"I come from a long line of depressed Germans…"

I was going to hang on to this piece and save it for an upcoming post on Vocations, but I was so charmed by the sisters being interviewed, here, that I am going to do a “little” Vocations piece, today. This is H/T Deacon Greg:

“The [Monastic Dominican Nuns] didn’t want to come to Hollywood,” Sister Mary Pia says with a smile. “That was the funny thing. They didn’t want any kind of worldly association.”

But as it turned out, Hollywood – even back in the ’30s, before most of the studios and their moguls moved away – badly needed a bedrock source of spirituality.

“Because we are part of the Dominican order, we have that missionary outreach,” the novice mistress continues. “And Hollywood is a missionary place, even much more than the depths of Africa or the Far East. That is what people tell us. They pass our monastery and they say, ‘There’s people who actually believe in God in there, and they’re giving their whole lives.’ This inspires people to think of God, just to know we’re here.”

Fair enough, but a monastery of praying nuns in white habits and black veils in arguably one of the most hedonistic locales on the planet still begs the query: Don’t you get discouraged or downright depressed that your prayerful efforts seem to fall on, well, deaf ears?

“I never get depressed,” Sister Mary Pia responds. “God has his ways of coming to people.”

But Sister Mary Raymond is shaking her head. “OK, that’s her. She’s a sweet little person,” she quips. “I come from a long line of depressed Germans. People are not ignoring God, but they have their own gods: money, movies, whatever. And I just feel if they got to the right god, boy, they’d be in business ’cause they work so hard at it.”

After a pause, she says, “But the more you know there’s things going on in the world that are not quite right, it spurs you on to more asking and praying for them, and also for yourself, to try to do things better. So I think it’s not a depressing thing.”

You’ll want to read it all. And maybe order some of that yummy sounding Pumpkin Bread!

As I said, I was planning a vocations piece for a few weeks from now, but I may as well continue: A reader sent a heads up about this a few days ago: Anglican Nuns to enter full Communion with Catholic Church. This is a small community of High Anglicans (I need to learn more about Anglican Rites; I know there is a Roman Catholic Church in Texas that uses it, and this is helpful, but I still have no idea about it. Anyone?). The sisters, all fully professed with one novice, will enter the church on September 5. Their convent is charming-looking, and man, oh man, those are some old-style habits. A very excellent post at SubTuum, who has some experience of the sisters, who seem to be very lively and passionate.

Speaking of passionate, or should I say Passionists, you remember our friends, the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph’s Monastery; they were covered in ice earlier this year. They have interesting news from on the vocational front. They will be clothing their postulant as a novice later this month (yay, Shannon!) but they’ve also allowed a Passionist Oblate to enter the cloister and share in their spirituality while assisting the nuns. She is not a religious, but as discussed here, a “true sister,” in the way of Oblates. Lucky Christie! That is a very old-world move, to allow an Oblate into the cloister, and it’s nice to see it re-introduced into at least one monastery.

I really like these little shared sermons the Benedictines of St. Walburga Abbey post on their blog. Abbess Maria-Michael Newe manages to say a great deal, succinctly. They have a postulant, too, and two novices in white veils and four simply-professed (junior) nuns. How do you like their habits? The veils and wimples are unchanged from their foundresses, who came from Bavaria in the early 20th century, although I understand the sisters wear jeans and kerchiefs for their heavy farm work, which is very sensible. Benedictines are notoriously sensible! ;-)

Their sister monastery in Pennsylvania wears the same habit. I believe they had a solemn profession in the spring, and are looking to clothe a postulant, as well.

PCPA’s of Our Lady of Solitude introduce their new postulant and hint of another coming in September. We are so lucky to have these young people willing to take on this radical life of prayer, sacrifice and oblation, for the sake of the whole world. We need them!

Our Dominican Nun Friends have seen a spike in their renovations donations, and they are keeping us apprised of how it’s going for them. One of the commenters over there makes the very good point that these sisters, like all of the women written about here, also need our prayers, as the upheaval of the convent must be difficult for the older nuns who have always lived one way, and especially for the younger nuns, who are trying to learn the monastic life, amid physical and material chaos.

It’s not all about monastics! The Nashville Dominicans have a beautiful new website and they’ve just put out a huge and beautiful newsletter with lots of pictures and interesting reading. Really, their newsletters are top-notch.

The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist: Gus reminds me:

Mother Mary Assumpta, Abbess of the youthful “Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist,” will guest on “EWTN Live” with Father Mitch Pacwa at 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday, June 17 to discuss her thriving new community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The average age of women entering the order is 21 and the average age of all the sisters is 26. The sisters of the community, who host EWTN’s popular 25-part television series for children, “Truth in the Heart,” will appear on “Life on the Rock,” Thursday, June 18 to discuss this season’s new shows — which feature lessons on the life of Christ, the Apostles’ Creed, the seven cardinal virtues and the liturgy.

I have given those Truth in the Heart videos as gifts to my nephews and nieces and they love them. Very well done.

The Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal: Introduce three new postulants.

Deacon Greg:
Keeping track of New Deacons. Did you know that Pope St. Callixtus was, like St. Francis of Assisi, was a Deacon, never a priest?

Consecrated Virginity: Have questions? She has answers

Personal prayer request: Please remember Sr. Michael Maria of God in your prayers; she is an “older” monastic vocation – in her mid-forties, she is now a Carmelite postulant in the UK, who hopes to spend the rest of her life in prayer, in Carmel, for you and me.

I like this litany

I’m not sure…I think voting is still going on for Catholic New Media Awards. I’m nominated here and there, if you’re interested.

Related: Those Anglicans with the Nuns

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Surellin

    I read through the Anglican Use liturgy that I found here and it looks a lot like the Rite 1 from the 1979 Episcopal prayerbook – in other words it is a slight makeover from the 1926 prayerbook. Getting down to the Benedictus and the Great Thanksgiving the resemblance is not so close, but before that the Anglican Use and Episcopal Rite 1 are very close indeed.

    Are these Anglicans the Anglican Church in North America? If so I believe left the Episcopal church largely over the twin issues of the 1979 prayerbook (nasty modern thing) and ordination of women. I can’t resist mentioning an old joke from those trying times: a very angry old woman goes up to the priest after the first service with the new prayerbook and says, “If Jesus could see what you’ve done with his prayerbook he’d be spinning in his grave!”.

    Best of luck to the Anglican sisters. Those habits remind me a bit of Sally Fields…

  • http://themcj.com Christopher Johnson

    There are lots of Anglican orders like this one both for men and women. The oldest, the ones who call themselves Franciscans, Dominicans, etc. along with the Anglican Order of St John(Anglican “Knights of Malta” if you like) date back to the 1800′s and the Oxford Movement.

  • Andrew Batten

    I had the pleasure of meeting some of the sisters from the Anglican convent in Catonsville, Maryland when I was in college.

    Growing up Episcopalian, my exposure to nuns was pretty much restricted to Bing Crosby movies and “The Sound of Music”. That being the case, I was astonished to learn that, beneath those medieval habits, there were real people. And real FUNNY people!

    One sister, accompanying me to the dining hall after a class, said “I bet your friends will be pretty surprised to see you with a couple of giant penguins!”

    She was right, they were. But we were all enriched by our visit with these remarkable women. God bless them richly in their journey.

  • http://www.anglicanuse.org Steve Cavanaugh

    Ask and you shall receive.

    The Anglican Use of the Roman Rite is codified in the Book of Divine Worship. This was approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the USCCB in 1983. The Anglican Use Liturgies in the BDW are based on the 1928 and 1979 American Book of Common Prayer and the 1973 ICEL Roman Sacramentary. Like the 1979 BCP, it has two “rites” one in Elizabethan English and one in contemporary English for the following liturgies: Eucharist, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Matrimony, Baptism. The BDW also includes two versions of the psalter, the Coverdale translation from the 1928 BCP and the contemporary English version from teh 1979 BCP. There is a two-year lectionary for the daily offices.

    It is a result of the Pastoral Provision of Pope John Paul II which allowed for married, former ministers of the Episcopal Church to be ordained as priests in the Catholic Church and for the formation of “common identity” parishes which could use a liturgy employing elements of their Anglican heritage (i.e., the later compiled BDW).

    A little more than 100 former Episcopal clergymen have taken advantage of the Pastoral Provision to become Catholic priests here in the U.S. The Pastoral Provision and Anglican Use Liturgy are currently allowed only in the US.

    There are Anglican Use parishes/congregations in Boston, MA; Scranton, PA; Arlington, TX; Houston, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; San Antonio, TX; Kansas City, MO; and one forming in Phoenix, AZ. The All Saints sisters of Catonsville, MD will be the next group.

    The Pastoral Provision is headed by Archbishop John Myers of Newark, NJ, assisted by Bishop Vann of Fort Worth, TX. The secretary is Msgr. William Stetson, located in Houston.

    The Anglican Use Society is an association of Christian faithful organized to support the Anglican Use. This is done primarily through an annual conference (the most recent just having concluded in Houston, TX last weekend), a quarterly journal Anglican Embers, and supporting men who are accepted into the Pastoral Provision process and are working toward ordination.

    Steve Cavanaugh
    editor, Anglican Embers

    [Very interesting, thank you! -admin]

  • Gail F

    Fr. Dwight Longenecker has some informative posts on the Anglican Use rite, and similar topics, over at his blog:


  • http://www.pathsoflove.com/blog/ Joseph

    “Did you know that Pope St. Callixtus was, like St. Francis of Assisi, was a Deacon, never a priest?”

    That is rather misleading. St. Francis of Assisi was never ordained a priest at all. St. Callixtus, true, was a deacon prior to being chosen to be Pope. But in order to be pope, he had to be ordained a priest and bishop. (The Pope is the successor of St. Peter, the bishop of Rome.) He was, as Tertullian calls him, the “bishop of bishops.”

  • Jeffrey Quick

    Re your last link here:
    The diversity may be true of those Anglo-Catholics still in communion with ECUSA. I’ve just become a member of the Anglican Catholic Church (I’d been singing there off and on for almost 20 years, but have only become a Christian in the past several years…long, personal, and off-topic story), and it’s pretty orthodox and consistent. Their chief difference with Rome seems to be the power and infallibility of the Pope (rather self-serving, that). They do accept the Immaculate Conception and Perpetual Virginity of Mary (on which I’m still an agnostic; I don’t spend time conjecturing on your sex life, so which should I conjecture about the Holy Family’s?). They use only the 1928 BCP, and separated in 1978 over that, ordination of women, and some other issues. As our priest said re the V. Gene Robinson brouhaha, “If they didn’t leave over substantive doctrinal issues in ’78, why would they leave over one man’s love life?”

    I strongly suspect that at some point I’ll be following Newman across the Tiber, but right now it’s where I’m supposed to be.