Dominican Sisters compete in the American Bible Challenge

The next stage of the American Bible Challenge is on tonight, Thursday, at 9 pm EDT on the Game Show Network

This gameshow tests the contestant’s knowledge of baseball trivia.


Among the teams competing are the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.  One of them was featured in another entry here today.  Sister was coaching a boy who was “saying Mass”.  HERE 

Here is a sneak-peak:

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are NOT associated with the LCWR.

Apparently the Sisters (median age around 28) have not yet evolved to a point where they can “move beyond the Church” or beyond Jesus.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. APX says:

    I really wish I got GSN so I could watch this. Anyone know if it can be watched online?

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  3. Sister H. says:

    Michigan is certainly becoming a great place for the renewal of religious life! We have the Dominicans in Ann Arbor, the Mercy Sisters in Alma, the Servants of God’s Love in Ann Arbor (all associated with the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious), Miles Christi for the men located in South Lyon (Father Hardon, SJ helped them in their early years), and, hopefully soon, we will have a new group of Sisters of St. Joseph!
    I met with the delegate for consecrated life/special assistant to the Bishop during Easter break and am simply waiting for some other like-minded & like hearted ladies to join this new/renewed SSJ adventure!
    Michigan + renewal of religious life = thanks be to God! :)

  4. LarryW2LJ says:

    “The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are NOT associated with the LCWR.”

    If I might snark:

    Of course not, obviously these Sisters KNOW their Bible!


  5. Eugene says:

    Praise God for these wonderful orthodox sisters.
    As an aside I have made it a point in the last few years when I am travelling to always ackowledge and greet a nun in habit ( of course I could never greet one in not in habit because I wouldn’t know who they were) and thank her for her public witness..just an act of appreciation and trying to build the up th Body of Christ

  6. David Zampino says:

    This episode is a re-run. Don’t worry — no spoilers.

  7. jilly4ski says:

    That clip brought me back to my childhood. In faith formation, we got a cassette tape of a really dopey song of the books of the bible. Including a strumming guitar.

    Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
    These are the Pentateuch,
    the first five books you see.

    Joshua, Judges, Ruth and
    First and Second Samuel.
    First and Second Kings, First and Second Chronicles
    Ezra, Nehemiah. …

    That’s all I remember, but man, talk about hippy dippy music. I suppose I should just be grateful they actually thought it worthwhile to teach us real stuff, despite their failings in taste of music and liturgical nonsense.

  8. Random Friar says:

    @David Zampino:

    The email I received from our sisters said that this would be the second stage of competition, so it should be a new show.

  9. Richard says:

    Had I been the one to set up the game in the that sneak-peak video, these would be the 7 books to put in order: Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch

  10. robtbrown says:

    The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are NOT associated with the LCWR.

    Apparently the Sisters (median age around 28) have not yet evolved to a point where they can “move beyond the Church” or beyond Jesus.

    Probably, the communities of the LCWR have moved beyond vocations.

  11. BeckyCA says:

    My children are blessed to be able to attend a school administered by these Sisters. I cannot emphasize enough how awesome they are — striving for holiness yet totally approachable! They have come to feel like MY sisters, like members of our family. :-)

  12. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    Are Old Testament listing the same for different Christian groups?

  13. sciencemom says:

    The Sisters are a lovely group. They came out to our (Dominican) parish last month and were quite the hit! The daughter of a friend is a member of the order.

    From my personal experience, it seems generally true that the orthodox orders of nuns are joyful, personable, and make people desire the “something” that they obviously have. The evangelize just by being themselves.

  14. Mandy P. says:

    This is fantastic!

  15. StJude says:

    @APX… Love that!

    this is adorable. Go Sisters!!

  16. Trinitarian Dad says:

    “Michigan is certainly becoming a great place for the renewal of religious life!”

    You missed the Trinitarians of Mary in the western part of the state.

  17. jenniphd says:

    I have great respect for all the women religious y’all have mentioned. I pray daily for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, though, because they rejected my daughter who has a disability without even meeting her. She was a little hurt, but it has truly damaged my older daughter’s vocational discernment. She had been interested in becoming a nun since she was little, but is quite shy and wanted her sister to accompany her on retreats. I pray that they will not damage any other young woman’s desire to be a Bride of Christ.

  18. JimGB says:

    And here in the Archdiocese of New York we have few “traditional” communities for women, with a few notable exceptions such as the Hawthorne Dominicans and the Sisters of Life. Convents once filled with sisters stand vacant as the sisters abandon them for apartments where two or three live and work in secular jobs. Convents owned by some orders are for sale so as increase the financial resources of the communities to care for their ever-aging, pant suit wearing members.

  19. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Most religious orders (even an intellectual one like the Dominicans) have a very hefty “physical” component to their work, and so it’s routine to reject anybody who doesn’t have a clean bill of health and no known disabilities. It’s much like joining the military, and for good reason — any religious order following St. Benedict’s design of prayer life is following one that copies Roman soldiers’ watch schedules and daily routine of drill and work.

    If health problems emerge during formation, it’s generally seen as a sign that God doesn’t want you being a sister or brother, just as health problems during boot camp can send you home. After formation, health problems are something the whole community deals with and accepts; but you’re supposed to start healthy before you start getting up to pray at midnight, etc.

    There are orders which are designed to include people who already have health problems, and thus have less of a rigorous physical component.

  20. mamajen says:

    Finally got around to watching. So funny! I wouldn’t have had a clue which order to put the books in, and then stacking them like that? I wouldn’t make it very far.

  21. jenniphd says:

    Suburbanbanshee, If you are responding to my comment, my daughter has an auditory processing disorder. She’s a picture of good health and fitness.

  22. Ichabod says:

    Fr. Z,
    Forgive me if you’ve covered this elsewhere, but there is also an interesting show which features a group of nuns. “Call the Midwife” is in its 2nd season on the BBC and appears on PBS in the states. I can’t remember the last television show that treated nuns in their noble roles (in this case helping poor mothers from the East End during pregnancy, child birth and coping with young children.) It is de rigueur watching in our household. They frequently show the chapel, prayers, and beautiful chanting/singing in Latin no less!!

  23. Hank Igitur says:

    These sisters hail from Ann Arbor MI. They need new premises as they keep outgrowing the existing ones. I believe they are looking to move on. They have more aspirants, postulants, novices, than you could poke a stick at. Their critics say they are not sufficiently discerning about who they accept but those same critics have empty formation houses. I hope they continue to flourish and don’t change a thing they are doing.


    They won!!! Not just won, but smoked the competition! And I have no doubt they’ll do the same in the finals…

    I must say, though, that watching the show almost drove me crazy. Despite being called “The American Bible Challenge,” the show is still very secular. It’s obvious the producers feel the need to compensate for the name by making it super “modern”, “hip”, and “relevant.” The other contestants were obnoxious, and the rockin’ music from the on-stage Gospel band would give most readers of this blog nightmares. The wonderful Sisters, in contrast, exuded such a gentle dignity, genuine joy, and inner peace that you could almost feel the atmosphere calm down whenever it was their turn. What fantastic witnesses!

  25. Joe in Canada says:

    But … but … if they wear veils, won’t that harm their perms?

  26. Emilio III says:

    Mightnotbeachristiantou, in traditional Catholic bibles the Old Testament is translated from the Greek Septuagint rather than directly from the Hebrew, so it has additional books as well as additional content in a couple of the common books. Tobit, Judith, parts of Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, and parts of Daniel are in Catholic but not in Protestant bibles. Eastern Orthodox bibles have a few more books than Catholic ones. So there are at least three slightly different lists of Old Testament books in Christian bibles, and some of the shared books go by different names. So “different order” is an understatement. :-)

  27. Cantor says:

    Ft. Zuhlsdorf said: This gameshow tests the contestant’s knowledge of baseball [sic] trivia. ??

    So the seven historical names they stacked in the lineup should be followed by ‘Joel’ (Pineiro) and, of course, ‘Ruth’?

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  29. VexillaRegis says:

    robtbrown: “Probably, the communities of the LCWR have moved beyond vocations.” ROFL!

  30. Clinton R. says:

    The future of women religious sure looks bright thanks to these Dominican Sisters. May God bless them. +JMJ+

  31. David Collins says:

    An auditory processing disorder? That sounds serious enough to sink a vocation but a great excuse at work. “But I thought you told me to throw the computer in the trash!”

  32. iowapapist says:

    Dear All:

    My youngest daughter and a friend are going to spend a weekend with these Dominican sisters for purposes of discernment. Please pray for them. Thank you.

  33. Sister H. says:

    Trinitarian Dad – my most humble apologies! I even know one of their Sisters. I always think of them as being from Tecate! Interesting story…one of their Sisters is a year older than I. Her family came from my home parish. I entered one year before she did, and we had pretty similar time frames all through formation. I have a photo of the two of us from when we were both novices. I knew her grandparents and her sister worked with my sister (both nurses). I never knew Sister well (only saw her during her home visits) , but it was neat to have similar vocational/formation time frames. I have lived, for the past year, in the same convent where the Trinitarians used to live before they moved to Lowell. Lots of interesting connections! I shall not forget to mention them again! :)

    OK, so my list should have said: “Michigan is certainly becoming a great place for the renewal of religious life! For men, there is Miles Christi in South Lyon. For the ladies, we have the Dominicans and the Servants of God’s Love in Ann Arbor, the Mercy Sisters in Alma, the Trinitarians of Mary in Lowell, and a brand new group of Sisters of St. Joseph forming in Flint!” None of them are LCWR communities.

  34. APX says:

    When it comes to things like vocations, we must abandon ourselves to God’s will for us. If it is God’s will that we become X, it will happen sooner or later. It might not be what we want, but wherever He leads us is where we’re supposed to be for our own spiritual benefit and the spiritual benefit of others.

    Both of St. Therese’s parents wanted to be religious, but were repeatedly rejected until they were told to stop trying. Instead it was God’s will for them to marry and raise holy children for the Church.

    While it may seem difficult for us to understand and accept God’s divine providence, we must remember that He’s in charge and knows what He’s doing. Wherever we find ourselves in life, He will provide us the grace to get through it provided we’re faithful to those graces and completely annihilate our trust in ourselves, and become fully intrusted in God.

  35. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Jenniphd,

    You wrote,

    “I have great respect for all the women religious y’all have mentioned. I pray daily for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, though, because they rejected my daughter who has a disability without even meeting her.”

    Perhaps, your daughter could look into the Dominican Third Order. Miss Anita, who posts, here, could probably give you some pointers. Third Order (or Seculars) are genuine members of the Order and share in the life, although taking their state in life into consideration, the requirements are more flexible and less severe. If your other daughter applied and became a religious sister, they would share a common vocation, she Second Order and your other daughter, Third Order. St. Edith Stein was a Carmelite nun, but it is less well-known that her sister, Rosa, also a convert, was a Carmelite Third Order who acted as the turn sister and accompanied St. Edith from convent to convent as they fled the Nazis, ultimately going to the gas chamber with her. There is no reason to think that Rosa might not one day be canonized.

    St. Therese of Liseaux’s parents were Secular Franciscans.

    It depends on the Order, but Third Orders are nothing to sneeze at. It is a genuine vocation, not people wanting to be mini-friars or mini-nuns. In fact, because a secular’s life is not as regimented as in the convent, it can, at times, be even harder to live the life. I can’t speak for all Third Orders, but I think the Carmelite and Dominican Third Orders have a five year formation period, just like in convents, where there are scrutinizes, postulancy (receiving the habit), novitiate (temporary promised) for three years, and profession (permanent). They study the writings of the founders and saints of the Order, learn to say the Liturgy of the Hours, devote time to prayer and spiritual readings, attend retreats, have formation overseen by friars of the Order, attend conventions, etc. There is also a real community.

    I do not know if a disability would be as automatic a turn-down as in a convent, since old people can join and many of them are not in perfect health. Perhaps some, here, can speak to that.

    The Chicken

  36. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Suburbanbanshee’s comments are overly facile (there’s more to it than that), but David Collins’ quip is just rude.

  37. John Nolan says:

    Ichabod mentioned the nuns in the British TV series ‘Call the Midwife’ set in the East End of London in the 1950s. These are in fact Anglican nuns, and they chant in English.

  38. mamajen says:


    I’m sorry your daughter had her hopes dashed due to her disability. As someone who has genetic hearing loss, I know it’s frustrating when people jump to conclusions or don’t understand. My dad, who has the same problem, couldn’t follow his dream of joining the Navy. However, as the saying goes “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” God has something in mind for your daughter, and someday the rejection will make sense.

    God Bless.

    @David Collins

    It’s tough to translate thoughts to comboxes sometimes, so I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt, but some things just aren’t to be joked about.

  39. HobokenZephyr says:

    One of our former babysitters is in the Novitiate there. If she didn’t make the cut for the travel team, they’re not going to be beaten on Bible trivia this side of Judgement Day. Kind of like the Steelers playing a pee wee team.

  40. Sister H. says:

    Dear Jenniphd,
    Please tell your daughter not to give up hope…perhaps she just hasn’t found the group that God wants for her! :)

  41. Cantor says:

    Jennyphd –

    One of my cousins has a serious speech impediment, but has spent many decades as a Carmelite nun, including several terms as Mother Superior. I know that all of us have benefited from her prayers and works. God finds ways.

  42. Cathy says:

    Where to place a shameless plug?

  43. APX,

    You inquired:

    Anyone know if it can be watched online?

    Links to videos of at least some of the American Bible Challenge episodes can be found on the GSN website at this page.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  44. As a postscript, this is the same community that hosted Lisa Ling, a staffer for Oprah Winfrey, who filmed parts of her stay with them, which film was broadcast on Oprah’s television show in about November 2010. I became one of their (very minor) benefactors because of the deftly charitable manner in which they all responded to Oprah’s repeated questions about the sisters’ foregoing marriage and sex. It was a true moment of evangelism and teaching, thanks to the sisters, and Mother Assumpta Long, their community’s superior. There’s a brief article about their appearance here. My biggest recent disappointment was that one of the sisters recently visited our (Dominican) parish in Seattle and I was unable to attend her presentation and thank her for their wonderful work.

    Keith Töpfer

  45. drea916 says:

    I very much wanted to join this order as well. However, I had been married when I was younger. It was a short marriage, and at the time, I was young and not formed. I went on to receive a decree of nullity and now am very serious about my Faith life. However, they wouldn’t talk to me. I was very disappointed at first. However, God’s Will will make us the happiest. The hard part is trying to co-operate with Him and figure out where he wants us. With that in mind, when “doors close” it should be seen as a blessing because it is God nudging us where he wants us. It’s when he doesn’t show me things as clearly that I worry about my life and fulfilling His Will. However, I try to focus on fulfilling those obligations I do know for sure that He asks of me and trust that he will lead me where he wants me- inspite of myself. Focus on Heaven- that’s what his life is really all about.

  46. jenniphd says:

    To all of you who have said supportive things, thank you. It means more than you know, especially in a culture that would happily kill all children with disabilities in the womb if they only had the genetic markers for all disabilities.

    To those of you trying to school me in the ways of accepting God’s will: My family completely understands discernment and finding God’s will in our lives. Thus neither of my girls had the thought that they “should” join this or that order, but were prepared to discern God’s will with other faith-filled young women. The damage that was done was really done to my older daughter’s discernment process. Perhaps some of you can identify with having a loved one who you spend your life defending against the evil and stupid comments and behavior of those who would abuse them. That’s how B has spent her life. In part because of the way the rejection was stated (you know, it’s possible to say you can’t be part of the club in a kind way) it made B really angry. Now it’s difficult for her to contemplate approaching another order because of what happened the last time. Yes, this is irrational because she’s had hundreds of positive interactions with our friends who are religious women, but emotions aren’t rational.

    And for the record, I don’t have a dog in the fight of whether my daughters become consecrated religious women or get married and have lots of beautiful, Catholic babies. I just want religious orders not to fall into Satan’s trap of judging by labels rather than discerning with people. Because of my advocacy work I know so many wonderful young men and women on the autism spectrum who would be terrific members of religious communities. Seems like a huge loss to the Church and to the lives of these people that they wouldn’t even be considered.

    Peace be with you all.

  47. Flos Carmeli says:

    So who won?! Does anyone know? :) I couldn’t find the answer to this question on the GSN page, or in the combox here… did I miss it?

  48. Sister H. says:

    drea916 & jenniphd…

    Hmmm…maybe the new Sisters of St. Joseph? ;)

    God bless!

  49. Sister H. says:


    I know exactly what you mean. As a teacher of high school students, I see every single day that God creates us in all shapes and sizes and with a variety of talents and challenges. Many of my kids would be rejected for religious life or various other things because a label goes before them…but, once somebody gets to know them, they can easily see that, indeed, though different than me or different than “the norm”, this person’s presence is EXACTLY what we need! :)

    I have a personal experience of my own that after being a religious Sister for many years, my congregation ceased to exist and became part of a group of seven communities that created one large new group. I won’t air the dirty laundry here, but I was ostracized for being too conservative…in other words, I believe and speak what the Church teaches even if it is not part of the prevailing opinion of the day. Because I wouldn’t embrace Barbara Marx Hubbard, mother earth, etc., I was bad and wrong, but those who publicly dissent were “courageous” and “prophetic”. Indeed, God opens new doors in ways that we never could have anticpated! Even though the pain is great when one door is slammed in our faces (in my case by those who are supposed to love us and who profess to be tolerant and inclusive of all people), I know that what is waiting just beyond the corner is better than any of us has ever imagined!
    God bless!

  50. Flos Carmeli says:

    doh!! Thanks, Phil_NL. Glad to see they won, but not surprised!

  51. Trinitarian Dad says:

    Dear Sister H.,
    Praised be Jesus Christ! I didn’t mean to sound critical of your comment regarding sisters in Michigan! I simply wanted (in a roundabout way) to give a shout-out to the Trinitarians of Mary! I was saddened to read of your pains for our Lord. I hope that things are better. A priest-friend of ours coined the terms L.P.N. and R.N. (Lapel Pin Nun and Real Nun). I’m assuming that you are one of the latter. We keep a notebook of intentions at the feet of our statue of Our Lady in our home. I will add you to them as well as the young lady who sought to enter the Dominicans.
    As for that young lady, I have heard that the Visitation sisters make provision for various conditions. They have a convent in Toledo, Ohio. Perhaps they would be a possibility?

  52. Sister H. says:

    Thanks, Trinitarian Dad!

    God bless!

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