Running Nuns in the News!

Well, St. Catherine of Siena, who was a Dominican Tertiary, did say “run, run, run”.

The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery, currently being built in Tonopah, AZ, have chosen a unique way to raise revenue. As they have more young women aspiring to enter than they can currently house (with one new novice and a postulant hoping to enter, soon, they are full-up), the sisters need to fund the living quarters that will attach to their emerging chapel. So they have taken to running:

I think the press loves nothing more than unusual “Nun news” and the sisters have had lots of local coverage of their efforts (scroll down).

The sisters have a separate blog page to cover construction news and updates. I just spent quite the happy hour over there, marveling at how quickly a large chapel with dome can be raised when there are no weekly deposits of snow or days of biting rain.

You can check out the chapel appointments, which are very beautifully thought out, and the architectural plans here. And the metalwork!

Can you guess which stained glass design I would sponsor if I could?

This monastery looks like it will be a true spiritual oasis, when completed. I think you’ll really enjoy checking it out, and if you have something or someone you want to memorialize, there are lots of opportunities, there.

[Cue news ticker] In other Nun News…beep-beep-beep-beep-beep…(am I dating myself with that reference?)…wait, let me get out my banner, designed by Brian J:
Nun News Network International

A sister community to the “running nuns,” these PCPA’s in Portsmouth, Ohio, have announced that they will be moving from their rather dinky and land-poor house, to the Diocese of Charlotte. Probably a good move; Ohio has several PCPA monasteries, and Charlotte will very likely be in a good position to help them get established and rebuild. This particular community had nearly died out until some of Mother Angelica’s nuns from Hanceville, Alabama (who also provided the foundresses for the Arizona project) brought an infusion of much-needed new blood. Now, in addition to the perpetually professed nuns, they have three sisters in first vows, a novice and a postulant, so they are regrowing, and perhaps need replanting in this field of the Lord.

Meanwhile the Dominican Nuns at Summit (whose Gardener’s Basket I recently gave as a gift and it was a big hit), have taken their novices on a light-hearted “field trip” to their archives, where things got a little “hairy.” They also have news of a new book that sounds interesting, and their counterparts in Pakistan. The Summit nuns are currently blessed to have almost a dozen young women in various stages of discernment, so we can look forward to more growth in this “springtime” of evangelization.

After Oprah:
Last month the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. They report an overwhelmingly positive response to that appearance:

Since the show aired, the sisters have received positive feedback from all sides. Sister Maria Guadalupe reported that while traveling by plane, a flight attendant asked her if she had seen the “nuns” on Oprah. The question presented an opportunity for a lengthy conversation which proved edifying for those around them as well. She said that other sisters have also been approached about the show in gas stations, grocery stores, or on campus.

After the show, the number of young women registered for the sisters’ February discernment retreat jumped from 70 to 135. The community has also received many emails from new and old supporters, both before and after the show, sharing their excitement. “Probably our favorite feedback, though, comes in the form of stories we´ve heard, both directly and indirectly, from individuals who have been away from the practice of their Catholic faith, but were encouraged by the joy of our sisters to consider returning to the faith,” explained Sister Maria Guadalupe.

A few monastics that I keep in touch with have also written that the DSMME’s on Oprah has resulted in inquiries to their communities, as well.

The Third Order Regular (TOR) Franciscan Sisters are also building their new motherhouse and chapel

The All Saints Sisters of the Poor, the formerly Episcopal nuns who turned Roman last September, are breaking ground on a new hospice

Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church:
If you live in the Spokane area, a retreat on Catholic living that sounds great.

Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother: Gearing up for Summer

The Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth have a new website and it looks very inviting.

Related News:
The Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal: Celebrate growth
Benedictine Sisters of Clyde, MO: a new novice
The Franciscan Sisters of Peoria have a blog run by a novice, Sr. Veronica, and she writes of a perpetual profession and the entrance of two novices
The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist: a new novice
Sisters of Reparation: ditto
Benedictines of Rock Island: vocation news and an award

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Sal

    Just finished re-reading “A Right To Be Merry”, an account of Poor Clares in Roswell, N.M. in the fifties- still just as inspiring as when I first read it decades ago.
    To me, the Poor Clares are second only to the Carmelites in the glorious intimidation of their lives.

    [One of my very favorite books, not only because it charmingly explains the Poor Clare vocation, but because Mother M. Francis was one smart cookie about what totalitarian regimes mean to monasticism, and why. -admin]

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  • JCE

    I just saw a notice for this on the parish bulletin board: run to be a nun

    Do I see a trend?

    [That woman is apparently running in order to become a TOR Franciscan. Also, there are "Nun runs" which have become common over the past 8 years or so. Usually it's college age women traveling together and checking out a number of convents over a period of a week or so. I believe the Passionists of Kentucky have had good responses to that. -admin]

  • Carl Eppig

    Another group of growing and running nuns are the Daughters of Mary Mother of Healing Love. They run the St Charles Childrens Home in Rochester, NH. They began running as a release of energy for some of their charges. Now all the kids and most of the sisters and novices run all the time.

    They have appeared on Life on the Rock, Good Morning America, and other venues. This has brought novices from far and wide to our little community. Their leader Mother Paul Marie is the most impressive women I have ever met.

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  • Nancy Reyes


    Vows of poverty?

    [They own nothing. They build a house for God and his people. It is God's house. If God does not want it, it will not be built. admin]

  • Cassy

    RE your link “which stained glass design I would sponsor if I could?”

    I remember as a child sitting in my old church during Mass imagining the life stories of those long dead whose names were in the “Donated by” glass plates in the windows. Am I right to guess you’d sponsor Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati’s image if you could?

    I can’t afford to donate one either, but if I could I’d choose St. Gianna Berretta Molla, a doctor who in full knowledge and love, sacrificed her life for her unborn child. I hadn’t heard of her when I was pregnant, but I bet in heaven she prays for pregnant mothers and their babies. Though thankfully(!) not faced with the actual dilemma myself, I remember realizing with wonder and amazement at five months of pregnancy that I would give my life for this baby in my belly. He’s 17 now and of course I still feel the same way about him and his younger brother too.

    [You're the only one who guessed, but you guessed "mostly" correctly. I would have loved to have sponsored the window with all of the Poor Clare abbesses, but yes, Pier Giorgio, if I could have afforded it, would be the window I'd sponsor. And yes, as a little girl, and even as an adult, I love to look at stained glass windows in churches -admin]