Women religious: compare and contrast

Something at the SSPX website caught my eye.

Here is a photo from a story of the profession of vows of some sisters associated with the SSPX: “Two American Postulants Join the Consoling Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Italy”

Is it just me, or does that look pretty serious?

I wondered about the professions of women religious of groups that belong to the LCWR, but I couldn’t find photos.  I guess they don’t have many.  However, I did find photos some similar moments.


Not quite the same thing, is it.


This has me thinking.

The LCWR annual assembly is in August in Orlando.  Should I – once again – put in my request for media credentials?  The last time they were in Orlando, at that really nice hotel, the sisters learned from Sr. Ilia Delio that they are “stardust”.  HERE  Better a swanky Orlando hotel than Yasgur’s Farm any day! Right?

However, each time I apply, my hopes are dashed and I have to deal with bouts of rejection-incited depression.  Where’s the transparency?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Father, just recently Elmo was consulted about the Syrian refugee crisis. With a bit of creative subterfuge, I know you will find a way. Please, take one for the team.

  2. Toan says:

    For the next LCWR conference…maybe they’d let you in if, in your application, you made them feel concerned about your potential “rejection-incited depression.” Add an affirmation of your desire to increase the diversity of religious views represented by the media attending the conference, and a desire that all media applicants be accepted, affirmed, and welcomed, instead of being discriminated against. I don’t see how they could possibly reject you.

  3. Joy is like the rain!

  4. TNCath says:

    Here is a final vow ceremony from an couple of years ago of an LCWR order:


    I cannot believe bishops of dioceses allow these ceremonies to take place.

    [The interpretive dance at 1:15:00 was especially moving.]

  5. TNCath says:

    I felt it, yes.

  6. hwriggles4 says:

    Father Z:

    I think you will be pleased with the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Many of their postulants are under 40 years of age, and faithful to the Church. I wish my diocese would do as the Austin Diocese has – bring them in to teach in diocesan schools. My mother saw this order on Oprah (after I mentioned it to her, my mom graduated from an all girls Catholic college around the time Pope John XXIII began the Council) and was impressed with the younger ladies (the oldest one on television said she was 33 and worked a corporate job prior to her religious vocation) saying it’s great to see that religious sisters are not “old”.

    As for the LCWR affiliated orders: many of their congregations are “drying up – literally”, if these orders would return to orthodoxy, then young women would seek them. The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, are running out of room at their convent, which is a good problem to have.

  7. wolfeken says:

    Any time I see photos of LCWR sisters I hear the theme from “The Golden Girls”.

  8. Catechism says:

    My oldest child recently asked why there are no nuns anymore. I said of course there are nuns and a few of them work at your school. She said didn’t know the “sisters” were nuns. She said that they definitely didn’t look like nuns. “THAT’S a nun!” she exclaimed when I showed her a picture of a nun in a habit. It made me sad to think that hundred of Catholic students don’t even know what nun is, but the ones at their school do look a lot like the women of the LCWR.

    I know some may say that the habit doesn’t make the nun, but it sure is nice to see daily reminders (to ALL peoples) of women who have answered the call to serve in such a worth fashion.

  9. msc says:

    I admit “dust” is a poorly chosen word, but pretty well all of the elements of which we are made were formed in stars and expelled from them as the stars died. That seems pretty close to an acceptable image of “dust”.

  10. pannw says:

    When my children were in parochial grade school, there was a woman religious in charge of something at the parish. (I don’t remember what her actual position was.) She was of the LCWR variety. Being in the Diocese of Nashville, with the wonderful Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia, one day, two of the beautifully habited sisters came to the school for something and were walking on the campus at pickup time. My daughter, then in 3rd or 4th grade, went, “Ohh, I’ve never seen a nun here before!” I said, “You see Sister ____ everyday.” Her response, “Yeah, but those are real nuns!” After snorting, I composed myself and said, “Sister ___ is a real nun, too, but yes, those actually look like real nuns.” We both agreed that they were so beautiful and holy looking in their habits.

    Later, at a function held at St. Cecilia’s, I was informed by a non-religious staff member that the Sisters were sisters, and not nuns at all! But anyway…

  11. Andrew D says:

    Look at all the young women in the group photo of the SSPX sisters. Wow, I’d say well over half of them are age 40 and under. I think that speaks volumes compared to the feminists in the other photos (no, I will not call them nuns or sisters because they’re not – they’re feminists). I will throw a bone to the next to last photo though and give them a little credit for still having a crucifix in their chapels. Many of these LCWR orders have removed sacramentals from their chapels and turned those chapels into “new age meditation rooms.” Oh well, in a couple decades those orders will have completely died out and I’m totally fine with that.

  12. HighMass says:

    The Church and the Fraternity of St. Pius X have suffered greatly! I know in 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre disobeyed The St. JP II. But they have maintained and are growing. Would like to say this, how many have defied Rome and not had punishment inflicted on them?

    This again goes to say how the orthodox are picked upon.
    The Photo of the Nuns accepting the Crown of Christ speaks to us today. Pray for the Church as we are in a world of hurt.

    All this removing of Pope Benedict’s Cardinals, pave the way for the liberals. I pray that a very strong Cardinal comes from the next Papal Conclave.

    St. JPII and Pope Benedict, WE need JESUS the most

  13. Benedict Joseph says:

    You know they won’t let you in.
    Get someone from Project Veritas to go in disguise as favorite Jesuit, James Martin. In the interest of the principles which they uphold they might even allow him membership.

  14. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    I hope this is not off topic, but several of my fellow commenters are using *nun* and *sister* almost interchangeably.

    Most of the women religious we see in those pictures, and also most teachers in schools are *sisters* rather than *nuns.* There is a difference. *Nuns* are usually members of enclosed religious orders, like the Carmelites, the Order to which St. Therese of Lisieux belonged. Those nuns entered the monastery, never again to leave it, except under exceptional circumstances. When their families come to visit, the nun sits on one side of a grille in the parlor, the visitor on the other. But *sisters* enter a Congregation, usually not an Order, and their vocation is all about serving Christ out among their brothers and sisters in the world. There are a number of other differences. If anyone is interested, here is a good post from another website. http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2009/03/19/whats-the-difference-between-sisters-and-nuns/

  15. Joy65 says:

    Our niece is a Passionist Nun and it is a wonderful community.

    I pray for those sisters that think they can do their own thing and any Bishop who allows them to because they are sadly wrong. They will have to answer to their Creator just like each of us will have to. And don’t even get me started on those who THINK they can be ordained women priests. Why are they so all fired up to be “ordained priests”. Take the example of Our Blessed Mother she stayed in the background throughout Jesus life but she is now with Him in Heaven. Just cause you want something doesn’t make it happen. If you want to be a woman pastor go to another church not the Catholic Church.

  16. Choirgirl says:

    Sorry Father, but maybe these sisters suspect that you’re an undercover Vatican tactical micro-aggressor. (Like you’re on that squad almost everyone knows about although there’s no proof of it’s existence – shhhhh – the burke squad.)

    Time for a little Hoagy Carmichael….


  17. AnnTherese says:

    We wouldn’t have most of our Catholic institutions today– schools, hospitals, etc. –were it not for the dedication and faith of these older sisters. I am deeply grateful for their work and Gospel witness then and now, even those in their 70s and 80s. They are tireless servants of God and deserve our appreciation and respect.

  18. AMS says:

    Father, I think if you identified as a woman they would let you into the conference. Just don’t wear a full habit.

  19. JustaSinner says:

    Is it me, or does the top photo look like two nuns pretending to be priests with the laying of hands and the crappy chasuble wannabe thingys they’re wearing? Like what priests in my diocese wear every Sunday; ill fitting, nondescript, poorly constructed smocks of crude.

  20. Legisperitus says:

    Wow, that lime-green-and-aquamarine fabric on those robes!

    LCWR, where it’s 1965 forever.

  21. wmeyer says:

    Oh, but Father! Surely, surely, surely by now you have already received your credentials? Surely they could not have overlooked your previous years of applications?

    In fact, it seems that by now, you should be a representative emeritus!

  22. KSCoy says:

    It always brings a smile on my face and gives me great pleasure to see all the Sisters in their habits when I am in Rome. Unfortunatley it is not the case here in the U.S. Also, when you look at the last photo you can see the true joy in the faces of the Sisters that are in their habits. The LCWR (Golden Girls as someone said) sisters faces seem contrived and forced…

  23. Cincinnati Priest says:

    TN Catholic:

    Regarding the video of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

    Thanks for posting.

    Ouch! Not sure which is most painful. The horrible Spanish of the sister giving the introduction; the 1965 “vestments” and rainbow-wear worn throughout; the “interpretive dance” at the altar.

    Overall an assault on the eyes, the ears, and the sacredness of the Mass — all rolled into one!

    [It has it all!]

  24. jaykay says:

    “We wouldn’t have most of our Catholic institutions today– schools, hospitals, etc. –were it not for the dedication and faith of these older sisters. I am deeply grateful for their work and Gospel witness then and now, even those in their 70s and 80s. They are tireless servants of God and deserve our appreciation and respect”

    Everybody deserves our respect, but not always our approbation. In fact, too many of those now in their 70s and 80s were precisely those who destroyed everything built up by the older generations, those who actually were the ones who built all the institutions.

  25. Makemeaspark says:

    Here are some photos of the Franciscans of the Eucharist from CT. taking final vows: http://franciscansoftheeucharist.org/news/12-08-05_finalvows.html Some Final vows here from the same order out of Chicago: http://www.missionola.com/news_Oct16_2015_FinalVows.html
    A member of the poor Clares in Cleveland, dressed as a bride of CHrist: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/450008187751037780/ These were just a few I got from good search terms, so be of good cheer they are all over the place and growing! From the four sister of the Dominican Mary Mother of the Eucharist we have here in our fair city I know there will be future vocations from our parish school where they teach. They are cloistered except for when they are teaching our school kids!

  26. Maybe it is just me, but the one thing that really galls me is the two sisters wearing, in effect, chasubles.

    Yes, I know the game they would play. Oh no, these are chasubles! They are such-and-suches. Yeah, yeah. Let’s look at them. They are designed like chasubles. Moreover, they look exactly like the sort of chasubles this crowd likes to see on priests. And, they are quite like the chasubles women claiming to be ordained as priests were.

    This is a game progressives play. Back in the 80s and 90s, it was common for seminarians to be sent out to preach at Masses, even though they weren’t ordained deacons; even though the Church clearly said that only an ordained deacon or priest or bishop can give a homily. So what was the game the left played? Oh, well, these seminarians (and other laity) aren’t giving homilies, because they can’t! They are, rather, giving “reflections.”

    So, are these “vestments” ambiguously clerical? No doubt. That is precisely the point

    It is a thumb in the eye to the bishops and everyone else who upholds the Church’s teaching on Holy Orders, and I am convinced at least some of the sisters know it. They probably say they are being “prophetic.” Yeah, like the “four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:19.

  27. Joy65 says:

    God sees all. God knows all. Praying for those who have strayed and for those they lead astray.

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