As you may be aware the Vatican, through its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, recently announced its efforts to “help” women religious (nuns, sisters) in the United States recover the true faith as promulgated by the (all male) bishops of the church. Here are two assessments of the current effort, one from inside the Roman Catholic Church and one from the “secular” press:
Vatican orders LCWR to revise, appoints archbishop to oversee group in the National Catholic Reporter
Vatican orders crackdown on American nuns in USA Today
In response, The Rev. James Martin, SJ started a Twitter campaign: “Catholic sisters teach me what it means to persevere in ministry without the benefit of institutional power. #WhatSistersMeanToMe,” he tweeted, following up with a second tweet asking, “How have Catholic sisters helped in your life?” Quoted in the Huffington Post. [On Twitter see: @JamesMartinSJ and #WhatSistersMeanToMe]
The authors of a blog I follow, WIT (Women in Theology). also have begun collecting stories and notes about the good done by women religious in their lives: What Sisters mean to WIT. Here are several testimonies from their blog post:
My preschool teacher, Sister Anita, was a Catholic Sister and she taught me about God’s love and the beauty of creation. She also taught me kindness and compassion; after my parents and grandparents, she was my first teacher.
Catholic Sisters teach me what the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love actually look like
Every time they are in the news, Catholic Sisters teach me what the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love actually look like.
My burgeoning ecological consciousness was vastly enriched and expanded by a short stay at a farm run by Dominican Sisters of Peace in Ohio. They creatively practice sustainable agriculture in their suburban territory and help educate children from nearby urban areas about food production and environmental responsibility. Ketchup is made from tomatoes! Carrots grow in the ground! Hooray for composting toilets!
Even if you are not Roman Catholic (nor have ever been Roman Catholic) chances are that your life has been touched by one (or more ) of these remarkable women.