Thank You, Sisters

Have you thanked the sisters in your life? I be you have their contact information and know where to reach them. Thank them. Today. – awr


  1. Thank you, Fr. Jim, for reminding me of *my* heroines… I’ll repost your message and pray for the women you mention.

  2. When I was a boy, I lived in a Catholic orphanage administrated by the Sisters of Mercy [RSMs], who, if I may borrow from Leonard Cohen, are not departed and gone, especially from my heart. The sisters imparted to me the love of God. One sister gave me a word(s) from Psalm 27: “If my parents rejected me, / Still God will take me in” (10-11). Blessing to these and all holy women of God!

  3. Nuns should continue standing up to Rome: Regina Brett
    Plain Dealer: Wednesday, May 02, 2012, 5:10 AM

    Nuns, be bold and be brave.
    The Catholic church needs your courage and your voice now more than ever.

    That spirit has blown through the youngest nun I know, Sister Erin Zubal. She teaches each girl at Beaumont School to be a woman for others. Sister Erin is 29. She took her final vows in January. There was no lightning bolt eight years ago when she decided to be a sister.

    “I grew up witnessing great women in religious life,” she said. “The women of the church are incredible. I’m privileged to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and live the Gospel. It’s not easy. It’s not a popular choice.”

    She didn’t want to comment on the Vatican document, but was willing to share her journey. She joined the Ursulines to live as a woman of prayer, justice and compassion. “This is the best way I feel called to live my best life,” she said.

    Sister Erin is a licensed social worker. She worked in the jail with the Women’s Re-Entry program, then taught theology at Beaumont, became a campus minister and is now the athletic director.

    Her goal is to help students discover their own gifts of the spirit. Last year, she took students to the prison in Lucasville to pray during an execution. They’ll never forget the moment the inmate’s family came out and thanked them.

    With her help, Beaumont brought in Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking.” The students put on that play and met Sister Helen. They were captivated by her holiness.

    A holiness that knows no gender.

    A holiness that can’t be reined in, not even by the pope

    My 89 year old aunt this evening talked about the sexual abuse scandal in Philadelphia and her disgust about how we Catholics have to continue being embarrassed in front of non-Catholics by the behavior of our church leadership.

    1. Thanks for another great article, Jack.

      It’s not only we Catholics being embarrassed in front of non-Catholics, it’s we Catholic priests being embarrassed in front of our parishes and our families because aspects of the institution that we represent.

      It helps to keep a healthy distinction between the institution and the Church.

  4. Fr. Jim

    Thank you for a clear reflection on how women religious took the documents of Vatican II seriously. Thank you to the women religious that hepled form and shape my faith.

  5. Some support from Down Under!

    CRA offers support to LCWR in America
    Catholic Religious Australia has offered a letter of support to the LCWR in America, according to a statement released by CRA.

    “On behalf of the Council of Catholic Religious Australia I write to offer you and all your Sisters in LCWR our support at this time,” writes CRA President Sr Anne Derwin.

    “We appreciate that your Board is yet to meet and discuss the conclusions of the Congregation for Faith and Doctrine of the Faith’s doctrinal assessment and the implementation plan put forward by that Vatican Office.

    “We thank you for your example of conducting this discussion calmly, without judgment and in an atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue. This way of operating is the norm for you. Be assured that the women and men religious of Australia are praying for you.”

  6. At 9:33pm EDT the signatures on the Support our Sister petition reached 40,000. Their goal is 57000.

    Over at NCR Ken Briggs asks When the Petitions Stop — What Then?

    Who knows? Is the sisters’ cause serious enough to impel Catholics to make it into something more than a short-term chorus of admiration for nuns and momentary objections to the Vatican?

    Where might Catholic laity do? What might cause the Vatican to have second thoughts?

    Money comes first to mind. If Catholics stopped giving while finding ways to specify contributions to charitable functions of the church, it might catch Rome’s attention in a big way. But it would be difficult to choreograph.

    A boycott of this kind would need a solid rationale

    I do not donate to large organizations like Catholic Charities and United Way but prefer local organizations such as the local SVDP, and parish food banks. The local Orthodox Church has two missionaries that operate a school in Uganda; that is acting across the globe in a local way.

    The Nun Justice Project is a grassroots movement supported by organizations like the American Catholic Council, Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church, Call To Action, FutureChurch, Voice of the Faithful, etc. Several of these organizations regularly solicit money which I do not give because it is not clear how it would benefit anyone, other than funding future requests for donations.

    These organizations could create a national network of independent diocesan lay grassroots organizations for providing time, talent and treasure to high priority projects of women religious. That would empower laity and women religious, and enable us to work together locally and nationally.

    If such independent lay organizations existed with reputations for doing good, bishops might be a little more cautious in how they handled both women religious and laity

  7. Vigils are planned for Tuesday in May beginning as early as tonight at places (mostly cathedrals) in Anchorage, AK, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Hebron, CT, Lansing, MI, Louisville, KY, Los Angeles, CA, Oakland, CA, Portland, OR, Providence, RI, San Juan, TX, Seattle, WA, St. Louis, MO, Washington, DC USCCB Office.

    Prayer Vigils have been very successful in sustaining people whose churches were closed. They were mostly held outside of those closed churches. However the people who held the vigils knew each other. Would people come from across the diocese for one of these?

    The key challenge will be to create local networks. I doubt if they will travel just to pray. I also doubt many will travel just to hear talks about nuns and other issues in the church.

    However if independent diocesan organizations were founded consisting of networks of grassroots organizations of lay people who wanted to support sisters with time, talent and treasure, and which mostly operated in cyberspace, prayer vigils might serve as useful way for people to meet for prayer and networking afterwards.

    Remember in the Vibrant Parish Life Study people said liturgy and community were the top priorities. Vatican II recommended Bible Vigils especially for priest-less communities.

    These networks however have to be created around positive elements, the collaboration of women religious and lay people in works of common interest, and supported by positive elements, namely prayer and community.

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