What's a Sister or Nun Today?

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


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