More nuns called to Rome! Sisters of Mercy

fishwrapMore hand-wringing at Fishwrap (aka National Sodomitic Reporter) over another summons of US nuns to Rome for a chat. They can join the Loretto Sisters, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the line is getting longer.

Sisters of Mercy also being asked to come to Rome for conversation

The Sisters of Mercy, the largest order of women religious in the United States, are among the communities being asked to come to Rome for further conversation following the apostolic visitation, Global Sisters Report has learned. The community’s communications director, Susan Carroll, confirmed the report by email but said there would be no further comment at this point.

The Vatican’s congregation for religious life is contacting about 15 U.S. orders of Catholic sisters to clarify “some points” following the controversial six-year investigation of American communities of women religious, the head of the congregation said June 14.


[…]In a June 9 statement to GSR, McGivney said she received a letter from Bráz de Aviz on April 15. According to a letter she wrote to members of her order, which GSR obtained, the Loretto president has been asked to come to Rome on Oct. 18 to report on five “areas of concern” following the visitation process. The contents of both her letter and the letter from Bráz de Aviz can be found in this earlier GSR report.

Last month, GSR identified two other communities of U.S. Catholic sisters being asked to provide the Vatican with further clarification in the aftermath of a controversial investigation: the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

“It’s a very friendly letter,” Hadro said. “It’s just that I think they tend to interpret things as dissent that really aren’t dissent.”  [Riiiight.]


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  1. “It’s just that I think they tend to interpret things as dissent that really aren’t dissent.”

    This is becoming the refrain to the Responsorial Epistle. Perhaps a guitar song (with tambourines accompaniament, of course) could be written?

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    If any correction is being offered its something in the line of “Be more discrete, don’t scare the horses.”

  3. Oh the Ironies of ironies in this Year of Mercy!

  4. Adaquano says:

    My wife works at one of their hospitals, and I’ve always found it to be less than authentically Catholic. From the one chapel straight of 1980, to the newer Chapel of Light described as such “distinguished by 20-foot high glass walls containing thousands of translucent nuggets in a variety of colors. Facing the outdoors, these walls fill the Chapel with a rainbow of light when struck by sunlight.” Of course is Christ present in this chapel? Nope, we have to make sure all faiths feel welcomed. Not to mention all the very touchy-feely stuff from their pastoral care team. This is compared to another local Catholic hospital, where their chapel is distinctly Catholic (including recognizable confessionals!).

  5. Sword40 says:

    I do not expect to see anything but what was said about Hillary by the FBI.

  6. Cory says:

    Still waiting for the Congregation of Notre Dame (CND) sisters to be called to Rome.

  7. RAve says:

    An embarrassing trendy loft space suitable as a SoHo hotel lobby until the styles change. The first photo looks like its prepped for a coven. Perhaps the second photo is one-0n-one face-to-face confession – or am I too optimistic (I mean, can’t priestesses also hear confessions)?

  8. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    “Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet” That this is necessary, and I am sure it is, is just sad. I had them for most of grade school and even then I knew they were fine pious Catholic women and teachers who loved Jesus and his Church and us kids.

  9. TNCath says:

    “Well, it’s a very friendly letter…”
    Does this mean that the salutation of the letter was punctuated with a comma instead of a semi-colon?

  10. JesusFreak84 says:

    Touching on what Dr. Peters noted, sometimes you find an Order has its orthodox groups around the country/world, but the folks who do formation are…horrible. A friend of mine from college, fellow theology major, wanted to join the order that taught her high school, and THOSE ladies were all wonderful, BUT the US HQ for the orders, where all new vocations had to go…yeah, not so much :(

  11. Hoover says:

    Having been educated by a group of Sisters Libby McPantsuits, RSM in the 80s and 90s (they were wonderfully nice grandmotherly ladies) I’m not surprised that some clarification is needed. I became obvious they provided watered down catechesis when I was later taught by habited sisters of other orders that were much more disciplined.

  12. edm says:

    The pics posted by RAve are of a chapel?
    Looks like the atrium in my college when I was a student.

  13. KatieL56 says:

    I was taught by the Sisters of Mercy in Philadelphia in the 1960s and so I saw, in the earlier years, the finest teaching and the instillation in us of all the best small-t and large T- traditions, as well as the beginnings of the slide toward the craziness that ‘flowered’ in the 70s and 80s. I am (sadly) not at all surprised they are being requested to explain certain things now. I only wish that they, and the others, had been asked to explain why they were veering off into a Christ-less world decades ago, before they had the opportunity to at best confuse and at worst lead astray so many. Heaven knows the 60s, 70s, and 80s especially gave young people so many opportunities to go wrong. I can only speak from my own experience, but it seems to me that while my generation of Boomers succumbed in droves (and naturally led to our children’s, and now grandchildren’s, difficulties now because we either didn’t learn our own faith properly, didn’t realize how bad it was even if we did know and teach it ourselves because the Catholic teachers and priests we trusted trashed us when they themselves ‘educated’ our children, etc.), my parents’ generation somehow managed to ‘hold on’ better. Maybe it was their years in the “Catholic ghetto”, as it seemed that the ones who were less wealthy ‘held on’ better than the ones who were successful. But it is certainly a paradox that today after the 40 and more years in the wilderness that the best tool that we have for evangelization here in the U.S. is the Internet and sites like this, but the Internet is the same ‘tool’ that can also be the instrument of destruction of the faith for many. One can choose porn and perdition, or one can choose Peter and paradise. But thanks in great part to the sisters, so many of them, first running away from true teaching, then running away from the schools themselves, and the appalling dearth which had to be met with SOMEBODY, whether they for whatever reason wanted to teach the Catholic faith or wanted to jump willy nilly into all the “spirit of you know what’, now if one relies on one’s ‘faith community’, one is far more likely to find oneself affirmed in sin rather than helped to overcome it, to ‘worship’ the god in us and our wonderful selves, and to fight the only true sin of ‘intolerance to others and the destruction of Mother Earth’. This is NOT the legacy of teaching that the founders of the many orders of religious would have wanted to leave!!!

  14. RAve says:

    It’s the Chapel of Light at the Maryland hospital of the Sisters of Mercy that was mentioned by another commenter above.

    My wife’s aunt was a kind Sister in that order and was president of a nursing college. The community fell apart, as they all did, and it became hard to know how their work advanced and served Christ’s Gospel. It seemed that she was faithful, but confused about the abandonment by her community of all traditions and sense. When I talked to her about her community and their work, she seemed unable to articulate much that withstood the gentlest logical inquiry and was gently defensive but unable to offer much explanation. She was family and it was sad to see how confused this former college president was when asked to discuss something so basic. She had worn a veil well into the 1990s, but she abandoned it (seemingly under pressure when the generation after her took charge) as she got older. She was clinging to the community that she had joined as a teenager in the early 1940s, as of course one would do if those are the people on whom your care depends as you age. She died in her 80’s around 10 years ago. When my daughter joined the DSMME Dominicans of Mother Assumpta in Ann Arbor, the extended family was quite confused because they could not see anything attractive in the life of their elderly aunt, not realizing that my daughter’s community was young, faithful, alive, growing, and traditional.

  15. defreitas says:

    “Bráz de Aviz” what is that, a Portuguese cod fish dish? I assume these people have something against Bishops.

  16. Thomas Sweeney says:

    What I have, and care to hang on to, was given to me by The Sisters of Mercy. My memories are of a refined, holy, humble and a well educated group of exceptional women. To list their attributes individually who take a very long time, but just let me say, that before all the nonsense of VatII, they made the world a better place.

  17. Discipula says:

    The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. It has been a very long time since I’ve heard that name. I had the great misfortune of meeting them in the early 80’s – a more vicious group I’ve yet to meet inside the Church. I hope their visit to Rome is fruitful.

  18. LeeF says:

    Teaching orders don’t want to teach. Nursing orders don’t want to nurse. Why did they have to hijack formerly orthodox orders instead of forming new ones if their new purposes are so great? Something like the Ecumenical, Environmental and Feminist Order of the Rainbow.

    Oh, and how can these good sisters be called on the carpet under the wonderful and fluffy Francis?

  19. After reading in Raymond Arroyo’s recent book on Mother Angelica that her nuns were subject to a visitation as well, I am not sure what to make of this sort of thing. There could be reasons that have nothing to do with doctrine.

  20. Daniel W says:

    “It’s just that I think they tend to interpret things as dissent that really aren’t dissent.”

    So Sister, you wish to dissent from being called a dissenter.

  21. Rob83 says:

    I had a few RSM teach religion, but that was in the early 1990s and they were already up there in years by that point. I was too young to really remember if the one was solid, but even though she was always in a blue pantsuit, she always seemed to fit the “sister” part of the bill as one set apart. The other one still wore a veil and something closer to a modified habit.

    My biggest beef with the RSM has to do with end-of-life care. They sponsor a Mercy hospital locally that is probably the worst place to be for spiritual care if things go south. Both times in the last few years that relatives met their end there suddenly and unexpectedly after a turn for the worse, the hospital refused any assistance with getting a priest. The first one got sister pantsuit as chaplain and the other got some other Christian minister. I arrived too late to do anything about this spiritual disaster in the first case, though fortunately the second time it was not too late.

  22. GAK says:

    As Catholics we talk about meeting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. That’s all well & good & I’m sure there is truth to it.

    Sisters such as these should also realize they will meet Moses at the Pearly Gates. He WILL have the tablets with him, and each of our eternal salvations WILL hinge on whether we have abided by them ourselves, and whether we have brought others to err in our private & public interpretations of them.

    Sisters such as these might convince themselves revelation & morality are continually evolving, but some day they are going to have to sell that position to Moses, straight to his face.

  23. Scott W. says:

    It’s the whole “How dare you!?” attitude by NCR and the orders that . It’s a simplistic analogy but valid: it’s like franchising your burger joint and finding out that one of your franchisees won’t sanitize the kitchen or the bathroom. If you won’t uphold the standards of the franchiser, you should lose the franchise. This is how it is everywhere else on the planet. The Church is being very generous here because for whatever reason it thinks these orders are still salvageable when it would be entirely just to offer generous retirement packages to them last of them and shut it all down. But bishops should take note: get a good real estate lawyer. The Sisters of Loretto in California sold their school without permission from the diocese and skeedadled with the proceeds.

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