Mother Delores Hart, a nun of Regina Laudis Abbey
and former movie star--her years in monastic life
have only increased her love for life--a good witness
of what religous faith is really about
As I said in my last posting, you want something to believe in—look to a L’Arche community. Look at a Franciscan bread-line or a Missionaries of Charity shelter for people with HIV/AIDS. Have you seen the Jesuit-sponsored Christo Rey academies that prepare poor children for scholarships to first-rate Catholic High Schools that will be springboards to education and out of poverty? Have you met any of the Little Sisters of the Poor and see how well they take care of the indigent aged? And there’s more. Go to Gethsemane Abbey, or Our Lady of the Genesee, or the nuns at Wrentham and see the Cistercian dedication to prayer and work—ora et labora. Do you know the Carmelite nuns at Baltimore, or Cleveland, or Alhambra—great women giving their lives in compassionate prayer for and with people in every sort of need. And then there is Catholic Relief Services and the outstanding work they do in Haiti, in Cambodia, in Guatemala and dozens of other countries around the world. Here in this country look at the services run by Catholic Charities—pregnancy centers, immigrant centers, job-training centers, food pantries, women’s shelters and much more. Have you ever visited a Catholic Worker House? Up in Buffalo New York there is a wonderful group of people running Saint Luke’s Mission of Mercy. In Alexandria Virginia we have Christ House. You want an intelligent discussion of the issues from a Catholic perspective—you are more likely to find it in America or Commonweal than you are in a letter read from the pulpit. Actually, at this point, the hierarchy has become little more than a millstone around the neck of American Catholicism—not because they are bishops but because of the sort of men who are most usually chosen for bishops. We need bishops—but we need bright men who are holy, who are humble, and who look and look attentively to the needs, the struggles, and the experience of their flocks rather than to the monsignoral desk jockeys who run the Vatican and hand out advancements based on institutional loyalty rather than the wisdom and compassion of a Shepherd’s heart.
There is a lot of attention these past few days about Delores Hart, a woman who gave up a promising career in Hollywood to become an enclosed Benedictinve Nun at Regina Laudis Abbey in Connecticut. I am not going to spend a lot of time on Mother Delores—you can google her. But a friend of mine sent me the attached link to an interview with her and I was impressed. Here is a woman who turned away from the glamor and glitz to search for God. When she speaks she has a lot to say. It isn’t harsh and condemnatory. It is frank and honest and yet so positive towards life and love and this world in which we live. I am not a fan of the Huffington post, but check out the video in this article. Here is someone that can speak for the Church so much better than whoever it is that writes those letters we keep getting read to us on Sunday mornings.