The changing face of America’s sisters

A paper in St. Louis looks at how sisters have changed over the last couple decades — and what that may mean.  Details: Sister Sarah Heger [shown above] cut through a tray of raw chicken with a knife and let her fifth-grade class of girls squirm for only a second. A science exam loomed, and [Read More...]

Deacon poor and deacon rich: a look at the vocation in different dioceses

A reader sent this my way: a long and comprehensive look at where deacons are thriving, where they aren’t, and why: In 1967, Pope Paul VI issued general norms for the restoration of the permanent diaconate where requested by episcopal conferences. More than four decades later, 46 percent of the Church’s 37,203 permanent deacons serve [Read More...]

Is the New York seminary merger the way of the future?

Maybe.  That’s the interesting question at the heart of this piece in OSV: Father Shawn McKnight, executive director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently wrote that economic factors and the lack of enough priest-instructors are causing seminaries to merge or close, such as the [Read More...]

Another way to Occupy Wall Street: meet the Sisters of St. Francis

They’re finally getting their due, in the pages of the New York Times: Not long ago, an unusual visitor arrived at the sleek headquarters of Goldman Sachs in Lower Manhattan. It wasn’t some C.E.O., or a pol from Athens or Washington, or even a sign-waving occupier from Zuccotti Park. It was Sister Nora Nash of [Read More...]

Three become one: historic merger of seminaries in New York

This ambitious move has been in the works for many months, but yesterday it became a reality.  From the In My Backyard Desk (with a cheerful diaconal bow in the direction of The Anchoress): Archbishop Dolan and his brother bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre Nov. 10 jointly signed [Read More...]

On joining a convent: “You have to knock three times…”

The age of women who are attracted to religious life in Britain is getting younger, and Vanity Fair is taking a look at the phenomenon: For twenty-something women considering a life in a habit, it’s God’s honest truth: “Not everyone looks good in black.” So says Triona Adams, an effervescent former nun who, at 26, [Read More...]

From wearing a veil, to wearing a crown: new Miss World once studied to be a nun

Details: A woman who spent five years training to be a nun has been crowned the winner of Miss World 2011. Miss Venezuela, Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares, beat contestants from 122 countries to the coveted title after impressing the judges in the categories of beach beauty, top model, talent, sports, and beauty with a purpose [Read More...]

Behold, I make all things new: an Anglican order of nuns becomes Catholic

Details, from the Baltimore Sun: The Archdiocese of Baltimore added a new religious order of nuns Tuesday, its first in decades and one that began as an Anglican community. The All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor left the Episcopal Church for the Roman Catholic Church two years ago. By a decree from the Vatican, they [Read More...]

A deacon's special link to the new seminary in Washington

The new Blessed John Paul II Seminary in Washington was dedicated recently by Cardinal Donald Wuerl — and its chapel contains some interesting history: Tangible reminders of Blessed John Paul II’s life and legacy abound in the archdiocesan seminary named in his honor. His name graces the seminary’s entranceway, and a portrait of the pope [Read More...]

Homily for October 30, 2011: World Priest Day

We often say that God writes straight with crooked lines.   Few stories could be more crooked, or surprising, than what God wrote with the life of a boy named Martino BaThong Nguyen. He is Vietnamese.  His parents worked for the U.S. government in Saigon in the 1970s.  Because of their connection to the U.S., when [Read More...]


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