Monday, May 28, 2007

Sisters of Life rock!

To mainstream media outlets covering the surge in certain orders' vocations, the youthful Sisters of Life have become the rock stars of the religious world. The prevailing angle is that they are Just Like You and Me except that they're nuns.

There's this cool clip on YouTube from a documentary:

And there's MTV's profile, "Young Nuns Get Into the Habit."

Both of these clips somehow omit manage to omit entirely the fact that the sisters do more than pray and study the Bible.

The Sisters of Life do what no government agency does, and what very few even in the pro-life movement accomplish: giving a full range of practical as well as emotional support to pregnant women who want to choose life but face obstacles such as poverty, abusive boyfriends or family members, or joblessness. These nuns double as social workers, providing shelter when necessary and helping the women they serve to get their lives together so that they can be fully prepared to mother their children. More than that, the sisters train volunteers who in turn open their hearts and sometimes homes to pregnant women in need of respite, who often have few friends or family who support their choosing life. And that's just some of their work; they also do much more. While others talk about building a culture of life, the Sisters of Life are quietly, humbly, doing it.

I'm sorry to say that there is precious little on the Web that captures the breadth of the sisters' apostolate, though their home page gives an overview. The best encapsulation I can find is a couple of pages from their newsletter. Read the stories about Susan, who went through their Entering Canaan program for post-abortive women, and Josenia, a pregnant young woman they helped, who I met at the sisters' Sacred Heart convent.

For the sake of the Sisters of Life and those whom they help, I'm very happy if all the attention they receive draws women to enter the order. At the same time, I hope that one of the camera crews beating down their door can stop videotaping their roller-hockey games long enough to show the truly remarkable work they do for the women and families they serve.