What's the difference??

What’s the difference between a sister and a nun? I thought they were the same thing!

The title of “Sister” is applied to all women religious, unless they are the founder of their order or Mother Superior, then they are addressed as “Mother”.

However, the designation of sister vs. nun is that a sister works in the world, such as a teaching or nursing sister. A nun stays in a convent as a cloistered sister. That is what I have been told. If I am wrong, I’m sure someone will correct me. :wink:

Hi Paris!
They are. :thumbsup: newadvent.org/cathen/11164a.htm
Pax vobiscum,

It is my understanding as well that nuns are cloistered “sisters” while “sisters” are non-cloistered nuns. I hope I put that right. They are both a part of religious orders, but the dynamics are different. :blessyou:

I was wondering what the difference was also when they wear the black and white head-dress gown (like Mother Angelica wears) or the other where they wear a blue and white bandana-like cloth around their heads. What’s the difference?

every order adopts its own habit according to the type of work and living conditions. Pope Pius XII urged nuns in the 40s to consider modernizing their habits, but was told politely, or not so politely, to butt out they could run their own orders. Then a generation later, many orders tossed out the habits completely and adopted entirely secular dress. Most have some kind of “official” modified habit or uniform. Mother Teresa adopted the sari, the dress of the women of India, with a veil for her order to identify with the people of India. Some orders that work in the world, as teachers for instance, wear an ordinary business suit in a specific color with a pin or cross to identify them as nuns, and some where a modified veil. Some orders, especially cloistered, keep the traditional habit. Their superiors have the authority to determine what the dress will be for their members.

What’s the difference between a carmelite, poor clare nuns and all that then?

[quote=Paris Blues]What’s the difference between a carmelite, poor clare nuns and all that then?

Different orders and follow different rules for living.

Carmelites take their name from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and probably date to the Crusades. The Poor Clares were, as I recall, founded by the sister of Saint Francis, Clare.

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