Sick of the LCWR? There are other sisters out there, you know.

The LCWR’s leadership will now debate whether or not they want the Church’s true Magisterium in their lives.

They are poised to become irrelevant.  Then, irrelevant, the biological solution will have its way with them and all their institutes, which have no vocations.

There is an alternative to the LCWR and the institutes involved with it.

For example, I have known and admired the Mercy Sisters of Alma, Michigan for years.  They are highly educated and deeply faithful women who, as I saw in Rome, are ready to serve wherever there is need, even in very humble household work for some prelates.  For example, in my old mentor Cardinal Mayer’s later years, they took care of him with exceptional attention.

In any event, to pick up on something Card. Levada said about the meeting with the leaders of the LCWR, namely that if the LCWR doesn’t clean up its act the CDF can find a different, properly functioning group, I note with interest a story about the Alma Mercy Sisters in CNA.

Whereas the LCWR (a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns) has members who support abortion and write books that skate near and over the edge of Christian orthodoxy, there are new groups of sisters who are faithful.

Have a look at the CNA article on the Mercy Sisters …. NOT the group to which Sr. Margaret Farley, RSM, belongs.

Sisters of Mercy doctors say LCWR is injecting politics into dialogue
By Kevin J. Jones

Alma, Mich., Jun 14, 2012 / 02:15 am (CNA).- Physicians who are also Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma are criticizing the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and its defenders for using an impoverished “language of politics” instead of “the language of faith” in the dialogue with the Catholic hierarchy.  [In other words the LCWR types don’t even talk like sisters anymore.]

There is no basis for authentic dialogue between these two languages. The language of faith is rooted in Jesus Christ, His life and His mission, as well as the magisterial teaching of the Church,”[not the alternative “Magisterium of Nuns” which the less-faithful women have proposed as over and against that of the bishops and Holy Father.]  said the physician-sisters’ statement, which was issued after a June 2 meeting on the contributions of religious women in the healing ministry of the Catholic Church.

[NB:] “The language of politics arises from the social marketplace,” they said. “The Sisters who use political language in their responses to the magisterial Church reflect the poverty of their education and formation in the faith.[Do I hear an “Amen!”?]


Sr. Jane Mary Firestone, RSM, an internist at Sacred Heart Clinic in Alma, Mich., who helped write her religious congregation’s statement, spoke about it with CNA. She said that there is no issue with people representing their perspective to the Church and stating where they see problems.

However, she said that critics of Vatican’s assessment are taking their action into “a political arena of demonstrations” and are “garnering support in a political sense.”

“That doesn’t feel very appropriate,” Sr. Firestone said June 13. In her view, the social marketplace uses “the language of majority rule” and does not necessarily have “a regard for authority.”

“They’ve taken this into the public political arena and it no longer stays in the dialogue of faith. Representation is always possible, dialogue is always possible, but it’s with the reverence towards the hierarchical Church.”

She said that the “language of faith” expresses belief in the Church and the authority of the Church. Catholics believe that when the bishops speak, they have “a different degree of authority” than when someone else does.

[NB:] “In other words, the magisterial Church does direct for us the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as religious women,” she said.

Sr. Firestone said that while Catholics do not believe the bishops are canonized saints, they are “not just ‘a bunch of men.’


Read the rest there.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. We are blessed to have some Alma Sisters of Mercy in my diocese. They are completely faithful orthodox, altogether with the more familiar “sisters of mercy” who often seem to be one of a piece with the LCWR as it has recently been portraying itself.

  2. wolfeken says:


    For women religious who have a devotion to the traditional Latin Mass, these Benedictines are the the future of the Church:

  3. JacobWall says:

    Thank you Fr. Z!

    It’s important to couple exposing what the LCWR is really about with showing that there are REAL nuns out there doing real religious work, in and for Christ and his Church. I think, if they refuse to clean up their act, they will become irrelevant not only when the hierarchy removes their status, but at the same time when more and more Catholics realize that the “real thing” is out there – real nuns that we can show support for in prayer and many other ways.

    I’m new to Catholicism, so I’ve been exploring various aspects of the Church and Church life when I get the chance. Having read about all the mess with the LCWR, I was a little wary of visiting a nearby monastery of Carmelite nuns (in southern Ontario); however, after a review of their webpage (, and a couple of visits, I suspect that these are real nuns. The Divine Office and Eucharist are the focal points of their day, they wear their habits, and, from what I can tell, dedicate themselves to a life of prayer, simplicity and work.

    I think that one of the most important actions that laypeople can take against the decay of the LCWR (note: against their decay, not against them) is to support nuns who dedicate themselves to the work of the Church in a more complete way; I feel this is especially true of local nuns, but of course also in a more general sense. Anyone who is near a group like the Mercy Sisters of Alma, Michigan should visit and offer all the support they can.

  4. dans0622 says:

    Yes, and there is another “umbrella” organization in existence:

  5. irishgirl says:

    Amen to what this true ‘Sister of Mercy’ said! She’s got it right!

  6. priests wife says:

    We have Servants of Mary sisters- they are all RNs and wear beautiful habits- their ministry is really unique- they go to homes at night to do over-night care for those gravely ill so the families can get some sleep- so their life is sort of upside down. They worked with a non-Catholic homeschooling family that I know- for one year, they took care of and prayed at the bedside of a young dad of three before he died.

    …maybe I am talking like a married person- but I don’t understand those sisters and nuns who might as well be single (one good thing about being single is independence- but then no one is independent of the laws of God)- I’m sure some of them were blind-sided by the changes after the last council, but the LCWR-type sisters I know don’t wear habits, went back to their given names, wear nothing that could be considered simple, religious ‘uniform’ and hint at their desire for women priests….sad

  7. Joe in Canada says:

    Ironically I think you will find more hands-on with the poor and those in need with the communities of the CMSWR than with the LCWR, which focuses more on political advocacy (with some individual exceptions of course).
    I wonder if any of the communities of the CMSWR have members who wear “Nuns for Choice” t-shirts.

  8. Gaetano says:

    “The Sisters who use political language in their responses to the magisterial Church reflect the poverty of their education and formation in the faith.”

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner! That’s exactly where the heart of the problem lies.

    The same poverty of education and formation in the faith pervades many institutions of secondary and higher education.

  9. quaerens_sapientiam says:

    Why no mention of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, Father? The CMSWR is faithful to the Magisterium and represents, among other religious communities, the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, who you name. They also have many other merits in contrast to the LCWR.

  10. quaerens_sapientiam says:

    P.S. For those who do not know, CMSWR is a parallel organization to LCWR. Both exist for the same purpose, to act as conferences of major superiors.

  11. Trad Tom says:

    Thanks to all of you who mentioned the CMSWR. I’ve been wondering why there is never any comparative news between the two groups — but then I realized that THEY are loyal to the Magisterium; therefore, they are not newsworthy.
    It’s a strange, strange world, we live in….. I like the poster who always ends with “How long, Lord? How long?”

  12. HeatherPA says:

    I deeply admire and respect the Sisters
    Of Life in NYC. They are deeply committed to the unborn and pregnant women. Their habits are beautiful blue and white, which they wear at all times, and they have wonderful programs that truly underscore their commitment to the doctrine of the Church, their ministry of helping poor, impoverished women in crisis pregnancy… I cannot say enough abou how wonderful and joy filled all the sisters that I have met are! They radiate peace and love.

  13. pfreddys says:

    This is fantastic!!!! So how will the LCWR (a subsidiary of the Magisterium of Nuns) dismiss these M.D. or D.O. sisters as not being intellectual or educated enough?!?!? Thank you for illustrating these nuns, and lets give them prayers prayers and more prayers……could you imagine how much money these wonderful women would be making in the secular world?!?!?!?

  14. LionelAndrades says:

    LCWR Sisters could have asked the CDF to introduce them to those saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire

    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has explained that the purpose of the doctrinal assessment had been to “assist the LCWR in this important mission by promoting a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ” and also on “the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium.”

    The assessment had found serious theological and doctrinal errors in presentations at the Leadership of Catholic Women Religious(LCWR)’ annual assemblies in recent years, with many showing “scant regard for the role of the Magisterium.”

    The rebellious American sisters who have still not been excommunicated, probably because of their leftist sources of power, and are privileged, unlike the SSPX bishops, cannot tell Cardinal Levada, “You first affirm the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and set an example for us”.

    At their last meeting on Wednesday the sisters could have asked Cardinal William Levada Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) “Why don’t you affirm the literal interpretation of the centuries old dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, ‘as was faithfully taught through the ages’ ”

    Or, why don’t you issue a Doctrinal Notification to Cardinal Kurt Koch a member of the Vatican Curia and Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, who on May 16 said Jews do not have to convert into the Catholic Church in the present times, contradicting the Bible and the Creed.

    They cannot tell the CDF to endorse the dogma since the Sisters reject the dogma and this is a cause of their rebellion, heresy and free thinking.

    It is because the Sisters have rejected the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus that they have gone into New Age etc.

    Otherwise when the Sisters were at the CDF office they could have asked the Secretary of the CDF, Cardinal Luiz Ladaria S.J: “How can you claim that there are known cases of non Catholics saved with the baptism of desire ? Who are these cases, exceptions to the literal interpretation of the dogma? “

    “How can we know a person saved in invincible ignorance and a good conscience (LG 16) who is in Heaven? How can we telephone them or meet them on earth?”. The CDF Secretary says we can meet them. He makes this claim in two papers of the International Theological Commission (ITC).It is because he believes that we can meet these people on earth, he assumes that they are defacto exceptions to the literal interpretation of the dogma.

    Also he writes on the ITC website that the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII, corrected Fr.Leonard Feeney for rejecting the baptism of desire etc. If this is true then the cardinal is saying that the Letter made an objective mistake. Since the baptism of desire etc are not exceptions to the literal interpretation of the dogma. They are in a sense irrelevant to the dogma and its centuries old literal interpretation.

    The Sisters could have asked the CDF to introduce them to those saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire

    The Sisters have been rightly criticized for reported distortions of faith in Jesus and the structure of sacramental life, as well as undermining the doctrines of “the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the inspiration of Sacred Scripture.”.-Lionel Andrades

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