Thursday, August 10, 2006

There are nuns, and there are nun.

My buddy Orville, at Kansas City Catholic, has a good extract of recent comments from newfangled sisters in dying orders, which he's pulled out of the Legionaires' National Catholic Register and some ridiculous book that's been published (not by the Legionaires). Really, no comment from him or me is needed; the quotations he's pulled out say it all.

My question, that Wolfie didn't ask on his post, is "what is the deal with the book cover?" The nuns this woman is writing about probably haven't seen a veil or a wimple since 1973. Shouldn't the dustjacket picture be of a short-haired graying woman in a polyester, powder blue liesure suit jacket with a label pin? I mean, a dustjacket is supposed to be eye-catching, and a woman who looks like she's a nun sells better than a woman who looks like she's a 1975 Sears senior women's wear model. But where's the truth in advertising? (N.B., Hilary points out below that the woman on the dustjacket is wearing a costume that isn't the habit of any real order).

He also notes the doings in Atchison and elsewhere, where the Benedictines (having sold off most of their movable patrimony last summer) want to tear down an historic school building so they can put in a "prayer garden." Maybe it will have a labyrinth? That'd be so much better than a big stone reminder of the days in which they prospered in their Catholicity.

On the other hand, he points to the new website of the newer group of traditional Benedictines who recently moved to the KCMO diocese from Pennsylvania. God bless them.


hilary said...

the picture on the book jacket is not of a real nun. That is not a real habit and never was. It is the standard manufactured "nun costume" that you get when you rent one from a theatrical or fancy dress supplier.

I've seen references to this book around quite a bit and a more egregious pack of rubbish I have yet to see in the nun-book genre, one that is famously chock full of egregious rubbish.

It's a rather more subtle than usual anti-Catholic screed in the classical style. Maria Monk would be proud.

Patrick Kinsale said...

Thanks for ther links to the KCMO Benedictines. Now I know where to send my daughters!

JimC said...

Forgive the correction, but Leavenworth is troubled with the graying, new age Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and they are quite enough thank you. These Benedictines are in Atchison City in Atchison County.

BTW, the SCL also had a sale of their "extra" or old and unneeded statuary, and other religious items. I have personally seen, in their "university" a storage area that was once an Adoration Chapel.
They are dying off too.

Curmudgeon said...

So noted Jim. Thanks. Will fix later tonight, and forward to my source.

Curmudgeon said...

Oops, no need to forward to my source. The mistake was mine alone. Reading too fast. And you're right--the Sisters of Charity are in Leavenworth (like I should forget that: my dad went up there for years to visit his favorite teacher who was a Sister of Charity).

Like the lady said, "This blog is full of serious factual errors...."

Gareth said...

“By their fruits you shall know them.”

Oh man, don’t get me started on this subject!

To the dying orders of heretic sisters I say, “good riddance!” However that doesn’t come without a good deal of lamentation. One summer evening three years ago I took a quiet walk through the cemetery of one of the dying orders (or should I say congregation?) of sisters in Kansas. It was really sad for me to think that the order that those deceased sisters belonged to years ago is for all practical purposes gone, and what a sad mess it is that replaced it. Last fall I saw the school in Atchison that the Benedictine sisters there had built years ago, now but a ghost. I felt that the Church had really lost something…where had my Church gone? I knew that the monastery next door was mostly an empty shell of what it once was. Quiet halls of ora et labora now turned into I want to know not what. Why is it that I feel cheated and betrayed?

But hope still burns. I’ll tell you that praying the Divine Office and assisting at Mass in the Nashville Dominicans motherhouse chapel was a beautiful sight! An ocean it seemed of white habits and black mantles. That chapel was packed, so packed that they were busy building a new one, a bigger one, and a new addition to the motherhouse that nearly doubled it. And down near Hanceville, Alabama of all places, is a monastery which is also full, full of sisters who wear some of the most traditional habits that I’ve ever seen, guimpe and all. If you want to get as close to seeing heaven in this life with your own two eyes, take a trip down and visit (in the parlor of course) the PCPA’s and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.