Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review of the Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns, Episodes 5 & 6

Left to Right: Francesca, Claire, Eseni, Christie; Stacey

The fifth episode began with people at a bar commenting to the women, "You're too hot to be nuns." I was so grateful that the young women replied back that a calling has nothing to do with how someone looks. When someone says that to me, I don't know what to think or feel. I'm flattered that they find me pretty, but even more so, I feel like a mama bear for Sisters everywhere. Obviously, they haven't seen many Sisters.

Again, how someone looks on the outside has nothing to do with one's vocation. I don't even know how those two things relate to each other. It's not like married women are still available, so it can't be "a waste" to give your life to God.
"For the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." - 1 Samuel 16:7b, NRSV
The remainder of that episode as well as the finale had a central question of "What is authentic discernment?" The answer is not so simple that a person just needs to follow a checklist. Every person's journey is different. Some people have been in romantic relationships before entering religious life. Some have not. Some have visited a variety of Communities before deciding on one. Some only needed to visit one or two. Regardless, when you know, you know.

As I watched the final two episodes, I was so excited for Christie and Claire! I saw so many parallels to finding my own Community and I could not be happier that they discovered where to begin formation. Not everyone can say they found their Congregation on a reality TV show, which is another wonderful example of God calling people in different ways! For those who could not watch the show, Christie discerned to enter the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence in Chicago, Illinois, and Claire discerned to enter the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker in Walton, Kentucky.

Eseni discerned that God is calling her to be a wife and mother. She also decided to go back to school to become a pediatric nurse. She was glowing in the last episode! I was just as happy for her as I was for Claire and Christie.

As for Francesca, their discernment will continue into the future, but she seemed to get a lot out of the process and was able to inspire others. She had a warm connection with the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm in Germantown, NY and said that she would continue to keep in touch with them.

Stacey had probably the biggest turn of events, because on the show she had said she might join Christie in Chicago, but she just tweeted the following:

This even came as a surprise to Francesca who had been discerning alongside her on the show:

Only God knows how things will turn out for these five women. Even Christie and Claire are free to end the process if they feel God calling them elsewhere. A person who enters a convent does not sign her life away and she most certainly is not brainwashed into doing so. All God asks of us is that we are faithful to Him and to love with the fullest sense of the word agape.

In my final analysis of The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns, I believe that it was a worthwhile program and a good introduction to the Year of Consecrated Life! I have enjoyed covering the episodes, and I am looking forward to continuing the discussion of living religious life through future blog entries.


  1. Thank you, Sister Monica, for your steadfast blogging on your personal convictions regarding discernment of a Life Call. I agree that the program along with your response has been a good introduction to the Year of Consecrated Life. There is much to ponder in the insights you shared.
    Sister Natalie

  2. Thank you, Sister Natalie for your thoughtful comment!

    P.S. I'm keeping you in special prayer today, for your birthday! :)

  3. I have not heard of this show before reading your blog, but after reading your review it's something I would like to watch.

  4. Thanks, Sister Monica, for the insights you shared in regard to the program. You made it clear that discernment is unique for each person and grounded in a personal relationship with God. May He continue to lead you and all those open to listening and following the call that God places in our hearts.

  5. Fantastic blog ty although I am not Catholic it has helped bring my faith back into my life , religeon has such bad connotations in the press now days seeing such joy And good work was uplifting

  6. Missed my calling decades ago... I still pray to a bride of Christ on this earth before my mortal body dies.... currently, my vocation is as a caretaker. I believe that if in the future I can realize my first vocation I would love to continue to be a caretaker for those that have spent their lives as brides of Christ if that is God's will. But, then the issue becomes what community will take an older female... I am 53 now... few convents are open to those that are aging. Continue to seek God's will in this matter.

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