The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Be it resolved: sisters matter

When was the last time the United States government paid tribute to a group of Catholic religious? 

It happened last week.  Take a look.   
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Msgr. Michael Hardiman

posted September 29, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Great news and absolutely well deserved! Who authored the resolution?

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posted September 30, 2009 at 12:03 am

The Vatican has started a visitation to look at several of the women religious orders. This has nothing to do with the state in America and is strictly an internal Catholic issue. I have chosen to notify my representative that I am not at all pleased with the action by the house of representatives and their involvement in matters that are internal to the Catholic Church.
What are the objectives of the Visitation?
It is intended to comprehensively assess and encourage the growth of Catholic Institutes of women religious in the United States who engage in apostolic works.
What has prompted this Visitation?
The Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life exercises oversight in relation to all religious institutes throughout the world. Like other vocations in the Church, religious life has passed through challenging times. The Congregation for Consecrated Life is aware that many new congregations have emerged in the United States while many others have decreased in membership or have an increased median age. Apostolic works have also changed significantly because of societal changes. These and other areas need to be better understood and assessed in order to safeguard and promote consecrated life in the United States.
Our Approach
With genuine interest and sincere concern and respect, this Apostolic Visitation is being undertaken to:
• look into the quality of the life of apostolic women religious in the United States,
• learn more about the varied and unique ways in which women religious contribute to the welfare of the Church and society, and
• assist the Church to strengthen, enhance and support the growth of the more than 400 congregations to which the approximately 59,000 women religious in the United States belong.
The process will include chronological phases, including an appeal to superiors general, documentation requested of U.S. major superiors, and on-site visitations.
Mother Clare and numerous visitation teams will listen to the superiors and members of the religious communities through written communications and personal meetings. At the end of the Apostolic Visitation, Mother Clare will submit a confidential report to Cardinal Rodé, based on her observations and findings in all phases of the process.
The Visitation will be conducted under the direction of Mother Mary Clare Millea, A.S.C.J., whom Cardinal Rodé appointed Apostolic Visitator. Mother Millea, a Connecticut native, is superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an international religious institute headquartered in Rome, with approximately 1250 professed sisters worldwide, including 135 in the United States. She entered religious life in 1965 and professed perpetual vows in 1973
The left version of this visit has been called an inquisition. The liberal nuns are going nuts. So it appears that they went to the State in the form of a house representative to get help. Yes, the women religious liberals who vowed obedience to the Church go to the State for help in dealing with the leadership of the Catholic Church
They went to Rep. Kaptur (D) who claims to be a Catholic and just happens to be within the Diocese of Bishop Leonard Blair who the Vatican appointed to supervise the probe into The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)
So Rep. Kaptur introduces a resolution by which the State has now chosen to get involved in the process. It passed a resolution by unanimous vote to honor the women religious for the work they have done in the USA which is not disputed or part of the visitation. This resolution is to be sent to the Vatican.
Again, the Visitation is not about the past accomplishments of the sisters but could well be about why there is this trend, or for the fact that many of the women religious seem to be in constant dissent from settled definitive church teaching and how their mission could impact other Catholics in a negative way impairing their souls.
In the NCR, the whack left catholic paper, they wrote the following to show their liberal bias.
This should be sent to the Vatican forthwith. The men who ordered the current inquisition need to know how Sisters are regarded in the United States:
Whereas today, there are approximately 59,000 Catholic sisters in the United States;
Whereas Catholic sisters participated in the opening of the West, traveling vast distances to minister in remote locations, setting up schools and hospitals, and working among native populations on distant reservations;
Whereas more than 600 sisters from 21 different religious communities nursed both Union and Confederate soldiers alike during the Civil War;
Whereas Catholic sisters cared for afflicted populations during the epidemics of cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, smallpox, tuberculosis, and influenza during the 19th and early 20th centuries;
Whereas Catholic sisters built and established hospitals, orphanages, and charitable institutions that have served millions of people, managing organizations long before similar positions were open to women;
Whereas approximately one in six hospital patients in the United States were treated in a Catholic facility;
Whereas Catholic sisters have been among the first to stand with the underprivileged, to work and educate among the poor and underserved, and to facilitate leadership through opportunity and example;
Whereas Catholic sisters continue to provide shelter, food, and basic human needs to the economically or socially disadvantaged and advocate relentlessly for the fair and equal treatment of all persons;
Whereas Catholic sisters work for the eradication of poverty and racism and for the promotion of nonviolence, equality, and democracy in principle and in action;
Whereas the humanitarian work of Catholic sisters with communities in crisis and refuge throughout the world positions them as activists and diplomats of peace and justice for the some of the most at risk populations; and
Whereas the Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America Traveling Exhibit is sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in association with Cincinnati Museum Center and will open on May 16, 2009, in Cincinnati, Ohio:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) honors and commends Catholic sisters for their humble service and courageous sacrifice throughout the history of this Nation; and
(2) supports the goals of the Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America Traveling Exhibit, a project sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in association with Cincinnati Museum Center and established to recognize the historical contributions of Catholic sisters in the United States

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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted September 30, 2009 at 6:24 am

As I celebrate my 19th anniversary of my return to the church and the 18th anniversary of my mother Rose’s death, I simply say thank you to all the amazing women religious in my life from childhood to today.
I think the resolution is great and that the visitation is offensive.
Of course, I am thought to be of the *whack left*.
That is truly offensive Greta, have you no humility? No compassion? Or just compassion reserved for those that you deem worthy?

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posted October 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

Greta, these two things are completely separate. The resolution is related to a traveling museum exhibit celebrating the work of the Sisters in the US that has been organized over several years. This kind of resolution is common to bring publicity to something like this. It is actually a coincidence that it coincides with the Visitation, which came up totally by surprise even as the extensive exhibit was being put up in its first location in Cincinnati.

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