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Sunday, February 11, 2007
Nuns Should Wear the Habit

After reviewing A Nuns Habit, which lists poorly devised reasons for not wearing the habit, I feel encouraged to write on the subject. In short, my opinion remains that all religious sisters and nuns should wear the habit of their respective orders. No longer should these women, who have given their lives to the service of God and the Church, be dressing like laypeople. It is time to return to the ancient practice of wearing a distinct habit - this is not fulfilled by wearing laypeople's clothing!

The habit inspires women to leave their lives and gives themselves to God. The same is true for men who are inspired by the garments worn by priests and monks. To enter a religious order, one does not just experience a change of heart and soul, rather, there is also a change in the physical realm. For example, many religious orders require the women to adopt a new name when they become a nun in addition to wearing the habit.

Over the past 30 years, the number of women in Catholic religious orders has decreased by around 50 percent. There remains 85,412 religious sisters in the United States, and the average age is 68. The religious orders actually seeing growth are the ones that wear a traditional habit including The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and Mother Teresa's religious order. The fact is that the habit is truly a spiritual treasure. The key to increasing the number of religious sisters and nuns in the world is to again bring back the mandatory habit. No longer should nuns be allowed to live in apartments and wear laypeoples' clothing; rather, they should be living in a monastery to praise and serve God.

Code of Canon Law: "Religious are to wear the habit of the institute determined according to the norm of proper law as a sign of their consecration and as a testimony of poverty" (Canon 669, 1).
Wearing laypeoples' clothing does not serve as a "sign of their consecration". I hope and pray that more orders will again adopt the traditional habit. As for me, it is always inspiring to see a nun out in public because she is out there living her life for Jesus. Having nuns wear habits brings God to others. And those that live today in doubt or fear can be comforted by the sight of a nun, who is prayerfully serving the Lord.

Here is a list of some religious orders that wear a habit. This is a list of some of the groups that I will publicly support, though their listing here does not necessarily mean that I support everything done and/or said by each particular community.
Examples of the beauty, simplicity, and witness to the Faith when a habit is worn:


del_button February 11, 2007 at 11:41 AM
Anonymous said...

No longer should these women, who have given their lives to the service of God and the Church, be dressing like laypeople.

Hear hear! I couldn't agree more. I really get upset seeing nuns wearing suits.

del_button February 11, 2007 at 12:57 PM
Edward said...

There are two types of religious sisters, those who consider themselves the bride of Christ, and those who do not. The ones who do are the ones that typically wear the habit.

del_button February 11, 2007 at 1:19 PM
Moneybags said...

Edward, I must state that I believe all religious sisters and nuns are brides of Christ. It is wrong for any of them to say they are not.

del_button February 11, 2007 at 2:00 PM
katoliko said...

Great post MB. Also to keep in mind, it's not just the habit, its also their views on Catholicism. Chances are, if they don't wear the habit, they have modernistic-progressivist-liberal views. (this is not to say that all habitted sisters are orthodox) I highly doubt the Sisters of Joesph (whom I often visit) will ever return to the habit, this is just another thing that will be ignored, just like that one document trying to limit the use of ehMC.

del_button February 11, 2007 at 7:32 PM
Micki said...

Tonight on national TV they ran a news story about a group of Dominican nuns in Minnesota or Michigan. Seems there numbers have skyrocketed from 4 nuns a few years ago to over 70. And they were all YOUNG, wearing habits, and playing soccer. What a beautiful site to behold.

Think I'll start featuring some holy cards on my site of nuns shown on holy cards from years ago.

del_button February 11, 2007 at 9:27 PM
Tzipyo said...

I do believe that there is a distinction between sisters and nuns on this issue. A good example are the Sisters of St. Joseph, an international Congregation, and here in the United States, consisting of SSJ's and CSJ's. This Congregation has its roots in France at the time of the Revolution. The Congregation, inspired by St. Francis de Sales and a French Jesuit, Jean Peter Medaille, were founded to live with and among "the dear neighbors." They wore the dress of their contemporaries. They were distinct from nuns, who were cloistered: their purpose was different, their charism was different, their spirituality was different and their life was different from those of cloistered nuns. And this Congregation was like many Congregations and Societies of sisters (not nuns) who were founded in 18th and 19th century Europe. These women were never intended to be under solemn vows. So I beg to differ with you when you say that Congregations of religious women should not "be dressing like laypeople." It was this very reason that inspired their creation -- to live and work and be one of the poor, to dedicate their lives to God and neighbor and to be more like "the dear neighbor" than like the cloistered nuns. There still exists, for example, in LePuy, France, the wonderful kitchen and fireplace around which the Sisters of St. Joseph would bring neighbor women to sit, make lace, and learn of God. I think that it is important to understand what each Congregation and Society is about before making the general statement that they ought to be more like cloistered nuns than like their purpose and history warrant.


del_button February 12, 2007 at 12:43 AM
Fidei Defensor said...

Did u catch the story about women flocking to the convent on NBC news tonite? They had a group in Michigan, 4 to 72 in 10 years, all in habbits!

del_button February 12, 2007 at 1:06 AM
PBXVI said...

A question for nuns with bad (I mean no) habits: "What are you afraid of?"

del_button February 12, 2007 at 7:45 AM
Moniales said...

Just to clarify, the Dominicans in MI featured on the news are not NUNS but Sisters. In the Dominican Order NUNS are the contemplative branch--St. Dominic's first born who were founded 10 years before the Friars. By our constitutions ALL Dominican NUNS wear the Dominican habit of a white tunic and scapular, leather belt, side rosary, cappa and black veil.
Thank you for posting us in your list; we're grateful!
God bless you!

del_button February 12, 2007 at 7:54 AM
4HisChurch said...

I beleive that all Little Sisters of the Poor wear habits, albeit shorter ones. My aunt is a Little Sister in France. When I was a young child, she came to the U.S. to visit--and walked around my neighborhood with me in her then full, to the floor, habit. Made quite an impression.

del_button February 12, 2007 at 8:23 PM
Edward said...

[quote]There are two types of religious sisters, those who consider themselves the bride of Christ, and those who do not. The ones who do are the ones that typically wear the habit.[/quote]

I too consider religious brides of Christ, but I was stating how they view themselves. You can read a debate on it yourself at Phatmass Phorums along with the original story:

del_button February 13, 2007 at 1:14 AM
DilexitPrior said...

it is always inspiring to see a nun out in public

Not to get too technical or off topic here, but you'd rarely see a nun out in public. ;-)

All nuns are sisters but not all sisters are nuns.

If that confuses you, let me explain. . . monastic religious sisters are referred to as nuns. 'Sisters' is the more general term for female consecrated religious. (The nuns :-) from moniales OP tried to clarify this for you when they pointed out that that the MI Dominicans are not nuns. . .)

del_button February 13, 2007 at 8:13 AM
Catholic Mom said...

I was struck when I explored the web site of a political organization that has hijacked the name Catholic, none of the women religious wore habits.It was also interesting that the sisters were referred to by their last names (Sr. Smith, Sr. Jones, Sr. Daly) as opposed to the traditional use of first names. (Sr. Mary, Sr. Elizabeth, etc) When sisters give up their identifying clothing they run the risk of becoming of the world and not just in the world.

del_button February 13, 2007 at 10:08 AM
Moneybags said...

Catholic Mom, you make an excellent point. Once the habit is lost, then the inner spirituality can very easily be lost. Instead of serving God while remaining not part of the world, they become part of the world as Our Lord warned not to become.

del_button February 13, 2007 at 2:00 PM
ashlyn said...

Other habit-wearing orders to add to your list: Little Sisters of the Poor and Apostles of the Sacred Heart

As a young woman discerning a vocation to religious life, I can attest to the appeal of a habit as a sign of one's vocation.

del_button February 13, 2007 at 10:45 PM
Nârwen said...

The Benedictines at this link wear the habit:

The nuns of the Carmel of St. Therese of Lisieux in Loretto, PA wear the habit, but they don't have a website

del_button February 14, 2007 at 8:47 PM
Anonymous said...

Many of the older habits were not suited to modern life e.g. the Daughters of Charity with their winged veils (the veils looked great but they were hopeless on trams or trains or going through some doors) the Sisters of St Joseph (the head gear was too tight and confining for Australian summers). The modernisation of the veils, coifs and gimps were probably all that had to be done to bring them into the modern world.

Some sisters to whom I have spoken have given silly reasons for abandoning the habit e.g. the cost of material for making the habit!

I agree that a habit does not make a nun but it gives a witness to the world and shows the lay person that this person is a bride of Christ.


del_button February 14, 2007 at 9:55 PM
Moneybags said...

Thank you for so many worthwhile comments thus far. Also, I've added the recommend links to the list. If anyone has anymore recommendations, please leave them in the comment box.

del_button February 15, 2007 at 3:29 PM
Ryan said...

I totally agree that religious women should wear the habit.My family has given at least 3 vocations to the convent over ther years,2 of them were to the School Sisters of Notre Dame who now are one of the most crackpot liberal orders.Over the past 15 years or so we have seen many new orthodox orders of sisters emerging who embrace traditional religious life.The saddest thing about these "reformed" orders is that they will eventually disappear unless Rome orders them to toe the line and I am not hopeful of that.What took centuries to build up has only taken 40 years to destroy.I have little sympathy for these leftist nuns who have committed suicide with these changes to religious life.Lets pray that some reform minded women will join these orders and reform them like Teresa of Avila did centuries ago.There is no reason why a nun cannot wear a long habit and a veil.It does not have to be the flying nun but traditional and modest.Out Lord said "judge a tree by its fruits".What are the fruits of the radical orders like the Presentation vocations.Thanks Ryan NYC

del_button February 27, 2007 at 5:42 PM
Anonymous said...

Most of the listing of communities of nuns wearing habits are valid, but I would remove three of the communities listed if I were you.
The Daughters of Saint Paul once wore (until the early 1980's) a magnificent habit. Very simple but a full length black habit with veil, they were filled with vocations and a holy traditional life. They had 19 houses in the USA, and nearly 250 sisters. IN the very early 1980's, they began to liberalize. Some USA sisters quit the Order. The habit was shortened and the veil. Afew years ago, the habit was discarded completely. Now the sisters wear only a white blouse, blue skirt, and a short veil reaching to the nape of the neck. Sisters in italy and other places have adopted layclothes. Three of the 19 USA houses have closed in recent years, and the Order has no vocations to speak of. As a vocations promoter, I would not consider them a traditional Orde,or one to publicize.
Likewise the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and the Apostoles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Holy Family Sisters wear a black optional skirt and veil with white blouse....many wear layclothes. They have no vocations.
The Apostles of the Sacred Heart wear a very short modified habit. Guitars etc. in their liturgy.
So I would not promote these Orders as that they are not.

del_button February 28, 2007 at 8:01 AM
Moneybags said...

Anonymous, Thank you for the information! I have updated the list and removed the liberal orders.

del_button March 12, 2007 at 2:43 PM
Anonymous said...

If I may present a dissenting view, I personally feel that it should not be required of nuns to wear a habit.

In her book DEAD MAN WALKING Sr. Helen Prejean briefly discusses why she's glad she no longer has to wear a habit. She says that it actually was dangerous, because her long, flowing habit occassionally got caught in doors and once (I think) caught on fire during a prayer service. (On a side note, I strongly recommend reading DEAD MAN WALKING. It frankly examines the death penalty and its many faults.)

My second reason is based on Matthew 6:1-6. In some ways, such a showy, outward sign of their devotion to Christ can be considered hypocritical, just as looking hungry when you are fasting, or praying in public for attention.

I personally like seeing nuns in habits. I go to a Xaverian-sponsored High school and our brothers (C.F.X.) sometimes wear their habits (though they also sometimes dress as laypersons). The nuns who teach at our sister school wear habits and it creates a nice affect, showing their devotion toward God. At my elementary school, though, the nuns (S.S.N.D.) did not wear habits and I thought of them no less holy then if they did wear habits.

I guess the main point of this convoluted, poorly construed argument is that it that the habit doesn't matter as much as the person wearing it and in some cases it actually is better that they don't.

del_button March 12, 2007 at 3:47 PM
Moneybags said...

I can speak from a more personal way in regards to this topic. As for me, I have been able to wear the cassock, surplice, and Roman Collar before. When I wore these in public, I did not wear them pridefully. Rather, I found it quite humbling! I think cassocks and habits can be humbling to wear.

Also, in regards to Sr. Helen Prejean, a shortened habit is better than none at all.

del_button April 29, 2007 at 10:54 AM
Anonymous said...

Would a wife who loved her husband take of her wedding band? Then would a sister/nun who loved Christ dream of taking of her habit. I wear my wedding band as a symbol of my undying love for my husband. I take it off and feel naked, as I feel like I am open for the world to devour. If a nun takes off her habit does she not become someone that the world can devour. The habit is such a beautiful representation of how she belongs to Christ, as my wedding band is a symbol that I belong to my husband.

del_button May 2, 2007 at 10:42 AM
Anonymous said...

I totally agree...I'm a female & I believe female religious should wear a habit, whether sister or nun. Just as I believe a priest should always wear a collar, friars wear robes, etc.

del_button May 7, 2007 at 12:49 PM
Anonymous said...

Most of you people are exactly the reason I am DELIGHTED I left the Catholic Church. What ARROGANCE you all exhibit with your righteous opinions of what people should and should not wear! Where is all this righteous indignation when the church turns a blind eye to the most vicious of crimes against our most innocent - our children? You apparently have not learned to live and let live in peace.

del_button May 21, 2007 at 8:26 PM
Anonymous said...

There is nothing more "beautiful" than a nun in her habit. To me it is a sign of peace,love, and beauty.

del_button May 22, 2007 at 12:27 AM
PBXVI said...


Please inform us as to how by stating our opinions we are being "arrogant". I think we should be able to have an opinion on this--we're not tying up nuns and making them wear the habit!
Also, the Church HAS addressed the terrible sexual abuse scandal. It has not ignored it. I don't know, but it seems that you have a lot of anger towards the Church and this is wrong. You must understand that it is man's SIN that has caused all of this and not the Church itself. I am a sinner and so is everybody else (some greater than others). But until we find God's saving Grace in our lives, we will be destroyed by that sin! I will pray for you in your journey and that you will land back home safely! May God Bless you always!

del_button May 26, 2007 at 2:26 AM
Anonymous said...

Some habits need to be updated for health's sake. I get that, I agree. But I don't want sister/nuns looking like me. They have consecrated themselves to Jesus thereby technically turning away from the world, so....why are some of them still choosing to look like it?

I am often times mistaken for a sister. All I am doing is dressing simply. I have 4 shirts and 4 pants, all blue. Well, maybe the "supersized" Crucifix has something to do with it.

Someone made the point, "What are they afraid of?" Good point.

I would rather someone see me and think of Jesus, than see me and "see me." You understand?

I am going to list this under my favorites so I can follow it.

del_button May 26, 2007 at 9:52 AM
Anonymous said...

I agree with whomever was talking about the Daughters of St. Paul. I was there so I have first hand knowledge. One of the sisters who left, left after 35 years and the habit was one of the reasons. They are going I was there for a year (1974), even back then the "Liberals" were gearing up.

I left disappointed.

del_button May 26, 2007 at 10:02 AM
Anonymous said...

I like what was said about married women and wedding rings. I am a married woman and I agree. I agree so much about it that I am now what is called "covering."

I wear a small (very small) blue veil. The other day I was mistaken for a sister.

How sad is that, that our sisters don't want to look like sisters and I am being mistaken for one. I have not gone out of my way to look like one. Just between you and me (smile) I am hoping to "guilt" (good old fashioned Catholic guilt) the ones in my city to put away the make-up and jewelry after they see me.

To the person who said we are "arrogant" no arrogance is when we insist you believe as we believe. No one here is saying that. What we are saying is that we have a RIGHT to express our opinion. You seem to be the only one getting upset. You may want to look at the reasons why.

Maybe the truth hurts.

del_button May 26, 2007 at 12:13 PM
pamela said...

yWe had a Dominican sister here at Ft. Gordon GA many years ago as our DRE. She wore part of the habit, she did not wear the veil.
One day she wore the veil and I asked the reason she said she was celebrating an anniversary.

I asked her,"Can't you wear the veil everyday? Don't you consider being the Bride of Christ a reason to celebrate?" She just looked at me and walked away.

del_button May 26, 2007 at 2:30 PM
Nun2Be said...

I feel that nuns should wear the habit. They take a vow of obedience, not only to their order but to God. By wearing the habit, they show thier full obedience to God. It is sometimes very uncomfortable to speak to nuns who look like laypersons and think at the same time that they are the Brides of Christ.

del_button May 28, 2007 at 8:35 AM
Marie Clare said...

uwquI agree with Nun2be, if I had a choice between wanting to talk to a sister in habit or a sister in "street clothes" I would pick the sister in a habit. WHY?

Let me use an old is "allegiance" or loyalty. I know where her loyalties lie. She stands for God, not herself. Her motivation is to serve Him, not herself.

To me, to see a sister not in a habit means that she is confused as to her purpose in life. Why would I want advice from someone who is "confused?"

We in the world are looking for answers, not more questions. We tend to go to people, religious or otherwise who reflect Jesus, in their manner as well as their dress.

I am the "anonymous" who stated that I am dressing simply. I have always dressed to impress....God.
I am being mistaken for a sister and that is not what I had planned.

I wear blue, I like blue. I have chosen to wear along with that a 2 1/2 inch crucifix. Our world is begging for a witness.

My question is this, If I could end up looking like a Sister accidentally then why can't they do it...deliberately?

Again, an excellent question.

del_button May 28, 2007 at 8:38 AM
Marie Clare said...

edit above post.
It is supposed to start "I agree"

I don't know where uwqul came from.

del_button July 11, 2007 at 2:18 PM
Anonymous said...

Religious garb DOES make an impression and a statement. I once lived in Pennsylvania and had Amish and Mennonite folk as neighbors. People are people regardless of how they dress, but those women, in their longish dresses and prayer caps or bonnets commanded - by appearance - respect. It spoke of inner qualities, beliefs, united them in their community, allowed them to dwell in the larger world while not, symbolically, being of it, and was a visible witness to a particular lifestyle.


del_button September 3, 2007 at 12:04 PM
Eileen said...

I love the Lord with all of my heart and I trust and hope in God alone. I do also hope that I share this daily truth with all of my brothers and sisters in the Church.

But God made us each individuals and gives us the senses to choose the right direction to Him for ourselves. With all of the direction of Church teachings and spiritual leaders, we do each have to make our own choices as part of God's plan. In community, we share these goals with each other.

I choose not to judge, not to think that the way I see as right for me has to be right for everyone. There are many things I prefer that make my experience of community and prayer more conducive to my spiritual life which I do not always find in my local parish. I don't however, expect to force my preferences onto everyone else in the Church. Community must be about compromise, love and charity. Don't you get that message from Jesus?

I'm not about to tell every religious (men and women) that they MUST wear a habit simply because I prefer it. I truly do not presume to know that my preferences are meant for everyone. I do prefer men and women religious in habits. However, I trust that we may each have valid reasons for doing what it is we do on our road to Heaven.

Surely, religious communities must deal with bishops and the Pope in many matters, these included. I hope that we can all trust and respect one another and make the best choices. Perhaps we can look towards what unites us and not what seems to be dividing us?

All of this tension and controversy about style, and tags such as liberal and traditional may well be part of God's plan for the Church, I don't know. I do know that I find it difficult and sad. But I believe that God is generous and loving and I put my faith in that.

del_button September 15, 2007 at 12:19 PM
Anonymous said...


del_button September 20, 2007 at 6:58 PM
Anonymous said...

Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, based in Rome and very loyal women of the Church wear a very sacred habit. They are world wide and do wonderful works spreading the LOVE of the HEART of Christ!

del_button October 10, 2007 at 11:16 AM
marie claire said...

I am 50 years old so consequently I have heard all the "arguements" about why Nuns should or should not be in habit.

To me it simply boils down to one question...."If they have chosen Jesus over the world, why do they continue to look like the world? Why do they not want to look like they belong to Jesus?"

Why are they ashamed of Him?

del_button October 29, 2007 at 9:00 AM
Anonymous said...

dont forget about the
Marian Sisters of the Diocese of Lincoln, NE

del_button January 22, 2008 at 1:53 PM
Anonymous said...

Just for the record, the practice of refering to Sisters by "Sister" and their last names is the standard journalism format and has nothing to do with stripping them of their identity. Just an FYI.

del_button March 30, 2008 at 1:35 PM
Anonymous said...

Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm also wear a distinct Carmelite habit. This community staff and operate nursing homes in the U.S. and Dublin,Ireland. They currently have women entering their community. They have a common work and prayer life. They have a new Vocation movie, very short on their website.


del_button April 19, 2008 at 10:12 PM
Anonymous said...

I agree, nuns should wear their habits. It showed sepeation from lay people. I attended Catholic school where we had Sisters of Mercy. The presents of the sisters in there habits gave me security and a sense of being Catholic. I think if the nuns stayed in their traditional habits there would be more religious influence on the young people today, which is greatly needed. Who ever decided to drop the habits should really consider bringing them back. Maybe this has something to do with the decline in Catholic school attendance and the lack of girls wanting a spiritual vocation. i hope to see the sisters back in habit someday.

del_button May 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM
Shane said...

Poor Clare Colletines of Kokomo, Indiana:

del_button May 26, 2008 at 3:30 PM
Anonymous said...

Amen! Bless you Matthew for your clear and strong statement! I could not agree more strongly! Bless you!

del_button May 26, 2008 at 3:46 PM
Anonymous said...

I'm so delighted to read of another lay woman who is dressing modestly, limiting her dress to that which is simple and covering her head. Paul did not speak only to Sisters when he said that women should cover their heads in prayer - and that we should pray always. I too cover and am grateful for the covering. And I am so grateful that women are flocking to orders with habits - it is time to get back to work of God and step away from the 'world' as God calls us to do - the habit for Religious and simple dress and covering for the lay woman will go a long way towards this goal.

del_button June 2, 2008 at 3:42 PM
Anonymous said...

Olivetan Bebedictine Sisters in Jonesboro, Ar are another community that wears the a habit and is getting vocations

del_button June 15, 2008 at 2:48 PM
Walela said...

I am saddened by the name calling and judgmentmental tone that some have broght to this conversation.

I love habits and love to see sisters in them. Having said this, I don't understand how people who have no reason to wear habits have so much to say about what needs to be be done by the ones who do.

What happened to allowing Our Lord to be the judge, as we strive to walk our own spiritual journeys in integrity?

To use "sisterspeak," what happened to "averting our gaze" from other people's faults, while we focus on correcting our own?

And how many of us are living the sacrificial life of the women we are quick to criticize?

Do we have the right to dictate to them what their sacrifices should look like? Or is that a matter between the sister and Our Lord--and one that does not include us and our opinions?

I think that it's wonderful that we are championing communities that still embrace the habit. I also have the impression that those who are calling names and insulting sisters who differ from from this view are showing more fear than than the sisters who are being criticized.

If we really want to support the sisters who embrace the habit, I think that we should take our cue from what these sisters do. Read the joyous things they say about why they continue to make this choice. You will notice that they do not do not say a single mean thing about anyone else.

When we know that you have a strong case, we can state it plainly without making a single derogatory comment about anyone. That's what the sisters have done, and it is powerful testimony in its own right. It's also something that everybody can learn from.

Frankly, the insults and name calling only weaken the case--and I point out that none of us can improve on the habited sisters' own witness. I agree with the person who has spoken of our "arrogance" in criticizing people whose lives we do not live. You may think that you know better than sisters do what Our Lord is guiding them to, but where I come from, that's treading pretty close to presumptuous sin.

We are making a case for The Faith in whatever we say here, so it's important to be clear about what we are trying to do. Are we tearing down the Body, or are we trying to build it up? Just a question.

In the Peace of Christ,

del_button July 7, 2008 at 3:24 PM
Anonymous said...

I came across this site by accident, but find it interesting. I am not a Catholic, but my mother worked in a Catholic hospital, which was also the Mother House for the nuns, and I went to Catholic mass when I was growing up at the Nuns Chapel. Although I miss seeing nuns in the old fashioned habits I would like to put my two cents worth in here. In this part of the country, South Texas, I never understood how they could even bare the wear the habits. When I was growing up the habits were wool. I am sure that there are parts of the world where the habit is a comfortable garment to wear and maybe even necessary, but you do have to consider that they are human beings and wearing a heavy garment in 100+ temperature is not only cruel, but unreasonable.

del_button July 11, 2008 at 4:16 PM
Seminarian Rich said...

Matthew, great post! It gives me hope to see that there are still many brides of Christ wearing their habits as signs of their consecration. I have a few more wonderful habit-wearing orders from my own home diocese of Cleveland that I noticed were not on the list:

Poor Clare Colettines of Cleveland

Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, Cleveland, OH

Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity, Euclid, OH

Sisters of the Holy Spirit, Garfield Heights, OH

Also, the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a congregation from Mexico, also ministers in our diocese. However, their website is in Spanish. If you would still like to put it up, the website is:

God bless you in your discernment, brother.

A fellow brother seminarian,


del_button July 12, 2008 at 8:18 AM
Seminarian Matthew said...

Seminarian Rich, thank you for the suggestions. I have added many of them to the list.

del_button August 28, 2008 at 6:51 PM
EthelG said...

I agree with you 100% on nuns returning to the traditional habit. God bless EWTN's Mother Angelica for doing so with her own order. Nuns look so beautiful, and so much more holy in their habits. I also feel that people would show them more respect and reverence if they dressed that way (though of course there are exceptions).

I don't know if I'm being called to the religious life or not; but if I were, I would SO want to join an order with the traditional habit.

del_button September 3, 2008 at 12:31 PM
Anonymous said...

Sigh. Have any of you actually worn a traditional habit??

del_button March 26, 2009 at 4:07 AM
rockandrollrev said...

I met a Nun in a short skirt and jumper who announced she was "one of them" how cold and indifferent. It was as if it was a mere job to her. All the schooling we had with the nuns were swept away in that moment. We were taught to respect nuns as they had chosen tghe life of God and so wore the habit to show this. I am in England and it seems the nuns just want to be the modern Miss and try to convince us they are devoted. I would not be surprised if they started smoking or drinking here. Your site is a welcome sight for me, it has restored faith that devoted nuns do exist. I would love more on your site about nuns please, about the processes they have to go through to become one. Here in UK they are now saying one needs a college degree, this never used to be the case, it used to be anyone that wanted to devote their lives to God, cant see in the Bible anywhere that one has to have a degree to devote their lives to God. The Poor Clares were made from people of all walks of life, St Bernadette did not have a degree, yet some of the nuns are called after her. The same nun I met also said, the name you were given, if you dont like it, you just change it, has the whole concept of convents gone mad? Thanks for a great site and would like more please

del_button April 8, 2009 at 2:19 PM
Anonymous said...

I spent some years with the Capuchin Franciscans, and many of us wore our habits on the street. The interaction that this engendered with Catholics and others was interesting, and we truly were able to witness our Faith via the habit. When I came home to visit family after novitiate, I went to see my parish priests(diocesan) one Sunday and wore my habit. He met me at the rectory door and blurted out, "You can't wear that on the street!" After Mass, the pastor took me aside and asked me not to wear my habit at his church in the future so as "not to frighten people". I am not making this up. This happened in the 70's. Good to see that for many, the habit still has meaning. -Hans

del_button May 11, 2009 at 3:07 PM
Anonymous said...

Sisters in some communities were given the option of returning to their baptismal names if they so chose. The connection is that religious vows are an intensification of the baptismal promises. Some Sisters who were saddled with some archaic name probably appreciated this.

del_button May 13, 2009 at 12:18 PM
PTS said...

I am not a particularly religious individual anymore, so my comments are coming from outside of the religiously devout sphere.
I do think nuns should wear some form of habit, the closer to traditional the better, as allowed by their calling.
Different orders of nuns, sisters, priests, friars etc. have taken on different goals, and as such their dress should fit what they do, but they are also religious individuals who to some lesser or greater extent have chosen a life somewhat apart from normal society.
A order which works with the poor as an example, setting up soup kitchens and dealing with addicts etc. A full, to the floor habit and veil is not practical for nuns (or sisters) who do physical labor, such as lugging boxes, cleaning and maitaining shelters etc. But some sort of habit should probably be required that clearly differentiates them from a lay person.
I for one, despite no longer being a practicing Catholic, still show deference and respect to nuns and priests. If for no other reason than this fact they should wear a habit of some sort. By the very nature associated with them and their dress, they promote their religion and a certain amount of weight is given to what they say or do.
Certainly, at times comments are made, calling them "Penguins" and such, but as often as not, there is also a certain amount of respect still given to them (even by the same person who calls them a Penguin!), which is largely lost when they turn to dressing as a lay person. At the absolute least, a collar or veil should be required in most circumstances except where it would inhibit their desired goal.

del_button June 8, 2009 at 10:07 AM
Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this. I'm discerning becoming a nun, and the only orders I'm looking into are ones that wear habits. So many orders have stopped wearing the habits, and it's very difficult to find a non-cloistered order that wear habits.

del_button June 24, 2009 at 11:52 AM
Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Just letting you know that God worked through this list. I was searching through all these websites listed and after twenty or so I went to one and was immediately drawn to it. The Sisters were soon going to be having a retreat which I attended, I have visited since then, and now I will hopefully be joining them this fall. I've never been happier in all my life, and I know it was the Holy Spirit that led me to them!!!!

del_button June 24, 2009 at 1:26 PM
Matthew said...

Wonderful news! Thanks be to God!

del_button August 19, 2009 at 9:32 AM
Anonymous said...

Nuns should wear the traditional habit. It is really awful what has happened to many Catholic women's religious orders. I am especially saddened by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. They have ditched the habit in favor of dressing like social workers. Are we supposed to tell that they are nuns from the tiny cross pins they wear on their blouses? Are they ashamed of being nuns? There is something wrong with this picture. American Catholic nuns are really in sad shape. The good news is that convents where the nuns wear the traditional habit, are growing in vocations, but the secular convents are empty.

del_button August 21, 2009 at 6:31 PM
Anonymous said...

A blouse and pleated skirt, crisp and well pressed, is an acceptably practical (yet smart) habit for some orders. I yearn to see more nuns in this kind of attire . . . it's t-shirts and shorts in my part of the world for most "sisters".

del_button September 9, 2009 at 6:42 PM
Anonymous said...

I was once a religious but because of health problems I had to return home.My Community changed into lay clothing - I see no witness to whom they Serve- lay people see them as another lay person and even the non-Catholics are upset about what our Sisters are doing- I feel we have lost the garb of Christ- return to the garb of ones community or at least return 70% of the way for the sake of vocations.

del_button October 3, 2009 at 7:33 PM
Anonymous said...

Thank you, for your website. You can add with assurance, the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity of Euclid, Ohio. They teach and run the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. The shrine is a blessing and the sisters are prayerful!

del_button October 3, 2009 at 11:18 PM
Anonymous said...

The secular dress of many Catholic women's religious orders is disconcerting. Especially troubling: the Sisters of Saint Joseph. These sisters resemble corporate executives; only a tiny cross pin "announces" that they are religious. What a travesty. Many of these "nuns" belong to gyms, wear lipstick, and lead totally secular lives. Male religious orders seem to have kept their integrity--monks have NOT abandoned the habit for Bermuda shorts and Brooks Brothers shirts. The Novus Ordo Catholic Church is truly a mess. It has become increasingly Protestantized over the last 40 years. Ugly, bare and spartan Catholic churches with tables rather than high altars; Masses with tacky Protestant hymns--On Eagles Wings--and NO incense. Vatican II DUMBED DOWN Catholicism and this is why many Catholic churches are empty or not full. Pope Benedict understands this. The Orthodox prelates who come to him all say the same thing: GET YOUR LITURGY BACK TO NORMAL, and we may discuss reunion possibilities.

del_button October 3, 2009 at 11:22 PM
Anonymous said...

The secular dress of many Catholic women's religious orders is disconcerting. Especially troubling: the Sisters of Saint Joseph. These sisters resemble corporate executives; only a tiny cross pin "announces" that they are religious. What a travesty. Many of these "nuns" belong to gyms, wear lipstick, and lead totally secular lives. Male religious orders seem to have kept their integrity--monks have NOT abandoned the habit for Bermuda shorts and Brooks Brothers shirts. The Novus Ordo Catholic Church is truly a mess. It has become increasingly Protestantized over the last 40 years. Ugly, bare and spartan Catholic churches with tables rather than high altars; Masses with tacky Protestant hymns--On Eagles Wings--and NO incense. Vatican II DUMBED DOWN Catholicism and this is why many Catholic churches are empty or not full. Pope Benedict understands this. The Orthodox prelates who come to him all say the same thing: GET YOUR LITURGY BACK TO NORMAL, and we may discuss reunion possibilities.

del_button October 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM
Matthew said...

Very good above comment.

del_button October 4, 2009 at 1:06 PM
Anonymous said...

The cloistered Carmelites of Port Tobacco, MD also wear the full habit and a new community is forming in St. Louis, MO who will wear the full habit and minister to the people: the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope. You may want to add these to your list too.

del_button October 31, 2009 at 10:55 PM
Eileen said...

I posted a comment on your topic here just two years ago. I am re-reading these comments along with the newer ones, and I remain very saddened by the lack of respect and judgmental attitudes many of the posters show in regards to religious nuns and sisters.

It is a consecrated way of life, a gift from God. NOT a fashion show, not some archaic, nostalgic living museum. All of these women, habited, semi-habited or in lay clothes are living in the now, consecrating their lives each and every day, for the Lord, for the Church, for the world.

We are all human beings, we are all sinners capable of becoming saints. I pray that we all can find our way to holiness and be charitable and respectful of one another.

del_button November 8, 2009 at 9:46 AM
Anonymous said...

How about letting the women in the order decide, instead of you? Most of you have decided these incredible women should be covered like the mid-Eastern men have covered their women in burkas. Who are you people?

And please double check your figures on women religious - your numbers are incorrect.

del_button November 9, 2009 at 8:35 PM
Anonymous said...

You know the sisters dont have to return to convents. They can live in apartemnts but with at least 3 or more other sisters of same order. I agree they should wear habits. Even though the habit dosent make a nun. But the habit represnts themselves as nuns and she saying in her heart Yes I'm a nun here to serve him. Also wearing a habit old or modified is good because it seprates them from layity and not wearing one would take your identity and get you mixed up with the laity. They can do what they do but wear a veil blouse and skirt at least. Live in a apartmnt with 3 or more people (making the apartment similar to a convent only small)

del_button November 24, 2009 at 8:53 AM
jbryan66 said...

Just recently I flew into Atlanta and rode the terminal train with two young nuns in habits. It was wonderful and refreshing to know that habits are still around. Thanks for the post. Glad to know there are people out there who still hold tight to traditional Catholic ways. The Church needs to go back to its roots. Maybe then people will come back to mass with a stronger faith.

del_button December 31, 2009 at 3:22 AM
Jude Emmanuel said...

Sisters (Not Nuns Nuns are Cloistered Sisters) should wear the habit because it separates them from the Laity I mean they already have moved out of that stage and The canon law says all religious must wear a religious garment yet Vatican 2 had to be a little edgy and pushed the habits off the cliffs I mean modified habits i think are wonderful the old traditional habit is way too hot for some so thats why they modified it for them to work easier. Do you see most of Men;s religious without religious garbs these days? No. But Nuns? Yes!

del_button January 17, 2010 at 8:43 PM
Anonymous said...

Read the book "Sisters in Crisis" and it tells how all this came about due to progessive sisters coming into power. Vatican II was taken to the extreme and totally misinterpreted in many cases. Actually, it's very sad.

I attended Catholic school from Kindergarten to Grade 12. All my teachers were the Sisters of Notre Dame. The grade schools are closing and the ones left have all lay teachers. A Sister in the habit is beautiful in my opinion.

del_button February 6, 2010 at 10:56 PM
Anonymous said...

When I was 12 yrs. old an incident occured and I left the church. I carried anger, blame, and bitternes until two weeks ago.

Out of the blue I was compelled to get a rosary.
All anger was gone. It was if my life started again. I understand now that the decisions made when I was 12 was really the correct decision.

I have been scouring the internet for any and all info, I want to a Catholic book store.

I have come across writings outlining proper dress; no slacks, skirts below the knee, arms covered past the elbow, etc. Again, I felt like I had "come home". I am changing my wardrobe to meet the standards of modesty and I love it.

Why wouldn't a sister or nun be excited and proud to wear the habit? It stands for so much.
And just as my dress will insure that while I must work in this world, I am not a part of it, the habit portrays an even higher calling.

del_button February 6, 2010 at 11:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Please excuse the above typo's and the incorrect use of the word was instead of were. I am just so happy to be back that I was rushing.

I am so sad to read what has happened since Vatican II, at what point does the pope take control and dictate once and for all the standards of each element of the church, including the wearing of the habit, and end all this divisiveness?

Catholics ignoring Church views on birth control and other primary issues makes no sense. If Catholic doctrine does not meet one's belief, it seems one would locate a religion that does. Why would anyone want to change the church's teachings to validate their beliefs?

del_button February 9, 2010 at 1:43 PM
Beatus said...

Dear Matthew,
While I certainly appreciate your fervor, I cannot help but need to point out to you that as of now, Roman Catholic nuns/sisters are considered technically - and canonically - laywomen; yes SOME of the Nuns receive specific forms of Consecration (i.e., Consecration of Virgins), but their status in the Church does not change. What we have come to recognize as a holy habit (with the exception of specific articles of clothing - such as a scapulars, etc.) were merely the common dress of the day of the Founder/Foundress. "Religious are to wear the habit of the institute determined according to the norm of proper law as a sign of their consecration and as a testimony of poverty" (Canon 669, 1). Many (if not most) orders were founded during the time that all women covered their heads, etc. The desire to imitate Christ's poverty was reflected in the poor materials, simple colors (dyes were more expensive) and the meaning behind the "widow's weeds." (Dead to the world). Though I am a fully habited, cloistered nun, I find much holiness in my sisters who dress in the simple dress of the poorest of the poor, blending in with society, imitating Christ through deed and action.
Were it so easy to reach holiness by dress alone!
It concerns me greatly that so many seem to think that "young women" are "flocking" to Orders with habits. Most importantly, are these "young women" staying until final or solemn vows?
I would invite you to review your list. I believe you will find many, many, many traditional orders with full habits who are on the verge of closing because of lack of vocations. Were clothing all that it took....
Sacred, sacramental clothing is appropriate at the right time and place, with modesty and sensibility at the forefront of one's mind. The particular ministry that each congregation is devoted to should be considered as well.
Finally, not all religious women are called to live in a contemplative, monastic setting and those who live in apartments are able to be present to the poor in the real way that Our Lord and Savior called us to do in His Name.
May the Lord bless you.

del_button March 13, 2010 at 4:43 PM
Anonymous said...

I don't know if this was addressed or not but most religious women wear their "habits." When Constitutions were revised after Vatican II the sisters were required to state their mode of dress in the new Constitution. If they chose to say, for example "simple clothing," and a distinctive cross or medal, and their Constitution was approved by the Vatican, as 99.9% were, how they dress was approved as well. One needs to read the exact wording of the approved Constitution to see if the sisters are in compliance or not.

del_button April 3, 2010 at 10:32 AM
Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this website! The links are a very valuable resource for young discerners. God bless you!

del_button April 5, 2010 at 1:40 PM
LARodger said...

I also agree and personally think nuns should wear habits as was done before Vatican II. Just the sight of a person dedicated to God and The Church, be it a nun in habit or a priest wearing a collar or better yet a cassock speaks volumes about the dedication of the person not to mention makes the Church much more visable in our daily lives.

del_button April 14, 2010 at 7:05 AM
Anonymous said...

Some well intentioned people write that a habit does not give meaning or value to the consecrated life. Well, that sounds good in a Walt Disney kind of way. Of course it is the deeper, internal committment that is the most "sacred." Nevertheless, the religious habit is an outward symbol, and the Novus Ordo Church has been very careless in its throwing away of symbols. When the Church denuded the Liturgy, we saw a drop in Mass attendance, and now convents with sisters who do NOT wear habits, are half empty, while "habit-wearing" traditionalist convents are full.

By their fruits you shall know them....

The secular dress of many Catholic women's religious orders is disconcerting. Especially troubling: the Sisters of Saint Joseph. These sisters resemble corporate executives; only a tiny cross pin "announces" that they are religious. What a travesty. Many of these "nuns" belong to gyms, wear lipstick, and lead totally secular lives. Male religious orders seem to have kept their integrity--monks have NOT abandoned the habit for Bermuda shorts and Brooks Brothers shirts. The Novus Ordo Catholic Church is truly a mess. It has become increasingly Protestantized over the last 40 years. Ugly, bare and spartan Catholic churches with tables rather than high altars; Masses with tacky Protestant hymns--On Eagles Wings--and NO incense. Vatican II DUMBED DOWN Catholicism and this is why many Catholic churches are empty or not full. Pope Benedict understands this. The Orthodox prelates who come to him all say the same thing: GET YOUR LITURGY BACK TO NORMAL, and we may discuss reunion possibilities.

del_button April 14, 2010 at 7:07 AM
Anonymous said...

By the way, would you ever see an Eastern Orthodox nun in a stretch pant suit, big hair, and a tiny gold cross pin? Not on your life!

del_button April 21, 2010 at 5:54 AM
aka Sr M. Clare, O.P. said...

Back in the late 50's, I became a Dominican, but left just a few days before my final profession. One reason I left was because they changed the headgear. The gimp was discarded for a heavily starched one-piece headband, to which the black veil was attached, that just covered the ears and was tied in back, at the hairline. According to our Mother General, the pope had made the request that nuns simplify their headgear for safety reasons, such as driving a car. So, she was in this big hurry to please him (as if he would even know)! What angered many was the fact that only the top sisters, called Council Members, had a say, and they usually didn't go against Mother's wishes.
That summer, before all the sisters returned to the Motherhouse for our annual 10 day retreat, the place was bustling with the few nuns who knew how to sew. Some of the creations were laughable. Because it was my last summer in the novitiate, I got to see them all, modeled by their creators, and I was sick. I loved the old headgear. The headgear chosen, described above, was painful to wear, because the starched part that rubbed against the ears was causing skin irritation; sometimes bleeding. Some nuns put tape on their earlobes, or tied the headband so loosely their har hung out. This never happened with the gimp. It kept the head warm and covered the entire head, except for the face.
When retreat time arrived, everyone received several of the new headbands and were told to turn in their gimps and old headbands. Many did so obediently and humbly, but others voiced their displeasure, and loudly.
I was sad because I knew I'd never wear the old veil when I began teaching the following September. Still, I took my 3 yr vows that summer, received my black veil, and remained in the community until my vows expired.
I just didn't like the fact that we, as a community, weren't allowed to vote on such major changes. Another thing I didn't like was the fact that anyone entering the community wasn't allowed to go home for a visit until she'd been there 7 years! My parents and little brothers always had to visit me; couldn't even take me in their car for a ride or an ice cream or leave the premises at all, during the entire time I was a member of the community.
When they began changing our garb, starting with the veil, I figured it would just be a matter of time before they'd make more changes and, sure enough, I was right. After I left, they shortened the habits, modified the veils so that hair showed and, today, they're in street clothes. They also have just a handful of members left, had to sell most of their property and merge with several other communities.
Now, let me tell you of an instance where the habit would have saved a nun's life:
I knew her. She was a member of my community; after I left, I heard what happened to her. At this time, the habit was totally replaced with street clothes, which she was wearing. She had an ailing dad, so was allowed to see to his care in his home. She'd just returned from shopping f/ his groceries; left the keys in the car while she carried the food into the house. A thief decided to steal her car. She spotted him, just as he pulled away, so began running after him. She was always a feisty nun. The thief decided she might be able to id him, so he ran her over and killed her. He was caught and jailed. When the authorities told him he'd killed a nun, he was so distraught he committed suicide. I rest my case!
I've often thought about starting my own religious order and bringing back the beautiful habit and veil I still miss. I've also thought about sewing myself a habit and veil in which to be buried.
The worst part about the day I left was having to remove my religious garb and 15 decade Rosary. Communities that discarded their habits, etc., and now wonder why no one is interested in joining them, have only themselves to blame!

del_button April 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM
Anonymous said...

I have no opinion on what nuns should wear, but if they work with children especially in sport activities, I would think this would be a problem.

del_button May 25, 2010 at 12:32 AM
Anonymous said...

Of course you are entitled to your opinion regarding nuns wearing habits. Still, I was abused by a nun wearing a full habit. Also aome of the nuns we had in our elementary school were blatently antisemetic, as well as manipulative and harsh women who humiliated children and used harsh and inappropiate discipline, often for rumped up offences. By the way, the church is dealing with the abuse scandal at a snails pace and for that matter, ineffectively--and only after much public pressure.) Todays nuns are better women.

del_button June 6, 2010 at 10:11 AM
Jim Daly said...

A child of the fifties, I was taught, tutored and supported by some incredible Religous Folk... I miss their presence in my life!
Vatican II an inapprpopriately finalised council, was orchestrated by a venerable Holy Man (Blessed John XXIII) of solemn lament, to redress some extreme Roman Catholic issues... ie Our supposed supremacy over all other religous/race/inter-marriage, concerns, etc.
At no stage was it ever envisioned, nor mandated that our Clergy, Religous and Lay, should meld and their identies be hazed...
Nor should our beautiful rites of the Mass... ever have been undermined by modernistic clap-trap!
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Clergy should, wherever possible, and within reasons of good health, return to their Clerical Habits (as I
recall the un-lamentd Paul VI) requesting... and attend to the needs of Our Masters creations!
I am no longer a practising Catholic... I have long lived by the code that, if one wishes to be and Honorarium (Member) of a club, one accepts, and abides in entirety, by the Rules laid down therein!... one cannot pick and choose!
The Late Arch Bishop, Marcel LeFebre merely sought to maintain the status quo, retaining the depth and beauty of our traditional celebration of Christ, and the true sanctity of the practitioners, and acolytes of those Holy Rites... I, as a lost soul, ask for the return of all those things, and a return to the garbs, and dedication,. our Church once held important!

del_button June 18, 2010 at 10:01 PM
Anonymous said...

The reason I am no longer a practicing Catholic is because the Church is watered down. The church building itself is sparse and the Mass is no longer sacred, but used as a program in which people can sing their tacky Protestant songs and play ridiculous instruments. I wanted to be a nun when I was younger, but so many nuns/sisters don't wear the habit, it was so discouraging. Say what you will, but the traditions of the Church that were "pre vatican II" need to be brought back. The Church has been overrun by liberals in the name of progression.

del_button June 30, 2010 at 2:36 PM
Anonymous said...

I agree that religious women should wear habits, and the best would be to wear a traditional one, or modified traditional, like the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, etc. Most sisters have adapted to that type of habit and veil and I think that it is good too, since it is more lighter and easier to work with.

The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception should be added to the list as well. They have a similar habit type as the Dominican Sisters except that they have a navy blue habit and a black veil. I am actually entering to the Little Servant Sisters, I don't have a problem with their habit and they have a modified-traditional habit so I think that they look beautiful. Their veil is like the Dominican sisters of St. Cecilia, which is good too. Their veils are quite similar, and it isn't pushed off far from their heads.

It is really sad to see that some of the convents don't have habits anymore, and or some modified their habits over the top, like having it shortened and or their veils pushed far from their heads.

del_button June 30, 2010 at 2:42 PM
Anonymous said...

Here is the website for the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception:

This is a Polish language site but as you can see are the pictures of how they look like
That's where I'm entering, they are also located in Cherry hill, NJ, USA

del_button June 30, 2010 at 2:46 PM
Anonymous said...

Here's the website for the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception:

This is a Polish language site but as you can see the pictures they wear a navy blue habit and a black or white veil as they go through formation.

The Mother Provincial is so sweet, so in case you want to contact her go ahead she is very understanding and nice.
That's where I will be entering. They are also located in Cherry Hill, NJ, USA.

del_button June 30, 2010 at 2:46 PM
Anonymous said...

Here's the website for the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception:

This is a Polish language site but as you can see the pictures they wear a navy blue habit and a black or white veil as they go through formation.

The Mother Provincial is so sweet, so in case you want to contact her go ahead she is very understanding and nice.
That's where I will be entering. They are also located in Cherry Hill, NJ, USA.

del_button July 6, 2010 at 10:05 AM
Anonymous said...

What about the Episcopalian Nuns Habits ? The Sisters of Saint Mary and The Sisters of Teachers of the Children of God were them long still. Show some pics of them.

del_button July 7, 2010 at 9:38 AM
Anonymous said...

it is basically talking more about the catholic orders but ur right other religion orders still wear traditional habits as well, but nuns should wear habits, God doesn't bless them with that much vocations as the traditional orders

del_button July 24, 2010 at 5:41 PM
Anonymous said...

Growing up in New Jersey in the 60's I went to St.Aedan's Catholic School. The nuns looked so beautiful in their habits. They used to sit all together at mass. It inspired me to want to be just like one of them. Then they changed their habits. First the veil was changed then they shortened their dresses then no veil at all or a very tiny one. Really didn't see the difference between them and everyone else. Now that I see the Domincan Sister of Mary Mother of the Eucharist I wish I could join up!! I'm a little old for that order now.

del_button July 27, 2010 at 12:13 PM
Anonymous said...

i agree with the comment above, i don't know why nuns want to abandon beautiful habits. i am joining the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, an order that has a similar habit to the dominian sisters, not the color, they wear a blue habit but their veil is the same as the dominican sisters. the nuns these days especially in the US don't reallize that modernizing their habits imposes bad news for them, because then young women do not want to join an order that isn't traditional. i am joining an order that is still traditional and it is a Polish convent. some orders don't have any vocations and then they complain why no one wants to join them, well no one will when nuns want to modernize themselves. they should get back to being traditional and then they will see the difference especially when vocations could increase 10 times more. that is why the dominican sisters in nashville and ann arbor have tons of vocations, yea well they keep to the traditions and young women prefer tradition over modern orders. you see the difference between the traditional and modern order.

del_button August 9, 2010 at 8:18 PM
Anonymous said...

I grew up educated by nuns, the Sisters of the Presentation and the Dominican Sisters. Their wearing a gown separated them from the rest of women, and as special women, they made a special imprint on myself as a woman. They were the most disciplined yet the freest and most devoted persons I have ever known, in the sense of interest and common sense invested in their communities. Their dressing differently gave them a different aura which spoke of a different life, and this life in the service of others in a form of relationship also different than that to family was a metaphor for a choice. This enveloping metaphor I am sure many times sustained these women, giving them the contention which belonging to a group can give when facing daunting tasks.

del_button August 11, 2010 at 11:20 AM
Anonymous said...

i didn't grow up educated by nuns but i did grow up going to public school that teaches religion (catholic). the tradition is in Poland. i believe that nuns should keep to the tradition and not throw away the habits just to modernize themselves, that is just plain wrong. it wont influence the young women to enter, because nuns don't want to keep to tradition, and that is how they loose vocations. they should think about what they are doing to the community, it would ruin the number of vocations, which would decline.

del_button August 16, 2010 at 10:26 PM
Anonymous said...

I am so happy to see that so many agree that nuns should return to the habit. I am also a 50's child. I enjoyed walking by a convent when the nuns were seated on the front porch in rocking chairs. People were always on their best behavior whenever nuns were around. The habit was a symbol of their love for God and mankind and I miss not seeing nuns in habits. I believe that vocations would increase if nuns put the habit back on and remained in convents.

del_button August 17, 2010 at 3:34 PM
Anonymous said...

i agree with the comment above, it would bring vocations on the rise if nuns wore their traditional habits.

del_button August 21, 2010 at 7:47 PM
Anonymous said...

Rites and traditions that express beauty within the concept of faith keep alive the notion of difference. A religious environment should incite us to lift our spirits toward something which is not seen as such in a human sense.
Rites and traditional dress, the Holy Mass in Latin, help underline the special nature of our links with God, in what a linguist would call ¨metalanguage¨, a parallel form of communication, a unique one.

I agree with the comments that this has become so watered down, so mixed with everything else that it would seem at times planned destruction. Sects, knowing how important symbolism is, use these forms of ¨attraction¨ to keep people attached to them. Are people stupid? Not at all. Catholic churches have become neutral, like markets; everything looks the same outside as inside. The strength of willpower and concentration it takes to get into the mood of elevation is sometimes too heavy.

I remember attending Mass as a child, always in Latin, and there was not one thing I missed, there was no ¨misunderstanding¨ what was said. The organ music, the covered heads of women, the long lines of persons waiting to be confessed, our own preparation by the sisters ahead of Mass to guide us on how to account for wrongdoings and how to ¨be accountable¨ - as well as also on the loving and forgiving nature of God who gives us a chance to repent - the reunion with God in Holy Communion, the anointing at Confirmation with a benediction marked by the burning of incense, the robes worn for the occasions of God only, associated his presence to beauty, harmony, and the uniqueness of ceremony which is in honor of the Supreme Being.

del_button August 24, 2010 at 6:45 PM
Anonymous said...

nuns should keep to tradition.

del_button August 27, 2010 at 5:43 PM
Anonymous said...

I as a teenager, and considering a vocation as a nun, hate to see nuns not in habits. It shows consecration to God.

del_button August 27, 2010 at 5:55 PM
Anonymous said...

i agree with the comment above. i am also in process of entering into the convent, and i am entering where nuns wear the habit and stay traditional.

del_button August 27, 2010 at 6:46 PM
Matthew said...

For those considering a vocation, please consider joining my other blog, Holy Vocations blog which is located at

Holy Vocations Blog consists of people discerning vocations to the religious life. There are people here that are thinking of the priesthood and those that are thinking of becoming nuns or religious sisters. If you are discerning a vocation to be a priest, nun, religious sister, monk, or consecrated virgin or if you are currently in formation, then I invite you to join this blog.

For more information and/or on how to join, please send an email to acatholiclife[at]

del_button September 20, 2010 at 9:28 AM
Anonymous said...

If anyone noticed since the nuns changed their habits for regular garb the Catholic attendence has gone way down.The`ve lost the respect of the children and Families.A nun should look like a nun.Even priests don`t look like priests anymore ! To many changes !I attend church regularly and never even knew their were nuns at mass !

del_button October 10, 2010 at 7:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Please concider adding the Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary to your list.

del_button October 10, 2010 at 7:16 PM
Anonymous said...

This is a very nice list. I also suggest looking at this website to further aid in your discernment:

del_button November 28, 2010 at 4:39 PM
Anonymous said...

When Vatican 2 ended all the convent walls busted open and the nuns fled,What have we got today as a result?Crumbled walls and Reigion on the decline.I was brought up with the idea that when dicipline is not enforced,society as we know it ceases to exist.Catholic Nuns enforced dicipline and respect for God and man in the schools.When the "Habit"disappeared so did authority.

del_button December 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM
Anonymous said...

When the habits vanished so did the teachers and nurses. The Catholic schools still opened in my area are filled with lay teachers and there are no sisters in nursing at our Catholic hospital...when I was a young girl it was filled with sisters.

I think many sisters also left the convent when the progressive liberals took over.

I have been hearing that some convents are going traditional and returning to teaching. So maybe there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

del_button January 8, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Anonymous said...

I think that nuns should go back to wearing the habit. I guess I'm just a "traditionalist" at heart, but when I think of a nun, I think of Sister Luke in "A Nun's Story." Today's religious sisters don't seem to reflect any of the virtues that these Belgian nuns strived for. These women were "truly" dedicated to giving up all aspects of their worldly lives to serve God. It's sad that Catholic schools aren't run by priests and nuns anymore. They are run by lay people who, most of the time, aren't even Catholic. I would love to see the Church, in ALL aspects, return to the traditions that were practiced before Vatican II.

del_button January 26, 2011 at 11:43 AM
hamburg1 said...

I received an excellent education from the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the Sisters of St. Joseph. It breaks my heart to see that they have all but modernized themselves out of existence. Soon there will be none of them left. When they abandoned the habit, it was the beginning of the end.

del_button January 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM
Pat O'Hare said...

I have been thinking of joining the Sisters of Mercy, but I see that they no longer wear their very distinctive habit. What a shame. I have always thought that because of the habit, nuns were easily seen, and if someone needed help, they could go up to a nun and talk to her. This is what I would like to dedicate my life to--to helping people in Christ's name. But without the habit, I don't feel I would be a nun. I was taught by the Sisters of Mercy all though 12th grade. I am a little older now, but I still want to join. I suppose I must find a religious sisterhood who wears the habit. The habit made them special.

del_button February 5, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Anonymous said...

The progressive sisters who gave up the habit, gave up more than the habit. Years of of tradition are gone. Their communities have all but disappeared. Where are teachers in the Catholic schools? Where are the nurses in the Catholic hospitals?

There is not one sister in the what is left of the Catholic schools in this area. There are no nurses at the Catholic hospitals.

Another thing I have noticed is that the priests are also not wearing their religious garb either.

Where is the Church leadership that has allowed this to go this far.

del_button February 12, 2011 at 12:12 AM
Anonymous said...

Thank you Matthew so much for posting this list. I am a teenage, first-generation Catholic revert and transitioning to traditionalism and a discerner of the religious life. This helps to know that beautiful orders are still out there. In my home state of Louisiana there are no religious communities to be found(or at least recognized)so it really becomes a road block in discernment. Pax! Keep posting these wonderful blogs and fighting for the Fullness of Truth!

del_button April 5, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading these comments. I was educated by Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul for total 13 yrs of my life. I only had 2 lay teachers during that time of an abundance of nuns. What an education they gave us! I am eternally grateful to every one of them. We were always about 2 yrs. ahead of our public school neighbors. They were able to educate us in old buildings (without air cond.) in classes of 60+ kids, because they were respected and they maintained discipline. The habit they wore (and the uniforms we wore) reminded us why we came to school--to listen and learn. I have read many comments written by nuns celebrating their long-term jubilee anniversaries, and the majority of them say that they became interested in joining a convent, because they so admired nuns who taught them in school. Today vocations are almost nonexistent because so few kids know what a nun is. Not many can afford to attend the few Catholic schools that are left. Most are staffed completely with lay teachers anyway. My parents had 4 of us kids in one Catholic grade school at one time, and they paid a very minimal amount of family tuition. We could never have afforded a religious based private education without the vow of poverty that these women made. Once they decided to dress as lay women, and live in apartments they needed income to pay for a worldly life, and could not continue to provide education to the poor and middle class children who need it the most. Many of them left their orders, because the progressive changes were not what they agreed to when they entered religious life. A habit does not have to be wool or layers of material. But there was positively something spiritual and inspiring about a nun in a habit in a classroom that motivated kids to learn. Those of us who experienced it know the value. BRING IT BACK!!

del_button April 11, 2011 at 8:27 PM
Anonymous said...

As Sr. M. Rachel (Beatus) said above, most sisters' habits, the ones that people seem to miss the most, were adopted during a time when that type of clothing was common *where* the orders were founded. If an order had been founded in that era in Africa, India, on the Arabian Peninsula, or in Central America, doubtless that order's clothing would have been different.

In the late 1970s, i questioned several sisters -- some who were in other orders, some who were my former classmates -- about their change from traditional habits. One sister told me: "When we could not afford chauffeurs and gardeners, we had to streamline." Another one, working with Visiting Nurses, mentioned the difficulty in walking through garbage-strewn streets or cleaning hallways in long, full skirts. Until her order changed, she had always carried jeans in her bag for those cleaning moments -- "Now, i wear the jeans plus a backpack."

One thought i often heard about the growing lack of vocations is that, until the 1960s-1980s, women had few places where they could aspire to greater responsibilities, where their abilities and inclinations were embraced. Now, with women moving into all kinds of positions requiring exceptional abilities, promising greater responsibilities, and offering easily-recognized rewards, the convent has to compete for talent and vocations. One sister mentioned that there is never a lack of tasks requiring their dedication, and all are welcome to help.

del_button April 19, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Kevin said...

I find the reference to Sister Luke in "The Nun's Story" fascinating. As anyone who has been in religious life (female or male) can tell you, Sister Luke did not have to "leave" religious life ... she had never been there to begin with.

Being a religious has nothing to do with what you wear - or if you are called "Sister Mary" or "Sister Smith" or "Miss Jones" (depending upon the tradition of the particular community) - and everything to do with re-making yourself into a person who follows the Gospel in a radical way. The person who says that she wants to be a member of the community which taught her but can't because that community no longer wears a hait - and she wouldn't feel like a "Sister" without the habit - is better off where she is because she has no understanding of what it means to be a relgious. Nor, I fear, does the person who hosts this site.

I apologize to the members of the Society of the Sacred Heart and to the Religious of the Cenacle (who, even when they wore a habit were known by their last names)and to the Daughters of the Heart of Mary (who, from their founding in the late 18th century, never wore a habit or publicly identified as Sisters) for these well-meaning folk who appear to think that you are not "Sisters". Your many years of devoted, faithful and faith-filled lives contradict their ignorance.

del_button April 19, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Kevin said...

Sister M. Clare, OP

You made it through Novitiate and were admitted to vows? How did that happen? You seem to equate the habit with Religious Life.

Sorry about your sore ears.

del_button April 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM
Anonymous said...

I am a life-long catholic and went to parochial school all my school years. I was taught by sisters in full habit. I got a proper education and remained catholic partly due to the fact that the sisters wore habits. It showed loyalty. If they wore habits daily and all I had to do was believe and be a good person, it seemed easy to remain a faithful catholic! I know someone who went to catholic school recently, much younger than I, and the sisters did not wear habits. This person said there was no order in the classes and everyone treated the sisters with little respect. A sister in a habit should make people think of authority. A tee-shirt and slacks doesn't make me feel 'authority'. BRING THE HABIT BACK AND BRING VATICAN 1 BACK!!!

del_button June 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM
Anonymous said...

This post is over four years old I see, but I find it interesting that so many people are for nuns wearing habits. I think it should be up to the orders to decide.

The nuns I know that used to wear them say they were extremely uncomfortable. They were too hot in the summer and left calluses on their ears. (Seriously, they would bleed!) In my humble opinion, this is going too far.

I think nuns and sisters are special no matter what they wear.
I think it's nice that they blend into the community.
"Let them know we are Christian by our love."
The song says nothing about habits. :)

But, a nun in a habit is lovely too!

I also did a story (I'm a journalist) recently on why so few women are going into the religious life. The sisters, I spoke with said it is mostly because women have more options for careers than they used to.

Also, rather than the cause of fewer women going into religious life be due to not having habits, in my experience the Catholic Church is not welcoming or attractive to young women. Many of my friends don't go to Mass anymore (they say it's because the Church's message is too judgmental and they don't like the way they have handled the abuse cases and the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Also, women's role within the Church is an issue.)

I'm still Catholic. I'm an Irish American and my ancestors starved to stay Catholic. So, I'm not giving up on my Church. But, I can see where my friends are coming from.

God bless everyone that posted, but as part of the John Paul II generation, I think we have bigger fish to fry.

I know it must be hard for people who grew up in the pre-Vatican Church for things to have changed so much. It must be so frustrating to see the Church now, having grown up when convents were full and young men were joining the priesthood.

In my short thirty years, I've spent sometime with sisters and nuns and ex-sisters and ex-nuns and they have a story to tell about Vatican II and can provide a thoughtful perspectives on the current state of the Church.

My suggestion (which is unsolicited advice, so you don't have to take it :) ) is find a sister local to you and ask them about habits, if they ever wore them and what happened for them during Vatican II. They are tremendous group of women and have much to say. They are extremely well educated and can shed some light on the many issues in the Church. In my opinion, they are an untapped resource of leadership and experience that the Church should embrace especially now.

Another bit of my two cents...that again is worth about just that two cents...rather than just wishing for things to go back, I think we should look to the future. What sort of Church are we creating for our children and future generations? What sort of Church do we want? Not what sort of Church are we holding together by the threads.

Things change. We have to accept that or else will be like the Amish.

I think with all the problems we have in the Church to worry about nuns wearing habits is just a distraction.

This is just my opinion though.

God Bless.

del_button June 13, 2011 at 3:32 PM
Anonymous said...

Remember, a lot of people in positions of leadership wear uniforms. The Holy Father, Cardinals, Bishops, priests, especially when they celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

A police man or woman, a fire man or woman, a bus driver, postal worker, and so on.

Who you are a habit does not change. If you are in the Religious Life for the correct reasons, than what you wear is important. Act and look like a nun. It commands more respect and shows non verbally to the world who you are and what you stand for. Live in community and eat and pray and loive your life with one another. It gives you strength each day.

God Bless the habit. It seems that orders that wear the habits are the ones that still are growing and that the United States nuns are the worst offenders.

Pray the habits come back!!

del_button June 13, 2011 at 3:38 PM
Anonymous said...

The Oblates of the Blessed Trinity wear habits. Their main convent in Dutchess County, New York, with two schools in the Bronx, St. Angela Merici and Immaculate Conception on East Gunhill Road where they teach. They are also in the Mid West (I forget what state) and Puerto Rico also.

Mother Gloria Castrom, OBT Mother Superior

del_button June 13, 2011 at 3:39 PM
Anonymous said...


Mother Gloria Castro, OBT


del_button July 5, 2011 at 11:34 PM
Anonymous said...

I hope to visit an active order that wears the full habit and it was one of the reasons I chose them. For me personally I feel called to witness in that way. Also, one woman said she didn't know of any Mercy sisters who wear the habit any more- however the Sisters of Mercy of Alma wear one. She should check out their web page.
I pray more fully habited sisters are seen in public!

del_button July 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM
Anonymous said...

I believe in the traditional full length habit should be brought back and the girls in our RC schools should be made to wear their kilts to the knee. I saw a girl walking into the school her kilt was so short you could see her bottom.

del_button November 19, 2011 at 9:36 PM
Anonymous said...

I believe religious sisters should wear habits, granted streamlined from the old traditional habit of the past, but a habit nevertheless. I was taught by the sisters of st joseph in phila, and we always had the utmost respect for the sisters. Sisters should not be wearing lay clothing, they are not lay people. You cannot even tell most women anymore that are sistes, and I believe this is the reason so many have left their communities, and why they cannot get young women to enter. The entire catholic church has changed, sisters do not wear habits, priest do not wear collars or cassocks anymore, and the priest today do not seem as holy as the priests I remember from when I was a boy. Getting back to my original post, nuns should definitely be in habits to distingish themselves from lay paople.

del_button June 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Kevin said...

"No longer should nuns be allowed to live in apartments and wear laypeoples' clothing; rather, they should be living in a monastery to praise and serve God."

Yes, wouldn't it be awful if people actually got to know nuns as real people and be inspired by the way they live in the REAL world? Much better to lock them away in monasteries. That will surely help grow the number of women choosing to become nuns.

People who think this way are one of the reasons I and so many others have left the Catholic Church.

del_button June 12, 2012 at 6:57 PM
Matthew said...

Kevin, you inappropriately assume that Catholic nuns engage the world in missionary work are doing "better" works than the nuns whose mission and vocation is to pray for the salvation of souls. Both of these groups are much needed. If all of our nuns were activists and none laid down their lives for a life of prayer and penance for the world, then the world would truly be a much darker place. Perhaps you are not familiar with the many stories of cloistered nuns' prayers having an impact on the lives of others.

That being said, all nuns (active and cloistered) are called to wear the clothing of their order and thus bear in public a witness to their interior Faith.

del_button June 22, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Anonymous said...

My sisters wear 'habits' in their mission of printing and proselytizing. I am amazed that some of writers say that their order is 'liberal' and that they do not wear habits. My sisters still do not get haircuts, so their habits cover a multitude of 'sins'.

First of all, it is discriminatory to demand people wear something based on personal whims of those who do not wear the garb. Nuns take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and their obedience is not to us, the viewer! This person who complains about how nuns appear presents an outsider's interpretation of whether nuns bear witness to interior faith by wearing the full wimple, veil, and woolly haircloth is as hollow as a painted sepulchre.

Second of all, my sisters belong to an international order. Some countries do not look so kindly on Catholic nuns proselytizing and printing, and presenting displays of written religious work, and it is more prudential to wear garb that is in keeping with ensuring that the message reaches the people that 'need' to hear it, so they do not wear clothing that confuses citizens, nor presents them collectively as targets by government officials. Do they want to do a job for Christ or do they want to put on a show for the Philistines (as 'martyrs'?)

When my sisters serve in foreign lands, it is not always realistic to adhere to somebody's (in the USA) idea of what is okay for our temperate climate. For example, consider temperature, practicality, fabric care, wearability, and whether the nun wants to jog a mile each morning before morning prayer. And, considering a vow of poverty, yes, those heavy duds cost hundreds of dollars. Have you priced a set lately?

When nuns meet people, people want to see eyes, see smiles, relate to humans, expect Sister will carry her own satchel and look dignified doing it, not a cloaked 'mannequin' dressed to gills with outlandish show clothes.

Sisters' married sister Catharine

del_button July 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Anonymous said...

Recently, in the news we hear of nuns and priests getting murdered abroad more then ever. I believe that if they were seen in their full habit, it would mean respect for them and non-violence towards them.

del_button July 26, 2012 at 3:21 PM
Anonymous said...

What a wonderful site! I have just discovered it. I agree that to wear a habit identifies the wearers intentions. I attended Catholic schools in the 50s & 60s, mostly with Ursilines.
Vatican ll was not radical, but reinforced truths that have been in the Church all along.The changes to habits were for practical reasons, so nuns wouldnt be wasting time on the maintenance of garments,with materials updated more suitably to the climates. The most visible nuns were teachers and nurses. The declining catholic population is a result of the confusion that began with the reorganizaton of the religious communities. If we want to strengthen our church body we need to begin in our schools. How else to combat the huge amount of anti-christian drivel seen in the various media. Those identifiable teaching nuns was Gods best instrument. Read Sisters in Crisis, by Ann Carey, for a well researched objective look at religious communities and what happenned to change things. God Bless you all.
Annette RMH Ab Ca

del_button November 18, 2012 at 1:32 AM
Broad Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
del_button July 20, 2013 at 5:43 PM
Anonymous said...

This is amazing site. I just wanted to add my comment. I used to think a nuns habit was a burden and was for the removal of them. I hate suits for men and I thought it was unfair to have to where them. In reality I really did not care until I heard a question on the Patrick Madrid show about the habit and Vatican II. I have a strange gift that when God wants to talk to me I start crying. It has happened about 5 to 10 times in 20 years. When someone asked the question about the habits and Patrick told a story from Bishop Sheen. It was about a nun who was not wearing her habit and was being followed and ran to a police officer with a uniform on. I started crying for no reason and then realized God wants nuns to wear their habits. I was floored but then it made so much sense. How does anyone know there is a nun at a mall or an airport if they are not wearing a habit. I am sure many people needing prayer would come to these sisters if they new they were sisters. It would also let the world know we Catholics are alive we are here! the truth is not dead!

del_button March 21, 2014 at 9:41 AM
Anonymous said...

Very well said! I belong to an International order where one of our provinces in the United States doesn't wear the habit. Unfortunately, they only have about 50 sisters and no vocations. However, our province in Indiana do wear the habits and we are gaining in vocations. I work in our Healthcare Ministry, and numerous times a week many people tell me as a young sister that it is so nice to see a young habited Sister. I tell them, "well we are making a comeback!" What many people don't really realize is that the habit was created to distinguish who and what community you belong to. I had the wonderful experience of realizing this in November, when a large contingent of our Sisters traveled to Germany for our Mother Foundress' Beautification. It was a wonderful witness in the Airport in Chicago when others saw 48 Sisters boarding a flight for this extraordinary event. When we were in Germany, the people of the town where our Motherhouse is, were so happy to see so many young habited sisters walking about thier town for the week. Hopefully, that witness will spark a Springtime of Renewal for our Sisters in Germany to also grow in vocations where secularism is very present. My community is listed above, the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.

del_button August 2, 2014 at 8:39 PM
Anonymous said...

I went to Mount Carmel School and the Academy Immaculate Conception in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico which were run by the Daughters of Charity. That was during the 50s and the 60s when they wore their beautiful habit. I still recall their names: Sisters Isabel, Inez, Veronica, Mary Rita, Margaret Mary, Mary Joan, Ann Francis, Ignatia, Jean, Virginia, Blanche, etc. Then, in 1964, the habit change and the Sisters left the island approximately three years after. Everywhere they went, people admired and respected. A lot had to do with the habit. The only bad thing about them wearing that habit in Puerto Rico, with its 80 + temperature year round was that it was wool. I don't care if Christian Dior designed the new habit:; it simply lost its beauty. I'd suggest that the original version be brought back in a light cotton, at least for the Tropics. I've enjoyed reading these posts. Bless you all.

del_button August 4, 2014 at 5:02 PM
Anonymous said...

I Agree!!!

del_button August 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM
Anonymous said...

Who Knew ThEre Was A Difference Between Nuns And Sisters!?

del_button August 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM
Joniee1231 said...

If they decide to dress like laywomen, why don't they become laywomen? Are they ashamed to be nuns? If they think looking like they're laity is preferable to the looking like nuns in public they should put their money where their mouth is. Leave the religious state. Nobody knows outside of your own little group of close friends that your pin lapels signify that you're a nun. Just like if I, a laywoman, wear my St. Benedict medal, won't be called a Sister of St. Benedict because of it.

del_button August 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM
Steven said...

Steven, a product of an excellent education from the Sisters of Jesus and Mary

I know that all of you who have lamented the disappearance of the habit believe that you have God's vision of what is vital to the work of vowed religious. But I find it interesting that most of the folks advocating for a return to "traditional" religious garb are not religious women who had to wear those outdated, uncomfortable and sometimes injurious habits. When one says "traditional" what does that exactly mean? As a few commenters here have suggested, many of the orders were founded to be with and of the people. Some examples: The Presentation Sisters, The Sisters of St. Joseph and even the winged Daughters of Charity. St. Vincent de Paul did not want them wearing garb or living in convents that separated them from the poor with whom they worked. These orders were radical for their time. They were what you would call liberal. They changed religious life as the church knew it and they were opposed by the hierarchy and even the laity.

The key instruction for religious women from Vatican II is that they should research their roots and return to their founding charisms. Many were surprised to find out that the early sisters hadn't worn habits, but rather wore simple adaptations to the clothing of the day. Some dressed as widows in simple black clothing with a black head covering. None of these orders began with heavily starched headgear. The habits that you long to return to were the outcome of a theology based on the idea that all humans are depraved and that we should be hyper vigilant about our natural depravity. This directly contradicts the theology of the Church that asserts that we are made in the image and likeness of God.

Why is it bad for a sister to blend in with the laity? What if her "habit" is the way in which she dedicates her life to the service of God's less fortunate? The orders that dropped a "traditional" habit went through a very tortuous process that caused great challenges to these congregations. But most of the members of these orders (excluding the anecdotal stories of sisters who left because of the changes) will attest to the fact that they have come through the battles with a deeper sense of who they are and what they are to be in light of their Gospel call. And in all of these orders, sisters had the option to continue to wear religious garb. Who are we to judge that they are not the ones who are truly following that call? These women still live lives of prayer, reflection and constant discernment of the Spirit's invitation to be radical in their response to their call. They are the ones who (in spiritual discernment as an individual and as a member of a congregation of similarly dedicated women) get to decide what God wants of them.

Instead of focusing on how religious women are living out their call, we should be more focused on our own call to prayer, service and community. These are our baptismal commitments. Our call to a committed Christian life if no less intensity or importance as a sister's. Let's do our work to build God's kingdom here on earth and let the sisters decide their own design for assisting all of us to be more faithful to our commission as Christians. As Christ said clearly in the Gospel, "First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's (or in this case sister's) eye. Blessings on all of you who care so much about being sure there are visible signs of God's kingdom, but please remember that you must first be one yourself before demanding that others who are clearly doing the nitty gritty work of the Gospel follow your ideas of how it should be done.

del_button August 26, 2014 at 7:11 PM
Matthew said...

A "habit" is not a way. It's a garment. Stop giving in the wishy washy Vatican II ideas that have led to our religion being all but destroyed.

del_button September 14, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Jean said...

What I find comical in the abandonment of the habit is the fact that a sister/nun out of habit can be spotted a mile away. One might even be led to believe that JC Penney has a department for this type of clothing. These women might think they are blending in but they aren't. I've also witnessed a sense of detachment from orthodoxy in their gender based jargon and subtle resentment of the priesthood. I'm also not sure why they feel the need to associate themselves with an order when in many cases they don't adhere to any set of rules or live community life. I find it not only odd but suspicious.

del_button November 3, 2014 at 9:26 AM
Anonymous said...

Our nuns wore full habits of course for years, then adopted "shorter versions", which baffled even some local Protestants. In time, the new habits were discarded in favor of ordinary dresses or skirts, worn with a short veil. With hair visible, some of the nuns thought it "professional" to have their hair done. One in particular had her veil perched on top of a rather large bouffant! Then, the sisters eliminated their veils, added slacks to their wardrobe, and wore jewelry and even makeup, again, to "look professional". Guess it looked odd to wear veils while drinking and smoking, which some did. Eventually, a convent that had once house a dozen nuns had only five living in it. The women - er, sisters - opted for a rented apartment instead. The convent was sold, and later, the adjacent 100 year old church and school building. No idea where these nuns are now, and I am not equating the wearing of a habit with "stability", but what an odd decline and departure from the earlier "sense" of who they were and what they were "about", after they discarded it.

del_button November 3, 2014 at 9:31 AM
Anonymous said...

"If they decide to dress like laywomen, why don't they become laywomen?"

In the novel, "In This House of Brede", a Benedictine nun lamentis that contemplative nuns have turned to the work of the active orders, and active order nuns have turned to the work of laypeople. Perhaps - she adds - laypeople will turn to contemplation!

del_button February 28, 2015 at 6:38 PM
Anonymous said...

Beautifully said! Thank you!

del_button September 27, 2015 at 5:26 PM
Alex O'Brien said...

To rockandrollrev, I went to a convent school in England and those nuns wear a traditional habit (Bernadine Cistercians). Most traditionally garbed nuns are cloistered/semi-cloistered (as were those at my school) thus you are unlikely to see them much in public.

del_button January 9, 2016 at 6:21 AM
Carlo Bautista said...

I believe that all nuns should wear veils.

As you can see, a habit covers a nun's crowning glories, the parts of her body such as her veil. I believe nuns should wear this because apart from being a symbol that they are brides of Christ, and that they should not hoard attention for physical beauty, is that they are not the world's anymore, but God's. Wearing secular clothes means that you still belong to the world, and that your not a part of a Religious Order whose members dedicate themselves to be for God. You're part of something that is visible, but much, much less than God's powerful embrace. If you wear a veil, you hide yourself. You veil yourself. Your worldly attributes are sealed. You become hidden, just like God is. You belong to the Hidden God.
Nuns - true ones - should not be afraid to profess that by wearing their habits.

del_button September 24, 2016 at 8:08 PM
Anonymous said...

Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara wear full habits and they are active missionaries.

del_button October 24, 2016 at 3:29 PM
moni said...

A new Franciscan community in Ohio wear the full traditional habit. see:

del_button November 22, 2016 at 11:23 PM
Traditional said...

Those who want to abandon religious clothing for nuns, priests, etc. would probably think that Jesus hanging on the cross would look cool in a pair of gym shorts. That's a pretty big stretch of my feeble imagination, but my point is, some things should follow tradition. A modified version of the habit would be acceptable. They don't have to be floor length, but should be below the knee. And the head gear could be simplified. The "habit" sets a Catholic nun apart from lay people. It shows that she is special. It's a testimony to her commitment to God. It commands respect for her as a woman of God. Not too many guys would make advances (hit on) a nun. If she's dressed just like any other woman, how's he supposed to know. I know I am old fashioned and many will disagree with me but I'll bet many will agree. Personally, I am impressed when I see a nun in habit. It reminds me of my school days (1951 to 1958,) when I was taught by nuns wearing traditional habits. I even remember most of their names. One year I had a lay teacher and can not recall her name. The traditional nuns in their habits were special and made a big and lasting impression on my life and I thank God for them. Amen.

del_button January 16, 2017 at 12:06 PM
Anonymous said...

The situation is much worse than it seems on the surface. Many of the Nuns have decided in their orders not to wear the habit. Yes they are also taking regular jobs and living in apts. However they are also abandoning their traditional Vows and Missions.

They no longer want Poverty Chastity and obedience. They won't teach in the schools where we need them the most. They have taken on social and political issues. Those nuns seem to want the title of nun but nothing else. They use that title with moral authority when they need some backing. I know some of these nuns that dress like your Grandma and get a kick out of being a nun and surprising people.

Then I also know the Real Nuns-The Cloistered Dominicans Who's lives are dedicated to Christ - The Blessed Mother- The Sacred heart of Jesus- The Holy Rosary-The Church-and the Community-To talk with one of these women for ten minutes is like being on a weekend retreat. I feel so up lifted.

A huge Difference-

The Nuns I grew up with at School The Franciscans had updated 70s Habit....They were always so Joyful. They started eliminating the Veil in the late 80s and then the rest of it later....And now we no longer have the nuns or the schools.

The Nuns that are still around and not wearing the habit seem lost and well Sad or unhappy. But focused on their new missions.

Its all kinda sad however I believe things will get back to where they should be.

del_button March 19, 2018 at 9:41 PM
Stina G said...

Shame on you for assuming an order that has a modified habit is liberal. They are both orders of beautiful apostolic women (the Apostles and the Pauline sisters) who are very faithful to the Church and I know many of them by experience. I have also found a humanness, compassion and charity in these orders which is sadly not always present in full habit wearing sisters. The true test of holiness is in charity and virtue. Not solely in a rule of appearance.

del_button March 19, 2018 at 9:46 PM
Stina G said...

This is beautiful.

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