What is Anamchara
Anamchara is a Gaelic word for “soul friend”. It was the style of formation given to a new monk or nun in a Celtic monastery, whereby the new member would be paired up with an older, more experienced monk. In this way the new Religious would have a more personal mentoring in the monastic tradition. (The Roman or Continental style of formation is more like students, together in a class, sitting with one teacher for all.) The Anamchara is the model we seek to draw back into our Religious training.
Life is a journey from birth to death. The Christian’s life is a journey from death to life. An Anamchara, should be one who has the task of being a “cartographer” along the way, mapping our spiritual journey toward holiness. A soul friend is to be directive and challenging but never judgmental. “You do well to correct. You do not do well to reprove. The mind rebels against reproof. It is humbled at being corrected.”
The modern church has opted to be run by management structures rather than led by governance rather than a democratic or hierarchical model.