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More Debate On The Habit


DameAgnes

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[quote name='CherieMadame' timestamp='1285849594' post='2176912']
Another Sister encountered a Southern African American man and his young son at the grocery store. The son pointed to the Sister and asked his father in a very loud voice, "Dad, what's that?" When his father ignored him, he asked again loudly, "Dad, what's that?!" After being ignored again, the son cried out in desperation, "DADDY, WHAT'S THAT?!" The father turned to his son and said in a very thick Alabama accent, "I don't know, son, but I know it's good!" :smile3:

[b]Oh goodness, there are so many more stories! lol I could create a thread just for them!
[/b][/quote]

You should!!! :clapping:

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I don't have any experiences, or do i know some, regarding the religious habits. But I could share this little incident. We were preparing for a stage play, and that play is portraying nuns. We had problems with the habits because they were expensive. What i have in mind is to portray the Carmelites' great veil. But when someone almost ran our money away, the problem intensified. I was talking with my classmate and she said it would be better if we portray habitless nuns. I said no, I want them to be identified.

Another incident, my brother almost pulled a sister's veil because he's curious to see what's underneath. (was it a nightmare for nuns? :) ) He has special needs and is very fond of nuns!

I love sisters and brothers and priests in habits. People here do love them too. The Sister Servants of the Virgin of Matara are known in our place, and people always smile to see them in habits. I suppose they are thinking, "I cannot believe this; I'm talking to nuns!" People are happy when they can approach to nuns. I cannot forget the scene one Ash Wednesday: a Daughter of St Paul novice embracing a beggar. That was the most touching scene I have scene.

My position with this one is the same with fifth post. Whenever i see "nuns-in-pantaloons", or "habitless nuns" I throw my judging stone right away - that nun's liberal. Stay away!
I realized I am wrong in thinking that. I'm falling into stereotyping. They're still consecrated sisters. They're still my sisters. The best thing that I can do is to pray for them. But of course, when that habitless nun started saying, "Nuns must be ordained!" or "Men has the right to become nuns!", that's a different story!

--edit--
Haha, i said, nuns-in-pantaloons - I'm sorry! I used the Filipino word for pantaloons - pantalon (pantaloons is my own term haha, it's like mixing Filipino and English! . but i won't change it :) I'm proud of my native tongue. :)

Edited by tnavarro61
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[quote name='tnavarro61' timestamp='1285854400' post='2176920']
--edit--
Haha, i said, nuns-in-pantaloons - I'm sorry! I used the Filipino word for pantaloons - pantalon (pantaloons is my own term haha, it's like mixing Filipino and English! . but i won't change it :) I'm proud of my native tongue. :)
[/quote]

Phatmass has some silly fiddlers and one of them is to change p a n t s to pantaloons

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[quote name='tnavarro61' timestamp='1285854400' post='2176920']

Another incident, my brother almost pulled a sister's veil because he's curious to see what's underneath. (was it a nightmare for nuns? :) ) He has special needs and is very fond of nuns!

I[/quote]


The principal and campus minister of my old high school are both Felicians (called Fel-i-cans, by some, Feli-cians by everyone else). The principal wears a full habit, and the campus minister wears skirts and shirts.

They came to my parish once. I was so scared I nearly jumped out of my cassock--the principal didn't have her veil on! They are both wonderful religious sisters, even if they don't dress the same. And they live in the same convent...so I always thought it was strange they had different 'habits.' Pun completely intended.

:nun3:

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[quote name='LaPetiteSoeur' timestamp='1285881562' post='2177028']
The principal and campus minister of my old high school are both Felicians (called Fel-i-cans, by some, Feli-cians by everyone else). The principal wears a full habit, and the campus minister wears skirts and shirts.

They came to my parish once. I was so scared I nearly jumped out of my cassock--the principal didn't have her veil on! They are both wonderful religious sisters, even if they don't dress the same. And they live in the same convent...so I always thought it was strange they had different 'habits.' Pun completely intended.

:nun3:
[/quote]

I think when many Orders changed their habits after Vatican II, at least some Orders gave Sisters the choice of whether to retain the old habit or wear a new modified habit.

Personally, I don't find it unusual to see Sisters of the same Order in different habits--although, like you, I would be very surprised if I saw a Sister who normally wears a veil suddenly not wearing a veil. But, I think the reason the different habits don't surprise me is that the Order of Sisters who live across the street from me (the SCC's), wear modified habits and always wear veils (and they are OBVIOUSLY habits--they don't look like lay clothes with a pin)--but the habits aren't identical. There is a winter habit (black and white) and a summer habit (light blue), and there is a black jacket worn with the winter habit that might or might not be worn depending on the weather. Some Sisters never change to a summer habit, but simply wear a white blouse, black skirt, and black veil in summer, without the black jacket. Nursing sisters wear white, even white veils. Sisters in South America and the Philippines wear slightly different habits. Also, I have been seeing a "new" variation on the winter habit that has a black sweater that is buttoned up almost to the top, with just the white collar showing--to me it looks more like a habit. I've seen this mostly on younger Sisters, but on some older Sisters, as well. The Sisters' veils, however, are identical, except that novices (and nursing Sisters) wear white veils.

I've never asked the reason for the variety of habits, but my guess is--poverty. They wear the habits they have until they wear out. Any wholesale change in habits would mean extra cost. For example, as I've mentioned before, although these Sisters are located in areas with snow and cold, the Order depends entirely on donations for winter coats. Most of the Sisters wear black coats, but if no black donated coats fit, they wear whatever color is available. (However, it's normally a muted color--not bright orange or red.) So, to this Order, living frugally apparently is more important than looking exactly alike, although it's not as if they wear whatever they want--there are simply variations in the habit.

Personally, although I have a hard time seeing true lay clothes as a habit, "my" Sisters, in their modified habits, are obviously religious Sisters to me. It may be what you get used to seeing, but because I don't see Sisters in long habits, "my" Sisters look like "real" Sisters as far as I am concerned. And, I know the larger community treats them with the respect they would give Sisters whose habits reached the ground. However, as I mentioned, even though the habit is modified, it is so different from lay clothes, and is so simple, that I have never questioned the holiness of the Sisters whatever their habits look like--and never questioned that it is a habit, not lay clothes.

Interesting factoid: If you look on the Web site of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in Mishiwaka, Indiana, you'll see that many of the older Sisters wear modified habits, but the younger Sisters usually wear more traditional-type habits. Again, I don't know if the difference in habits is a choice, or if, as part of poverty, an older Sister wears the habit she has until it wears out. But, it appears that this community may be trending toward a more traditional habit.

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i do, rarely get strangers who offer to treat me, something i can understand why someone would feel uncomfortable about.
i dont however, get much of a negative reaction from anybody, if anything some of the reactions, i feel, are revelatory of a hunger and enchantment with things transcedent.

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Up until High School, I was educated by relegious sisters and brothers and I equated the word religious with being habited. That's just what I am used to, I didn't know there were sisters who did not wear the habit until I started discerning the religious life. I always understood the religious habit as a sign and indication that those wearing them are God's "special forces" team so to speak; I also saw it as a disarming tool that lets an otherwise unsuspecting lay person to know who they are. It goes back to the examples of the sister being approached on the bus and the priest being approached. Now I don't think it would have been possible if they were not easily recognizable.

Perhaps this is because of my upbringing and it might sound vain but I prefer the habit. To me, changing or removing the habit to fit the times is like those with the VOF screaming tha the Church needs to change its views because they are dated.

Just my two cents.

Edited by HopefulBride
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Either way, a religious in a modern habit, no habit, or a more traditional habit has given his/her life to the Lord, and we have to respect that, and thank our Lord for calling them to live lives consecrated to the Church... but in saying that, I have witnessed some amazing things happen around priests and religious wearing their clerical collars and religious habits.

1) A diocesan priest I know was walking around the city. As he was standing at the traffic lights waiting to cross to the Cathedral, he heard a young girl say, 'Hi Father.' When he looked down, he saw a girl dressed in mostly black, with black make up, and a number of piercings- a 'goth.' He sat down and spoke to her for a few hours, and by Easter, she was baptised and received into the Church.

2) A Dominican nun I know was on an empty train. A scantly dressed woman got on at the next station and sat across from the sister. A few minutes passed by, and then the woman looked up and said, 'You know, there could never be two more different people in the world.' The sister said, 'What do you mean?,' the woman said, 'I'm a working woman (a prostitute.)' The nun looked up and said, 'you know, that's not so true, because God loves me, and he loves you.' She cried... and not sure what happened after that.

The Catholic chaplain at my university walks around with the Orthodox Coptic priest fully clad in their clericals, handing out holy pictures of Our Lady. Many people comment on how they haven't seen a priest in years, or in their whole lives.

A Capuchin I know walks around the city, and gets many people walking up to him asking him to hear confessions.

It's a great witness. A silent witness.

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I'll just add one more. Just before WYD, I was out in the park outside Sydney Cathedral with one of my friends who is a seminarian. There were some girls in the park drinking- it was about 1 in the morning. They came up to me and asked if I wanted to drink with them. I declined, but started talking to them. They asked where we had come from, and we said, 'church.' After a few minutes of talking to them, a Dominican priest that my friend and I know in his full habit came up to us and joined the conversation. The girls started asking questions about abortion and other things, until we got to the Church' teaching on sex before marriage. It was pure providence that this priest taught theology of the body regularly, and started answering their questions. By the end of our conversation, he had the girls crying, and even heard their confessions.

Not that the habit makes religious any holier. But I think it is such a powerful witness.

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[quote name='Mikaele' timestamp='1286445251' post='2178320']

Not that the habit makes religious any holier. But I think it is such a powerful witness.
[/quote]

that's it! that's what i've been longing to hear/read!

i remember a priest who sports a long hair (and i think it's dyed; ) who said in his homily, "i look like Michael Jackson"
My brother and I looked at each other and frowned.

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More on the Felicians, and habit business:

I was looking through old pictures and discovered that since the campus minister entered the Felicians, they have gone through at least three different habits. That's so many! I can only see myself wearing one.

Then again, she did enter during the 60s-70s era, which was a changing time in the Church. But whatever the reason, habited vs. nonhabited, every religious is called by God. And they listened to Him..

Dieu vous benisse!

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