Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Not all Monasticism is dying...

At least one religious order, the Dominican sisters of St. Cecilia (whom you can see have an awesome website), is one of the fastest growing orders in the country. My hometown news in Knoxville did this article and video here on a convent (which is a satellite of the Nashville based Roman Catholic order) that is excellent. The particular sisters now teach at my High school alma mater (which is the one place from which I have graduated to which I would voluntarily consider donating money.)

The video clip  caught my attention for several reasons. All the nuns pictured are quite young. (Many religious orders and convents have mostly aging members.)

The video also does a great job of capturing the spirit of joy and simplicity that monasticism (and Christianity in general) at its best captures.

Also of note is the little throw away line in the clip about the nuns being the first time the students saw a nun in an actual habit. The guidance counselor when I was a student in the 90's was a nun whom I had a great respect for, but she wore secular clothes and was largely a product of the Vatican II generation of Catholics.

Humorously, the superior at the beginning of the clip was a high school classmate of mine, which came as something of a surprise to me as she was a bit of a wild child back in the day. I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways.

(UPDATE: If memory serves, this religious order was established during the outbreak of the American Civil War. The nuns took in several war orphans after the Battle of Nashville, something that prevented the Union army from burning the convent to the ground. The Southern Army, to its credit, left Catholic religious houses alone, as the Southern army had at least one Catholic priest as a chaplain. The Union Army under Sherman was usually not so forgiving.)

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