17 January 2009

Congratulations to Sister Janet Strong, Erem Dio (or Er Dio)!

Congratulations to Sister Janet Strong, Erem Dio (or Er Dio)!!! On this feast of St Anthony of Egypt (one of the first hermits in the church) Sister Janet, who has been a diocesan hermit for 25 years, was given permission by her Bishop to adopt the post-nomial initials now officially associated with Canon 603 (diocesan) hermits. At Mass this morning Bishop Carlos Sevilla, sj, of the Diocese of Yakima gave a brief homily on the importance of names and noted that Sister Janet would now be known as Sister Janet Strong, Erem Dio (Eremita Dioecesanus).

Permisssion for use of the initials was first given by Bishop Allen Vigneron, Diocese of Oakland, on Sept 2, 2008, and, with their Bishop's permission, have been adopted or are in the process of being adopted by some diocesan hermits in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Canada, and the US, etc. In particular, the initials point to the unique charism possessed and represented by the diocesan hermit and can also serve to indicate the consecrated state of this solitary hermit in situations where titles are not used (a practice common in some countries, and when a person publishes in certain journals, etc.). Unlike congregational initials which indicate members of an order or institute (OSF, OSB, CSJ, SHF, etc), Erem Dio (or Er Dio), points to the consecrated status of an individual (solitary) Canon 603 hermit who has a unique relationship with her Bishop (her immediate and legitimate superior in whose hands she makes vows) as well as with her own diocese and parish; she lives under her own Rule of Life which she herself has written, and is responsible for her own upkeep, etc. While diocesan (C 603) hermits may come together for mutual support in a Lavra or Laura, they remain solitary hermits with their own Rules, etc.

Postscript: I should also note that on this feast of St Anthony, we celebrate the feast day of the Camaldolese Monastery of St Anthony of Egypt in Rome. A house of Camaldolese nuns, this is also the place where Sister Nazarena lived in strict reclusion until her death in 1990.