Thursday, June 21, 2012


I will admit that I get excited around nuns.  If I see a nun in the congregation I slip back into the sacristy and announce, "We have nuns today," with the same enthusiasm that some of our servers reserves for the bells of the ice cream truck.

This week we are being visited by two daughters of the parish who are both sisters to each other and sisters.  They also have another sister who is a sister but she is cloistered and was unable to join the reunion. 

They were gracious enough to take a little of their valuable vacation time to come over to the rectory for coffee and chat and then visit our Vacation Bible School.  It was very informative for me.  We have a couple of young ladies interested in religious life and I have no idea how to provide them or direct them toward those things for which they are looking.

The one sister who is a Nashville Dominican said that they are becoming a bit more specific about who joins them because they have to.  Their order is currently bursting at the seems.  "Such was not always the case," she told us.  After Vatican II they lost 40% of their sisters because of the direction they chose to take.  But the fruits are paying off now as we can see by their numbers and the work that they do.

"Your women can come make a retreat with us to explore religious life.  We understand that the are just inquiring and even if they think religious life is for them, we might not be the right fit.  We will give them direction of other places they might want to explore.  Nobody wants a vocation in the wrong place."  You can find out more about them here.

Her sister, who is a who is a Sacred Heart Sister (Franciscan) offered similar opportunities.  (These are the sisters that tended to John Paul II.)  But she also told us about the Visitation Sisters.  "They are for older women, widows, women with medical problems and the like."  If you thought you were no longer eligible for religious life, this might be the place for you!

Find out more about the Sacred Heart Sisters here.

Find out more about the Visitation Sisters here.

See the diocese of Cleveland vocations website here.

After that we went on a tour of our Vacation Bible School.  It was fun to see the look of awe on the children's faces as the sisters spoke to them about being a bride of Christ "and living with Jesus in our chapel."  What a wonderful witness.

Thank you sisters everywhere for all that you do!


Matt W said...

That's a very good habit, Father.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I perk up a little too when I see nuns, especially when they are in full habit; I want to find an opportunity to do something nice for them, like open a door or help them with their groceries or just catch their and smile and say, "Hello Sister!" I'm always disappointed if I can't in some way let them know I appreciate their witness and their coviction. On the other hand, I hate to impose myself upon them or make them feel like I think they are helpless or from another planet or something. Strangely, I don't have the same complusion or warm feelings when I see or meet women who call themselves "Sitsters" or "nuns" with short hairs cuts and who wear polyester jump suits or circa 1963 blouses and skirts. Come to think of it I just cringe.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous...that's a very harsh attitude to those nuns who do not wear habits. They also gave their lives to Jesus for the Church. I prefer habits too, but at the very least, Christian charity demands that we are kind and respectful to all people, "especially to those who belong to the family of the faith" (Galatians 6:10). God bless all sisters, those in habits and those who are not.

Anonymous said...

I never said I was disrespectul towards them, they just didn't remind me of nuns. Speaking of harsh, you might want to look into your self-righteous mirror and give it a cleaning.

Anonymous said...

It is not self-righteous to speak up for those who are being unfairly criticized -- "I don't have the same complusion or warm feelings when I see or meet women who call themselves "Sitsters" or "nuns" with short hairs cuts and who wear polyester jump suits or circa 1963 blouses and skirts. Come to think of it I just cringe." God bless.

Mary W. said...

It WAS wonderful to see those sister sisters at Mass at St. Sebs! Another great place to direct women who are considering a religious vocation is the community listing at the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious: .

Perhaps the young ladies in the parish might like to look at the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (the ones who were interviewed on Oprah, and now have over 100 sisters with an average age of 28!) or the Sisters of Life, founded by John Cardinal O'Connor, who women in crisis pregnancies in NYC. If you look at the web sites for these orders you see youth, vitality, and joy, in service and prayer, in love with Christ and His people. Profoundly beautiful!

Lisa Julia Photography said...

*SQUEEEEAAAAALLLLLLLLLS!!!!!* I know that Fantabulous NashDom!!!!! She is seeing this! They teach at our school...Best Order of Sisters ever =)