Tuesday Book Review: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America

By | Dec 8, 2009

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.

Video Monday: Sisters Interviewed

By | Dec 7, 2009

This video consists of interviews with a variety of Sisters about why they came to religious life and why they stayed, as well as advice for those considering religious life. Take a watch.

Video Monday: Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration

By | Nov 30, 2009

Today we have a charming video from the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration St. Joseph Monastery in Ohio. This Monastery almost had to close. They were left with just 3 elderly sisters when the Monastery in Alabama sent some nuns to help revive the Monastery.

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Video Monday: Benedictines at Ferdinand Indiana

By | Nov 23, 2009

The Benedictines at Ferdinand, Indiana are one of the groups I visited when I was discerning religious life. They are a wonderful community. This is part 1 of 11 of their vocation video. You can see the rest of the parts by going to YouTube.

Wednesday Discernment Link: Aggie Catholics

By | Nov 11, 2009
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Yes, I admit it…I’m an Aggie. I spent 5 years at Texas A&M University, and that is where I was baptized into the Catholic Church. Their student center was always very active, but now they have a very strong vocational discernment program, and a nice website to go with it. So, please give them a visit, and if you’re a Catholic in the College Station, Texas, area, then give St. Mary’s Parish a visit. It’s a lovely, vibrant parish ideal for young people.

Tuesday Book Review: Discovering Your Personal Vocation

By | Nov 10, 2009

Well, this isn’t really a book review, because I haven’t had a chance to read this book yet. However, it’s on my list of books to read as soon as I can afford to get a copy of it (already checked the library, and they don’t have it).

In Discovering Your Personal Vocation, Fr. Herbert Alphonso, SJ, talks about using the Spiritual Exercises to understand your vocation in life. I think I’ve mentioned my experiences with the Spiritual Exercises before and how incredibly useful I found them in deepening my own spirituality. So, needless to say, this book is definitely going on my wish list.

The Editorial Review on Amazon begins, “Deceptively brief and simple, this is a profound reflection on identifying your “personal vocation”–not just discovering what you really want to do, but discovering the very essence of your being, what is unique and unrepeatable about you. Doing flows from being, so this is the spirit that animates everything you do; this is the secret of unity and integration at the Heart of Life, how you are called by name. ”

If anyone out there has read it, I’d love to hear your opinion of the book. Just leave a comment!

Video Monday: Vocation Testimonial

By | Nov 9, 2009

This sister is a nun with the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It’s well worth watching till the end to see her really beautiful smile.

Video Monday: Sr. Margaret Chapman, IHM

By | Feb 2, 2009

Sister Margaret Chapman, an IHM Sister from Detroit, talks about the various work she has done over her 40 years of religious life.

Friday Community Highlight: St. Gertrude Monastery

By | Jan 23, 2009


The Benedictine Sisters of St. Gertrude Monastery have been in Ridgely, Maryland since 1887.  Originally teaching in parish schools, they now only teach in the elementary and high school in Wilmington, Delaware.  After closing their girl’s accademy at their motherhouse, they started a school for mentally challenged children and young adults.  In addition, they work with St. Martin’s Ministry to help the rural poor.  Like many Benedictine Sisters, they are devoted to peace and justice issues.

Click on “Meet our Sisters” and you can read a bit about each of the Sisters at St. Gertrude’s Monastery.

Take some time and visit their website today and get to know St. Gertrude’s Monastery.

Thursday Discernment Discussion: Vocation Directors

By | Jan 22, 2009

Today’s discussion is centered on Vocation Directors.  I’ve heard some great stories about vocation directors, and I’ve heard some really horrible ones as well.  My own experience while I was discerning religous life was rather mixed.  I had some really great experiences, I had some not so great experiences.

Tell us about your experiences with vocation directors, and how you handled any problems that arose.  I know that your stories and experiences can help those out there who are going through some of the same things, so please share with us.

Obviously, you may post anonymously if that is your wish, because, let’s face it, vocation directors do talk to each other.

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