A Habitual Sign of Life at Mass Yesterday (via Tennessee)

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A Habitual Sign of Life at Mass Yesterday (via Tennessee)

As you likely know today is the First Sun­day of Advent and the first Sun­day of the litur­gi­cal year for Catholics which offi­cially began yes­ter­day with the Advent vigil mass.

But I sus­pect some of you might not know that the pre­vi­ous litur­gi­cal year didn’t end Fri­day, but on Sat­ur­day morn­ing. The Daily mass cel­e­brated Sat­ur­day Morn­ing was the final mass of the Church’s year. It’s also the litur­gi­cal anniver­sary (vs the actual anniver­sary) of the death of my devout Aunt Lucy who died between the masses so I do my best to make sure I don’t miss it.

So yes­ter­day after work I headed to my church and imme­di­ately noticed five unfa­mil­iar faces. A group of nuns in white habits with black veils were at my church, first crowded into our divine mercy chapel and then sit­ting together at mass.

I didn’t rec­og­nize any of the nuns so when mass was over and one fin­ished her prayers I greeted her and asked what order they were from. She told me they were Domini­can Nuns of Saint Cecilia from Nashville Ten­nessee who teach school in Prov­i­dence Rhode Island. They were in the area for a hik­ing trip.

That they were devout was obvi­ous but what jumped out at me the most, every sin­gle one of them looked young enough to be my daugh­ter (I’m 53).

This was quite ironic because just a few months ago our parish cel­e­brated the anniver­sary of the found­ing of our ele­men­tary school by the Sis­ters of the Pre­sen­ta­tion. About a dozen of those sis­ters turned up for the mass as invited guests and there were two things about them that were in stark con­trast to the Domini­can Sis­ters at the Sat­ur­day Mass.

  • Not a sin­gle one of them was in a nun’s habit.
  • Every sin­gle one of them was old enough to be my mother

Now I don’t ques­tion for one moment the devo­tion of those older nuns who did yeo­man ser­vice for the school before they were replaced by lay teach­ers as they retired but I have yet to see a group of nuns that have aban­doned the habit who are not dying out. As they aban­doned the habit, voca­tions aban­doned them.

Mean­while the sis­ters in Nashville which did not go down that path appar­ently has so many voca­tions that they can be spared to go all the way to New Eng­land to teach. From their website:

The com­mu­nity has con­tin­ued to expe­ri­ence God’s bless­ing of new voca­tions. This past sum­mer, five young sis­ters pro­fessed per­pet­ual vows, with 13 oth­ers mak­ing first pro­fes­sion. Twelve received the Domini­can habit. With the entrance of 15 pos­tu­lants in August, approx­i­mately 50 sis­ters are presently in the ini­tial four years of for­ma­tion. The Con­gre­ga­tion now totals nearly 300 sis­ters, the largest num­ber in its his­tory. With this gift also comes the chal­lenge of pro­vid­ing for the needs of a grow­ing community.

It seems at least in the church the ortho­dox are win­ning the cul­ture war.

Clos­ing thought. There is a very devout woman at our parish named Joan. She has been active in the parish for decades (In fact she was my wife CCD teacher 35 years ago). Joan is in her mid 80’s and not only makes mass daily but is involved in mul­ti­ple parish activ­i­ties on a reg­u­lar basis. I remem­ber her being at that Anniver­sary Sun­day mass months ago and men­tioned at the time that she was indis­tin­guish­able from any of the nuns in attendance.

Yes­ter­day I noticed Joan was in atten­dance at the mass with the Domini­can Sis­ters. Devout though she is nobody in atten­dance would have mis­taken her for one of those nuns.

Update: Wel­come read­ers of the Canon 212 blog. Have a peek around. My first short book on the faith. The Hail Mary as Explained to Protes­tants, is await­ing the Impri­matur from my local Bishop before I go to pub­lish. If you would like to be noti­fied when it is avail­able fill out the form below and I’ll let you know when I have a release date. I am always accept­ing prayer requests as well, feel free to leave one even if you don’t want the book


If you’d like to help sup­port inde­pen­dent non MSM jour­nal­ism and opin­ion please con­sider hit­ting DaTipJar




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As you likely know today is the First Sunday of Advent and the first Sunday of the liturgical year for Catholics which officially began yesterday with the Advent vigil mass.

But I suspect some of you might not know that the previous liturgical year didn’t end Friday, but on Saturday morning. The Daily mass celebrated Saturday Morning was the final mass of the Church’s year. It’s also the liturgical anniversary (vs the actual anniversary) of the death of my devout Aunt Lucy who died between the masses so I do my best to make sure I don’t miss it.

So yesterday after work I headed to my church and immediately noticed five unfamiliar faces. A group of nuns in white habits with black veils were at my church, first crowded into our divine mercy chapel and then sitting together at mass.

I didn’t recognize any of the nuns so when mass was over and one finished her prayers I greeted her and asked what order they were from. She told me they were Dominican Nuns of Saint Cecilia from Nashville Tennessee who teach school in Providence Rhode Island.  They were in the area for a hiking trip.

That they were devout was obvious but what jumped out at me the most, every single one of them looked young enough to be my daughter (I’m 53).

This was quite ironic because just a few months ago our parish celebrated the anniversary of the founding of our elementary school by the Sisters of the Presentation. About a dozen of those sisters turned up for the mass as invited guests and there were two things about them that were in stark contrast to the Dominican Sisters at the Saturday Mass.

  • Not a single one of them was in a nun’s habit.
  • Every single one of them was old enough to be my mother

Now I don’t question for one moment the devotion of those older nuns who did yeoman service for the school before they were replaced by lay teachers as they retired but I have yet to see a group of nuns that have abandoned the habit who are not dying out.  As they abandoned the habit, vocations abandoned them.

Meanwhile the sisters in Nashville which did not go down that path apparently has so many vocations that they can be spared to go all the way to New England to teach.  From their website:

The community has continued to experience God’s blessing of new vocations. This past summer, five young sisters professed perpetual vows, with 13 others making first profession. Twelve received the Dominican habit. With the entrance of 15 postulants in August, approximately 50 sisters are presently in the initial four years of formation. The Congregation now totals nearly 300 sisters, the largest number in its history. With this gift also comes the challenge of providing for the needs of a growing community.

It seems at least in the church the orthodox are winning the culture war.

Closing thought.  There is a very devout woman at our parish named Joan.  She has been active in the parish for decades (In fact she was my wife CCD teacher 35 years ago).  Joan is in her mid 80’s and not only makes mass daily but is involved in multiple parish activities on a regular basis.  I remember her being at that Anniversary Sunday mass months ago and mentioned at the time that she was indistinguishable from any of the nuns in attendance.

Yesterday I noticed Joan was in attendance at the mass with the Dominican Sisters.  Devout though she is nobody in attendance would have mistaken her for one of those nuns.

Update: Welcome readers of the Canon 212 blog. Have a peek around. My first short book on the faith. The Hail Mary as Explained to Protestants, is awaiting the Imprimatur from my local Bishop before I go to publish. If you would like to be notified when it is available fill out the form below and I’ll let you know when I have a release date. I am always accepting prayer requests as well, feel free to leave one even if you don’t want the book


If you’d like to help support independent non MSM journalism and opinion please consider hitting DaTipJar




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