in to the three organizations. OJN and SD will require visits to find out about them. I can meet with someone from SSG in New York.

In the meantime, I will progress with my to-do list which would apply to every option except 1b anyway. In the other three scenarios, I keep my job and apartment.

At this point, I've eliminated all the other 15 Episcopal women's orders from consideration -- or else they've eliminated me, by having an age limit (many won't take a newbie over 45, and I am about to turn 53). From my perspective, either they weren't at all contemplative, being focused on community and charitable service, or there was something about their charism that just didn't feel like a good fit.
Tags: hermits, monasticism, solitaries

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