Sisters better served in traditional habits


To the Editor:
This letter is in reference to the article “Sisters make presence known in various ways” (Sept. 5, 2013, The Catholic Messenger). When I picked up the Messenger on this day at first glance I thought the photo on the front page was perhaps a Catholic exercise class. If there hadn’t been a caption, I wouldn’t have known I was looking at a group of religious Sisters.
After reading the article several times I can’t help wonder why they wouldn’t want to wear the traditional habit; after all, it stood for poverty, chastity and obedience to the Lord and his Church. The Church is strong because of 2,000 years of tradition. Sister Anne Martin Phelan, the president of the Clinton Franciscans, notes that a traditional habit made a boundary between the people. I disagree. Just look at Mother Teresa of Calcutta, or Mother Angelica, the founder of EWTN.
I believe the habits actually help the Sisters to gain support for their causes and programs. I think they help others to feel the presence of God. And those beautiful smiling faces, don’t we want to know their special love of God causes them to be so joyful? How many people on the street go up to a Sister in street clothes and ask her to pray for their sick mother? I just believe that religious Sisters are better served in traditional habits.
William Kieffert
St. Alphonsus Parish, Davenport

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