Societas Mariae, Mater Consolationem
The Society of Mary, Mother of Consolation
The One Holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ
The Anam Cara Episcopate (Diocese) of St. James and St. Mary
The Celtic Catholic Church of the Americas
Consolatur me, Domini, et fiat ad me Secundum Verbum Tuum
(Console me O Lord, and let it be done unto me according to thy Word)
First and foremost, we are on our journey through this world constantly seeking to emulate the life of Christ, in bringing his message to all we meet by our words and actions. We are a Society of religious brothers, deacons, priests, and lay associates. We belong to the one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic faith of Jesus Christ as handed down to The Celtic Catholic Church of the Americas. We are not associated with the Roman Catholic Church or under the authority of the Roman Pontiff. The words given to us by Saint Paul in the book of Colossians chapter one verse ten tells us, “..that we walk in a manner in the knowledge of the Lord.” These are words that every Consolationist keeps close to his heart. We strive to also follow the words we read in the book of Romans chapter twelve verses one and two, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” As a member of this Society, we strive daily to live out the gospels and the precepts of the church, especially through constant prayer and the service we do to others who are disenfranchised and outcasted by society.
The Society is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Consolation. We are dedicated to living out our community life amongst the people of God to better ourselves in being the presence of hope to the sick, the poor, the dying, and those rejected by society. As we are the consolation others need, we live out our calling to be Consolationist.
SPIRIT OF INCLUSION:
All men and women are welcome into our midst, and all those who seek us out shall be welcomed with open arms. We strive to embrace the command of Christ recorded in the Gospel of John, chapter thirteen verse thirty-four, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
MARY OUR WAY, MARY OUR LIFE:
That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” We are inclusive in our way of life, opening our hearts and distancing ourselves from the stereotypes of the world. As members of this Society, we strive to eliminate discrimination and to stand up to injustice wherever and whenever we can.
The devotion to Mary the Mother of Consolation began in the second century, which by tradition that Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine who in her moment of anxiety and hopelessness over the life of debauchery that her son Augustine led, was visited by the Blessed Mother. In order to console her, Our Lady removed her sash and presented it to Saint Monica assuring her son would repent of his care fee ways and that, also, whoever wore the sash would receive her special consolation and protection. Therefore, we strive to emulate the life of Our Lady of Consolation, being her sash in this world which is so ridden by injustice and discrimination, poverty, and war. Many souls are seeking consolation where there is seemingly none. It is the vowed duty of a Consolationist to step in and offer the individual consolation.
By Mary’s virtue, she was the first to receive the Gospel. Mary was the first missionary and the temple from which the Gospel came forth. The angel said unto Mary, “Greeting, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you.” And by such virtue, she also is our mother and consoler, our guide on this journey through life. We also strive to emulate the humility of this Great Lady, allowing the Holy Spirit and the will of the Lord to direct our paths, knowing and trusting in His mercies, and believing wholeheartedly that in all things the Lord knows best. We accept Mary into our lives and allow her virtues to transcend upon us and to mold us so that we can truly be faithful disciples of the Lord. It was Mary who first trusted the Lord and in her is a model for all to follow. She is indeed the perfect example of what a believer in Christ should be.
Therefore, like Mary and with Mary as our way, we strive to live meaningful and dedicated lives adhering to Christ and to the Gospel by bringing consolation to the poor, the sick, the immigrant, the prisoner, the hospitalized, the downtrodden and the dying. And like our Blessed Mother, we herald, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled!”
The habit should not be a badge of honor or a means to lord ourselves over others. But a garment is worn to remind us always that we are first and foremost servants of the Lord and his people. The habit reminds us that we have put away our old selves and our old lives and that we strive now to be Disciples of Christ, preachers of the gospel, and ministers to the people.
OUR RULE OF LIFE:
As a light piercing the darkness, The Society of Mary Mother of Consolation is a vanguard advancing the hope of new evangelization through unswerving witness to the Gospel so that Christ and his Church may be known and loved. Keeping prayer as our first point of contact with our Lord, we allow the formation given to us by our Lord to be authentic and transformative.
The Society is a spiritual fellowship whose members are bound to one another in love and prayer. The Society strives to be a model of personal growth and missionary engagement that draws its being from the great missionaries who have gone before us.
Our primary Apostolate is being missionaries at home, serving in parish life, preaching the Gospel, serving the poor and the marginalized, with an emphasis on the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation guided by Christ’s universal call to love and Mary’s fiat, we dedicate our lives to the work of building God’s kingdom.
A Consolationist can serve the community in any form that the Society and individual find appropriate. Consolationists are called to be Christ’s beaming light in the world, answering the call to serve everyone, everywhere, and every time.
We are a religious and clerical society.
We sanctify our members through the Eucharist and Reconciliation, and we bring God’s people to him by living out the examples left for us by Christ.
Our apostolate defines the Society while focusing on bringing consolation to others. Our call to be a consolation to others may be undertaken among those without faith or those who are in deep neglect. The primary apostolate of the Society is that of serving those who need to be consoled. We are also to work closely with the bishop in staffing parishes and discerning other areas of need such as hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, etc.
Our work should be that of one with the spirit and heart of a missionary. We shall give God’s love and the consolation of the Blessed Mother through the preaching we do and the pastoral care we provide to those in need. We will be devoted to the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother.
Members of the Society will be strongly encouraged to spend time each day before the Blessed Sacrament outside the mass to deepen their relationship with Christ and to recite the rosary to draw us closer to the Blessed Mother while teaching us to meditate on the lives of Christ and Mary where we find our direction and guidance.
Our members consecrate themselves to Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother every year on the last Saturday of October which will be the recognized feast day of our Society.
We will require our members to take part in mental prayer daily and to daily make an examination of conscience.
Founded on October 26, 2019
First Abbots Consecrated June 13, 2020
Our Vows of Commitment, Poverty, Chastity, Obedience, and Stability define who and what a Consolationist is. We strive to live out the evangelical counsels with our old traditions given to us by the Apostles through progressive thought.
Religious Commitment - “To this end, I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” Colossians 1:29. Committed to the Gospel and to serving God’s people, devoted to his calling that even in despondent times we may call out to Him to give us the strength to continue. By a vow of commitment, we devote ourselves to the living out of our consecrated lives, the living of the Gospel and ministry to God’s people. We commit that despite our imperfections, like gold refined in the fire, we may remain steadfast to the calling that He has placed within our hearts. Like Mary the Blessed Mother, we commit ourselves to the fullness therein that is God, allowing his Blessed Son to work through our imperfections, so that we may be illuminated by his love.
Religious Poverty - A Consolationist is not bound from owning materiel items, having money, vehicles, and property. A Consolationist lives out his vow of poverty by living out his life from the examples given to us by Christ in the Gospels. When the call to console another comes, we are to respond with the love of Christ. As a society, we aim to live our lives of religious poverty not by open pretentious displays of glorious acts, but rather in the way we administrate and utilize the gifts and blessings that come to us. In so doing, we cultivate a spirit of humility and detachment from the material things that chain our souls to earth. And like Mary we remember, “He hath brought the mighty down from their thrones and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, but the rich he has sent away empty.”
Religious Chastity - Though Christ is our main focus and primary relationship, a Consolationist is not required to live out a single state. Religious Chastity as seen by the Society is referring to modesty. A Consolationist is called to love unconditionally the people of God. If a Consolationist enters the Society as a married person, the Consolationist is to be chaste within his or her vows to his or her spouse. A Consolationist shall not commit adultery. For those who wish to pursue married life, the individual must strive to remember that marriage is a sacrament in and of itself and that it must be lived with devotion and holiness, aiming to let the direction of the Spirit speak through the spouses’ consecrated union. “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” Colossians 3:14. Let then your union shine forth as a beacon of love, and as a symbol by which others can follow. For marriage unto itself is a ministry, and so let it not be entered into with haste but with the right intentions which are to serve and honor the glory of God. The breaking of marriage vows by a Postulant or Novice (without sufficient cause or reason) will result in immediate removal from the Society. A Consolationist who enters the Society as a single person is not required to remain a single person. Consolationists who are single are allowed to date; however, a Consolationist will not live a life of immorality. (If a Consolationist chooses to live a single life under the traditional definition of chastity, the Society will guide the Consolationist and discern with him what this call means and will grant the Consolationist his wish. If at a later date the Consolationist wishes to be removed from the vow, the Society and individual will again discern and grant or deny his or her wish.)
Religious Obedience - Christ submitted to the will of his Father to give up himself upon the Cross so as to serve as the salvation of man. And even before him, Our Blessed Lady, responded to the Lord, “Let it be done unto me according to thy Word.” By this vow we give of ourselves willingly and without reservation to God and to his service, allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us and to direct us to where we are most needed. As members of this Society, we will be called upon for service and to utilize skills and talents that we may not see within ourselves. It is by and through religious obedience that we recognize the working of the Spirit and acknowledge and accept with a willing heart the tasks we are called to. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” Galatians 5:13. Religious Obedience reminds us that although we are free, we must listen and open our hearts to the moving of the spirit so that we must be willing to listen to the teachings of our abbots and the Society. The Society will guide the Consolationist in living out the Society’s charism, apostolate, and the Consolationist’s own apostolate. Within this vow, accountability is held to high standards.
Religious Stability - As Consolationists, we are called to perpetually profess our lives to God in the Society of Mary, Mother of Consolation. Upon perpetual vows, a Consolationist is a life member of the Society. As such, in all things, those who are perpetually professed are called to live out their way of life in all that they do, whether one has dedicated himself solely to religious or secular life. A Consolationist who has professed stability with the Society and all Consolationists at large will see and assist the community through its growth. In so doing we remember the words of Philippians 1: 27, “ Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel.”
The doors to The Society of Mary, Mother of Consolation are open to all people. This Our Society welcomes men who are married, single, divorced, heterosexual, homosexual, and transgendered. Those seeking entry into our community will be asked to be a baptized Christian, make a profession of faith to that of one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ, and to embrace the vows and lifestyle of the Society. Vocations to our Society can be made as professed lay associates, professed men and women religious, and the professed religious becoming ordained as permanent deacons or priests.
All seeking entrance into this Society either as laity of those seeking Holy Orders must meet the requirements laid forth in The Canons of The Celtic Catholic Church of the Americas.
Those seeking to be lay associates need only to contact Abbot Jordan or Abbot Lennard and the process will begin. Lay associates will be members of the Society under simple vows that can be released from at any time the member wishes to depart membership. All members of the Society will be missionaries serving God’s people and bringing them closer to Christ. Lay associated members will be given formation. Lay associated members are not required to be presented before a vocations panel for approval and meet general requirements as set forth in the Canons of The Celtic Catholic Church of the Americas.
CONSIDERING THE CONSOLATIONIST – Laity, Religious Brother or Sister, Deacon, Priest:
Some signs of a vocation as a Consolationist include but it are not limited to individuals possessing and feeling a deep love for Christ, a desire to preach the Gospel, a love and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament (The Holy Eucharist), a devotion to the Blessed Mother, fidelity to the church or who has a zeal for the salvation of souls and service to others. Many writers on the subject of the vocations postulate say that it is a calling, a gift from the Spirit that is fostered by prayer, dialogue, and formation as one seeks the path to which the Lord is leading him.
During the formation process and dialogue, it is our hope to incorporate and utilize the talents of all members in promoting the work that we do. God in his wisdom has endowed us all with many gifts, and as Consolationists, we believe that every gift can be used for the building and glorifying of the kingdom of God.
Inquiring is the first step for entry into the Society of Mary, Mother of Consolation. To inquire, you meet with a Vocation Director and discuss your vocation. This is a time in which the Vocation Director will get to know more about the individual and determine as to whether or not his/her vision aligns with that of the Society. If it is found that the applicant is eligible, he/she will be presented to the Society for candidacy.
After received into candidacy, the applicant is accepted into the Society as a candidate. During this phase, the individual will delve more fully into the mission of the Society and will strive to incorporate the Society’s way of life into his own. Part of this process will include living in a community with other religions and in sharing our lives. However, at this time, we understand that distance can and will be an issue for most, therefore living in prayer with frequent communication and conversation will suffice for now.
After candidacy, the candidate, if he wishes to enter the Society, will petition the Society’s Abbots for Postulancy. A postulant will be considered a student—one who is learning and will be expected to participate fully in the work that the Society does. During this period, the postulant will strive to learn and live out the values of the Society, engaging in prayer, reflection, and ministry. The postulants will begin to learn more fully the values and charism of the society and discern more fully as to how they may be able to integrate their own skills and talents in promoting these values. It is also a time of intense prayer, when the individuals, under the direction of the Formation Rector, will seek to know themselves more fully and allow the Spirit to direct their steps. Postulancy is also a time of living in a community, of learning to function as a family and fostering the spirit of kinship. At a midway point during the postulancy, the postulant will profess his temporary vows as a member of The Society of Mary, Mother of Consolation.
After having professed temporary vows, the brother is now a member of the Society and enters into the Novitiate. The Novice enters more deeply into the life of the Society by prayer, reflection, and study. This is also a time when the Novice will explore various ministries and work among the needy. At this phase, the Novice will be expected to take on a more active role within the Society as he continues discernment. The novitiate program will be directed by the Novitiate Director, and it is the prerogative of the director to determine the process of formation for Novices. At this juncture, a novice seeking Ordination will begin preparations for completing the necessary studies. At the end of the novitiate process, the individual will be asked if he is ready to profess perpetual vows. After thoughtful prayer and reflection, an individual who believes that he is being led by God to enter into the Society shall write a letter of petition to the Society asking for perpetual vows.
An individual who, after sufficient prayer and reflection, feels that he is ready to fully commit to the Society may petition the Society to profess perpetual vows. All professions of vows, temporary and perpetual, will take place on the Feast of Our Lady of Consolation. Then before the Society and all present, the individual will state his intention to profess vows. The abbots will affirm the individual’s wish and will then proceed to accept his vows. Therein, before the Society and God’s people, the individual shall be reminded as to the meaning of the vows he wishes to profess. Upon profession of his vows, the individual will be clothed in the habit and will receive the mission cross and medal of our Lady of Consolation. He shall also receive the rules for living within the Society. After the profession of vows, the Professed will be welcomed into the Society by all the Professed present. A professed member of the Society must live according to the values set forth and must despite his imperfections strive to be a light in the darkness for all those he may encounter. Bearing in mind always that such profession of vows is not to the Society or one’s abbots but to the Almighty himself. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to live out these vows for the greater glory of God and his Church.
All candidates must meet the requirements lay forth in the Canons of The Celtic Catholic Church of the Americas. Any member of the society under perpetual vows may be ordained.
ASSOCIATES TO THE SOCIETY OF MARY, MOTHER OF CONSOLATION:
Lay individuals wishing to participate in the life of the Society of Mary, Mother of Consolation are welcome to become professed as Associates. Associates will live out the values of the Society and will strive to emulate such values in their daily and secular lives. A lay associate can be a member of any denomination.
Individuals seeking to become associates will contact any member of the Society and will be directed to the Associate Director. The inquirer will be presented with information on the Society, our way of life and charism. He or she shall also explore the various projects and ministries undertaken by the Society and will be encouraged to participate or support such activities as best as he or she can. The inquirer will also strive to become acquainted with members of the Society, both religious and Associates. They are encouraged through their daily lives to continually enrich their spiritual lives through prayer and service to others and to seek to promote the message of justice and inclusivity by which the Society adheres. At such time, when the inquirer feels that he/she is ready to make a commitment to the Society, they shall apply to become an Associate of the Society of Mary, Mother of Consolation.
1 Peter 4:10 states, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Christ has bestowed upon each of us that which makes us unique; therefore, each must allow the Holy Spirit to use these gifts for the glory of God and the enrichment of his people and his church.
As followers of Christ, we strive to enrich his church to build it up and open its doors to all who come. Through our prayers, works of mercies and celebration of the Eucharist, we strive to advocate for inclusion.
As Missionaries of the Word and bearers of Consolation, we dedicate our lives to ministering the Gospel, bringing the Word and Christ’s teachings to those who yearn for them and to those who turn away. Not only through the spoken word, but through the very example of our lives. Let every thought and action be directed towards the glory of God, to be a light for his people. Daily, we strive to live out the words of our motto, Consolamini me, Domini, et fiat ad me Secundum verbuum tuum – Console me, Lord, and be it done unto me according to thy word. As members of this Society, we strive to stand up for justice and against discrimination, being inclusive of all people.
WHERE WE SERVE:
Members of the Society serve in their hometowns. Currently, it is only in the United States that our Society serves with professed members. We will venture out as our Society grows. We do, however, welcome all persons from around the world who want to make an oblation to the Society as a layperson.