Traditional nuns say past is key to future

From David Gibson at Religion News Service:  The light, clear tones of young women’s voices filled the chapel, their chanted prayers drifting across the wooden altar screen that shielded the sisters from the full view of those sitting in the pews. It was five o’clock on a hot August afternoon, and vespers, the traditional evening [Read More...]

First of its kind: New Orleans opens house of discernment for women

Details:  With finger sandwiches, prayers and the good wishes of dozens of visiting nuns, the Archdiocese of New Orleans on Wednesday turned over a vacant Uptown rectory where single women will live together while deciding whether to undertake lives as nuns. Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who dedicated the St. Rita Parish rectory to its new use, said the Magnificat [Read More...]

Meet the nun involved in the “biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex”

Details from the New York Times:  She has been arrested 40 or 50 times for acts of civil disobedience and once served six months in prison. In the Nevada desert, she and other peace activists knelt down to block a truck rumbling across the government’s nuclear test site, prompting the authorities to take her into [Read More...]

From LCWR: talks with Vatican will continue, group will not “compromise its mission”

Details:  An American nuns group rebuked by the Vatican said Friday it would hold talks with the bishops appointed to overhaul the organization but would not “compromise its mission.” Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, called a Vatican assessment charging the sisters with tolerating dissent a “misrepresentation.” But she said [Read More...]

At LCWR, some express concern that “we won’t be listened to”

Hot on the heels of this study on women and religious vocations comes word that some sisters of the LCWR are chafing at the idea of any Vatican oversight.  Details, from the Washington Post:  Executives of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious reportedly believe most members — who make up 80 percent of U.S. nuns [Read More...]

An order disperses: “This is the most painful, emotional thing our sisters have ever been through”

The New York Times tells the story of how one community coped with its aging population:  At the foot of a long drive leading to the Franciscan Retreat Center in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., the “Welcome and Parking” sign is misleading. The convent closed in 2011, when its original population of 100 nuns had dwindled to 35, [Read More...]

A sister writes: “Statements in the CDF document strike me as inaccurate, misleading, and unfair…”

I confess that I’m not a regular reader of Commonweal, but a reader sent this my way and it seems to me a worthwhile addition to the conversation: an essay by a sister explaining, in her view, what the CDF has gotten wrong in its probe into the LCWR: Like many others, I am deeply [Read More...]

What a friend we have in cheeses: meet the cheese-making nuns of Virginia

All Gouda gifts around us are sent from heaven above! Details, from the Washington Post: It is 10:05 a.m., and Sister Barbara Smickel is shoulder-deep in curds and whey. She is in the cheese barn at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Crozet, Va., located about 14 miles west of Charlottesville and down a [Read More...]

Just desserts: Biden visits nuns in Iowa

And ice cream was involved: Political campaigns are all about generating publicity and public support, but Vice-President Biden seems to have upended conventional wisdom — not a first for him, of course — by making an under-the-radar visit to the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis in Dubuque during a two-day campaign trip to [Read More...]

Sartain: LCWR reform is not directed at religious orders

CNS spoke today with the archbishop overseeing the inquiry into the organization of religious sisters: A Vatican-ordered reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is not directed at women’s religious orders or at any individual sisters, nor is it a statement on the general quality of religious life today, said the American archbishop overseeing [Read More...]


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