Not what we might expect from a teenager about the fully-habited nuns who taught in her high school. However this young woman, now known as Sister Maria Faustina, just made her permanent vows to that same order, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is part of a trend of growth among more traditionally-focused orders. The Sisters of Mary, founded in 1997, expect 17 new postulants in September and have launched an ambitious building program to accommodate their increasing numbers.
I wish I could show you the photos from the print version of the story that appeared this morning in the Ann Arbor News. The sight of young nuns, with white veils over their heads, prostrated in front of the altar of Christ the King Catholic Church (my home parish) was striking. The piece is surprisingly well done, despite the obligatory curmudgeonly quotation from a faculty member from somewhere, ( "There's always been a rear-guard action among Catholics who don't like Vatican II . . . "). More typical is the following:
The order is different from many others today in that members wear the traditional, floor-length habit; place strong emphasis on community life; and spend at least three hours each day in traditional, communal prayer, some in Latin.
"Young women are attracted to the total gift of self,'' said Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, vocations director for the Sisters of Mary. "They trust Christ and are willing to pour out their lives first to him, then through him, to all his people,'' Sister Bogdanowicz said. "This total commitment is most attractive to a generation starving for authenticity.''
Since the Sisters have their own chapel, I don't see them often at Mass at Christ the King. I wish that weren't so.
P.S. Just to prove that Sister Mary Faustina wasn't kidding about the "good at sports" comment, here are the good Sisters tuning up their Kick-the-Can skills.