Far from missing out, active religious sisters are out in force, demonstrating the love of God through their work in health and aged care, education, social services and issues of social justice. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
They take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but the lives of religious sisters tend to be a mystery to those on the outside.
Sr Moira O’Sullivan, congregational historian for the Sisters of Charity, explains that because there is no real reason for religious life, except the conviction that God is offering a special relationship, it’s hard for anyone without strong faith to find value in it.
“In spite of thinking before entering the convent that we were doing something for God, by giving up marriage and children, we find that instead, God has lavished more on us and we have to keep thanking God for the privilege,” she says. “It’s unfortunate if anyone looks at us and thinks we’ve missed out.”
Sr Christine Henry, 64, has long been known as “the nun in the bush” thanks to her tireless work with drought-stricken families and communities.
“Saying goodbye to the ‘usual’ way of life isn’t something taken lightly. When I contacted Sisters of Charity, I took temporary vows of chastity, poverty and obedience and the fourth vow of service of the poor, renewed them three years later, and took final vows a couple of years after that. My parents initially had reservations about the path I was on, but when they saw how happy I was, they ended up becoming my biggest supporters.”
Sr Cathy Meese, 78, has long been involved in the prison ministry, working as an advocate, educator and pastoral carer for those walking what she calls “an often lonely path”.
“I wouldn’t say I chose the prison ministry, more that it was chosen for me ... A big part of what we do is love all of God’s children, and this is essential in my role.”
‘I felt the calling aged three’: The women who devote their lives to God (Sydney Morning Herald)