"My habit speaks"


#1

Those were the words I heard from Mother Angelica on EWTN radio a couple of days ago.

A young woman who wanted to be more able to evangelize called in for advice. She explained that, though she kept a picture of the Sacred Heart above her computer, wore her brown scapular with additional medals, in plain sight…she had not been able to bring herself to speak to her co-workers about the Catholic Church. Mother Angelica told her, “Child, don’t worry about it. One can “speak” in many ways. When I walk down the street…never saying a word to anyone…MY HABIT SPEAKS. It says that the Catholic Church is alive & well. It says that we are people who love Christ enough to give up the riches of this world, to give up a family, to trade ‘freedom’ for obedience”.

I am so happy that the new traditional orders of nuns are wearing habits again. If you want a lift, go to
pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week1123/cover.html
& turn up the volume on your computer. I was feeling so badly over the events within the Church these past few weeks. This brought my spirits up & I hope it does the same for all of you.


#2

And here we have what was a fact of life in pre-conciliar times. Before the days of the “modified habit” which, in many cases, meant “modified” to the point of being nothing more than a lapel pin. Why bother? Yes, the habit did speak, and it spoke volumes.

The sisters I had in high school modified their traditional habit in 1964. That habit was still full length, with full veil and wimple, but with single sleeves, and a “Peter Pan” type collar and soft cloth “bib” instead of the linen (or litholin) gamph. Altogether it was actually nicer than the old one. Too bad it was short-lived. In late 1967, they went shopping, and after that fateful day, no two wore the same dress. (How surprising.) One had a collection of cute little shifts with two vertical rows of three big buttons each. (We won’t discuss where the top two buttons were in relation to the anatomy.) And she had them in several colors.

The only “uniform” item was a silly little veil (maybe neck length) that was attached to the hair with a bobby pin. And even that vanished after 1970. That’s when the entire “habit” it became a lapel pin.

I knew the former Mother General (a very lovely woman, may she rest in peace) fairly well, and she (along with a few more of the “old timers”) continued to wear some sort of pseudo-habit. In early 1968 I asked why she abandoned the modified habit. The answer, with a tear in her eye: “The new administration forbade it being worn. We were told to throw them in the garbage. No exceptions.” (BTW, she was Mother General in 1964, when the modified habit was adopted. Her term of office expired in 1966.)

And then I recall visiting a hospital in the Charity-Bonsecours system a few years ago. The administrators were supposedly Sisters of Charity. Their distinguishing mark? A lapel pin. I’m sure Mother Seton would be thrilled.

The stories of mini-habits (whether cloth or pins) are legion. Hollywood seems to know that a habit is significant. (How many films has anyone seen that depict what I will call mini-nuns?)

In the end, I agree with the OP: it’s edifying and encouraging to know that there are still a few Orders of nuns and congregations of religious sisters that adhere to tradition, and continue to wear a habit.


#3

As a Franciscan Sister, I wear a full habit in Blessed Mother blue. It speaks volumes to everyone around! I only hope to live up to what they expect and hope to see in me.


#4

eE have a new order of Dominicans near me and all of these lovely ladies wear the habit

I feel so proud of them when I see them going about their business…It shows what they stand for and what they are made of

What a joyous thing it is to see our religious about town in a habit


#5

Me=“Young Fogey”


#6

LOL! :smiley:


#7

I grew up seeing DSP and OP sisters in habits. The DSP habits were two: the working were blue skirts, just below the knee, with matching blouse and veil. The formal was a full ankle length robe in blue. Still wearing the same right until they closed their store and house in Anchorage, in the 1990’s.

Sister Ambrose (OP) dressed much like the male dominicans when in full habit… white, ankle length, with full length scapular, belted, with rosary… and a veil. Occasionally, I’d see her in a white knee length skirt and blouse with black jacket, and white veil. And her rosary, and the Dominican cross. Right through the 1980’s.

Sister Dorothy (OP) always wore white skirt and blouse. Usually also the Dominican Cross. Don’t think I ever saw her in full habit, but have seen photos of her in one. She arrived in the 1980’s.

There was no question Sr. Dorothy was in some uniform, but at first glance, one might think her a nurse, not a Dominican Sister.

Not all orders did away with the holy habit. And from what I’ve seen, most of the sisters locally wear very distinct “business suit” modified habits, a uniform. Modern, but distinctive.

Sadly, in the last 10 years, suddenly I see Episcopalian “Female Clergy” in the same attire.


#8

Do the Nashville Dominicans use the EF?


#9

No clue; the Western Dominicans definitely permit it, but under the Dominican Missal, not the Roman Missal.


#10

I haven’t posted here for some time, but this thread caught my attention. I have had experience with both sisters who wear no habit and those who do. I guess I prefer to see sisters out in the world with their habits…even if the habit isn’t full length. It is such a witness to young women, to all of us really. To me they have literally “put on Christ” and are living that example for the rest of us.


#11

I totally agree. There was something about the habits that made the women who wore them Here is a picture of nuns of the Sacred Heart…who taught me in high school.
[/url

I’m not sure whether any of you are interested, but it did my good just to find the picture. :)](http://www.rscj.org/news/province/rscj_former_rscj_reunite_for_reunion.html#photos)


#12

Hey, who are the DSP sisters? I am curious for a reason.back in 1966 to 1970, my dad was stationed at the Alaskan Air Command on Elmendorf AFB near Anchorage. I remember going on a bus with some other young people from the base for a vocational event.There were several communities there. I remember seeing one sister wearing a long blue habit and a white wimple and veil,very tradtional style.However dummy me never thought to ask her what community she belonged to.Most seemed to wear some sort of modified habit, but at least were dressed like nuns not laywomen.


#13

The DSPs are the Daughters of St. Paul. They were founded by Bl. James Alberione and Ven. Mother Thecla Merlo. Their American Motherhouse is in Boston. Their apostolate is in the mass media.


#14

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