Curious about a religious order

I am not sure if this is the place to post this or not. I apologize if it’s in the wrong place.

A few years ago I met a sister who said she is with the Sisters of the Humility of Mary. I had never heard of this order before, but the name has stuck with me. Something about the name seems so fitting for the world we live in. If we all sought out the humility of Mary I think many of our problems would be nonexistent.

Some of my questions are, has anyone else met any of these ladies? What can you tell me about their spirituality? Do they have third orders? The sister I met did not wear a habit. Is this true for all of them? I know she lead Ignatian Spirituality exercises and RCIA at that particular parish. She also lived alone, no other sisters in the area. It was a very different lifestyle than the sisters I grew up knowing, but it seemed she lived her faith more fully in many ways as well. That isn’t meant to say that the sister I grew up with were not living out their faith, it was just done differently and mainly by teaching at the schools and living in a convent on school property. This sister lived in a townhouse in a neighborhood and was involved with many local organizations. Not sure how to put into words what I’m trying to say.

I cannot remember the name of this good sister, but she was very caring and easy to talk with. She brought comfort to my family at a time we were close to despair. I hope one day to meet her again and thank her for her kindness. She is no longer attached to that parish or in that area so I don’t know how that could happen though. In the meantime, any information about these women and their congregation is appreciated.

Here’s the link:

They don’t show the habit they wore in the 1960s, but it had a unique headdress.

Yes, the humility of Mary is indeed what’s needed today.

Here is the associate link:


Thank you!

I’ll check the link out after Mass and if I have further questions I’ll post them later.

They’re a member of LCWR and proudly advertise such on their website. For some, this may raise a red flag considering the serious issues Rome itself has identified with LCWR in the past. (Though I understand they were making some strides to work with Rome to address some of the major doctrinal issues).

Thank you. This is good information that some people would need to know if they were discerning a vocation especially.

There are (or at least were) 2 communities:

Sisters of the Humility of Mary
Sisters of the Holy Humility of Mary

As far as I know, neither wear a habit anymore.They used to run schools & hospitals.
But I don’t know what they do now.
Yes, it is a wonderful title for Mary & a great inspiration for us…

Community of the Humility of Mary, Iowa:

Wiki article:

Wiki article describes the two different habits.

I met a Humility of Mary sister on the portico of the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral (my “home” parish). Saw her medallion, then pronounced her membership. She was startled that I knew her affiliation, but was sweet about the encounter.


I know several members of both congregations, the ones in Iowa and the one in Pennsylvania. They do a variety of ministries, including retreat direction. Wonderful women. The fact that they don’t wear habits is neither here nor there.

One of their deceased sisters (Penna), Madonna Kolbenschlag, was an author who wrote a number of interesting books.

Thank you all very much for all the information. This sister was a wonderful woman. I am so glad to have met her. She was so helpful when my brother passed away in very bad circumstances. I’m not sure our family could have made it through without her love, guidance and support. I woke up yesterday morning with her on my mind, and I wish I could remember her name. It made me curious about her order. Most of my teachers growing up were Sisters of Notre Dame, and this sister was so different than they were. I don’t see that as wrong, just different. The name of her order has stuck with me over the years. I wish her name did as well.

One of my daughters is 10 and has stated matter of factly since she was 2 that she is going to be a nun. I’ve been trying to find out more about different communities so I can answer her questions. I pray she finds where God is calling her to be. Of course that may very well be as a married woman instead. She’s very young still. We’ve made trips together to Mt. St. Joseph in KY (Urselune Sisters) and to the Dominicans in Nashville. She has also spent time with some Franciscan sisters from Mexico and has worn the Franciscan cross they gave her for the last three years. She remembers this other good sister (Humility of Mary) even though she met her just briefly when she was only 4. If anyone has any advice on how to help her determine God’s will for her life, I would appreciate it. I pray and try to find answers to her questions, but I don’t want to accidentally “push” her into a religious vocation either.

What a lovely testimony.

You can contact the chancery/pastoral centre of the diocese in which this happened and ask to speak to the “Vicar for Religious”. S/he would have a record of the name of the Sister, above all since you know the name of her Religious Congregation. If, by chance, Sister is no longer serving elsewhere in the diocese, the official should be able to tell you either the forwarding information that she left or help you to contact her through the house of her major superior.

I can assure you that she would be gratified to hear from you and to learn how decisive her efforts to minister to you and your family had been. And, I am sure, would help you to be part of her community’s associate programme.

You do know, I presume, that all that came to resolution and closure.

My. 10 years old? How remarkably sweet. There are certainly precedents for a child so young knowing her eventual vocation.

One of the ways to allow her to explore without in any way pushing her is by the matter of fact exposure to women Religious, just as you are doing.

Not knowing the part of the United States in which you live, it is hard to give you much more advice.

Things to consider are whether she expresses more of an interest in a contemplative life or an active life.

One could, for example, visit a place such as Mother Angelica’s monastery in Alabama (which is not an extreme distance from the Nashville Dominicans, by American standards of travel, anyway) purely as a religious destination and experience…which would also happen to expose her to an enclosed Order of contemplative nuns.

The things she feels drawn to – academic work/teaching, some aspect of health care, pastoral work – would begin to give insight into those communities that would match her interest. I will pray for her and for you.

Thank you Father for the wonderful advice! I will consider contacting sister through the diocese. I didn’t know that was possible. For now she will remain in my prayers.

As for the advice about my daughter, I can’t thank you enough. We are currently in Ft. Campbell, KY, but we move a lot. Many people here have traveled to Alabama to see Mother Angelica’s sisters. That is something I think we will certainly do as well.

My daughter has stated her entire life that she will be Sister Fatima (not her given name) and will take care of orphans. I thought the desire would ease over time, as is common with young Catholic girls; however, it seems to grow stronger each year. I wanted to be a contemplative nun (Carmelite) as a young teen, and I am now a married mother of soon to be 9, so I realize chances are high her vocation will be different than her desires. I’ve seen all five of my sons desire the priesthood when very young, and now only two speak of it occasionally. Her older sister has never spoken of being a nun, and the younger sister wants to be a mermaid or a puppy (she’s 3). But my middle girl never sways and I worry she is afraid to disappoint me if she chooses a different path. She has mild learning disabilities that she is beginning to overcome (dyslexia, coordination and balance problems, speach delays). Would those be an impediment to a vocation later in life? She has the most generous heart and feisty spirit. God has made her perfectly to fulfill His desires for her life, yet still I worry I may be placing something in her heart that is not meant to be there. I have never told her of my desire to be a Carmelite, but my husband and I speak of our many family members who have been missionary sisters and priests (mostly Maryknolls), diocesan priests, contemplative monks. My two closest in age cousins are a Sister of Charity and a diocesan priest. Should we continue these things or should we just pray instead? Is being learning disabled, even mildly, a sign that a religious vocation isn’t truly her calling?

A quick look on Google reveals that communities with “charity” in the name are running the majority of orphanages. The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul; Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity; etc.

If she works and prays hard to be delivered from her learning disabilities, she could become a sister. There in KY there are the SCNs at Nazareth and the Sisters of Mercy in Louisville.

By the time she is 17, if our Charity congregation is going, we would entertain the discernment of her vocation with us. We look for high-functioning persons with disabilities.

I believe St. Germaine of Pibrac is the patroness of orphans. Have your daughter pray 3 Paters, Aves, and Glorias in the saint’s honor. St. Cloud would be another, as is St. Amelian. There is an orphanage up north named for the latter (or was).


Thank you Father. I shouldn’t have posted what I did without verifying the status of the dialogue.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit