Where are the nuns?


#1

Which church in either Brooklyn or Queens, New York has the largest number of nuns? Also, when you see a nun, how would you know whether to address her as Sister, or Mother?


#2

[quote="on rich, post:1, topic:220036"]
Which church in either Brooklyn or Queens, New York has the largest number of nuns? Also, when you see a nun, how would you know whether to address her as Sister, or Mother?

[/quote]

Excellent question! Unless Nuns belong to a monastery its far less than a chance you'll recognize a secular Nun. Many don't even wear a habit, though sometimes a Crucifix which doesn't really set her apart from any other Catholic . With a huge city like New York with over ten million you would think that walking a ten, twenty block radius you would at least run into a Nun. In my small archdiocese with an English and French deanery there's no English speaking Nuns...all retired. Same in the French deanery except less than five.

As a kid I remember teachers that were Nuns in full habit's. However; those years have long gone with Parochial Schools becoming a vast dying breed.


#3

[quote="njrich, post:1, topic:220036"]
Which church in either Brooklyn or Queens, New York has the largest number of nuns? Also, when you see a nun, how would you know whether to address her as Sister, or Mother?

[/quote]

That would be a hard question to answer. Some sisters work in a parish but live in another parish where there is a convent. Some live together in apartments. If a parish has a school there might be more sisters. A nun is someone who is cloistered so find out from the diocese if there are any cloistered nuns in the diocese. There is also a diocesan directory that list congregations of sisters and I think lists where some of them work. In Brooklyn diocese these are some of the congregations that work there. Amityville Dominicans, Sisters of Mercy, Congregation of St. Joseph, Ursuline Sisters, Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, Sisters of Charity of Halifax. There may be some Missionaries of Charity that work in the poorer sections of the diocese. I am sure there are others but these are the ones I know for sure. The Sisters of Mercy used to have a motherhouse in Brooklyn but I think they had to close it because the building was too old and run down, so they moved the sisters out to Long Island. The Dominicans and St Joseph sisters have their motherhouse on Long Island.


#4

[quote="njrich, post:1, topic:220036"]
Which church in either Brooklyn or Queens, New York has the largest number of nuns? Also, when you see a nun, how would you know whether to address her as Sister, or Mother?

[/quote]

I'm from 'upstate' New York, so I wouldn't know of a specific church in Brooklyn or Queens. I have, however, seen photos of a group of Sisters called, 'The Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara.' The community is originally from Argentina, but they are bursting at the seams with vocations! They have a contemplative monastery in the New York City area (Brooklyn, I think) and one or two convents of active Sisters (meaning they are out in the world, teaching and working with the poor).

As regards forms of address, it's usually 'Sister'. 'Mother' is reserved for Superiors. There were teaching Orders such as the Society of the Sacred Heart that gave the religious who taught the title 'Mother'. But it's not done anymore; the RSCJs have gone liberal and are doing more 'social justice' stuff than teaching.


#5

[quote="barb_finnegan, post:4, topic:220036"]
But it's not done anymore; the RSCJs have gone liberal and are doing more 'social justice' stuff than teaching.

[/quote]

Barb, you and I have disagreed on this kind of thing before and still remained civil and polite, and I'm sure that won't change this time. :)

But :eek:

I don't know the RSCJs, and don't know if they have indeed 'gone liberal'. (I actually don't know what 'going liberal' would mean, either, since US citizens seem to have a very different understanding of the word than the way we would use it here in the UK). But the fact that they might be involved in 'social justice' isn't a bad thing, surely?

The abolition of slavery was a social justice issue. No taxation without representation was a social justice issue. And the CCC has a lot more to say about the responsibility of the church to promote justice in the world through Christian values than it does about teaching middle class children in parochial schools, which is what many people seem to want to see religious sisters returning to. (Maybe you don't, Barb. I'm not putting words in your mouth here, honestly).

I'm just surprised that this might be implied to be a bad thing. Brother JR has made some very detailed posts here recently explaining why religious institutes have been looking to their founders' visions post-Vatican II, and this usually means working with the poor and within that, trying to obtain some justice for them. If I've misunderstood you and you're not critical of that, I apologise sincerely.

Moving on to a related matter (nothing that you said in your post, and I'm not including you in this, please believe me) I'm generally surprised at how social work-type apostolates are sometimes criticised here on CAF. In my parish one of the most active members of the congregation in church matters is a social worker specialising in child protection. She told me that a new addition to her team was surprised to find that they held prayer meetings during lunch breaks, because all of the team were practicing Christians. This newly-arrived young woman was at first bemused, but more recently has started to talk about her own need for spiritual guidance and support, and the team's witness has helped her to reconsider God's place in her life. I think that's an amazing witness.

What I'm saying is that I think social work is a noble profession, certainly not inferior to teaching or nursing in any way, and I know of some religious congregations that were specifically founded to work in this kind of apostolate, often in the developing world. I'm bemused that on a few occasions religious are patronised for doing this kind of work as though its somehow not seemly.

Apologies if this is off-topic. But I'm quite confused by the idea that social justice and social work are somehow inimical to the religious state. :shrug: Again, I know you didn't say that, Barb. But I have seen it implied here a few times recently by other people.


#6

OCarm-no, I'm not offended in any way by what you said. And I'm not about to pick an argument or a fight....believe me...

I know that there are religious communities that do social works, and I'm sure they do great things in that line of work.

When I hear the words 'justice and peace' I often cringe. They can have a political overtone. And politics, like everything else in this world, is 'temporal'....in a word, TEMPORARY. There seems to be such an emphasis on the 'Social Gospel'. What about saving your soul? What about the desire for heaven, to be happy with God forever? This world will pass away....

Maybe I'm not so good at expressing myself. What the heck, I'm just a dumb laywoman! :(


#7

[quote="barb_finnegan, post:6, topic:220036"]
They can have a political overtone. And politics, like everything else in this world, is 'temporal'.

[/quote]

I think this is very complicated, and espousing an ethical agenda without becoming overtly political is a challenge. But on issues such as abortion and freedom of religious expression the Church does sometimes directly enter the political process. I think it can be good to see religious involved in that - a chance to say 'Where are the nuns?' (to quote the OP) and receive the answer that they're in the open, witnessing to gospel values. But the boundaries of this kind of involvement are unclear, I agree.

[quote="barb_finnegan, post:6, topic:220036"]
Maybe I'm not so good at expressing myself. What the heck, I'm just a dumb laywoman! :(

[/quote]

Well, I'm always being told here that I meant something that I didn't in fact mean, so I think none of us can claim to be all that smart when it comes to how we express ourselves. :o


#8

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.