What are your thoughts on Sister Ilia Delio?


She’s a habitless fransican. But she’s a Catholic author and speaker. She speaks a lot about science and theology.

What are your opinions? Should I read her work on Saint Francis?


Would wearing a habit be important for you? She was a Carmelite before becoming a Franciscan. Now she is in a more “open” community. Her science degrees led her to study medicine. Her theology was from being a Franciscan. Her writings are not against any Catholic teaching.


Okay, thanks.

I do caution when it comes to most habitless religious communities. That’s wear you get the most religious brothers and sisters who teach very questionable beliefs regarding spirituality. Most habited communities are usually very sound doctrinally for the most partCt


I think you are painting with an overly broad brush. You should judge each individual author based on their work rather than based on their wearing a habit. I have seen some very questionable things coming from habit wearing religious that border on sede.


The ones that are haunted by the Holy Ghost, I suppose?


Your auto correct is mischievous!


Ok, I give up searching, what does sede mean if you wouldn’t mind?



True. There are a few.

But the most pro choice and nuns who are in support of women priesthood usually come from more modernized communities. I still use caution and research them.


Sede means chair in Latin. A sedevacantist means they believe that the Chair of Peter is vacant or under an illegitimate authority.


Yup and I am not one of those people.


Oh, I don’t know about that. Be careful.

The very pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ-marriage, anti-established church, etc. “religious” women that I see in our city usually DO wear their habits or their vestments (women priests), even in casual settings. Perhaps they are doing this to try to convince (fool) others that they represent God.

I don’t think we should ever evaluate someone based on what they are wearing. A lot of the priests who are in trouble with the law (sexual assaults) were priests in the pre-Vatican days
when they wore cassocks outside of the church and very ornate (compared to what priests wear nowadays) vestments when saying Mass.

And some of the wealthiest, most intelligent people in the world dress like bums (e.g., the late Steve Jobs!).

And some of the most beautiful people in the world live terribly unhealthy lives.

etc.! You get the idea.


Her book Franciscan Prayer is fantastic, and highly recommended.


That’s what I just ordered. I read her book on St. Clare of Assisi. I quite liked it!


Sorry a full habit is different than womanly priestly vestments. There is a difference between how they act and what they put out there.


I’m only telling you what i see in my city. It may be very different where you live.

Yes, I know that a full habit is different than womanly priestly vestments.

Around here, we see a women wearing “habits” and they are not part of any recognized (by the Catholic Church) religious order. They just wear them so that they will look like they have the authority to speak about spiritual matters (again, not necessarily Catholic or even Christian.) And they’re not Mennonites–we have a fairly thriving community of Mennonites.

As for priestly vestments being worn by women, these are Episcopalian female “priests” and Lutheran female “pastors.”


That’s interesting - - those generic “holy” women not attached to an order. Can we ask what city that is in? Or even state?



They are not necessarily “holy.” Many are “New Age” types who are trying to appear other-worldly.

We do have several genuine Catholic orders in our area, including a Poor Clare monastery and a “Blue Nuns” convent. There are also plenty of Catholics involved with lay orders.

But there are always people who are trying to find their way to God through human efforts, and adopting a style of dress that sets them apart makes them appear legitimate. So I think it’s a good idea to proceed with caution, and also to not place too much value on “holy clothing,” since anyone can don it.


I’ve know a bit about her. I haven’t studied her works in depth, but I don’t quite understand your reason for asking. Your question seems too general.

What is it exactly you were seeking to know?


If this is about clothing, then I think you might want to consider a few things. I dont know her personally, but - while Franciscan - Sr Ilia worked for quite awhile at Georgetown University amongst the Jesuits long after the post-V2 reforms, when the Jesuits themselves would wear regular, non-clerical clothes.

As far as the Franciscans are concerned, I have a very good friend, who is a Franciscan Third Order Regular friar, a nurse, a healer and so on; and he used to volunteer at nursing homes to help care for people. He would wear his conventual habit when he went. Someone (I dont know who) took issue with the fact that he was wearing the habit while doing the charity work, and the TOR’s eventually had to tell him to stop wearing it. He refused, and (getting older himself) he actually asked for a dispensation, so he could retire back to more mainstream life, although he is still a TOR (in retirement). Personally, I saw no reason why the complaint against his habit was worth considering at all, but let’s not digress into a discussion about him. We’re talking about Sr Ilia.

I dont know why she would opt not to wear a habit, but it may or may not have been completely her own deciding. She’s obviously a very independent, progressive-minded woman, but she could also have had any number of influences (or lack of influences) acting (or not) upon her. For instance, if she were trying to remain incognito in her spirituality, like an undercover cop, she could have been under orders not to wear the habit, or perhaps she simply wanted to blend in to better relate to people. Or, if she was working at Georgetown hospital, it’s possible someone - ranging from a hospital patient even up to a clergy - could have complained wearing a habit was somehow indicative of cultural bias. Or, perhaps, her fraternity simply didn’t require her to wear it, as happens a lot today - so she simply didnt think much of it, or maybe somehow the regular clothing was more conducive to her work. I do know from talking with certain older nuns in the Sisters of Charity - the old “flying nun” habit was actually hard to wear, so the garment changed over time.

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