Stella Maris Contemplatives (Cloisterites)

Foundational Update

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December 2011
The novices made their temporary promises before their own altars, and the Nova was promoted to Postulant.
There has been a slight change in the habit.  A long, red, tasseled cincture will be worn with the tassels on the right side, since the rosary is worn on the left.  Further research has indicated that Blessed Emilie wore a long blue tasseled cincture on her habit.  We do so in imitation of her, but combine this with the devotion to the Precious Blood.
The white garment which is the basis of the Cloisterites' eremitical habit is representative of the alb, since religious life is a deepening of the baptismal promises.

June 2011
As mentioned, 'Vena Cava' is our new entrance process.  The present members of the charism came from discerners who had been with Cloister Outreach since we came online in 2002.  We are now requiring that those who seek entrance to the Cloisterite Hermits have been in discernment for several years, and have either not been attracted, or rejected from, established communities before seeking membership with us.
We also require that discerners work with Gemma and Cloister Outreach on their yahoo groups in some fashion.  After at least a year of active participation as a Discerner-Cooperator, participation as a Lay Cloisterite will be required.
Membership to the yahoo group Vena Cava will also be required.  Here, the discerner/aspirant will be able to ask questions of both Gemma and the Cloisterite hermit who is being trained as Novice Mistress.  Gemma will send an invitation to the discerner/aspirant when both parties feel the aspirant is ready.
We have also started a new blog:
This blog is read-only.  Comments and questions will have to be emailed directly to Gemma.  We were forced to do this due to defamatory comments left on our other blogs and internet outlets by irresponsible parties who failed to contact Gemma directly with their concerns.

January 2011
One of the Novas, who was attracted to the Contemplatives of Life, has since discerned that she is to become a diocesan hermit with her own plan of life, based on Teresian-Paulacrucian spirituality.  She is still receiving vocational assistance from Cloister Outreach.
Our entrance process has been amended, and named Vena Cava.  One will now be required to be a Discerner-Cooperator (D-C) for Cloister Outreach for a year's duration; then be a Lay Cloisterite for the second year.  At the end of the second year, they may be received as a hermit Nova.  More details are on the blog.
The next aspirant band will be received as Discerner-Cooperators (D-C) on the First Sunday of Advent 2011.  If interested, please email Gemma.

October 2010
Preparations are being made for the postulants to become novices on November 21.  The basis of the Cloisterite habit is the white alb, worn by baptized Christians.  When a postulant becomes a novice, they receive the light blue Carthusian-style scapular, red cord cincture, Precious Blood pendant, and 20-decade light blue and white rosary with budded crucifix.  The white tiechel worn during the Novaship is retained for the novice year.  The black tiechel is kept in case of funerals.
A 4-member aspirant band (as of this writing) will be accepted as Novas at the same time.  Aspirants are required to become Lay Cloisterites until they are received as Novas.  The main purpose for membership in the Secular Reparatrixes is to familiarize them to the spirituality, and for greater empathy toward those in the lay state, should the hermit receive directorship of the lay branch as an "obedience."
This year's aspirant band includes the first male, who will be heading up the gentlemen's branch of the charism.  Two of the four aspirants are from Canada.
Resources continue to be assembled for the sake of those who have found their peace and joy in this charism.
The Cloisterite Hermits are also in the process of taking over some web operations of Cloister Outreach.  One has received the message board as her Obedience.  Two are working on a blogsite as their Obediences, where the three main websites will be published: Cloister Outreach; Cloisterites (all branches); and the Lay Cloisterites.  One hermit already monitors the prayer requests board.
Discerners will be received as aspirants until October 21, a month before the Novaship begins.

February 2010
After making their novena prayer on November 21, the Novas donned their black Postulant garb.   They now have their religious names, and are using them on the yahoo group.
Gemma's mother then passed on January 5.  The family computer sustained heavy damage in a cyber attack not long after that.  Cloister Outreach was offline for a month.  Gemma had access to only the email and yahoo groups via BlackBerry during that time.
One Canadian woman was accepted on February 7 (World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life) as a Cloisterite Hermit aspirant, and is a white-cord Lay Cloisterite until November.
Two other women--both non-annulment divorcees--were accepted as grey-cord Lay Cloisterites.  One has plans to enter the Cloisterite Hermit aspirancy once her circumstances change.  The other is a Benedictine Oblate desiring a more structured prayer life.  The daily dedications appealed to her.
The "Cloisterite Resources" page was added at the end of the navigation bar on this website.
We are presently studying the "Conferences of St. John Cassian" for Lent.  Novitiate plans are being made.  Habit sources are being secured. 

November 2009
The Novas are preparing for their pre-postulancy retreat which starts on November 13, and takes the form of a novena to the Poor Souls.  Upon completion of their novena prayers on November 21, they will don the all-black garb of the postulant (all black skirt, blouse, hoodie, and tiechel).  The Miraculous Medal will be retained.

October 2009
We are making preparations for the novas to be promoted to postulants in November.  The Plan of Life is also taking a more definitive shape.
One of the novas has discerned that she is to be the foundress of the cenobitic expression.  As to where and when that is to happen remains to be seen.  However, souls who are interested in the cenobitic expression may contact Gemma at .

August 2009
Foundation encounters another "speed bump."  Gemma's 89 year-old mother has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor,  and has 3-6 months to live.  Please keep the family and friends in prayer.
Post-nomial initials have been discerned--erem.OLC.  In front of those initials will be a letter or two which designate the level of formation.
The novas are also discerning the names from which they will be given their religious name.  In imitation of Blessed Emilie, the novas will choose a saint or title of Our Lord or Our Lady which will follow "Sister Mary of.  . ."  We ask those who feel an attraction to our charism to please be pondering the names with which you would feel comfortable.
Gemma's husband is also pondering a run for U.S. Congress in November of 2010.  As one can see, this coincides with the change of formation level of the novas.  Please pray for all involved.

June 2009
We are accepting candidates for the next aspirant class, as our Novas will become Postulants on November 21.  The aspirancy is five to six months in duration, and helps the candidate prepare for the Novaship.
Interested women should contact Gemma at before July 1, 2009.  Please put "Cloisterite Aspirancy" in the subject line.  Thank you.

May 2009
Our apologies for not updating sooner, but the foundress' Daily Duty has put extreme demands on her time for the last several months.
The Novas continue to grow in their relationships with Christ.

January 2009
The aspirants are now classed as 'novas,' and started formation on November 21.  Due to circumstances beyond our control, the formation will be entirely online until further notice.  We would rather move very slowly than go too quickly, and the results require ten years to remedy.

November 2008
Slight name change.  Instead of "Society," the hermits will be using "Anchoresses."  The full name of the proposed organization is now the "Reparatrix Anchoresses of Our Lady of the Cloister."
On Cloister Outreach's logo, which is basically the Immaculate Conception in front of a section of brick wall, there is also a ship's anchor.  We had intended the anchor to be symbolic of Cloister Outreach being a "safe harbor" for discerners.  Only this month did it dawn on Gemma that the anchor was a small prophesy pointing to our future anchoresses.

October 2008
Spiritual direction team is being assembled.  As one of the priests put it, Gemma's requirements are "too tall an order for one person."
We hope to have everything back up and running by November 21, which is when Blessed Emilie and her founding postulant band started their novitiate training.  November 21 is also the date of the "Pro Orantibus"--'for those who pray'--the special day of prayer for the cloisters.

September 2008
A bit of a foundational "hiccup," if you will.  Gemma's still in need of a spiritual director, and is pursuing that at the present time.  Please note: the Cloisterite Hermits are NOT disbanding!!!
Foundational decisions will be made before the first of next year, so the aspirants may make vacation plans for their training.

August 2008:
We have 6 aspirants presently.  They are in the process of naming their hermitages, and making appropriate--more modest--changes to their wardrobes.  Some are already living the horarium.
Gemma has sent out invitations to discerners whom she's known for years, to see if they feel an attraction to the eremitical expression of the Cloisterite charism.
Our deadline for receiving aspirants is September 14.  We start in earnest on October 10.  We are keeping in touch through a yahoo group.

May 2008:
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the cenobitic expression of the Cloisterite charism is not possible at this time.
In lieu of this, Gemma has composed an eremitical rule for the "Cloisterites-in-Diaspora."  The Reparatrix Society of Our Lady of the Cloister's female aspirants will begin as hermits within their own homes, in accordance with Canon 603.
When our circumstances change, then a monastery will be built for the cenobitic expression of the charism.  A laura will also be present on the grounds.

Our Lady of the Cloister, pray for us!