To make you smile this morning, here's a picture of two young Sisters of St. Francis participating the the 2007 Nun Run, sponsored by the Diocese of Milwaukee. From what I have read, while there are actual nuns in the annual Run, there's very little running, unless you count the kind that happens in a 15-passenger van as it shuttles between each of four or five participating abbeys. The Nun Run was put together in order to spark interest in vocations to the religious life, with young women signing up to visit several different congregations on one mad weekend, getting a taste of what each group of sisters is all about.
Biased thought below; you are forewarned:
(As a thought of my own, I'd like to add that, in checking out the pictures of the four participating congregations from 2007, three of them were plain-clothes nuns and in each group, the youngest sister looked to be about a thousand years old and counting. Whereas with the Sisters of St. Francis, who are garbed in the traditional habit to set themselves apart from the world, marked as different and making a silent testimony of their sacrifices for the good of the world, the vocations seem to be coming along a a fine pace, something like the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who keep frantically adding on buildings to their convent so that postulants will have a place to lay their heads at night.
What I surmise in all of this is that people are tired of seeing nuns in velour track suits at Mass, which is what I saw at the abbey of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Elwood, Indiana a few years back. The chapel was half full before Mass, but there weren't any nuns there and the girls and I were disappointed. "Where are all the sisters?" I whispered to an elderly lady, thus garbed, sitting next to me, who was occupying her time before Mass by crocheting a scarf. She looked at me in surprise. "We ARE the sisters."
Oh. And I just love your tasteful aquamarine blue exercise gear, Sister. J.C. Penney, was it? Big sale at Kohl's? Yeeeeeshhhh.....
So what I'm saying is, if you look at a nun and you can't tell she's a nun, what is the point of being a nun? THERE'S SOMETHING IMPORTANT MISSING THERE.)
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