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The Sisterhood: Becoming a Nun


misslady

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Anybody planning on watching? Starts Wednesday on Lifetime. It's produced by the people who did "Breaking Amish" so my expectations for accuracy are low, beginning with the title - they're trying to become Sisters, not Nuns - but I'm interested anyway.

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I should check it out. My oldest sister used to be a Nun.

Ooh, really? That sounds like an interesting story. (I'm kind of fascinated by nuns/sisters.)

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Anybody planning on watching? Starts Wednesday on Lifetime. It's produced by the people who did "Breaking Amish" so my expectations for accuracy are low, beginning with the title - they're trying to become Sisters, not Nuns - but I'm interested anyway.

I wasn't aware there was a difference. Is it a matter of joining different orders?

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I wasn't aware there was a difference. Is it a matter of joining different orders?

Technically, a nun is cloistered in contemplative life, and a Sister is out in the world. Usually the terms are used interchangeably. Before I converted, I worked in a home for handicapped adult run by a strict order of Italian Sisters. On the property was a nursing home for the aging Nuns and sisters. It was facinating to get to know them, there were novices that lived there too. I have lots of funny stories of those days.

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Technically, a nun is cloistered in contemplative life, and a Sister is out in the world. Usually the terms are used interchangeably. Before I converted, I worked in a home for handicapped adult run by a strict order of Italian Sisters. On the property was a nursing home for the aging Nuns and sisters. It was facinating to get to know them, there were novices that lived there too. I have lots of funny stories of those days.

I did not know there was a difference between nuns and sisters. Interesting. The term was always used interchangably growing up. The major orders in my area focused on health care and eduation, so definitely out in the world.

In high school I spent a week working at the retirement convent of the order who ran my school. Light work for abled bodied teens, not so easy for aging sisters. They were awesome to everyone in our group. It was like having an entire building of grandmothers spoiling us rotten for a week.

This Lifetime show will probably be a joke. The attractive novice in the hot tub with some guy. Nuns going tanning. Tearful breaking of an engagement to some poor guy who doesn't understand why he lost out to God. I would be surprised if any of the candidates make it to final vows.

In the US at least, very few women become nuns. As of the mid-1980's for every working sister in the order who taught me they each supported three retired sisters. I saw how nuns were second class citzens by age 14. Recent events in the news have made it clear nothing has changed in that respect.

Nuns are kind of mysterious and odd to those who have never been around them, but most are pretty darn practical, tough women who get things done.

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Odd. My SIL is a Felician Sister, and she's called herself a nun for over 35 years... I didn't think there was a distinction. I've heard of cloistered sisters, and nursing (or teaching, or other) nuns.

I'm sure my SIL will be watching the show. Sorry to hear about the producers.. I hope it's more factual and real than Breaking Amish..

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Odd. My SIL is a Felician Sister, and she's called herself a nun for over 35 years... I didn't think there was a distinction. I've heard of cloistered sisters, and nursing (or teaching, or other) nuns.

I'm sure my SIL will be watching the show. Sorry to hear about the producers.. I hope it's more factual and real than Breaking Amish..

I have never heard of there being a distinction. I student taught with a nun and she and all the members of her order considered themselves nuns. The order is not cloistered and includes teachers, nurses, social workers and even college professors. The ones teaching at my Catholic high school also called themselves nuns and no one in their orders was cloistered.

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I'm halfway through the premier. I'm not feeling all the girls are in it for the right reasons. The one talking about Jesus flirting with her can have a seat. :roll: She makes Jesus sound like a player, and we're all his side pieces. She's worth a season's full of snark.

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I have never heard of there being a distinction. I student taught with a nun and she and all the members of her order considered themselves nuns. The order is not cloistered and includes teachers, nurses, social workers and even college professors. The ones teaching at my Catholic high school also called themselves nuns and no one in their orders was cloistered.

I have a feeling that it is the enclosed contemplative orders who would prefer that their community-based Sisters not call themselves nuns. I think the Vatican still makes the distinction but the terms are used interchangeably these days by the general public.

My SIL is also a religious, as were three of Mr. P's late aunts, 3 CSJ and one Maryknoll. Both CSJ and Maryknoll are fairly radical orders and community-based not enclosed. In both cases they usually refer to themselves as "sisters" but wouldn't have a problem with calling themselves nuns. The CSJs aggressively modernized post Vatican II and don't like/use the older terminology. My SIL refers to her community, not the order or congregation, and positively loathes the word convent! My SIL is also something of a rebel even within her community.

Their numbers are dwindling fast. The enormous Provincial House built at the height of membership in the 1960s uses half the building as a nursing facility for the aging sisters. They are now accepting the general public into the NF to fill the beds and the medical staff is completely outsourced.

I honestly don't remember the last time someone entered the novitiate of my SIL's community, but I'll ask her tomorrow. It's a long process these days very different from when my SIL became a postulant at 18 (1968) and took final vows 5 years later. It's about a year discussing their vocation with the community while still living and working outside, 1-3 years as a "candidate" living with the community, 2 years in the novitiate, and then an "initial commitment" and 3 - 6 years more before they are allowed to take final vows. I remember being introduced to a few candidates and novices over the years. I think only one made it to final vows. Instead of new sisters, they have a rapidly growing number of "associates" or oblates. They now accept 10+ associates a year both male and female.

I missed the first episode of the show but I expect it will be typical TLC crap. Any reviews will be welcomed by me. :mrgreen:

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In my town, since the late '60s, we've had an independent community of Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. Their primary work is health, counseling, and eldercare. One of them was in the same 6th-year-degree educational administration program as my sister. They are unusual in that the only authority to whom they answer is the Pope.

When they started setting up their operation on the outskirts of town, there was major pearl-clutching on the part of anti-feminists and anti-Catholics. One right-winger started a petition claiming that the sisters were opening a "drug rehabilitation center" in his fancy-schmancy neighborhood and tried to drag the locals into it. More recently, they came under Vatican scrutiny because they weren't being "nunny" enough, although they almost always wear habits and their social justice work is generally not controversial.

Although I'm no longer a practicing Catholic, I have great respect for these sisters. As my late former pastor put it, "People should get off their backs. They're just a bunch of good, hard-working gals."

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Palimpsest, the first episode is online. There are five girls, smug self-righteous Claire (with a bad case of resting bitch face), model with a boyfriend who wants to avoid drama by becoming a nun Elessi, an evangelical girl who 'flirts with Jesus', a blonde who thinks Jesus is a hot dude and a girl who had a meltdown because they wanted them to take their makeup off and there are TV cameras and she has really bad acne. They made a big deal about the makeup, then promptly dropped it. Maybe we're supposed to think they're not wearing it any more?

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Interesting. I thought a nun was what you were and sister was the title. "Mary is a nun" and you should refer to her as "Sister Mary"

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Pamplisest, My SIL entered the convent school straight from 8th grade. She attended the high school, wore (I believe) postulant clothing, and entered the novitiate directly after high school graduation. (say 1966) Her father died in 1968, and since she was in vows, but she had not yet professed final vows..she was almost not permitted to travel to his funeral. Someone intervened on her behalf.. because she is in the funeral photos.

She is one of two remaining from her "class" of postulants. All the rest have gone on to secular lives. She has said, however, that there has been a small swell of women coming to the novitiate as "second career" aspirants. Some of these women are lawyers, accountants, or nurses, and they have decided to join the sisterhood. They have gotten three to five a year recently. These women are considered excellent candidates because they're more likely to be of a firmer mind than a younger woman.

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I am watching the first episode. Something about it annoyed me. The way it was presented makes it sound like these girls are out for a lark.

I am working towards being a Lutheran Franciscan, and it's very serious to me. A friend of mine entered a convent and it was very serious for her. These girls might be serious but Lifetime is making this into a bit of joke (IMHO). This show just rubbed me the wrong way.

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Oooh, I hadn't heard about this series, but as a cradle Catholic I'm oddly fascinated by women that choose to become nuns (I also was unaware that there was any difference between Sister and Nun and I thought I was up on my liturgical church jargon). I just set my DVR to record the series.

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Palimpsest, the first episode is online. There are five girls, smug self-righteous Claire (with a bad case of resting bitch face), model with a boyfriend who wants to avoid drama by becoming a nun Elessi, an evangelical girl who 'flirts with Jesus', a blonde who thinks Jesus is a hot dude and a girl who had a meltdown because they wanted them to take their makeup off and there are TV cameras and she has really bad acne. They made a big deal about the makeup, then promptly dropped it. Maybe we're supposed to think they're not wearing it any more?

In all the talking heads they had makeup on with their uniforms, but goodness only knows when they were filmed. Like how in Breaking Amish all the TH had them in Amish garb, which they were NOT wearing around the city.

I may have been wrong about the distinction between nun and sister, I think I got that from A Nun's Life podcast and I'm sure she doesn't speak for all religious. I like the nuns in the first episode so far, very practical and down to earth people. I did notice they seem to wear a slightly modified habit - you can see their ankles (!) - but I can't figure out whether that's down to Vatican II or their particular order.

The girls ... well, who knows. I don't think joining an order at 21 is the best idea, really - I have more hopes for the older ones, with some life experience to judge against. Many places won't even take you if you haven't been out in the world a few years.

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I like the nuns in the first episode so far, very practical and down to earth people. I did notice they seem to wear a slightly modified habit - you can see their ankles (!) - but I can't figure out whether that's down to Vatican II or their particular order.

I had nuns for teachers in first and fifth grades back in the 80's. Both wore skirts that were just past their knees as part of their habit and you could see their ankles (always with nylons, of course). Different orders have different allowances on dress. I know one sister that regularly wears a casual shirt and khakis or jeans in her day-to-day life. I'm sure she has more formal attire for church and what not, but I haven't seen her in it.

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Pamplisest, My SIL entered the convent school straight from 8th grade. She attended the high school, wore (I believe) postulant clothing, and entered the novitiate directly after high school graduation. (say 1966) Her father died in 1968, and since she was in vows, but she had not yet professed final vows..she was almost not permitted to travel to his funeral. Someone intervened on her behalf.. because she is in the funeral photos.

She is one of two remaining from her "class" of postulants. All the rest have gone on to secular lives. She has said, however, that there has been a small swell of women coming to the novitiate as "second career" aspirants. Some of these women are lawyers, accountants, or nurses, and they have decided to join the sisterhood. They have gotten three to five a year recently. These women are considered excellent candidates because they're more likely to be of a firmer mind than a younger woman.

I worked as a Catholic reporter for many years and dealt with many sisters and orders (I agree I've never heard a distinction between nun/sister though our preferred writing style was to always use "sister") - the orders near me did not get a lot of new postulants, but the women who were discerning a religious vocation were almost always older and had already had successful secular careers - the seminarians studying to be priests as well. Most of them had been contemplating their vocation since they were young but had only become secure in it (or secure enough to stand by it against family who might not have understood it) once they were older. In fact, several of the women I saw become nuns were divorced/widowed and had children. That must be something interesting to deal with, explaining to people how your mother is a nun!

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What is up with Elessi? I dont get being driven to the convent by your boyfriend, professing your love to him, then heading off to 6 weeks of celibacy. Pick a life - either you love your boyfriend and are going to stay in the secular world or headed towards a "non complicated" life with the sisters. Its just mean to try and have it both ways.

Also - the Jesus sex dream/vision? EWWW

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What is up with Elessi? I dont get being driven to the convent by your boyfriend, professing your love to him, then heading off to 6 weeks of celibacy. Pick a life - either you love your boyfriend and are going to stay in the secular world or headed towards a "non complicated" life with the sisters. Its just mean to try and have it both ways.

Also - the Jesus sex dream/vision? EWWW

Drama + good looks = ratings? and possible fame for her if/when she decides this isn't her thing?

I don't know that it's bad to spend some time apart from a SO for a while. The evil part of me is wondering if maybe she wants to get married and he doesn't and she's trying to force his hand.

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