Faithful Witness as Women in the Church

Written on: February 21, 2020

We Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart have committed ourselves to “offering faithful witness as women in the Church.” We want to highlight the many expressions of faithful witness offered by women religious who have gone before us and those who continue today. We pray to be inspired by their example to enliven and refresh our commitment to give witness by our words and actions as Gospel women, followers of Jesus, daughters of St. Marguerite, and women of the Church.

We begin our reflection on faithful witness of women in the Church throughout history with the Beguines. We are grateful to Sister Patricia Geary, GNSH, who researched and wrote about this fascinating movement in the Europe of the 12th and 13th centuries. We hope you enjoy Sr. Patricia’s article and we welcome your comments afterwards.

The Beguines of Medieval Europe: Mystics and Visionaries

Sr. Patricia A. Geary, GNSH

Who were these single or widowed medieval women who moved from farms to cities to live together as a religious community, yet were not officially nuns? The women, known as ‘beguines…continue reading

Sister Thea Bowman

Sr. Eileen Spanier, GNSH

A brief look into Sister Thea’s life will prove that she is truly a “faithful witness” in the Church. Born on December 29, 1937 in Yazoo City, Mississippi, Bertha Elizabeth Bowman was the only child of Theon Bowman, a physician and Mary Esther, a teacher. She referred to herself as an “olde folks’ child” . . . continue reading

The Life of St. Zita

Sr. Ann Zita, GNSH

Zita was born into a poor but devout Christian family in the year 1211.  At the age of 12, Zita became a housekeeper in the house of a rich weaver named Fontinelli in Lucca, Italy. She stayed with that family for the last forty-eight years of her life. She would rise several hours before the rest of the family . . . continue reading

Faithful Witness of Collaboration: AWE

Sr. Diane Bardol, GNSH

“The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men (and women) of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.” . . .continue reading

Faithful Witness at Gerard Place

Sr. Barbara Schiavoni, GNSH

When Sisters come together to serve, the creative energy of the Holy Spirit is released. Gerard Place exemplifies the power of this collaboration. . .continue reading

Faithful Witness: The Amazon Synod

Sr. Eileen White, GNSH

Last October, Pope Francis convoked an Amazon Synod, that is, a meeting of Church representatives to look at the gifts, needs, and concerns of the people of the Amazon regions of South America, which includes Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. . .continue reading

Faithful Witness: Sacred Heart Center

Sr. Sheila Stone, GNSH

I look around my environs, my neighborhood, my parish and see so many giving faithful witness as women in the Church during this strange time of pandemic, isolation, distancing and deprivation. When we get stripped down to essentials, faith is certainly one of them. . .continue reading

Faithful Witness: Faithful Women, Birthing Justice

Sr. Dolores O’Dowd

Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart – creating a compassionate world. Compassion is an eminently feminine word coming as it does from the Hebrew and Arabic root for womb. . .continue reading

Faithful Witness: Faithful Women- Learning to Pivot  

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Looby GNSH

One thing of many that I admire about St. Marguerite d’Youville was her ability to adapt, to pivot! She did it gracefully and intentionally. It was said of her that when others came along and began to do a charitable work that she was involved in. . .continue reading

Faithful Witness: Open to Possibilities

Sr. Eileen Spanier, GNSH

The life of Sister Mary Luke Tobin, S.L. was one of being open to possibilities. This skill served her well when she was invited to participate in the Second Vatican Council… continue reading

Faithful Witness through simple, ordinary lives in service to others

Sr. Julia Lanigan, GNSH

Our faithful witness most often is in the form of simple, ordinary lives in service to others. As women, in our homes, among our family, neighbors, friends and coworkers, we take care of others…continue reading>>

Faithful Witness as Women in the Church- A Letter to My Brothers

Sr. Bridget Connor, GNSH

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:28. All are baptized as brothers and sisters in Christ, not baptized a little bit – but as full members of the church. . . continue reading>>

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