Dear God, Your dear, saintly, loyal, hardworking Sisters have come a long way!

Within a relatively few recent years
most female religious orders have cast off their traditional (and costly) religious garb
(some in styles dating back to the Middle Ages), in favor of clothing similar to that
worn by those they serve.

In 2012, nine liberal nuns hired a bus
and took a two-week- nine-state journey across the U.S., stopping along the way
to make clear their mission, their activities and their political convictions.

At the time, the Vatican and the bishops were launching doctrinal investigations against orders of nuns, in spite of the glaring moral failures of numerous male clergy
with regard to the criminal cover-ups of child sex abuse.

One cannot help but wonder if Rome
was trying to shift attention away
from the rampant, longstanding, criminal pedophilia among male religious in the United States, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and countries in Europe,
Latin America, Africa and Asia.

As You know, Lord, I received a solid
and disciplined elementary and high school education under the Sisters of Charity
of Saint
Vincent de Paul, in Leavenworth, Kansas, at Sacred Heart School and Immaculata High School.

The sisters wore square black-over-white wimples, with head crowns and high collars, all pristine and starchy.

They were gowned in voluminous black,
down to their sturdy black shoes. They wore thick black belts hung with extraordinarily large rosary beads. They also wore a front cape, under which they could fold their arms (or pin notes to themselves, with black hat pins - a sort of traveling bulletin board!). Their habits were made of serge and must have been very hot during Kansas summers. But they did not complain. The nursing sisters,
who wore white, were a little luckier.

God, bless them all!

The Sisters of Saint Elizabeth wore square wimples which made them look almost as if their faces were pinched in picture frames. They, too, had enormous rosary beads.

Most dramatic of all were "God's Geese," as The French Daughters of Charity were called, with the largest and widest nun headpieces.

Driving, and even walking, could be a bit hazardous in some of these elaborate nun's bonnets which blocked side vision. Many,
if not most, religious orders have now discarded these dark, expensive, hot
and cumbersome habits which, in the manner
of modern muslim women, revealed only their faces and hands.

Bless now, Lord, all the devout women who struggled in these starchy coifs and heavy serge skirts and full-length sleeves in all weathers. I envision them now gowned elegantly in diaphanous white,
at rest from their labors and enjoying
the sweet manna and flowing wines
of Your heavenly home.

They certainly earned their entrance.

Pray for me, my dear Sisters,
as I pray now for you!

God, please bless us all!
God, please save us all!


(c) 2012 - Donn B. Murphy
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