C o m m u n i t i e s o f J e r u s a l e m

Questions for brother Pierre-Marie

1
Personal background
2
The Jerusalem Community: a calling, an intuition
3
The founding years
4
The spirituality of the Jerusalem Community
5
A place, a mission within the Church
6

A "new community"?

7
Lay people and the Jerusalem Community"
8
In the heart of the city,
at the heart of the world
9
The name "Jerusalem"
10
Some figures
6

You are what is called a "new community". How do you fit into Church Tradition, especially in a monastic sense, and what novel elements do you introduce?

We strive to live at the crossroads of two paths which emerge from the very core of the Gospel: a call to give up everything, to lose one's life, as Christ says, but also a call to go forth with an open, inventive and creative mind. To do that, one must be firmly rooted in solid traditional values, adhering to Tradition, which by the way has nothing to do with stale traditionalism! These values must be lived in response to the needs of the Church today, to the world we live in today. We take vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, we give ourselves over to a life of prayer and community, we wear the habit, have meals in silence, spend long hours of solitude in contemplation in our monastic cells The two Institutions - the brothers and the sisters - are independent and autonomous when it comes to housing and government. We have no television, no outings to the theater or cinema and we don't miss it either!

But at the same time, no cloister surrounds us. We adopt the rhythm of the city, working in the city on a part-time basis to earn a living, in solidarity with the people of the city but also distinguishing ourselves from the city. We are city-dwellers, wage earners, and tenants who own no property, either individually or collectively. We sing the liturgy together, brothers and sisters, in polyphony (four voices), drawing from the richness of Eastern as well as Western Christian tradition. It is good to stay open to the diversity of the world (especially with 30 nationalities within our community!). But the world still has only one Savior and we must always come back to that, constantly listening to Him and living life under the one and true Christ.


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