Thank you, Sister Anne Diederich and the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland, for being such excellent role models on how to live a Christian life. You inspire us in your dedication to serve others, to reach out to those in need and to lead the rest of us who are too timid and afraid to speak the truth.
To the Sisters of Mercy: Thank you for providing such positive examples of the Catholic faith in action. It is the Sisters I envision and their behavior I strive to emulate. It's time the Catholic Church listen and allow you equal participation.
The Vatican and its henchmen have made a mess of things with their manmade dictates regarding exclusivity, discrimination, abuse, cover ups, deception and corruption. They have shamed our faith with their prideful and power-hungry actions. The result has been a weakening of this once great institution. It is hemorrhaging and they stand by pointing their fingers in condemnation at the women who have tried to support the faith with their selfless behavior.
It's time to stop this madness.
Bring the Faith back to its true origin.
Allow open discussion and participation of men and women religious.
Respect and uphold true-proven legitimate-doctrine.
Recover and examine hidden and discarded elements of the Faith that the male hierarchy have judged 'unworthy'
Recognize manmade teachings as failable and re-examine them for their worth and appropriateness.
Represent and include all of the faithful in your considerations and allow for their input and participation in the process as much as possible.
Remove titles, power and money from the equasion. Service is an obligation (gaining grace and deepening spitituality not a power grab or influence builder in one's status or objectives).
Strive for transparency and a democratic process.
Thank you Sr. Dot Feehan, for your tremendous leadership, love and Spirit-filled life. You welcome so many back into the Church with generous wisdom and a perspective of shared joy. God's love dances with you and those you pray with. :) Thank you!
Sister Bernadette de Lourdes, IHM taught me love of Jesus. Sister Marie
Edmond, IHM showed Jesus' love in action.
Thanks to all the wonderful sisters who are a foundation of Pax Christi throughout the USA. You are the hands, feet, heart, and soul of Christ for so many of us!
Nuns are the only reason I am still a Christian.
My dear mother was a rather "private" Catholic. We were taken to church every Sunday but we never prayed together. It was Sister Regis who told me in clear simple terms that I could understand that God really loved me...not just all people, but me! It was Sister Regis who would sit with me in the chapel. She taught me to listen to God speak to me, rather than have me blabbing on about what I wanted all the time. The sisters in grammar school and high school taught me how to study, how to laugh, how to dream and how to treat others as my brothers and sisters. Thank you, Sisters!
Sister Theophane came to St. John the Baptist Catholic Community in Silver Spring, Maryland, after teaching English in a parochial high school in Illinois for many years. She was not given a regular teaching assignment in the parish school, but coordinated media and technology for its teachers. She also wrote and coordinated lessons for young students in the Office of Christian Formation and served as a mentor and informal spiritual director for CCD teachers.
I came to know Sister Theophane when I joined a spiritual book club of which she was a leader. She had unique insights into our monthly reading. I would look forward to hearing her reflections each month. She wrote poetry and saw beauty in every facet of God's creation. She radiated the love of God by her very presence.
When she became sick and knew that she was dying, she invited her friends to a Mass in the convent, where we said our goodbyes before she returned to Illinois. At a memorial service held at St. John's, we celebrated Sister Theophane's life, which epitomized love and joy. Our book club continues many years after her death and it is called Sister Theophane's Book Club.
Sister Theophane was a member of the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary of Kankakee, Illinois.
She wasn't my teacher. She wasn't my mentor. She was my high school classmate and (for two years) my classmate at The Catholic University of America. After that Paula Goettelmann entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in St. Mary's, Indiana, and became "Sister Paula," whose vocation lay in nursing. Paula (I can't quite bring myself to call her "Sister" (and she's more than OK with that) and I were born on the same day and in the same year in Washington, DC. I'm ying to her yang or vice-versa. Paula has worked all over the world bringing health care to God's most neglected children and adults. Paula also worked closely with former Holy Cross nun, Irene Morelli, in the practice of therapeutic touch. Currently, Paula is a hospice nurse for AIDS patients at the Hospice of the Chesapeake.
But what I really want to tell about Paula is how she cared for Irene during Irene's final fading long months due to dementia. Paula constantly cared for Irene, boosted Irene, took Irene on outings, and gave Irene the best life and best love possible under the circumstances. And, of course, Paula prayed with her and over her as Irene's days grew short. It was in this sister-to-sister relationship that Paula most tirelessly and faithfully lived out her vocation--not in some globally remote location but right here "at home" with her close comrade-in-heart. After nearly 50 years as a Holy Cross sister, Paula--for me--represents all that is good and true and beauty-full, full of God's love, as a vowed woman religious. She also has a hoot of a sense of humor!
My story is different. There is really no one sister I can name and it would be unjust to do so! From the age of 5 I attended St. Agnes Academy in Alliance, Nebraska, a boarding school run by the Franciscan Sisters. For eight years, these women proved to be my surrogate mothers; they shared their learning, their faith and love not just with me but with many of us children of the high plains. When not assigned to St. Agnes, the sisters educated the children living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at Holy Rosary Mission, run by the Jesuits. Despite our different locations, all of us read from the same books, studied the same math and science, learned Latin and even were given classes in etiquette! In later years, one of the sisters told me how she loved the freedom that the reservation provided. She could go wading in the creek with the skirt of her habit pulled up!
But perhaps the best of what I learned from the sisters was a tremendous appreciation for the liturgy. We went to Mass every morning at 7:00AM and said all of the prayers of the Mass in English. But they also taught us to sing the Latin Mass of the Angels and, of course, the Requiem Mass which we sang every day of November. Does one ever forget the haunting words and chant of the Dies Irae? And only these women whom we all loved and admired could have gotten a group of fifty children to observe a week of silence when the Franciscan retreat master came to town!
While I was with the sisters a bit before the feminist revolution, that women were capable of doing anything simply went unquestioned at St. Agnes. Those women, our models, could face any trial or hardship; they could do and achieve anything they set their minds to - and we learned from them that we could, too.
So, my heartfelt thanks to these ladies who now rest in their graves on the barren Nebraska prairie - to Mother Virginia, Sr. Adeltrude, Sr. Emily, Sr. Bartholomew, Srs. Fides, Spes, Caritas; Sr. George, Sr. Doloreta, Sr. Agnes, Sr. Electa, Sr. Constance, Sr. Florence, requiescat in pace!
We're a grassroots team, learning & discerning as we go. We get our energy from our enormous gratitude and respect for Catholic Sisters who have touched our lives, and for the leadership of LCWR.