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Roman Catholic Sisters and Nuns

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  • Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gardner (1933 - 1995)
    On July 16, 2014, scholarships were awarded to 12 Notre Dame Health Care employees in honor of Sr. Mary Gardner. Sr. Mary joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at age 16, eventually earning her GED...
  • Sr. Julia Meehan (1911 - 1996)
    Was a Dominican nun and taught school at St. John's in Cambridge
  • Hester Doyle (1880 - 1956)
    Ursula Leslie cousin 7/1/08 at 12:16 pm Aunt Esther was Inspectress of Schools, and would travel all over and visit SSJ schools. She was stationed in Bayonne, NJ for the longest time. That was her ho...
  • Lady Barbara Fitzroy, Prioress of St. Nicholas de Pontoise (c.1672 - 1737)
    From Darryl Lundy's Peerage page on Barbara Fitzroy: The Peerage Wikipedia Barbara Fitzroy was born on 16 July 1672. She was the daughter of Sir John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and Ba...
  • Venerable Maria Beatrice Rosario of Visitation Arroyo (1884 - 1937)
    Maria Beatriz del Rosario Pidal Arroyo was a Filipino nun and the founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines. She is currently in consideration for sainthood in the Rom...

Roman Catholic Sisters and Nuns

While the terms nun and sister are often interchanged, within Roman Catholicism there is a difference between the two.

A Catholic nun is a woman who lives as a contemplative life in a monastery which is usually cloistered (or enclosed) or semi-cloistered. Her ministry and prayer life is centred within and around the monastery for the good of the world. She professes the perpetual solemn vows living a life according to the evangelical counsels of poverty, celibacy, and obedience.

A Catholic sister is a woman who lives, ministers, and prays within the world. A sister's life is often called "active" or "apostolic" because she is engaged in the works of mercy and other ministries that take the Gospel to others where they are. She professes perpetual simple vows living a life according to the evangelical counsels of poverty, celibacy, and obedience

A nun usually leaves mainstream society in order to live a life of prayer and contemplation in a monastery, a cloister or a convent.

The religious community of a nun is referred to as a "religious order" while the religious community of a sister is referred to as an "institute" or "congregation". All nuns are religious sisters, but not all religious sisters are, correctly speaking, nuns.

Nuns and sisters are distinguished by the vows they take (solemn vows versus simple vows) and the focus of their work.

Nuns are restricted from leaving the cloister. Essentially the work of a nun is within the confines of her monastery, while the work of a sister is in the greater world.

Both sisters and nuns are addressed as "Sister".

Please add profiles of both sisters and nuns to this project

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