Random Nun Clips

Focusing inward or outward

Podcast Recorded: August 16, 2023
holding the world in our hands

Some religious communities focus on the interior life, and others go out into the world to serve. Learn about contemplative cloistered and missionary orders.

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Show Notes

Feels Like Home: A Single Catholic Woman’s Guide to Religious Life in the U.S. by Susan Flansburg - CatholicSisterGuide.com


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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by one of our sponsors, the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Okay, back into our four categories. The next one's the contemplative cloistered.

Susan Flansburg  
It's the most mysterious category because you don't see them. Just don't. We do have another group of Carmelites, a different group than the one that was in this consortium, serving as nurses and administrators at a nursing home here. So they're out doing the work every day, and I have not talked to them about how they categorize themselves. I'm guessing, I don't know -- but I'm guessing that they are only out -- kind of like, any monastic -- for their ministry, and then back in under one roof at night. But that's kind of the the exception, to see Carmelites out. The cloistered contemplatives are very inward focused. When you were talking about your apostolic congregation being outward focused, cloistered contemplatives are inward focused. Their ministry is prayer and how they do that is in their daily lives in their enclosures.

Sister Rejane  
They're focusing on that interior relationship with Jesus, both personally and communally.

Susan Flansburg  
And communally. Yeah. And some some cloistered communities are welcome to speak more than others. Some maintain such a strict level of silence that it's startling to hear anything when you're there.

Sister Rejane  
And usually there's a lot of prayer for the world, for people that are requesting petitions, intercessions -- it's not just for themselves. It is beautiful.

Susan Flansburg  
It's a beautiful life. It's not for everybody. But it is a beautiful life. And this this particular Abbey, Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, is just gorgeous. It is so peaceful and beautiful. I can't go there and not feel like I'm home. So yeah.

Sister Rejane  
Yeah. And then our last of the four was missionary, right?

Susan Flansburg  
Yeah. Right.  

Sister Rejane  
It's being willing to go into a different country, a different culture.

Susan Flansburg  

Sister Rejane  
Maryknolls is oftentimes the community we think of.

Susan Flansburg  
Yep. Yeah. And that's who I interviewed for it, was a Maryknoll Sister. And many, many, many, many, many communities have missionary elements. Many apostolics do. I know many don't. But the School Sisters of Notre Dame send sisters who are interested in going across the globe to wherever the missionary need is at the time. I think it's less so now. But the sisters were all over. Particularly South America. In fact, there was a book released, I think this week, written by Kathleen Osperger about Pinochet's brutal regime in Chile. And there are, I think it's four School Sisters, whose story is included in the book. Their story has to do with sheltering activists against Pinochet. And how dangerous it was. As I understand, it's a pretty gripping book. It's getting it's getting attention right now.

Sister Rejane  
Yeah, that's kind of how women religious are. We end up getting ourselves in the mix of life. But not not in a fancy out loud kind of way, but more with helping humans be who they are. With their being children of God and living our lives with dignity. I think for any inquirer or discerner, part of that discernment has to be, in a way, what kind of community fits for you? And it's all kind of connected with this call, but you're attracted more to or an apostolic or a monastic, contemplative cloistered, or missionary. To hear full episodes of A Nun's Life podcasts, visit the podcast page at anunslife.org/podcasts.

This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.


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