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Thank you, Sisters

Two recent articles regarding the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious have struck me as expressing a particularly important sentiment of support in these times.

The first is the recent piece by E.J. Dionne, writing for Commonweal online – Quit the Church? Thanks but no Thanks

The second is Jim Wallis’s piece for Sojourners in support of women religious in the U.S.  – Having the Sisters’ Back

Please take a minute to read both of these.

And then, perhaps, take a minute to thank the sisters who have cultivated a deep love for the Church, for God, for charity and justice, for learning in you.  I’ll start right now.

Thank you Sister Irene Comer, SSND, my principle at St. Michael’s Catholic grade school from kindergarten to eighth grade.  So, maybe we did make fun of you behind your back for referring to us as “honeybubbles” (who uses the word “honeybubbles”?), but you gave your life to educating a bunch of squirrelly kids who, for the most part, have grown up to be pretty good folks.

Thank you, Sister Mary Reuter, OSB, my professor at St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict who taught me my first two theology courses – Theo 101 and “The Benedictine Tradition.”  Little did you know that by introducing me to the beauty of theology, you were derailing a future medical doctor into a lucrative career as a theologian.  You inspired me with the love of wisdom, theology, and a lifelong pursuit of moral truth and beauty.  Thank you to all of the Sisters of St. Benedict’s monastery in St. Joseph, MN.

Thank you to all of the Visitation Sisters of Visitation Monastery in north Minneapolis, and in particular to Sister Mary Virginia Schmidt, VHM, who was my spiritual director for the years in which I contemplated a monastic vocation.  You are a witness to Christ’s peace simply by choosing to locate your home monastery in one of the most violent neighborhoods in Minneapolis.  Simply through prayer and presence, and through inviting neighborhood kids into your home by flying your famous windsock, you are one of the most powerful witnesses to Christ’s love and justice I have ever encountered.

Thank you to all of the sisters that I have never met and never will, but who remind us of the beauty of our faith and our Church, of the call to charity and justice, and who have and will continue to inspire us to love Goodness and to follow Christ.  May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you in your faith and in your work.

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3 Comments

  1. Amen!

  2. Thank you to Sister Anne Patrick, SNJM, whose unexpected presence in a secular liberal arts college religion department introduced me to Catholic moral theology. Without Sister Anne, I cannot imagine being a theologian today. I did not go to Carleton thinking I was going to be a theologian!
    Thank you to Sister Joanna Walsh, FCJ, whose gentle presence at Duke’s campus ministry meant so much to me at difficult times in my life.

  3. I came back to name some names… Sister Agnes Marie, RDC, all the way back in second grade, which for me means -1966-67. She planted seeds which are sprouting in me to this day. Sister Katherine Hanley, CSJ, a trusted advisor, a gifted professor and assistant dean of St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, a place I hope to earn a MA in Pastoral Studies from in May 2013. They are my bookends – there are so many, many others in between.

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