Thank you for your request for information about the Visitation
way of life; we are happy to send this brief description of
our community. We are very pleased to have a chance to tell
you about our vocation.
The Visitation Order was founded almost 400 years ago in Annecy,
France, by Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane de Chantal.
It is a cloistered order, committed to an apostolate of prayer
and characterized by a spirit of humility and gentleness.
There are no severe corporal penances such as fasts, long
periods of prayer at night, sleeping on boards, and so forth.
Because of the lack of external austerities, a greater emphasis
is placed upon purity of intention, charity, patience, and
control of one's inclinations, self-will, and feelings. It
is a life "hidden with Christ in God" and quite
ordinary in the eyes of men.
We pray the Divine Office, observe papal enclosure, wear the
traditional habit, and live the common life which consists
of praying, working, recreating and eating together.
The first community in this country was founded in 1799 in
Georgetown, Washington, D. C. At present, throughout the United
States, there are monasteries engaged in various apostolic
works which are compatible with the monastic life, including
spiritual direction, providing altar breads, and maintaining
spiritual centers for the diocese. Here in Mobile we supply
altar breads to parishes in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi,
and operate a retreat house whose facilities are used by men,
women, and young people for retreats, workshops, meetings,
and days of recollection.
Requirements for admission into the order are basically the
same as those of any religious congregation.
AGE - 18 - 60 years of age
EDUCATION - At least completion of high school, and preferably
a couple of years of college or work experience.
HEALTH - Reasonably good physical, mental, and emotional health;
sufficient stamina to bear the burdens and carry out the
duties of the religious state.
SPIRITUAL - Practicing Catholic, baptized and confirmed;
frequent reception of the Sacraments; an attraction for prayer
and spiritual reading; a desire to serve God and others, an
appreciation of the value of self-sacrifice, humility, and
gentleness; and a desire to sanctify one's life through the
practice of poverty, chastity, and obedience lived in community.
|Work includes household chores, laundry, cooking, sewing,
gardening, caring for the infirm, clerical work, etc.
Study concentrates on the meaning of the religious life, the
vows, common life, history and spirit of the order, scripture,
theology, spirituality, and the writings of the founders.
We hope this information will answer some of your questions
about the Visitation vocation. If there is anything else you
would like to know, call and ask, and we will do our best to
reply. We will be looking forward to hearing from you again.
Until then, may God love and keep you.
VISITATION MONASTERY, 2300 Spring Hill Avenue,
Mobile, Alabama 36607-3202,
FAX (251) 476-9761