Meanwhile, real women religious…

From The Catholic Herald , the UK’s best Catholic weekly, comes this great news about the Nashville Dominicans:

American Dominican Sisters move to Scotland
By MADELEINE TEAHAN

One of the most flourishing religious congregations in America is to establish itself in a medieval convent in northern Scotland.

Four Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia from Nashville, Tennessee, will be formally welcomed this weekend by the Diocese of Aberdeen during a celebratory Mass at Greyfriars Convent in Elgin. The four Sisters, popularly known as “Nashville Dominicans”, will reside at the convent in Elgin, formerly home to the Sisters of Mercy who left in 2010.

[...]

They can expand because they have vocations.

They have vocations because they are faithful to the Church and their identity.

It’s not rocket science.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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49 Responses to Meanwhile, real women religious…

  1. Elodie says:

    “formerly home to the Sisters of Mercy…”

    Having a personal knowledge of that community, I’m not surprised. And I’m beyond pleased the Holy Spirit has moved in to fill the gap so wonderfully.

    Lucky Diocese of Aberdeen!

  2. Wonderful news! And I agree unreservedly with your characterization of the sisters, Father.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  3. iPadre says:

    Thank God for the many faithful Religious women. Among some of the older groups and new groups popping up here and there. Among them are my friends, the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth in the Diocese of Scranton.

  4. lucy says:

    Isn’t it ironic that at one time sisters and priests from other countries were coming to our aid and now we’re going to theirs?

  5. netokor says:

    You are such a bully, Fr. Z. By calling these sisters “real women religious” you are implying that the lcwr are not. If I had any power you would suffer five years of sensitivity training. :-)

  6. frjim4321 says:

    I agree with netokor.

    This is a sad and misogynistic affront to thousands of women religious, many of whom have been in vows for more than 50 years and built the Catholic education and healthcare systems basically as slaves.

    Of all the other topics that surface here, the greatest infective seems to be saved for women religious. They’re even worse than gays and the pro-choice crowd.

    Interesting…

  7. acardnal says:

    frjim5432, many of the sisters associated with the LCWR who taught in Catholic schools are responsible for those adult Catholics today who do not know anything about what the Catholic Church believes – although they do know how to make some pretty tapestries and banners and like referring to their consciences for ascertaining what is true. The majority of adult Catholics today are ignorant of Catholic teaching! And that can be attributed to the malformed clergy and sisters who supposedly taught them the Catechism back in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s.

    Thank God for sister like the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia who are back in Catholic schools today teaching the faith and the real Catechism to our children.

  8. acardnal says:

    sic: above was in reference to frjim4321′s remark, but I’m sure there is a “5432″ out there somewhere, too.

  9. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 said “I agree with netokor.”

    I think you’re losing your sense of humor, Fr. Jim. I’m pretty sure netokor’s comment was tongue-in-cheek.

    Bless the Dominican Sisters. Four of these beautiful women recently visited a poor, rural parish in the county of my birth with an eye towards opening the first-ever Catholic school there. Parents are very excited at the prospect. They bring such joy everywhere they go.

  10. David Zampino says:

    God bless those sisters!

  11. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    This is a sad and misogynistic affront to thousands of women religious, many of whom have been in vows for more than 50 years and built the Catholic education and healthcare systems basically as slaves.

    Of all the other topics that surface here, the greatest infective seems to be saved for women religious. They’re even worse than gays and the pro-choice crowd.

    The LCWR is not composed of sisters who built the Catholic school system. Those sisters, who did heroic work, are long since dead or retired.

    As a matter of fact, the sisters most like those who built the school system are the Nashville Dominicans, about whom you issued the snide remark: “Yeah . . . but how many stay.” When I presented the facts on how their Congregation has grown, you disappeared. As you always do.

  12. frjim: women religious. They’re even worse than gays and the pro-choice crowd.

    Surely you can’t really think LCWR women religious even worse than gays and pro-choicers! (Even if some may possibly be both.)

  13. TNCath says:

    What a wonderful gift to the Church these Sisters are. They actually think with the Church, something that reportedly Archbishop J. Peter Sartain mentioned to the LCWR in one of his addresses last week. Keep in mind that Archbishop Sartain’s sister is a Nashville Dominican as well. Hmmmm.

  14. Bea says:

    Wonderful to hear how they are expanding.
    We have been receiving their newsletters for a long while but I don’t always get to read all of them
    May God continue to bless them and their fidelity.

  15. maryh says:

    Um, actually, no, the greatest invective is not saved for “women religious”. It’s saved for those women religious who have renounced their vows without having the courtesy to leave (their orders, or even the Catholic Church, depending on how far they’ve strayed).

    There does seem to be a more visceral negative reaction to women who are purposely and unrepentantly unfaithful to their religious vows, than to men who are similarly unfaithful to their religious vows. Especially when they pull the bait-and-switch, building on the reputation of the faithful religious sisters who went before them, those sisters who actually built up the institutions which these current sisters are responsible for tearing down.

    And yes, there’s no question that the women we’re talking about in the leadership of the LCWR are unfaithful to their vows, which include obedience to the Church. And I’m not talking about the organizational structure, or obedience to the direction of bishops, or agitation for women’s ordination – those are all smokescreens – I’m talking about obedience to plain doctrine, like the role of the second Person of the trinity in salvation, and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Their heresy is on their website for the whole world to read.

  16. benedetta says:

    The “LCWR” stands for “Leadership Conference of Women Religious”. How many times do we have to remind people not to listen to the misrepresentations of people like frjim4321 who wants us to believe that the LCWR accurately represents the beliefs and sentiments of women religious?

  17. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I surmise that this outpouring of grace in NE Scotland has a great deal to do with the wonderful, blessedly orthodox Archbishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, the former Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Pluscarden (geographically very close to Elgin, so he knows the ‘territory’).
    For one of Archbishop Hugh’s faithfully fervent pastoral letters, see here (18th August 2013)
    http://www.dioceseofaberdeen.org/?p=2406#more-2406

  18. Bea says:

    frjim4321
    It is obvious that netokor was being humorous, tongue in cheek humor.
    What is even funnier is that you took him so seriously.
    Even with my own serious bent I saw that.

    “fr”jim4321 quote:
    “Of all the other topics that surface here, the greatest infective seems to be saved for women religious. They’re even worse than gays and the pro-choice crowd”

    “They’re even worse than gays and the pro-choice crowd” ??
    You may be right, there.
    Gays and pro-choicers are putting their own immortal souls in danger,
    but the LCWR nuns are leading young innocent ones to spiritual danger through their twisted education and lack of example of obedience to the Magisterium.

    Loss of children’s innocence through these twisted sx=ed is just for starters.
    Most of those young adults taught by these LCWR nuns are now pro-aborts, moms-out of wedlock, live-ins without benefit of marriage, pro-choicers, non-believers or atheists, or those completely unknowledgeable about their Faith and sharing this lack of knowledge with others.
    I worked with a “good” Catholic girl who thought sex outside of marriage was all right if the man wasn’t married and compared it to a good-night kiss.
    She and her friends all thought this was all right. Who was responsible for this lack of Catechesis?
    Most of them were LCWR nuns, feeling good for their “service” to others while the young ones fell into the flames of hell, but after all, they did learn to be NICE.
    There will be a lot of NICE young people in hell, I’m afraid, because nobody was listening to Our Lady’s warnings.

    I don’t know how old you are or if you remember some “famous/infamous” quotes from the past.
    “The heresy of today is the dogma of tomorrow”
    “I’m nobody’s handmaid” What an insult to Our Lady’s words as a certain nun refused to do as she was bid.
    A new “religious” habit pushed by a certain sister C….a: a mini-skirt and go-go boots because she wanted to “relate” to people on their own level. I guess pant suits and peddle pushers are their new “religious” habits nowadays.
    etc. ad nauseum

  19. capchoirgirl says:

    I think the proof is in the pudding, as they say.
    Nashville, Ann Arbor, Summit, etc….they are growing.
    The LCWR groups? Not.
    I am thrilled for them. I went to a women’s retreat at their Nashville Motherhouse in March and was blown away by the beauty, peace, and *fun* they all have. It was a….shall I say?….ineffable experience.

  20. Lin says:

    frjim4321………..Are you a troll? Your comments never seem to support traditional Catholic beliefs and/or opinions.

  21. Bruce Wayne says:

    Maybe I have not been visiting this site long enough but can someone tell me if this “frjim4321″ is actually a priest? I don’t think he/she could possibly be but does anyone know him/her? I too just think this is a troll amused by provoking others here. The comment above is so riddled with irrationality and fraud that it has to be a troll.

  22. Athelstan says:

    There does seem to be a more visceral negative reaction to women who are purposely and unrepentantly unfaithful to their religious vows, than to men who are similarly unfaithful to their religious vows. Especially when they pull the bait-and-switch, building on the reputation of the faithful religious sisters who went before them, those sisters who actually built up the institutions which these current sisters are responsible for tearing down.

    Exactly so.

    How many LCWR member leaders are actually teaching or working as nurses in hospices?

    There might be a few (I can think of one; but she’s technically a principal). But for the most part, what they’re talking about is ancient history.

  23. netokor says:

    Fr. Jim, I was only kidding.  Liberals have no problem immediately punishing people who disagree with them. In contrast, the LCWR are given five years to make up their minds as to whom they will serve, as we just read in a previous post.   So as I was writing my dumb joke I was imagining Father Z spending time in the Gulag Sensitivity Training Center for five years, while the LCWR sisters were deliberating in posh resorts.

    Holy Church is patient and kind–much more than I could ever be–and certainly not a bully towards even heretics. If I had any say in the matter, I would give the sisters 5 minutes–not 5 years–to unambiguously and humbly submit in full obedience to all of the teachings of the Church.

    As Bea mentioned, they have led many astray through their rebellious agenda.   They’re really liberal secular social workers, not faithful Catholic religious.

  24. acardnal says:

    Bruce Wayne,
    Fr. Z has vouched for the fact the Fr. Jim is indeed a priest.

  25. Bea says:

    acardnal
    If, so (and it must be so if Fr. Z has vouched for it-I think I remember Fr. Z saying the only thing they agreed upon was the brand of cigars they preferred), if so, poor, poor frjim. He must have been taught by LCWR nuns. The sad thing is that he (frjim) has the authority to spread his errors in his parish. May God have mercy on his soul and the souls of those under his care.
    We must increase our prayers for him.

  26. Huzzah for epic women religious! My sister is a Carmelite, I have a friend who is a Poor Clare, and three other friends who are aspiring to be a Missionary of Charity, a Norbertine, and a Dominican of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. I admire the heroism of these women so much! How wonderful to hear this news about the Nashville Dominicans, another amazing order.

  27. Lin says:

    Holy Church is too patient and too kind to heretics! And they are leading people astray! Woe to them that let this happen. Until theological dissent from clear Church teachings, which seems to have increased significantly after Vatican II, is a thing of the past, Catholics will continue down the path of secularization. The impact is incalculable. It is my understanding that the Vatican has expanded canon law to forbid this dissent and threatens punishment for those who violate the law. One can only hope and pray that the bureaucracy wake up and impose some authority over dissidents at all levels of the heirarchy and laity. The Church was not intended to be a democracy!

  28. Lin says:

    And our parish has a progressive pastor who believes rubrics are only guidelines among many other errors! Pray that the hierarchy finally realize the damage these dissidents are doing not only to Catholics but the wrong impression they are giving to our Protestant brothers and sisters! Dissenters state that it is OK to ignore the Pope on matters of faith and morals as long as they follow their consciences formed by the dissenters! I cannot count the number of times that dissenting priests, politicians, and nuns on the bus have been used to defend sin. Pray for a public crackdown!

  29. moconnor says:

    We should remember that the Sisters of Mercy are an old, but not ancient, order. Their service is legendary and laudable. They were founded in Ireland to serve the poor and marginalized. After Vatican II, some of the changes can be questioned, but their work is still important. We should mourn the loss of these women.

  30. netokor says:

    Lin, very moving words. And the LCWR heretics themselves have suffered. They have not known the peace and happiness that the real-yes, real-women religious possess and radiate wherever they are.

  31. Lin says:

    netokor, you are so right! They are not joyful as those who believe in all the teachings of the Church. It is VERY sad. Much prayer is needed!

  32. Lin says:

    And as I contemplate my own impatience with any dissidents, I realize how much patience GOD has as he watches over all of us. GOD have mercy on us all!

  33. veritas76 says:

    @moconnor –
    Do remember that the true charism of the Sisters of Mercy is being revived and lived out fully in union with Holy Mother Church through the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Alma, Michigan… Their work is important, indeed, and the Lord will not let that be lost!

  34. rbbadger says:

    My home parish has been blessed with the presence of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, a CMSWR-affiliated community with their American province headquartered in the San Fernando Valley. They are a Mexican order. My home parish is about 90 percent Hispanic. While they wear the modified veil, the rest of their habit is entirely traditional. They’re really wonderful sisters who do wonderful work for the Church.

    Even before I was a Catholic, it was thanks to them that I had an idea of what nuns are supposed to look like. They gave quite a visible witness to their consecration as vowed women religious in their floor-length habits which they continue to wear even at the height of summer.

    http://www.cmswr.org/member_communities/Franciscan%20Sisters%20of%20the%20Immaculate%20Conception.htm

  35. Maria says:

    Dear Lin says:
    21 August 2013 at 9:47 pm

    “And our parish has a progressive pastor who believes rubrics are only guidelines among many other errors! Pray that the hierarchy finally realize the damage these dissidents are doing not only to Catholics but the wrong impression they are giving to our Protestant brothers and sisters!” — We had a pro-life leadership mtg Tuesday night (08/20/13). The Los Angeles Diocese life coordinator told us that the church have NOT defined when life begins and that it was okay for priest NOT to follow the bishop. Aside from this, she told something that I responded (I was already angry) “that is not what the church teaches”. It was a leadership mtg and telling us it was okay that priest need not follow the bishop. For years we were asking priests in our area to support us but the priests would always tell us go to the bishop (our former archbishop was Card Mahoney. I think people in this blog is familiar with him, no need for further explanation.)

    Driving home, I kept asking God for forgiveness because I was just really angry – she said a lot of things contrary to what the church teaches.

    I was happy to see one nun in a habit with a walker.

    God’s blessings of peace and joy!

    God bless,
    Maria

  36. Tridentine Catholic says:

    @Fr. Jim, I have been considering a vocation to the Priesthood for many years now. May I ask what Seminary you attended? I wish to know, so that I may avoid it.

  37. jaykay says:

    “formerly home to the Sisters of Mercy…”

    Yeah, we’ve got one of those too in my town in Ireland, where I did the first 2 years of my education back in the 60s, it having been founded in the 1840s. It’s been sold off, of course, chapel and all, since there are only about 4 sisters left, all elderly. Their Irish website shows that they’ve had about 12 vocations in the last 10 years.

    I clearly remember, circa 1965, one of the young Mercy sisters teaching me went off to Alabama. Maybe, just maybe, the Dominicans of St Cecilia, having come from the US to Scotland, will eventually make the jump across to Ireland! St. Columba in reverse, basically. Couldn’t be too soon.

  38. Lin says:

    Dear Maria, I understand your anger. I have experienced the same feelings when I hear Catholic leaders dissent. I do not understand what in the Vatican II documents gives them this “right” to dissent. This blog has helped me realize I am not alone. And for the most part, I am less angry and more saddened by the whole situation. I pray to GOD for perseverance. May GOD bless you!

  39. Supertradmum says:

    jaykay, the government is in charge of education in Ireland, not the Church. No independent schools here.

  40. jaykay says:

    Supertradmum: I wasn’t necessarily thinking of them coming into the educational sphere. But, since you raise the point: as you know, many second-level schools remain under the patronage of the various Orders that founded them, even if very few religious remain in teaching positions in them. Therefore an Order like the Dominican Sisters could, in theory, be invited to come in by a declining (and aren’t they all) Order to take over its role. They would have to have recognised teaching qualifications, of course.

  41. frjim4321 says:

    “Fr. Jim, I have been considering a vocation to the Priesthood for many years now. May I ask what Seminary you attended? I wish to know, so that I may avoid it.” – Tridentine Catholic

    You are presuming you would be eligible and that you would be accepted.

  42. Montserrat says:

    Tridentine Catholic,
    I admire you , as I admire the ability of all solid Catholics, to come right out and ask a straightforward question. You show clarity of intellect and great prudence.

  43. robtbrown says:

    Tridentine Catholic says:

    @Fr. Jim, I have been considering a vocation to the Priesthood for many years now. May I ask what Seminary you attended? I wish to know, so that I may avoid it</B

    The neo-gnosticism that was the foundation of much of seminary formation in FrJim's day has to a great extent disappeared

  44. robtbrown says:

    Tridentine Catholic says:

    @Fr. Jim, I have been considering a vocation to the Priesthood for many years now. May I ask what Seminary you attended? I wish to know, so that I may avoid it

    The neo-gnosticism that was the foundation of much of seminary formation in FrJim’s day has to a great extent disappeared

  45. McCall1981 says:

    @robtbrown
    What you point out is exactly what gives me hope. From everything I’ve read, the seminaries have improved, so we have to wait for that improvement to work it’s way up through the Church structure. It’s happening, it’s just a slow, two steps forward one step back kind of process.

    I see it as the same kind of thing as is happening with the LCWR. We need to be patient as the LCWR types are gradually replaced by good, Holy sisters. It’s just painfully slow.

  46. WaywardSailor says:

    Does a second such re-establishment constitute a movement? His Eminence Cardinal Dolan has sent four Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal to Drogheda in Ireland to a convent abandoned by the Sisters of Mercy due to “age and no new vocations”. Ireland, having once saved Christian civilization and having sent missionaries throughout the world for fifteen hundred years, is now mission territory itself.

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/New-York-Cardinal-Timothy-Dolan-places-US-nuns-in-Ireland-220489561.html

  47. SpesUnica says:

    I am reminded of a powerful story that biblical scholar Luke Timothy Johnson (someone who I disagree with on MANY subjects) told at a conference I once attended. This was awhile ago, so I can’t swear to the accuracy of my memory. He related that, when he was a young monk and studying at St. Meinrad’s, he and some of the other “progressive” monks were arguing with the older monks about the Council and the reform of the liturgy. Johnson said that they young monks were so happy, and filled with enthusiasm because they felt like the Holy Spirit was really moving the Church in the right directions. They were frustrated, even angry with the “sticks in the mud” with their Latin and cobwebs. He said that one night they snuck into the library and destroyed (burned?) the old liturgical books (Missals, Breviaries, etc.) to speed the transition, and in a way, to spite the old timers.

    Dr. Johnson said something like this, then, “I still think we were right about the liturgy. And I am still doing penance for the way we treated those brothers.”

    Even if we are sure we are right about the liturgy, there are still lessons to be learned about charity and respect for our elders. Truth wielded without Charity is just a weapon, and Christ always wielded both, in either hand. Especially if you (like me) are too young to have lived through those times, be very careful about catty remarks. You didn’t live through it, and you didn’t have to navigate the perils and confusion. There but for the grace of God go I.

  48. Tridentine Catholic says:

    Father Jim said “You are presuming you would be eligible and that you would be accepted.”
    I am eligible, and The Diocese of Knoxville has shown interest in me for several years, through two Bishops.

  49. Tridentine Catholic says:

    At least one commenter on this tread knows me personally, and he can attest to my “eligibility” & “acceptability” to the Priesthood, I only delay pursuing a vocation due to concern for my ill father (as an only child I must care for him) and the time I would be way at seminary, and over where I may be sent by the Diocese.