LCWR Assembly Update: Pondering the Great Swirly

The reporter from the Fishwrap has produced a photo from last nights doings.  I should share this.

Standing above the Great Swirly, this is Sr. Lourdes Leal, a Sister of Divine Providence and chair of LCWR Region 12.  Just like the Bishops Conference, they have regions too!

I’ve haven’t kept up, but is this part of the modified habit of the Sisters of Divine Providence? Yeehaw!

In any event, from tweets we glean that Sr. Mock (the head of this thing) said that during their dealings with the CDF they feared for the life of the LCWR.  Not exactly triumphant.  However, see added that they received 100,000 letters of support.

It is useful to note that the LifeSite received some 400,000 signature in defense of marriage.

So, we see your 100K and raise you 300K.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    All hat, no cattle. They are so engaged that they fail to understand that they have beclowned themselves

  2. CradleRevert says:

    Look at all those gray heads. As far as their vocations are concerned, I guess the writing is on the wall….or on the hair… Maybe the red hat was intended to help distract from that.

  3. Paul Young says:

    Oh my. This is similar to a family reunion years ago when a very elderly aunt showed up quite deeply in the grips of dementia. She was dressed in her dead husband’s suit, had on a policeman’s cap, and had two cats in her over sized handbag.

    At least we had the decency to help her and to find a suitable caregiver to assist her. Someone really should do the same for these poor sisters.

  4. yatzer says:

    Yes, the hat. It looks from the picture to be a synthesis of cowboy hat and miter. Maybe it’s just the lighting and angle of the photo. What is supposed to be the effect here?

  5. pmullane says:

    Say what you like about the LCWR, but at least they got Dr Who to address their conference.

  6. acricketchirps says:

    Why can’t my family reunions ever be cool like that?

  7. KateD says:

    We can all see how they have strayed from the house of their Father, but won’t He be happier with the person who helps them return, than with one who mocks and ridicules His wayward daughters?


  8. Prayerful says:

    The groovy grannies of LCWR never disappoint.

  9. ChesterFrank says:

    I know its a conference of Women Religious, but could you tell me what religion? I am unsure what religion the “Great Swirly” represents.

  10. Gregorius says:

    Perhaps Sr. Leal was attempting to mimic the papal saturno- maybe it’s a sign of her authority?

  11. Joseph-Mary says:

    They certainly need our prayers! These women were called to be Brides of Christ, not contemplaters of a super swirly. A friend of mine just returned from California. She was once a Sister of St. Joseph but left many years ago. There was a reunion of those of her old group. She saw things with new eyes–liturgical dance, dyed hair, secular clothing, etc. My friend said some of that was starting even years ago; she is glad she left.

  12. Robbie says:

    That picture is just fantastic (for all of the wrong reasons of course)!

  13. iPadre says:

    The biological solution is working in our favor. Convents like the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and genre are growing by leaps and bounds. While the others, they “must decrease” while the faithful ones” increase. In 20 years, there will not be a liberal Sister left.

  14. Kerry says:

    They received 100,000 letters of support? Who writes letters? I’d bet most of those letters were “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”, and many “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’s”, and “Oh’s

  15. Eugene says:

    The bigger question in my mind is, why haven’t our chief shepherd(s) in Rome and the USA put an end to this charade. Where is the leadership of our church???
    I am sick beyond words of this group and if I hear another word about their great work and history I will literally become ill.

  16. benedetta says:

    I am not saying this in order to mock when I point out that viewed objectively this convention from the photographs resembles an event of political caucusing. Can contemplative Trinitarian prayer occur easily, naturally, spontaneously in the fulness of its dynamism in the midst of such an atmosphere?

    It’s hard to know from these published materials exactly what is going on, however one thing is for sure, they are on the defensive and are in a somewhat reactionary mode in the wake of their exchanges with the CDF. If the takeaway from that is only resentment and bitterness, that is certainly a shame, as even while the CDF represented some activity by a structure or system they abhor, the reality is that a great many of the common people of the pews regard their structures and systems and support for some which are dehumanizing, degrading, and life denying as abhorrent, and even if they dislike being called to account in a discussion publicly with the CDF they may still perhaps consider that there are ordinary people who if they had a neighborly encounter with their leadership in the narthex or at the grocery store would still politely and charitably and neighborly call to account.

  17. Fr. Matthew says:

    From the keynote speaker, Fr. Stephen Bevans, according to NCR tweet:

    “Bevans: The recent treatment of women religious in the U.S. is one of the horrors and terrors of our time. #LCWR2015 7:44 AM – 13 Aug 2015”

    How can a priest say this in the face of the torture, burning, beheading, drowning, of Christians going on in the Middle East? Disgraceful.

  18. TheDude05 says:

    If Fr Bevans was there keynote speaker they picked someone who also takes issue with traditional garb, or armor as I like to think of it. In all of the pictures I found of him he’s dressed in a suit like a Protestant minister rather than the Roman collar.

  19. Benedict Joseph says:

    The boxes behind Sister Annie Oakley bespeak our patriarchal ecclesial structures which are hard and geometric and mean. They are in place in order to give the sisters the aesthetic experience of participating in the actual deconstruction of patriarchy, employing artful Martha Graham-like dance with feminine grace, and to gift our liturgical life with this same experience.
    Myself, I think that is a fairly good guess, even though it might be somewhat cynical.
    Then again, maybe the cowboy hat, despite not being as prominent, speaks closer to the truth of the event, if there is any truth about it, except that it is occurring.

  20. Probably shouldn’t look too closely at the postmarks on those 100,000 letters of support.

  21. pseudomodo says:

    Is this what it is?

    I thought that Hollywood was announcing the 2016 remake of Midnight Cowboy or maybe Glen Campbell reissuing Rhinestone Cowboy or something.

  22. wmeyer says:

    It was one of their sisters in arms, I am afraid, who was recommended to my wife as a spiritual director. Luckily, I located her web page, where I learned that (among other things) she is a practitioner of the Enneagram.

    Do these people reject everything from the Vatican?

  23. benedetta says:

    Look, their organization (and their various media and political outlets within the Church) styles it that everything revolves around them, their rights, themselves, their desires, all about them. The CDF or any Catholic rightly questions such a “stance” which hardly constitutes a charism or a valid approach to evangelization. It just isn’t about them, that is the point. It’s about the Way, the Truth, and the Life and the Church’s espousal to Him, our commitment to proclaim His Holy Name everywhere. That children aborted while they shrug their shoulders and point to themselves is exactly why their photos and pr and publications appear to a great many, including would-be women religious discerners, as absurd and frivolous. Do they indeed think themselves of the sort that would speak truth to power to defend the defenseless? No one is stopping them from it. They render themselves ridiculous by their own navel gazing.

  24. LarryW2LJ says:

    Say whatever you want, but from the looks of the photo, putting on a presentation like this “ain’t cheap”. I wonder where they get their funding?

  25. iamlucky13 says:

    The Reporter linked to more coverage here.

    The discussion mostly seems to be on the health of the orders, fending off the Vatican’s visitation to ensure they were upholding Catholic teaching, and a lot of very ambiguous talk about meeting thirsts (usually you use an analogy as a starting point to explain detailed concepts or plans, but they seem to simply stick to the analogy itself). There was some talk about justice, but I’m seeing very little discussion even about service, which is one aspect of Christian living they usually actually have a decent amount of focus on. I had assumed service was the main point of their meeting thirsts analogy.

    Almost nothing about relationships with God, prayer, theology, communal life, the sacraments, etc.

    There was a little bit about contemplation, but it sounds more like chatting with other humans than the contemplative prayer described by such great women religious as Saint Theresa of Avila.

    “(Providence Sr. Marie McCarthy) said. ‘So I’ve started talking about it as contemplative engagement — it’s being present and really listening instead of listening to what we’re going to say back to them.'”


    And this:

    “(Father) Bevans’ address outlined one of the paradoxes of the Holy Spirit — whom he referred to as “she” throughout his talk”

    Another one:

    “Sister of St. Agnes Jean Steffes, who attended the Catholic Health Association assembly in June, said in her remarks that Catholic hospitals will soon have to address the treatment of transgender patients and that sisters associated with those hospitals will have to determine whether they will counter institutional discrimination passively or actively.”

    It’s unclear from the article if the discrimination she refers to is refusing to provide medical care to patients who identify as transgender, which would be wrong, or refusing to participate in non-medical mutilations.

  26. Vincent says:

    District 12?

    Is this the “nun” equivalent of the Hunger Games..?

  27. frjim4321 says:

    The Life Site “News” 400K vs. the LCWR 100K is a bit of a false dichotomy. First, the petitions are pulling from different populations; different in both quality and quantify. Second, LS”N” has never really been very accurate in its reporting thus I would hardly expect their reporting on their self-serving petition to be truthful.

    Nothing brings out bitterness, resentment, sarcasm and ugliness in these parts than the strong, courageous, competent and effective ministry of contemporary Women Religious.

  28. Aquinas Gal says:

    Some of the comments at Fishwrap are starting to turn on the nuns because 1) some say they never confronted the problem of sexual abuse by sisters, and 2) some are upset because of the firing of a gay employee by, I gather, the Sisters of Mercy.
    Others say these poor women should just go non-canonical. Once you get into liberal waters, the boundaries completely collapse. The poor nuns can’t please the radicals at Fishwrap anymore.

  29. benedetta says:

    Speak for yourself ^ frjim4321.

    Look, I’m hardly alone in exasperation with people who profess great works of social justice for “The Poor” and who at the same time as they claim to be loving also out of the other side of their mouth essentially state that the same “Poor” would be better off dead, at least, without the “Children of The Poor”. Why did Hitchens target Mother Teresa in such a big, hating, and ostentatious (big book profits anyone) way? I’ll tell you why: it’s because people like her and a great many others who make themselves poor and who work with the poorest among us and refuse to party onto the bandwagon for death with this winking dogma that somehow “they”, “we” and “the planet” are all better off without the poor and all of our children give the lie to their fancy and ridiculous stances. Bitter much?

  30. benedetta says:

    Oh and also as to frjim4321’s accusation — I am sure that everyone here loves and supports women religious and greatly appreciates the work of our consecrated sisters. In fact, Imagine Sisters! Total love. It’s this particular cohort styled “leadership” that a great many in the pews have no confidence in. Not the sisters, not their work, not their religious vocations. It’s the leadership, …

  31. NBW says:

    The cowboy hat looks a little pointy. Hmmm. Is she getting her region ready for the “great Round Up In the Sky?” This is so sad to see.

  32. iamlucky13 says:

    “Oh and also as to frjim4321’s accusation — I am sure that everyone here loves and supports women religious and greatly appreciates the work of our consecrated sisters. In fact, Imagine Sisters! Total love. It’s this particular cohort styled “leadership” that a great many in the pews have no confidence in. Not the sisters, not their work, not their religious vocations. It’s the leadership, …”

    100% correct.

  33. Matthew says:

    I’m embarrassed for those women. They are clowns and they make a mockery of all of the fine religious women who are orthodox. I’ve had wonderful sisters as teachers in school and I’ve known may caring committed religious .

    They wonder why vocations are down in their orders… because they’re nuts.

  34. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Why does the image thingy on the front of the podium (bully pulpit?) remind me of a downward spiral?

    Just askin’. ;^)


  35. This is so 1980’s

    Why can’t these nuns get with the program?

  36. “Witches Council” was my immediate reaction upon seeing Father’s nun picture posted here.

    I don’t know the women, so maybe that doesn’t fit. Perhaps its the creepy background, the illusion of the pointy hat from lighting and angle, the expressions, the darkness? But that moniker might explain what is wrong with this kind of nun. Covens? Not the first time in history, if so.

  37. James C says:

    Well, we can’t say anything against them, can we? Rome investigated them over a period of several years and gave the all-clear. As far as the Holy See is concerned, they’re more Catholic than the SSPX.

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