On May 11, in this Year of St. Joseph, Bishop Kevin Vann gave thanks to the Lord for the Missionaries of Charity Contemplative, a new religious community that moved to the Diocese of Orange. Bishop Vann celebrated Mass and blessed their new convent in Santa Ana alongside several attending priests, consecrated men and women, and benefactors of the religious sisters.
While most people are familiar with St. Teresa of Calcutta’s active missionary work to the “poorest of the poor” all over the world, it might not be common knowledge that she also founded several other branches of the religious order, including religious priests, brothers and contemplative sisters. The Missionaries of Charity Contemplative serves the spiritually poor through dedicated prayer and spiritual works of mercy.
Four sisters will live in the Santa Ana convent, where they will offer their prayer and spiritual works for the Church, especially for the Diocese of Orange. This fulfills a specific desire of Bishop Vann, as stated in the Diocesan Strategic Plan: “Identify and invite a religious community, with a charism of intercessory prayer, to make their home in the Diocese of Orange in support of evangelization efforts, the pastoral life of the Diocese and vocations.”
The convent was obtained and remodeled through the providence of God and the generous work of volunteers and benefactors. The sisters live quite simply. They have converted the bedrooms into hermitages, which are narrow rooms, each with a bed and table. The convent also has a private chapel for the sisters, a common dining room called a refectory, and an enclosed garden in the backyard. Since the sisters do not own a car, they are making plans to convert the garage on the property into a public chapel where people may join them in prayer.
The Missionaries of Charity Contemplative will be offering the great gift of a “powerhouse of prayer” in the heart of our Diocese on Santa Ana.