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Roman Catholic Sisters and Nuns

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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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