Yesterday about four hundred people gathered in our provincial house
chapel to witness the final, perpetual vows of Sister Mary Kelley Rush.
It was a glorious (and long) celebration of Mass. Today when religious
Sisters are few and far between some people, even Catholics, don’t know
one. Neither do they know about Sisters. Several times I’ve heard the
comment, “When the church allows women to be priests, you sisters will
be able to be priests.” Wrong! A consecrated religious woman and an
ordained priest are two different species. (I have no desire to be a
priest.) A Sister is called by God to offer her whole life to him. She
follows Jesus and imitates him usually by making the three vows of
poverty, chastity, and obedience. She belongs to a particular
congregation founded for a certain purpose and marked by a charism, that
is, a special gift for the benefit of the whole Church. Congregations
can be devoted to social action, promoting life, giving retreats,
missionary work, or publishing. Others focus on the traditional
ministries of teaching and nursing. We Sisters of Notre Dame, who trace
our roots back to the French revolution when the Church was being
snuffed out, were founded to catechize, especially poor children. Click to Continue
Christians are now dealing with a new obstacle to evangelism; we can no longer assume people know stories in the Bible or the basic tenets of the faith. Perhaps this dearth of spirituality in modern culture will serve to drive desperate people to the feet of Christ but more than ever seekers need basic catechism to lead them back into the arms of God and the Church.
A few decades ago, almost everyone knew the bible, even if they did not attend church because even public schools read the bible and prayed before classes started. I am a convert. As a Protestant kid who went to Sunday School from 3 years old, I grew up on the stories of Jesus, singing songs about His love and memorizing bible verses. I realize now that I was a prayerful kid; God was close to me. continue
When I learned who currently held the authority my Lord gave Simon Peter, recorded in Matthew 16:13-19, I didn't have much choice: I had to join the Catholic Church.
In a sense, I 'knew too much.'
I could either claim to follow Jesus and acknowledge the Son of God's authority, passed along in unbroken succession through the rise and fall of kingdoms, empires, and civilizations — or not. As Simon Peter said, it's a simple choice....