Sisters in Faith
Fr. Peter Daly
May 5, 2009
Faith brings different women together in community and a family of faith.
What makes two women sisters?
Blood relationship, of course, makes one type of sisters.
But the faith can also make women sisters.
Recently my parish took our catechumens and candidates on retreat at a camp run by two nuns. I was reminded of how the sisterhood of faith is a wonderful thing and a great gift to the Church and the world.
Two Sisters of Charity of Nazareth run the camp, Sister Rose and Sister Angela. They are part of the group of sisters founded by Mother Catherine Spaulding who was born nearby in 1793.
Sister Rose and Sister Mary Angela are about as different as two women could be. They are from different countries, cultures, races, backgrounds, education and age. Yet they still call each other sister.
Johnson, SCN, was born in 1962 in
Nine years ago she took her final vows as a Sister of Charity of Nazareth.
Sister Mary Angela took a zigzag path which brought her back to where she began. She was born in 1936, just a few miles away from where she works today.
At age 18,
she entered the convent, but left after nine years. She returned home to the
tobacco fields and fishing villages of
To support 10 children, they did farming, fishing and ran a bar. For many years Sister Angela was the bartender.
Like me, she has heard a lot of confessions. She just couldn’t give absolution.
At age 43, Mary Angela was widowed. She still had children at home. When they were grown, she decided to go back to the convent and took final vows in 1991 at the age of 55.
was not done yet. When she was 64, she left to be a missionary in
Isn’t the imagination of God wonderful? Who else would have paired these two in making a life and community together.
These two women, from different countries, cultures, ages and race, form a religious community, a mini family of faith. They call each other “Sister.” I think its wonderful.
What makes for strong bonds? Sister Rose and Sister Angela know. It is faith.
In Matthew’s gospel Jesus asks, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? … Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, sister and mother.”
Faith makes us family.
Sr. Rose and Sr. Angela are living proof. We need more like them.