They’re running out of white veils, at Summit!

When my husband and I had a chance to attend a First Profession at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, in Summit, we saw that the professing nun, Sister Mary Magdalene was radiant with joy, but one impression that remained with me for a long time after was her small but constant smile of delight.Image mine - ESTo me it seemed eloquent of the intimacy of this moment of espousal to Christ. The declaration of vows is public, and yet it is all interior, as well. As I wrote, … [Read more...]

“Old-Fashioned” Sisters, “Newfangled” Nuns, Numbers and Habits – UPDATED

In light of ongoing headlines concerning Rome's correction to the leadership of the LCWR, their response, and a recent report on the bare numbers of women entering religious life, Dave Gibson has written a really good piece in which he takes a look at a more "traditional" sort of religious order and how they live out their vocations.It was five o’clock on a hot August afternoon, and vespers, the traditional evening prayer of monastic life for centuries, had begun in this Catholic convent l … [Read more...]

Nuns and Bishops and Popes, Oh My! – UPDATES

The sisters are all Joan of Arc and the Bishops are all Don Giovanni!Allow me to clear my tabbar of these numerous links touching on the Sr. Margaret Farley story, the LCWR leadership meeting with Rome story and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad menfolk -- offering "the contorted thinking of celibate men" -- who just don't appreciate the linear and perfect thinking of the celibate women.I guess female celibacy is superior to male celibacy and therefore confers credibility on … [Read more...]

LCWR and Rome: the Opera of Catholicism – UPDATED

Recently, while watching some Catholic sniping and squabbling amid these internet comboxes wherein I dwell and make my living, I noted a particularly dramatic note of victimhood being voiced in one channel and fervent, mustachio-twirling glee emanating from another, and I suddenly realized why opera is an art-form created and first-sustained in Catholic cultures. We do love our arias and our grand, sweeping themes.The issue I had been monitoring was the sort of simple doctrinal rumpus that … [Read more...]

The LCWR, Reform and the Persistence of Memory – UPDATED

My plan was to end the night with a linking round-up of reactions, thoughts and analysis of how the story of the Vatican's call for a reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was falling out. And I may still do that -- when do I ever shut up? But for tonight, I can't think of a better read for anyone interested in this story, than Max Lindenman's brilliant, heartfelt and almost lyrical piece that reads like the turn of a long, last loving look and a deep sigh into tomorrow:So … [Read more...]

LCWR, the SSPX and the Vatican; Fun Times in Catholicland UPDATED

Busy days here at Patheos and I am only now getting to a bunch of emails from people asking me what I think about "this misogynist outrage from the Vatican" concerning the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Others, possibly recalling a piece I wrote three years ago sound like they're rubbing their hands together in anticipation; "I can't wait to see what you have to say about this!" wrote one woman.I wrote back, "what I think may surprise you."The possibility of the … [Read more...]

“A House of Prayer; a Temple of Intercession”

SisterMMspeakingvows

Would to God that . . . all men could know how very easy it would be for them to arrive at a high degree of sanctity. They would only have to fulfill the simple duties of Christianity and of their state of life; to embrace with submission the crosses belonging to that state, and to submit with faith and love to the designs of Providence in all those things that have to be done or suffered. . . This is the spirituality of all ages and of every state." --Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, … [Read more...]

The Healy Brothers; a Thrilling, Shameful Story

February is Black History Month, and to kick it off historian Dr. Pat McNamara brings us a fascinating story that thrilled and shamed me. What a remarkable family of faith existed in the sons and daughters of Michael Healy and Eliza Clark; they became priests, nuns and even a bishop emerging from their home in Georgia, where mixed-race children were called "slaves." But none of it came easily or peacefully in 19th century America:By any standard, the Healys were an impressive family. … [Read more...]

Buster, Gratitude, Hillbilly Thomism UPDATED

When Buster was pretty small, perhaps three or four years old, a priest asked a rhetorical question during his homily--I don't remember the question; it might have been "why are we here, today" or something like that--but the boy was determined to answer it, and his hand shot up and remained there, like one long skinny flagpole wavering, while the priest tried to ignore him.After a while, Fr. Patient--who had baptized Buster and knew him well--sighed and said, "okay, Buster, what's your … [Read more...]

Roman Collar as Yoke and Witness

There is a story--or a bit of blarney, I'm not sure which--about why Catholic priests wear the distinctive Roman Collar, all black with just a tab of white showing at the front, rather than the full white collar. I heard it a while ago, and don't remember details, but in this telling it seems that during wartime many priests were easy targets because their all-white collars were easy to see, particularly at night, and so the collar was changed to what we see today, and the rectangle of white … [Read more...]


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