Sister Sister

I'm not a cradle Catholic.  There are things that I continue to learn about the Church, the religious vocations and traditions all the time...sometimes from my friends, sometimes from my kids, and often from the wonderful priests and religious that serve our diocese.  I've said before that we are blessed.  It's not just a cliche's TRUE.  I know it, because I feel it...I see it...other people outside of our diocese say so.  I don't really have much experience outside this diocese, considering that my first experiences in the Catholic Church in college were also in the Lincoln diocese.  When we're on vacation, visiting friends or family is really the only time I've experienced the Church in another diocese.  (I guess I "entered" the Church in the Omaha diocese, which was good for me at the time...someday I'll write about why)

To summarize, in my words, the Lincoln diocese is very traditional, conservative and "black-and-white".  Very fitting, and I'm glad we're part of it.  One of the things that I completely took for granted, thinking it was no different anywhere else, was that our priests and religious sisters LOOK like they are just that.  Why wouldn't they?  What I mean is that they are in uniform...or habits (or clerics).  I guess I didn't realize it was optional.  There are nuns that teach in our school.  There is another order that teaches in some of the other Catholic schools.  There are several other orders that serve in many different arenas, in many different ways.  It is beautiful.

Over the years, I've had the opportunities to get to know many of these men and women as friends.  Multiple opportunities have been provided for our children to do the same, and for that I am so very grateful!  They have so much to teach and give, and I think that they do a beautiful job of making their choice of a religious vocation desirable.  I am pleased that our children consider a religious vocation as much a possiblity as any other. 

We've enjoyed getting to know several Christ the King School Sisters since they teach in our school and in the school that Grandma A helps in, and the kids were thrilled when we went to visit the Marian Sisters, and recognized one of the novices as a dear family friend.

We've gotten the chance several times to visit the Sisters at their home.  They're always extremely hospitable, eager to answer any questions the kids have, and teach us something new almost every time!  And of course, they can't resist having fun with the kids!

Sister toted us in a golf cart to their new retreat house for a tour, and then an encore joy ride before leaving.

Millie's godmother and her children and my goddaughter and her brothers (all the same family :) ) joined us to visit the Marians before school started.  From there we had lunch together at SAM'S.  Imagine the looks we got as Melissa and I walked in with 13 kids between the two of us!!

The older boys and Tim were invited to serve Mass with the Bishop for a special Labor Day Mass at the Motherhouse during a conference.  What a treat to be there and see these beautiful women in multiple different habits and learn of different orders.  Again...I'm thrilled that these opportunities are set in front of our children. 

The event was indeed a privilege!  Many, many thanks we give for these wonderful women of God!  We look forward to many years of their inspiration and love!  Not too many years ago, I was certain that priests and nuns were living in a whole different world!  It truly and embarrasingly never even crossed my mind that they are simply normal human beings who love the Lord very much and have been called by Him to serve Him in a different capacity than He has called me--a different vocation.  I'm happy to be able to dispell such silly notions.  I would indeed be please if any of my children followed God's call to the religious life, and for that, I can thank the nuns and priests and religious brothers and seminarians!