Nuns can drink alcohol?


Are sisters allowed to drink alcohol? If a sister drink alcohol would that be against her vow of poverty? Any order which does not drink alcohol at all?


No more against the vow of poverty than food? Poverty is not penury.

When I visited the Franciscans here at one house there were wine boxes ready to pour… That seemed extravagant but maybe they were given.

I think that really this is THEIR business not ours anyways.


This is what I would think:
Food is required for survival.
But alcohol certainly is not.
Alcohol is normally expensive.


Anyone can drink alcohol. Wine is supposedly good for your arteries. Jesus drank wine, and He certainly was not wealthy. :rolleyes:
No one should abuse alcohol. That’s an entirely different thing.
In many cultures, wine is the beverage of choice with dinner.
We should all stay in our own lane.


I take it you’ve never tried 2-Buck Chuck? Beef is more expensive than chicken. Should religious not eat beef? And yes, I know some orders don’t eat meat at all. But that’s their rule.


The price of two buck chuck has risen here in our area, LOL :smiley:
A whopping $2.79! :eek:



Restrictions on alcohol consumption, if any, would be congregation by congregation, order by order… not a general norm for all religious.


Unless theirs is a mendicant order the vow of poverty means only that they personally don’t own much. The congregation, on the other hand, does not have to be “poor” or live in abject poverty. If the sister is given a small stipend by her burser and decides to spend it on a glass of wine instead of something else, that’s her decision to make.


When I was in school, they sure did. They drank beer in the evenings that baseball was on TV. My friend that lived nearby them ran errands for them, and often had to go to the rectory to get a 6 pack or 2 of beer for the nuns. So, picture a 10 yr old boy walking across the church parking lot with a 6 pack of beer. Simpler times. Better times.


It’s even more amusing when we think that it would have been scandalous for one of the nuns to go over to the rectory herself to get the beer (especially in the evening), but was perfectly OK for the 10 year old to do it for them.


It all makes me laugh. I make my own wine. On occasion it helps me sleep at night without the use of drugs as I have a true sleep condition. All things in moderation or with thoughtful prudence. Yes, I am under a Drs. care for the condition. Peace.


You would be very incorrect in what you think.

For those of us on the continent, and especially in a wine producing region, a bottle of table wine can be less expensive than a bottle of certain types of fruit juice. To say nothing of the fact that it is the normal and standard accompaniment of meals.

Saint Benedict established a daily allocation of wine for each monk (or nun) in monasteries governed by his rule in more or less 520…

But that is beside the point as the underlying premise is a very flawed understanding of the evangelical counsel of poverty.

Poverty as a virtue is not equated with misery and the bottom line cost is anything but a guideline for living the virtue of poverty.

Frankly, some of the most splendidly prepared meals I have enjoyed have been when I was a guest of Religious as, for example, on the Feast of their Holy Founder. To be sure, the meals were not extravagant…we are not talking about Filet Mignon or Lobster Newburg…but were delightful meals of multiple courses, with wine, in observance of the feast day. The other days, the fare was simpler, to be sure, but enjoyable, tasty, and well prepared.

To be sure, different Orders, Congregations, and Institutes of Perfection each set their observances on fast and abstinence and they vary widely. But, presuming normal conditions prevail in the broader society, that which costs the least may, in fact, cost the most in the long run in terms of impaired health and inadequately providing for the human needs of Religious.


Hey Don Ruggero. Good sensible observation and answer. I think I may have to adopt you! Peace.:thumbsup:


But doesn’t alcohol disrupt deep sleep patterns?




:extrahappy: I love it when someone says something better than I can.



By this line of thinking, nuns wouldn’t be permitted to drink anything but water because it is all that is required for survival and is basically free (or very inexpensive) and everything else is relatively expensive in relation to “free”.



I was thinking too that historically alcohol was often consumed because fresh water was so often not safe to drink. That doesn’t apply in nearly as many places today, but alcoholic beverages have a legitimate place in history as common drinks. It doesn’t only belong to the privileged elite or the reckless college student.


Absolutism in these kind of areas tends to drive me up the wall the older I get. Some priests and religious I have known drank to a moderate degree, some did not and some only drank at special events. Also as Don Ruggero and others pointed out the rules regarding this do vary from order to order. My aunt is a religious sister and her order does allow the occasional drink but she has never been much of a drinker and a glass of wine now and then is her limit. I have a similar personality and taste in foods to her and don’t particularly love alcohol and for me a glass of cold beer once or twice a month is my own limit. I never touch spirits. However other religious I have known enjoyed a glass of Whiskey or Brandy as my wife occasionally does. Neither is wrong or right as in all cases the individuals concerned are drinking in moderation and sensibly. My father is teetotal and can’t stomach the taste of alcohol at all and neither could my grandfather but neither of them would have cared less if you sat down with a pint of beer once in a while.

My aunt addressed these topic once when I was a teenager and pointed out that people seemed to think that been a religious sister for some people seemed to mean that people should go around with glum looks and stern faces all day. She always found that rather hilarious as she is naturally given to been quite light-hearted and has a dry sense of humour. I suspect as she spent most of her life working with the terminally ill if you had no sense of humour you would crack very, very quickly. I know when I did it as a volunteer in my late teens I soon realized how overwhelming it was and understood why sometimes both she and my mother could look stressed.

When I was a child our parish priest was an elderly Maltese gentleman, he loved having parishioners come to his house for dinner and he always had a glass of wine on the table. He also had the most truly appalling housekeeping and I remember the back and forth tongue in cheek arguments between my late mother and him every time she used to tidy up for him as he had restricted mobility. He was like my own father very much a product of a peasant background and not the greatest at keeping the place tidy and since as a priest he was unmarried he tended to provoke horror in the hearts of whatever female parishioner volunteered to give him a hand tidying or help him out. He however was also highly respected for his compassion and knowledge.

I mention this because I am sure most people can think of priests, nuns and others they have known who were people they liked and who were not austere and distant. Priests and religious have a special calling, one most of us do not, however they do remain human and do interact just as other human beings do.

There seems to be a rather unreal expectation of how religious should behave regarding these issues at times that puzzles me.

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