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Katie Bell

where to buy a nuns habit

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SNJM

This was discussed before. There are many people who do wear a habit. The only rules are: You cannot dress as a priest. You cannot dress as a Sister or Nun from a well known recognizable incorporated order (like the Missionaries of Charity) and ask for money or "beg" for charity. You cannot imposter a Religious for those purposes.

Many Oblates have been given permission to wear the habit (St. Scholastic's had one for many years who did) and some take private vows. Some want to live as a hermit in a habit and are not affiliated with any order. Some live in community (like the Beguines) and prefer a habit.  Look at how often we see Catherine of Siena depicted in a habit when she was in fact a third order Dominican. Before you tell me that the was the dress of the day, remember that is the same excuse so called liberal nuns believe "the habit" is not necessary.

We cannot judge why one would feel this pull or call, but it is obviously personal. If the above rules are not violated it is both canonically and civically fine. 

I spiritually direct two clients who wear a habit; neither one is in an order and do not claim to be. They are not "fake nuns" but women who see this clothing as part of their lifestyle and total dedication to God. They have made private vows to a Bishop and they are not suitable for religious life; in one case illness, another family issues.

The habit gives them great solace and happiness. The Bishops, naturally, do not understand it fully but not finding any canonical reason to refuse, blessed each garment. 

 

I hope this information helps shed some light and reminds us all in charity that we truly don't know what another experiences, aches for or is soothed by.  And finally, as we all  know, the habit does not make the nun or brother! 

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NadaTeTurbe

The person you are speaking about have made religious vow. Katie not. 

Btw, by speaking like you are, you are denying the sacredness of an habit. An habit is not chosen by the person, it is given to him/her. You take an habit by obedience, not because of your own will. Second, an habit should be wear by someone who have make at least some kind of vow. An habit should also be blessed. 

Katie will no wear an habit. Katie will play dress-up, desecrating the sacredness of the habit, reinforcing the idea that an habit is just a clothes. Also, people will think she is a sister. It's a lie, and lying is a sin. 

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beatitude

This was discussed before. There are many people who do wear a habit. The only rules are: You cannot dress as a priest. You cannot dress as a Sister or Nun from a well known recognizable incorporated order (like the Missionaries of Charity) and ask for money or "beg" for charity. You cannot imposter a Religious for those purposes.

Many Oblates have been given permission to wear the habit (St. Scholastic's had one for many years who did) and some take private vows. Some want to live as a hermit in a habit and are not affiliated with any order. Some live in community (like the Beguines) and prefer a habit.  Look at how often we see Catherine of Siena depicted in a habit when she was in fact a third order Dominican. Before you tell me that the was the dress of the day, remember that is the same excuse so called liberal nuns believe "the habit" is not necessary.

We cannot judge why one would feel this pull or call, but it is obviously personal. If the above rules are not violated it is both canonically and civically fine. 

I spiritually direct two clients who wear a habit; neither one is in an order and do not claim to be. They are not "fake nuns" but women who see this clothing as part of their lifestyle and total dedication to God. They have made private vows to a Bishop and they are not suitable for religious life; in one case illness, another family issues.

The habit gives them great solace and happiness. The Bishops, naturally, do not understand it fully but not finding any canonical reason to refuse, blessed each garment. 

 

I hope this information helps shed some light and reminds us all in charity that we truly don't know what another experiences, aches for or is soothed by.  And finally, as we all  know, the habit does not make the nun or brother! 

​The OP has said that she wants a Carmelite habit because she has an obsession with Carmelites. She isn't becoming a hermit or making private vows with the support of her bishop. These things can't compared. The women you describe are wearing habits - blessed garments - with ecclesial support and as a part of their vocation. They aren't dressing up as a nun to see what it would feel like to be a nun. You are right that the habit doesn't make the sister, and this is why it doesn't make sense to buy an expensive costume to try and experience what it's like to be a sister.

Habits for Third Order seculars began to be phased out by the Church in the 1500s. St Catherine of Siena lived two hundred years before that happened, but if she had been alive then, I think she would have been obedient to the directives of her Church. Katie isn't living in fourteenth-century Italy and unlike St Catherine she hasn't made vows, so again their two situations can't really be compared.

You mention the importance of being charitable but then describe nuns who don't wear a habit as "so-called liberal nuns" who make excuses for their dress. This implies that either they're not really nuns or they're failing in their duty as nuns, even though you have said yourself that it's not the habit that makes the sister. I don't think anyone here would judge Katie unkindly for wanting to wear a habit; people have just pointed out that it's not a helpful way to gain insight into religious life. Receiving the habit as a nun is also a special event and it's something well worth waiting for if that's your call.

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beatitude

Katie will no wear an habit. Katie will play dress-up, desecrating the sacredness of the habit, reinforcing the idea that an habit is just a clothes. Also, people will think she is a sister. It's a lie, and lying is a sin. 

​In fairness, what Katie has written implies that she's still a teenager. She says that her mum is going to get her the habit. She has also mentioned that she has special needs. I don't think anyone will mistake her for a nun and I doubt that her wearing an imitation habit will hurt anyone. It's not sinful for her to be curious. But it won't give her the insight she wants either, and it seems like a lot of trouble and expense to go to just to fulfill an obsession, especially as some vocation directors may feel apprehensive about the idea.

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NadaTeTurbe

My understanding what that she wanted to wear it outside, and I think it would be lying. Wearing it inside, to get out of an obsession, is not sinfull, even if it is not good. 

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BarbaraTherese

Not for me to judge to my mind.  She asked where she could buy a habit and there are some sites that do make religious type habits.  

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Alberto Guimaraes

This was discussed before. There are many people who do wear a habit. The only rules are: You cannot dress as a priest. You cannot dress as a Sister or Nun from a well known recognizable incorporated order (like the Missionaries of Charity) and ask for money or "beg" for charity. You cannot imposter a Religious for those purposes.

Many Oblates have been given permission to wear the habit (St. Scholastic's had one for many years who did) and some take private vows. Some want to live as a hermit in a habit and are not affiliated with any order. Some live in community (like the Beguines) and prefer a habit.  Look at how often we see Catherine of Siena depicted in a habit when she was in fact a third order Dominican. Before you tell me that the was the dress of the day, remember that is the same excuse so called liberal nuns believe "the habit" is not necessary.

We cannot judge why one would feel this pull or call, but it is obviously personal. If the above rules are not violated it is both canonically and civically fine. 

I spiritually direct two clients who wear a habit; neither one is in an order and do not claim to be. They are not "fake nuns" but women who see this clothing as part of their lifestyle and total dedication to God. They have made private vows to a Bishop and they are not suitable for religious life; in one case illness, another family issues.

The habit gives them great solace and happiness. The Bishops, naturally, do not understand it fully but not finding any canonical reason to refuse, blessed each garment. 

 

I hope this information helps shed some light and reminds us all in charity that we truly don't know what another experiences, aches for or is soothed by.  And finally, as we all  know, the habit does not make the nun or brother! 

​Peace and Good!

I agree SNJM.

Blessings!

Br. Alberto Guimaraes OFS

Braga - Portugal

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Mary+Immaculate<3

     This may not be what exactly you're looking for, Kate, but a lot of times people dressing up as religious saints for All Saints Day simply find articles around their house and make a "habit" for a costume. I know it's not quite the same, but as many of the others are saying, perhaps it is better not to buy an actual habit, especially if this is only a way of trying out what wearing them are like. This would be a way of trying it without spending a nickel or causing any controversy. My sister dressed up as St. Therese many years ago and used a brown dress from our family costume box, a white t-shirt as a wimple, a black cloth for a veil, etc. I think some discerners have dressed up for fun on occasion, just to see what we look like in a veil if nothing else ;)

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TIWW

There is a web site Monastery garments or something like that, where one can buy certain "habits" for men and women.

From what I remember, they are quite expensive.There also was a site callecd Gothic Garments, don't know if that is still around.

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MarysLittleFlower

This was discussed before. There are many people who do wear a habit. The only rules are: You cannot dress as a priest. You cannot dress as a Sister or Nun from a well known recognizable incorporated order (like the Missionaries of Charity) and ask for money or "beg" for charity. You cannot imposter a Religious for those purposes.

Many Oblates have been given permission to wear the habit (St. Scholastic's had one for many years who did) and some take private vows. Some want to live as a hermit in a habit and are not affiliated with any order. Some live in community (like the Beguines) and prefer a habit.  Look at how often we see Catherine of Siena depicted in a habit when she was in fact a third order Dominican. Before you tell me that the was the dress of the day, remember that is the same excuse so called liberal nuns believe "the habit" is not necessary.

We cannot judge why one would feel this pull or call, but it is obviously personal. If the above rules are not violated it is both canonically and civically fine. 

I spiritually direct two clients who wear a habit; neither one is in an order and do not claim to be. They are not "fake nuns" but women who see this clothing as part of their lifestyle and total dedication to God. They have made private vows to a Bishop and they are not suitable for religious life; in one case illness, another family issues.

The habit gives them great solace and happiness. The Bishops, naturally, do not understand it fully but not finding any canonical reason to refuse, blessed each garment. 

 

I hope this information helps shed some light and reminds us all in charity that we truly don't know what another experiences, aches for or is soothed by.  And finally, as we all  know, the habit does not make the nun or brother! 

I don't know Katie's situation, but regarding the people you describe, it sounds like they are simply wearing their own habits as a sign of their vocation as the Third Orders did, - not wearing the habit of a specific order while not being united to it. They have also made vows. I don't know Katie's situation I'm just talking about them, as an example of what has been accepted.

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MarysLittleFlower

The person you are speaking about have made religious vow. Katie not. 

Btw, by speaking like you are, you are denying the sacredness of an habit. An habit is not chosen by the person, it is given to him/her. You take an habit by obedience, not because of your own will. Second, an habit should be wear by someone who have make at least some kind of vow. An habit should also be blessed. 

Katie will no wear an habit. Katie will play dress-up, desecrating the sacredness of the habit, reinforcing the idea that an habit is just a clothes. Also, people will think she is a sister. It's a lie, and lying is a sin. 

If someone has made vows and wears a habit with permission that is blessed by a Bishop, that can be interpreted as it being given to them? I don't know. If it got blessed that is significant? Another option for such people would be to dress sort of like St Gemma Galgani - simple very modest clothing that may indicate to others that they are not for marriage.

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MarysLittleFlower

Katie, I had an idea maybe to think about. What about simply learning about the Carmelite spirituality and trying to integrate it into your life, almost like if you were considering a Third Order? That way you may get a sense of Carmelite spirituality :) what did your SD say? Maybe you could ask your SD about doing that if you are interested?

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NadaTeTurbe

If someone has made vows and wears a habit with permission that is blessed by a Bishop, that can be interpreted as it being given to them? I don't know. If it got blessed that is significant? Another option for such people would be to dress sort of like St Gemma Galgani - simple very modest clothing that may indicate to others that they are not for marriage.

​Hmm, you're right, I interpret it in the sense "The Church give this habit to you", you see ? You receive it. 
Long black skirt + white shirt + big cross = someone is gonna call you sister at a moment or another. I usually wear short skirt, and one day I saw an old friend that I haven't see in a long time, I had the long skirt/white shirt/big cross, and she told me "have you made your vow ?" xD
 

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KatherineMary

Hello Katie,

 

I think that it is wonderful that you are considering a religious vocation.  I have enormous respect and admiration for the women and men of the Catholic Church who devote their lives to God’s work.  I work at a Catholic hospital that was founded and is overseen by an order of Franciscan Sisters. I consider myself incredibly blessed to be able to work in a health care facility that celebrates God’s role in the healing process.

 

I am a member of an ecumenical religious order whose members wear a habit for liturgical and retreat activities.  Our habit is very simple and generic  (a long dress, a black tabard, a small pectoral crucifix  and a black veil.   For me wearing a habit signifies my complete devotion and obedience to God.  I find wearing a habit to be a very spiritual experience. 

 

However, because a person wearing a habit, (which for the sake of discussion I will define as a long dark dress, religious iconography and a veil) is often identified by many people as a “Catholic nun”  there is, the potential for confusion.  In particular if one wears a garment with the distinctive characteristics of a particular Catholic religious order, that possibility becomes much greater. 

 

Our order makes it very clear to its members that we are not to represent ourselves as Catholic nuns.  For example, I would be very reluctant to wear my order’s habit to the hospital where I work, due to the likelihood that I would very likely to (incorrectly) be perceived as a Catholic nun.

 

I personally have the greatest respect for the women of Catholic orders who have completely devote their lives to God and who have sacrificed having a family and forsaken worldly material possessions.   I believe that the general public’s enormous respect and reverence for Catholic sisters is rooted in the recognition of their sacrifices and complete devotion to God.   

 

While I consider myself to be a devout Christian and to try to lead a Godly life, I realize that I have not made anywhere near  the same level of commitment and sacrifice that the Catholic sisters that I have had the privilege to know.  (I am married with a family and a secular career.)  

Katie, from looking at your profile, I see that you a young woman and I suspect that you are in the process of “trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up”.  It sounds like that pursuing a religious vocation is one possible answer.  I can understand your desire to “try on” a habit as a way of exploring this process.  (I will be honest with you, I love my wearing my habit, and I wish that I could do so more than the relatively limited amount that I do.)  

 

I would, however, caution you about representing yourself to be something that you are not.  I personally believe that your desire to wear religious attire is out of a sincere desire to explore a possible calling to religious life.  But as you have probably gathered by some of the posts in this thread, there are some people (their Latin monikers not withstanding) that have very strong feelings about individuals who they believe may be trying to deceive others. 

 

I think that it is reasonable to dress in a very modest and simple way (e.g. our ecumenical order’s habit) without trying to exactly replicate the appearance of a particular order as a way of exploring a possible religious vocation.  I would take care, if asked however, to let people know that you are not a Catholic nun.  (For example, if asked, I think it would be appropriate to describe yourself as a “Christian religious solitary”.)

 

But most of importantly of all I would encourage you to explore your leaning toward a religious vocation by attempting to put Christ’s teaching in action in your everyday life.  For me personally, Christ’s teaching in Matthew 25:34-40 is the spiritual foundation of my faith:

 

34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.

 

I believe that one the main reasons that Catholic nuns are so highly respected is their devotion to the teachings, such as these, of Christ.  The amount of good in this world that has come from the good works of Catholic religious orders (hospitals, schools, universities, orphanages, retreat facilities, etc.) is beyond measure.

 

I would encourage you in your quest for your life’s vocation, to seek out ways, where you not only dress as a nun, but also act to serve God and your fellow man, in the ways that Catholic sisters are so deeply respected for doing so.  The opportunities to show our love of and obedience to God by caring for our others are present in almost every aspect of our daily lives. 

 

We don’t to look far to find people lacking food, clothing, shelter, medical care, comfort, love, hope, and encouragement.   Katie, I encourage you to seek opportunities to love and serve your fellow men and women and I believe that God will provide answers to your questions about your life’s journey.

 

God Bless You,

 

Katherine Mary

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by KatherineMary

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