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

Nuns Gibson Piece

RNS photo by Ryan GladstoneIn 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 b … [Read more...]

In honor of St. Dominic and his Sons and Daughters

santa sabina icon dominic

I've said before that were I not a Benedictine I would probably be a Dominican. They have so many cool tertiaries (Hello, Pier Giorgio and Catherine of Siena!).So, in honor of the feastday of St. Benedict, let's hear about the meaning of the Dominican habit -- which is essentially unchanged since its beginnings -- from some of his spiritual children who take delight in wearing it:Brother Lew, OP, gives us the garment's history (and the prayers the friars say as they put it on) while … [Read more...]

A New Priest, A New Blog for Patheos

Fr-Michael-Duffy

Longtime Patheos readers are familiar with Father Michael Duffy, although they may remember him best as Seminarian Michael Duffy, who shared with them his thoughts on the clerical collar as both yoke and witness and the seminary as seedbed for lifelong growth.Deacon Greg noted his June 9th ordination for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, and today we welcome him as our newest blogger as he launches "Father, Where Art Thou?"; A Newly-Minted Priest Explores His Fatherhood.By beginning … [Read more...]

Something Joyful

carmelite sisters_crosswalk abbey road

Since we do like our nun news around these parts, I posted this story of a Franciscan sister before retiring last night; a nice positive close to a busy day.And then of course, we awoke this morning to the dreadful news from Colorado; for most of us, it's been on our minds and hearts all day.So, I am offering something nunly again, this evening. Call it a palate cleanser, or just something joyful to focus on for a little bit; thanks to our friends the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred … [Read more...]

Former US Olympian Now a Sister Serving UK

sr catherine h

Sister Catherine Holum is a religious with the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, the female portion of Fr. Benedict Groeschel's gang of merry men and women. She is also a former Olympic speed skater. Her story is not unknown, but with the Olympics coming up, it's nifty to share:“My mother, Dianne Holum, was an Olympic speed skater and Olympic speed-skating coach,” says Sister Catherine. “She has four Olympic medals, and she coached for 25 years, including three Olympic teams. So, very natur … [Read more...]

Three Nuns, Three Different Ways of Serving

sr theodore

The lovely and tireless Sr. Mary Catharine of The Dominican Nuns of Summit sent this my way, and I knew I had to share it with you, particularly in light of all the "nun news" and the sometimes caustic remarks people can make about sisters whose communities are not habited. No one appreciates a good old habit better than I, but I know too many good, faithful sisters in streetclothes to get all uppity about it.I can't embed the video that accompanies this article from the Statesman, but … [Read more...]

Of Christ, Monasticism and Radio Astronomy

communion bw

Alright, after a couple of politically-flavored posts, I'm going to have mercy on everyone and give you a gift for the weekend, and it comes to us in two parts via an excellent site within the Evangelical Portal, Good Letters, where guest contributor and writer/poet Richard Cole relates how his first-ever retreat at a Benedictine Monastery resulted in his coming to Catholicism and his second grounded him within it:From Part I, where our hero is given no assignment except to be:At … [Read more...]

Nuns and Bishops and Popes, Oh My! – UPDATES

catholic opera

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...]

Another vowed Domincan nun! – UPDATE

sr mary ceclilia op

Last December, I had the privilege of attending the first profession of Sister Mary Magdalene of the Immaculate Conception, OP. I don't know if I will ever forget how powerfully resonant was her quiet but obvious deep and joy as she received her black veil. I have seldom encountered such a punch of supernatural serenity.Just six months later, the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ are celebrating again as another young nun pronounces her first vows and becomes Sister Mary Cecilia of the … [Read more...]

LCWR and Rome: the Opera of Catholicism – UPDATED

David-Pittsinger-Georgia-Jarman2-in-FGO-Don-Giovanni-Photo-Gaston-de-Cardenas

PhotosourceRecently, 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 … [Read more...]


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