Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ann Arbor nuns in the Freep.

Today's Detroit Free Press has this piece on the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, a new community of Dominican women based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1997 by four former members of the Nashville-based Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, the new group will soon count 64 sisters in its ranks; the average age of women in the community is 31. As the linked Freep article relates, the Sisters are building a new convent and chapel to accommodate their growing numbers. In the process, their quiet witness to the Gospel is apparently having a good influence on the construction workers brought in to complete the project.

At a time when the ranks of American religious are shrinking and aging, the rapid growth of a small, young religious community must be considered good news. Granted, the success that the Sisters of Mary, Mother of Eucharist have enjoyed in attracting vocations does not mean that all communities of women religious would reap similar benefits if they adopted the same strategy. Within the larger context of religious life in the Catholic Church, I suspect that the numbers the Sisters are currently bringing in are more a blip on the radar than a sign that the vocation boom of the mid-20th century will soon be repeated. It's also important to remember that every religious community is unique - all that any can claim to offer is a particular pathway to God - not the best or most effiacious way, but simply one means among many of living a Christian life.

The above caveats aside, I have to say that I greatly enjoyed the Freep's article on the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. The sisters profiled in the paper come across as happy, holy, sincere and talented women committed to the service of God's people. I'm sure they are doing and will continue to do much good work, and I'm pleased that they're getting positive attention from the local media. As Freep reporter Jeff Seidel admits at the start of his article, in the current climate it seems hard to get the public to care about a fairly traditional group of nuns. I can't speak for all readers, but from my perspective I'd say Seidel's article is a success. AMDG.


Post a Comment

<< Home