Joy in Ottawa: Religious Sisters With Habits

Today, my family and I had the great honour to attend the ceremony establishing the Queenship of Mary as a “private” association in the Catholic Church where four brave women professed their temporary vows, and received their habit and new religious names.  My own personal connection with this religious community involves being a long time friend of one of the Sisters, then Madeleine Thomson now Sr. Marie Madeleine de la Misericorde.  The particular charism of this association is evangelization and service.  (Read their January Newsletter: part 1, 2.)

The event was truly momentous because it shows that the Catholic Church’s religious vocations are really starting to grow and spread. With the institution of this private association (which in time will become a “public association” with all of the canonical rights and responsibilities), it also shows that the Holy Spirit is moving amongst us and giving us hope in the spiritual war in which we are embroiled.

The thing about Religious Sisters is that their formation strikes against the “professionalism” that has crept into the Church over the past 40 years.  This “professionalism” sought to make priests more like social workers, shrinks, and media celebrities instead of spiritual fathers of our Catholic family.  Now with the nascent growth of communities of religious sisters with habits, it begins to undermine and ultimately destroy the model of the Church and the Priest that our Enemy was trying to establish. 

Professionals, after all, don’t sacrifice.  They do a job and they get paid with money or recognition. 

These Sisters and growing communities like theirs (i.e. the Sisters of Life who were showing their support at the Mass today, joining in the celebration) stand as a rebuke to that thinking because they call the Church and Her priests back to poverty, chastity, and obedience through their humble service.

You see, folks, when the Nuns threw off their habits and cried out for liberation, “respect”, and power in the 60s and 70s, they became little more than social workers with a cross.  They were played by the Devil and the Devil flipped them a bone for their troubles.  Little did they know that, instead of gaining power, they were throwing it all away when they threw away those habits and what those habits represented.  Real power, true power, only comes through the Cross of Jesus Christ and Faith in Him and in His Church. 

If you want to know who has the true power in the Catholic Church, don’t necessarily look at the bishop with the mitre or the priest with the collar.  Look at the Sister with the habit because through her humble submission, she’s a woman who’s moving heaven and earth. 

Salvation, after all, did come through a woman.


The Sisters have found their first temporary home at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Metcalfe while they search for some land to build their permanent home.  Rich Catholic benefactors should take the opportunity to reflect on Purgatory and how sacrifices and penances on this side of heaven may lessen their time there, provided, of course, they make a proper sacramental confession and have true contrition.

Presentation of the Habits:

Presentation of the Sisters to the Catholic community assembled:

Wide view in the beautiful little Chapel of  Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral:

Upstairs awaiting Mass, enjoying the splendor of our rich Catholic architectural heritage:

Profession of temporary vows:

Downstairs at the Reception.  Archbishop Prendergast can be seen in his slick burgundy.  He was taking pictures.  He’ll probably have something up on his blog about this great event tomorrow.  Had a chance to say hello to him as he met my family.   “Uh, so what’s your name again?” “John Pacheco, your Grace.”  “Oh, yeah, we’ve me before, haven’t we?” :mrgreen:

My girls presenting Sister Madeleine with roses for her new vocation in Christ.

7 thoughts on “Joy in Ottawa: Religious Sisters With Habits

  1. Oh I’m so sorry I had to miss it. Just couldn’t be pulled away. So happy for the Sisters. I hope they stick around and show up for 40 Days for Life. We need them!!!

  2. I am so very happy to see habits coming back! It may seem silly, but when I was considering my vocation one of the big things that turned me against becoming a Sister was the lack of identity that going habit-less entails (at least on the surface). I did not feel that I could find fulfillment as a ‘social worker with a cross’ who had no visible identity or community.
    I think it is very telling that it is the traditional orders who are attracting young women.

  3. It is truly a blessing to have such a wonderful new “private association of the faithful” that the Queenship of Mary is, in our archdiocese. We in Ottawa are truly blessed to have these women who strive for fidelity to the Church and holiness in their own personal lives, as well as helping others obtain holiness — through their apostolate — here in the Nation’s Capital.

    Religious sisters need to wear the habit, for it is a beautiful sign of their consecration to Our Lord. And what a lovely Marian habit these sisters have! I really wish I could have come to the ceremony, but was unfortunately unable to. Priests too should be faithful to wearing the Roman Collar (and, I believe, the cassock as well), for the world has become so highly secularised that it needs to be reminded of the pre-eminence of God through religious signs and symbols.

    I will remember the Queenship of Mary sisters in my prayers at the altar of God. May Our Blessed Mother watch over and protect them, and help them obtain many holy vocations for Holy Mother Church.

  4. I feel too that nuns should proudly wear their habits. I had 3 aunts who were grey nuns and I felt closer to God in their presence since their habits were a witness as well. Since the nuns , in general, have stopped wearing the habits, I don’t know where they are and who they are. They JUST blend in society. Tjhank you for those who are wearing the habit. God bless you all.

  5. For years I wear wooden cross (3 cm) on top of my sweater. Four strangers said “I like your little cross”. Started yearly May procession thru the streets, then Mary-crowning in church. Pray rosary once a week (good weather)at Mary-statue downtown, hanging sign “Whether glad,sad or wary, pause a while, say a Hail Mary”. Some pedestrians come, touch statue.Always receive H.Host on tongue, not in hand. I Make sign of cross before any meal, also in restaurant, alone or with persons who don’t.Always kneel for Consecration(in aisle if needed). God sees you.

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