Benedictine values and the need for bridging

Monastic Institute, Saint John’s Abbey, 6 July 2006

Bridgefolk is about, well, bridging — transcending old polarities, exchanging and integrating the gifts of mutually “separated brethren” and sisters too. It is about imagining Christ’s Church without the divisions that long seemed to be givens, and doing the next thing God gives us to do in order that this vision might become reality. Many of those next things that we seek to bridge are evident in the lead paragraph of our mission statement:

Bridgefolk is a movement of sacramentally-minded Mennonites and peace-minded Roman Catholics who come together to celebrate each other’s traditions, explore each other’s practices, and honor each other’s contribution to the mission of Christ’s Church. Together we seek better ways to embody a commitment to both traditions. We seek to make Anabaptist-Mennonite practices of discipleship, peaceableness, and lay participation more accessible to Roman Catholics, and to bring the spiritual, liturgical, and sacramental practices of the Catholic tradition to Anabaptists.

Such bridge-building is certainly easier in what many have come to call the “post-modern” situation, which encourages a crossing of boundaries in hopes of mutual enrichment among communities and traditions.

Read paper.

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