Intercessors of the Lamb
|Formation||27 May 1998|
|Type||Canonically suppressed Catholic lay ecclesial movement|
|Headquarters||11811 Calhoun Road
Omaha, Nebraska 68152, United States
|Founder||Mother Nadine Brown|
The Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb was a Roman Catholic Association of priests, brothers, nuns, and lay people, based in Nebraska, United States. The original organization was suppressed by Omaha Archbishop George Joseph Lucas in 2010. Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc, is now disassociated from the Catholic Church.
The Intercessors of the Lamb were founded in 1980. They trace their spiritual charism back to Saint John Eudes's Congregation of Jesus and Mary. The founder of the Intercessors, Nadine Brown, was formerly a member of the Sisters of the Cross of the Good Shepherd Congregation in Minnesota, which was itself an offshoot of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. Brown discerned that she was being called out of the life of the cloistered Sisters of the Cross, and thus sought to bring the charism of that order to the wider body of the faithful.
The Intercessors of the Lamb had been canonically erected on 27 May 1998 as a Public Association of the Christian Faithful, which is commensurate with a lay ecclesial movement. This would have been one of the steps to the society's recognition as an Institute of Consecrated Life.
A separate legal entity, Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., was also formed in 1980 as a tax exempt corporation to manage the business affairs. The society's contemplative formation center in Omaha, named "Bellwether", is located in the Ponca Hills north of Omaha, Nebraska. The corporation also owns property outside the United States. Many members signed over their assets to the Intercessors. The corporation retained ownership of the 75-acre property after the suppression.
Thousands of people participated in summer conferences conducted by the Intercessors in Omaha each year. The Intercessors published several books and tapes authored by Brown. Among these are Bathe Seven Times : A Contemplative Look at the Seven Capital Sins (2003) and God's Armor (1998).
During 2004, neighbours to Bellwether opposed their plans to build four group homes, the chapel (Our Lady of Light) and 18 hermitages.
On September 30, 2010 Lucas requested the resignation of Nadine Brown from both the corporation and the Association, and she complied. He appointed an Omaha priest, Fr. Gregory P. Baxter as trustee of the Association.
Lucas wished to bring the organization into conformity with Catholic canon law. Because most of the directors of the Board refused to cooperate with the reform, Lucas decreed the suppression of Hermit Association of the Intercessors of the Lamb on October 15, 2010. Lucas stated that the vows of the members ceased at the moment of suppression. The Bellwether chapel is no longer a recognised Catholic chapel.
Forty-eight members of the community left Bellwether that day to accept temporary housing offered by the Archdiocese. They lived on the former campus of Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, as “the Intercessor Relief Community.” Several other members decided to leave religious life and by 2012, the community consisted of 9 sisters. The priests went back into various parishes and the brothers left the group. A new community endorsed by the Archdiocese, "Brides of the Victorious Lamb", was formed in February 2012 and is now located at St. Mary’s Convent, Omaha.
Nadine Brown left Bellwether on October 5. Two days after the suppression, she and ten Hermits returned to Bellwether. They re-organised the community as "Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc." with different goals. A July Prayer Weekend was held in 2011, followed up with an Advent Prayer Weekend the same year. A Spiritual Warfare Workshop took place in July 2012 and workshops are conducted each year along with book sales.
Nadine Brown died on June 3, 2013.
The society's particular ministry, or spiritual charism, is the promotion of contemplative spirituality and the provision of spiritual guidance, with the aim of inspiring spiritual renewal among Catholics. The priests, deacons, brothers, and nuns of the order called themselves hermits, and live with a "desert spirituality", a commitment that includes public vows of "chastity, poverty, obedience and zeal for the salvation of souls". The main apostolate of the association is prayer for priests.
The group maintained an international nation-wide network of "Companion" groups that pray in unity with the Intercessors, especially for priests, and new vocations to the priesthood. The Companions were not canonically recognised; some of these groups have continued their work beyond the suppression.
The Intercessors of the Lamb have a distinctly charismatic piety. CatholicCulture.com notes the society's emphasis on Medjugorje and its "uncritical focus on an exclusively charismatic spirituality".
- "Intercessors of the Lamb closed". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- "The Charism of the Lamb". Intercessors of the Lamb. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- http://archomaha.org/newsevents/pdf/Companion_Letter.pdf[dead link]
- http://archomaha.org/newsevents/pdf/SuppressionRelease.pdf[dead link]
- Roseann Moring (February 17, 2012). "9 Intercessors form new order". Omaha World Herald.
- Alissa Skelton (June 4, 2013). "Nadine Brown, founder of controversial Intercessors of the Lamb, dies". Omaha World Herald.
- "Priests & Deacons". Intercessors of the Lamb. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "Companions". Intercessors of the Lamb. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- Todd, Kris (25 July 2007). "Spencer native joins an Omaha-based religious order". Spencer Daily Reporter. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "Intercessors of the Lamb". Site Reviews. Trinity Communications. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- Intercessors of the Lamb
- IntercessorsOfTheLamb.org blog
- Archdiocese of Omaha
- Brides of the Victorious Lamb site