Sister Servants of the Eternal Word, Alabama


I loooooove this order. What do y’all know about this order?

I’m asking on PhatMass, but I thought I’d ask here, too, to see if others know other info.

Thank you and God bless you! :slight_smile:

Have you read the biography of Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo? He gives a history of this community.

Mother Angelica founded it with a view to having an ‘active’ Order of Sisters to work at EWTN. The co-foundress was Mother Gabriel Long, a blood sister of Mother Assumpta Long, one of the foundresses of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (a/k/a the ‘Ann Arbor Domincans’). Mother Gabriel was a Dominican Sister, just like her sister, Mother Assumpta.

Unfortunately, there were disagreements between Mother Angelica and Mother Gabriel, and they went their separate ways.

The Sister Servants have no affiliation with EWTN, but they do conduct retreats that are often led by priests who have been hosts and/or guests on EWTN programs (the late Father Robert J. Fox comes to mind as an example). And I have seen some of the Sisters at the Daily Mass in the EWTN chapel when I’ve viewed the Mass online, so maybe the relations between the Sisters and the network are less distant and frosty than in the past.

I know that I’ve given most of the background and history here, but read it for yourself in the book.

BF - I was a novice in that community. Where Mr. Arroyo’s book is concerned - let me say that what is recorded there regarding this community is incomplete to say the least. I cannot say more, but I will emphasize again how important it is, in this case, to not believe everything one reads.

That’s OK-I was only going by what I read in the book.

I’m sorry that you may have been offended or hurt by anything that I wrote. Didn’t mean to, really. :o :frowning:

Am I forgiven?


Not asking for you to expound upon your comments.
What I am asking is that do you, as a faithful Catholic, respect EWTN and what it has to offer.

The only reason I am asking is that I have been duped in the past by spiritual/religious people and I am always a bit wary. So I seek wisdom and insight from those who have gone before me or have personal knowledge of something I may not.

I seek to be gentle as a dove, yet wise as a serpent. Any comments you can share, in charity, would be appreciated


BF, please don’t be worried, I was not offended or hurt in the least.

EWTN has a great deal to offer and is a wonderful resource. It was instrumental in my conversion nearly 10 yrs ago. Naturally some programming is of higher quality, and some staff of higher competence, than others.

The Sisters did not contribute to the book in question, and their experiences are therefore not represented in it. They declined to be interviewed for it, choosing to remain silent out of love for the virtue of discretion.They will not publicly answer it either, because to do so would be unbecoming of those who would presume to follow He whom was oppressed and afflicted, yet opened not His mouth.**

Thanks Lillabett, appreciate your perspective. Means a lot

God Bless. :slight_smile:

:extrahappy: They updated their “what’s new” page!

Each and every picture I look at of the convent grounds is more beautiful than the next, especially this one:

I love that they regularly update their news! :slight_smile:

Wow-what a nice picture!

Sure wish we had that kind of weather in the Northeast…it’s been raining, snowing, you name it! Please, winter-GO AWAY! It’s supposed to be SPRING! :frowning:

I just love that they have such an early Spring there. Sure beats the winter blues. I get lots of snow and spring is slow to appear. I did notice some gladiolas starting to spring up, though.

It’s been raining here, too, everyday this week in the late afternoon. I’m kind of glad it is though because it’s been giving my nose a rest from the pollen AND my baby peach tree is growing peaches for the first time! There are 15 little peaches on there and I cannot wait to try one when they mature and ripen. :slight_smile:

Ahh. My nose never rests, lol. It’s probably something in the food I eat, maybe. I’ve already be allergy tested though and the shots didn’t get rid of anything.

My heart must be very firm on these Sisters. Anytime I look at the website of another order, I feel drawn right back to the SsEW. I just love them! :smiley:

Dearest Joyful Life…I have been reading this thread and praying for you, but you just said the one thing that I was afraid of for you. I too have a mental disorder, and had a HUGE vocational disappointment. Religious life is not the will of God for me. Be careful that your heart is set on Jesus ONLY, on the will of God ONLY…He will see you through…I am not saying that you don’t have a vocation to religious life, but just a word of caution.

In a way, I kind of agree with elizabeth’s post because I had the same problem earlier in my discernment. I was too set on my own priorities and needs and I wanted to find an order that met every single one of them. When I finally found one that would accept me even though I had depression, I jumped at the chance because it felt so good to finally be accepted. The problem is, I rushed into the decision without checking them out first to see if they would be a good fit for me. I’ve mentioned several times in different places that I found out their apostolate was not a good fit at all. With the amount of stress that was presented each day, I had anxiety attacks and was unable to eat, sleep at night, or work. I eventually asked after just 3 days of being there to go home because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to work like this. I was sleeping all day because I couldn’t rest at night. Also, I was not on my medication at the time, so my serotonin was probably very low.

I think this experience ruined my discernment for a while. I thought that since I had such a bad experience with these Sisters that I either wasn’t called to religious life or it was a lot more complicated than I thought. I think the latter is true. Discernment is like dating. No priest would marry two people who hadn’t attended Pre-Cana and made a serious commitment to each other and I equate this with religious life. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. Had I been able to experience time with the Carmelites again, I would have spent several weekends with them to really make sure that I was called there before I applied. I probably could have saved myself the heartache…who knows? :shrug:

JoyfulLife, I don’t want you to think that I am trying to dissuade you from pursuing the SsEW. Learn all you can about them, just like I am–not only from asking questions to Cherie (who is a wonderful resource, BTW), but also ask Sr. Louise when you do visit. I intend to spend at least two retreats with them before coming to a decision. Even though Sr. Louise said it would be best if I apply right after I graduate in December, it is not set in stone. Previous experience has told me to slow down and listen to the will of God before I make this huge, life-altering decision. Ultimately, we are there to serve God and do what He wants, not what we want. :wink:

Please forgive me if I sound harsh in any of my statements. I do not know you personally and I can tell you are full of joy for the Lord. Don’t let me or anyone take away that joy, but just understand that discernment is not all sweetness and light. It often presents us with challenges we aren’t ready to face without the grace of God. We only receive those graces in His timing. I’m praying for you! :thumbsup:

Wow, thank you both for such great posts.

You both reiterate what my spiritual director said about loving God ABOVE religious life and convents. It hit me hard when I first heard it. I’m trying to have God first place in my life, but it’s hard to help not feeling head over heels when you really like an order, at least for me anyway. A phatmasser also mentioned about the need to detach from love of orders above God. If I could work on that, the blow wouldn’t be as bad if they tell me no. :frowning:

I totally need to step back some because I haven’t even visited yet, but I plan to. Daughter, like you, I want a first visit and then a “try-out” later on, if the visit goes well. I am also fine with waiting some years before I’m ready to even enter somewhere, so that will also help me mature and detach.

Daughter, I understand you said that Sister said you should apply in December. Is that after knowing your health issues…has she accepted all of that? I just feel like, if she is okay with EITHER of us, then most likely she’ll be okay with BOTH of us. :slight_smile:

No, I still haven’t told her yet. I am not going to tell her until I am able to talk to her in person and only after spending time with them so they can see how I am symptom-free. I don’t want to get turned down again over email. It’s not easy hearing it in person, either, but at least you are able to talk with them and get some ideas on what to do next. Sr. Francis did this for me when I visited the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. The difference was that she knew my depression history since every retreat participant was required to fill out a preliminary form and it asked if you ever had a mental illness. The most important thing was that she was open to let me visit even though she had reservations and I really respect her for that. It gave me hope for the future. :slight_smile:

I’m really thinking that those letters of recommendation for each of us is really going to let the orders know that we have something that they CAN deal with. And there is no reason financially that they can’t, because that copay program will solve that.

I mean:

  1. we are symptom free on medicine
  2. there are copay programs
  3. again, our conditions are controlled

Why CAN’T an order deal with that? You pop a pill; I take a monthly shot. And we are fine. I have about a 1 year and 5 month history of being symptom free on medicine, and about a 9 month period of being great the first time I was on medicine, before going off and relapsing within 8 months or less. It will probably help if I can accumulate more “symptom-free on medicine” time before applying. Maybe Sister will talk about that.

Do you know… if I decide by the second visit that it is the order for me, and I tell them I need a few more years, do I apply to see if I’m accepted and work on entrance for a few years… Or, do I apply only when I’m ready to enter right then and there?

I just visited phatmass today and it’s been a little while since I read threads. Is it some sort of ongoing joke or new lingo of Cherie to keep using “d” as in “dat” “de” “dey” etc.?

Daughter, I just wanted to add to the two above posts…

Do you think I seem inquisitive or is it flighty? I’m wondering myself why I question so much…

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