“Sisterhood” May be Reality-TV for Reality-TV Haters

sisterhood

Maybe.When it was announced that Lifetime network would be airing a "reality" series chronicling five young women as they "discerned" whether or not they have religious vocations, I was as skeptical as Diana von Glahn, who felt pure dread at the prospect.More than dreading, I was a bit repulsed by the very idea. Having experienced my own vocational discernment as long-looking -- a process both serious and slow, and full of challenges to my own self -- the notion that five women being … [Read more...]

Praying for those who pray for us…

norbertine nuns 2014

As our friends in Summit are reminding us, Pope Francis says today, November 21, is a day to thank God for cloistered religious: At the end of today’s general audience, Pope Francis noted that this Friday, Nov. 21, is the liturgical Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.Noting the Church will celebrate the Day pro Orantibus, dedicated to cloistered religious communities, he said, “It is an opportune occasion to thank the Lord for the gift of so many persons that, in mon … [Read more...]

A Joyful Community of Intercessors Needs a Bit More Space

dear sisters

In Rumer Godden's classic gem of a novel, In This House of Brede, a large cloistered community of English Benedictine nuns faces a pressing debt; one nun rather serenely says she will pray for the solution. "Like a child asking the bank manager for a bag of money to take home to Daddy?" a sharp-tongued sister asks in rebuke."Exactly. Exactly like that," says the first nun.Later, when the idea of selling of 7 of the community's 14 acres seems like the only practical answer, the doubtful … [Read more...]

Sisterly Support: When Nuns Move In Together (and Nun News Updates)

Sioux City Carmel, June 2013

Earlier this year, after what sounds like a truly "long and difficult journey" some Redemptoristine nuns, who were losing the temporary housing they needed while seeking a permanent place to live, work and pray, found a solution out of Carmel:The Carmelite nuns of Beacon were prudently examining their future and their ability to remain on their lovely property. Knowing of the Redemptoristine’s dilemna...The Carmelites voted unanimously to issue an invitation and within two weeks the councils … [Read more...]

Nun News for Autumn, 2013

nun news network

The annual nun-news round-up happened, last year, on the Feastday of Saint Therese of Lisieux, and it seemed to me a perfect day to celebrate news of new or proceeding religious vocations, so I've decided to do it every October 1. As ever, please don't ask me why I don't include more unhabited communities; there are some here; I give the news I can find.Let's start with the monastics!The big news from our friends the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ, aside from their new line of soaps, is … [Read more...]

Craving Silence to Hear: Atchison Blue

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If I am late coming to a review of Judith Valente's new book -- which is currently being featured in the Patheos Book Club, it is only because the pope keeps all of us very busy these days, and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith is too good for a slap-dash mention. After reading, it needed time for absorption, and even some revisits, to do it justice.People are fast to make comparisons between Atchison Blue and Kathleen Norris' beloved modern classic, … [Read more...]

Reconciling Eve and Mary in Another Way – UPDATED

Eve and Mary by Sr. Grace Remington, O.C.S.O

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. -- Ecclesiastes 3:1Via Deacon Greg, we get this terrific story out of Missouri:A former monastery for Catholic nuns is preparing for new life. It will now become home to Life House Crisis Maternity Home, which has partnered with Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri.For more than forty years, it was a quiet place of prayer. "They were here praying, praying for all of us in southern Missouri, and … [Read more...]

Benedictine Voices: Angels and Saints Debuts at #1

1A SINGING NUN

So, Katrina is in one of her hissing moods, tonight, and I have decided that what she needs is to listen to the incredibly sweet tone of the Benedictines of Mary, whose latest album, Angels and Saints at Ephesus has debuted at #1 on the Classical music charts.Why am I doing this? Because that's just the kind of gal I am, and also because "music hath charms to soothe the savage breast", and for soothing the savage there is almost nothing better than this stuff. I don't know if it's because … [Read more...]

God in the Balance; Loving Dark and Light

shutterstock_128909486 fallencrucifix

Regardless of our religion -- whether we are Catholics or Evangelicals or Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist -- the spiritual life challenges us to find balance. One of the reasons I was attracted to the Rule of Saint Benedict was because in ora et labora there is a prescription for balance. In the recitation of the Divine Office, we not only sanctify our time but we also set a pace for the whole day of prayer; work; prayer; work until -- if we are good Benedictines (and I am not one) it all flows … [Read more...]

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.To 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, then:One expects a … [Read more...]


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