Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Yet more evidence of just how badly our bishops need our prayers:  
The Diocese of Little Rock is selling special photo packages of its movie-star bishop for all of his fans.

Fan club members have a choice of  the bishop's casual look:

or his formal look:

With all due respect to this bishop and the others, isn't this a bit much?  What next?

Next Post:
Altar Girl of the Year Beauty Contest

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fruitful Vocations: Habit Forming
Extinction: The Art of Ignoring the Obvious

The Nashville Dominicans:  It's Getting Kind of Crowded, Don't You Think?

It was surprising to discover that some people found my previous post offensive, since it was merely pointing out the obvious:  Habits worn by religious are a sign to the world.  Since 2002 we've read plenty about what priests can get away with when they're out of their clerics.  And since 1970, we've seen what happens to women's religious orders when they abandon their habits (and their original charisms):  vocational suicide.  

It doesn't take a genius to see that the lay-clad religious "communities" of women are liberating themselves into oblivion.  The same angry sisters who are insulted that the Vatican dares to investigate them should be far more concerned about something else:  They are an endangered species.  No, let me correct that.  THEY ARE A DOOMED SPECIES.  

There is no way that these orders can possibly survive so long as they persist in serving the false gods of feminism, community organizing, peace and justice, administration of non-profits, social work, union leadership, enneagram workshops, reiki, labyrinth-walking and the like.  

Catholics miss nuns who had the simple vocations of educating children, caring for the sick (no, not managing health plans), praying for priests, and being signs to the world of renunciation of vanity and riches for the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven.  

So why are habits so important?  Because they are a SIGN that a nun is following a traditional vocation just as the polyester pants suit is a sign that Sister Ralph isn't about to take orders from any male authority figure.

Here are a few photos of some women's religious groups.  You may notice some older ladies in the habited photos.  Thank goodness for their leadership.  What I was really looking for in my photo search was younger women among the habitless groups.  They just weren't there.  And if they are, there don't seem to be many who want their pictures taken, and certainly not enough to keep these orders going. 

Juxtaposed for your consideration:

The Children of Mary

The Poor Clares of Minneapolis

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, Kansas City, KS

Benedictine Nuns, Indiana
(keepers of the "business suit" habit)

Franciscan Sisters of Renewal, New York

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, New York

Servants of the Lord and Virgin of Matara

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, New York

Capuchin Sisters of Christ

Sisters of Mercy, Knoxville
(Are they nuns or lawyers?)

Handmaids of the Precious Blood

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

Little Sisters of the Lamb

Sisters of Loretto

The Sisters of Life

Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange

Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sovereign Priest

Benedictine and Mercy Nuns combined

Dominican Nuns, Springfield, Illinois

 Nashville Dominicans

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Behold the Dominican nuns pictured above.   We cannot see their faces, but we are instantly attracted to and fascinated by them.  And we all know why.  IT'S THE HABITS.

Nuns wearing habits are beautiful, enchanting and wonderful.  They are a bold rebuke to a corrupt society hypnotized by its own vanity.  They are a mystery.  Those habits are an invitation to God.  They preach to us.  They say, "I have something deeper that gives my life meaning and I don't need or want all that other stuff."

And nuns in habits almost always look happy.  Very happy. 

If you've ever moved to a new parish and been surprised to find that the older woman in the polyester pants suit sitting near the front every week was really Sister Pat, welcome to the club.

Why do nuns need to see hair stylists?  Why must they suffer the indignities of scanning the selections at Lane Bryant and Woman's World?  Does it bespeak their vows of poverty when they have to find just the right earrings or necklaces?  Do nuns really need makeup?  Does it show fidelity to the Church when their clothing is a product of the same modern world that has given us bikinis, breast implants and birth control pills?  

Does it convince the laity that a woman has renounced all personal vanity when she has to look "smart"?  Can the average layperson believe this is a woman "set apart" for God when she looks like everyone else?

Oh, we've all heard the arguments against habits:  

Many of these nuns work in the world, and habits just won't fit in.  Nuns in habits are not "approachable".  We need to make sure that the laity can see that nuns are real people just like you and me.


Of course nuns are real people!  Do you think those are martians in those habits?  There is no more approachable person you will find than a Catholic nun.  And, for the record, nuns are not "just like you and me."  They are ladies set apart, spouses to Our Savior, immersed in love and service.

Are you still not convinced?

All right then.  Here are 10 reasons why nuns should wear habits:


Sister Joan Chittester


Sister Jeanine Gramick


Sister Patricia Cruise


Sister Margaret Mary McBride


Sister Donna Quinn, OP


Sister Camille D'Arienzo


Sister Elizabeth Johnson


Sister Carol Keehan


Sister Barbara Reid, OP


Sister Mary Ann Hinsdale

And for all you "But what about Vatican II?" folks:

"The religious habit, an outward mark of consecration to God, should be simple and modest, poor and at the same becoming. In addition it must meet the requirements of health and be suited to the circumstances of time and place and to the needs of the ministry involved. The habits of both men and women religious which do not conform to these norms must be changed."

-Perfectae Caritatis 
 Vatican II Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life 

The key word here is "changed".  It doesn't say "eliminated".

Do you know of any religious orders without habits that are "renewed"?  

Finally, just in case you've missed the obvious, there's an eleventh reason nuns should wear habits:  They look more feminine.  Definitely.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet choose one of their own for a complete wardrobe update 
and makeover on TLC's 
What Not To Wear