While it doesn’t truly do justice to this beautiful monastery, if you haven’t had a chance to visit, this video gives a good overview of the Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana.
I don’t know what community this is. If anyone knows, please leave a comment and tell us. The video is from a Dominican Monastery, and contrasts a young sister just entering and an older nun who is 71 years old. I think it gives a beautiful statement not just why one would enter a cloistered monastery, but also why one stays. Enjoy.
Edit: Thanks to all the commenters who let me know that this is from the Dominican Monastery in Summit, NJ. Be sure to visit their website.
This is a beautiful vocation video from contemporary religious life. The community is the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs in Columbus, OH, who are now part of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
The Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception in Hankinson, ND, is the North American Province of an international order that originated in Germany. Other provinces are in Germany, Brazil and India, as well as mission sites in Albania, Spain and Switzerland.
The Sisters wear a modified habit and veil. Their apostolic works include making liturgical vestments as well as conducting a lay retreat program offering spiritual direction at the Motherhouse in Hankinson; sponsoring and administering St. Gerard’s Community Nursing Home, Independent Living and Childcare in Hankinson; teaching at Little Flower School, Rugby and in Parish Schools of Religion; serving elderly residents and others who need supervised living at St. Anne’s Guest Home in Grand Forks; offering health care services at Oakes Community Hospital, Oakes. They are also actively involved in pro-life work, prayer support, administrative and domestic services in their own convents as well as in youth work around the area. Some Sisters are engaged in arts and crafts, others in music.
You can read the Sisters most recent newsletter online: Hankinson Franciscans News and Review.
Normally, the links I post are to an entire website or blog. This week, I want to point to one particular post on a blog.
Aimee Milburn Cooper is a convert to the Roman Catholic Faith, and her blog, Historical Christian, talks about various aspects of the faith. I found one post to be especially apropos for Consecrated Life: On Vocational Discernment and Spiritual Direction.
Ms. Cooper responds to questions from a reader with some very good advice for pursuing vocational discernment with some especially good advice on finding a good spiritual director. While I don’t believe that only priests make good spiritual directors, her advice on finding a good director really applies to anyone: their devoutness during the Mass and their ability as a confessor. While, of course, only Priests can hear confessions, trust me when I say you’ll be telling your Spiritual Director any number of things you’ve never told another soul, and you want someone who will hear you, listen deeply, and advise with compassion, honesty, and, most of all, sincere faith.
If you haven’t read this book by Mother Mary Francis, you must read it. Until recently it was out of print and hard to find (I think I paid almost $40 for my copy 10 years ago), but the book has since been rereleased, so now you have no excuse!
In A Right to be Merry, Mother Mary Francis talks about leaving her Poor Clare Monastery to help start a new monastery in Roswell, New Mexico. Mother Mary Francis doesn’t just convey the excitement of a new place and all moving involves. She gives an intimate glimpse into the cloistered life of the Poor Clare nuns, and in doing so, gives many tips into finding joy and God in any lifestyle, in any location.
A Right to be Merry isn’t just a book for those wanting to be nuns or interested in nuns. This book is for anyone looking for a closer relationship with God.
This is a lovely video about the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia. I like it because it doesn’t just talk about individual vocation stories, but about what it’s like to live religious life. If you’re discerning, this is a good video to watch.
The Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate were founded in 1893 when Mother Caritas and 6 sisters arrived in Columbia. In 1932, at the request of the Bishop of Amarillo, 6 sisters moved to Amarillo, Texas, where the current Provincial House still resides.
The Charism of the Sisters is centered around the will of God and the needs of the world. They live a strong community life, and their apostolate includes education, pastoral work, and missions. The Sisters wear a brown habit with a black veil (although they have some pictures showing gray habits and white habits).
While Catholic Vocation Podcasts hasn’t been updated recently, it has almost 2 years of podcasts in the archives. While most of the interviews are with priests, there are a few there with nuns. Regardless, you’ll probably find them all interesting.
Do you have a discernment link to suggest? Just leave a comment, and it may be used in a future blog post.
While Catholic Nuns and the Making of America primarily centers around the Sisters of Mercy, the author, John Fialka really wanted to tell the history of Catholic Sisters’ contribution to our country. He chose the Sisters of Mercy as an example of the continued wealth that more then 400 orders brought to our history.
While I found some of Fialka’s writing to be a bit dry, the subject matter was anything but. Bringing together the words of the Sisters themselves with statistics and history, gives life to what otherwise might be a dry recitation. It’s not just all the hospitals and schools run by the Sisters, but their individual devotion to their students and patients. For much of our history, often the only health care or education for the poor came from selfless Sisters who spent untold hours working in desperate conditions to provide for their charges.
Fialka also delves somewhat into the causes of the current loss of numbers in American religious life, as well as what hopes there are for the future of religious life in America. More than anything, though, the book celebrates the greatness of what so many Sisters have provided to all of us, Catholic or otherwise. Fialka’s book is well worth the reading time. If you’re a woman discerning your vocation, this book will be a treasure.