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


  1. "Are they nuns or lawyers?"

    I'm going with "lawyers." They don't appear to be cloistered.

  2. Oh my, oh my! What a treat you have offered us today. They are a joy to behold in their beautiful habits and joyful expressions. If only we could see them all together in one place - what a presence! I am in St. Louis and I NEVER see any sisters in habits. I really miss them!

  3. one thing seems pretty hard evidence: the traditional/habited groups, few as they are, are the ones who are growing and have many younger members. I'm old enough to remember the 60's since I was in college then. However, we're not in the 60's anymore ;those groups of sisters who did away with all the externals are dying out, as dedicated as they have been. Otherwise, why are the traditional orders getting all the young [and in many cases highly educated] women? The Dominicans of Nashville TN and the group in Michigan come to mind among many others as shown above. The world today longs for signs and symbols: we're not in the go-secular 60's anymore.

  4. Thank you for these pictures and the messages they convey. Many orders are going to be history soon and that's fine. The Holy Spirit continues to work in our Church. Christ continues to call and thank heavens young women are answering His call.

  5. I always have understood what you have shown here. When a girl or boy decides to give his life to an Order, they see a habit in their dream. To be mistaken as a layman at every turn, takes the dream away. Give us habit end orders again and the prayer machine of this world will turn strongly again. I see Bernadette, Lucia, and Theresa and I know that when I forget or cannot pray, it's taken care of for me. Bravo for your work.