Thank You, Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives

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Overview

Since the April 2012 announcement of the Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, there has been considerable media attention focused on Catholic Sisters.

The first report, and the consequent naming of bishop-oversight and guidance of LCWR for the next five years, has resulted in an outcry of support for U.S. religious sisters from much of the Church, and a concurrent outcry of support for the ...

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Thank You, Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives

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Overview

Since the April 2012 announcement of the Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, there has been considerable media attention focused on Catholic Sisters.

The first report, and the consequent naming of bishop-oversight and guidance of LCWR for the next five years, has resulted in an outcry of support for U.S. religious sisters from much of the Church, and a concurrent outcry of support for the Holy See and criticism of sisters from other parts of the Church. There has not been much reliable analysis of this reaction yet: Is it liberal-conservative? Young or old? Neither is the point of this book.

Thank You, Sisters highlights the positive impact that sisters have had on a cross-section of Catholics. It steps back from finger-pointing and position-taking and simply tells inspiring, true stories of Sisters and the people they have influenced. The book shows the effect religious women have had not only on the U.S. Catholic Church, but on the nation as a whole, in areas such as health care, education, social justice, and pastoral ministry.

The contributors to this book are prominent Catholics who write from a wide range of experience. They include:

  • James Martin, S.J.
  • Cokie Roberts
  • Mary Fishman— producer of Band of Sisters
  • Adriana Trigiani
  • Binka Le Breton, on Amazon martyr Sister Dorothy Stang
  • Maureen Orth
  • Liz Scott, on Sr. Helen Prejean
  • Teresa Gardner and Sr. Chris Kenney
  • Maurice Nutt, C.S.S.R. on Sr. Thea Bowman
  • Teresa Wilson on Sr. Joan Chittister
  • Dan Horan, O.F.M.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Since the Vatican started its investigation of women religious in 2009, American Catholics have rallied around the sisters, applauding their work on the edges of church and society. Feister, editor-in-chief of St. Anthony Messenger, adds to chorus of praise with this compilation of essays, a response to the investigation’s April 2012 report. Together, the essays are repetitive but fit Feister’s goal: to show women religious as compassionate, generous, joyful, faithful, and prophetic—“heroic examples of Christian living.” The essays that stand out tell sisters’ stories rather than listing their qualities and achievements. While most feature sisters whose service is unknown outside their communities, highlights include the essays on anti-death-penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean (of Dead Man Walking fame) and Sister Dorothy Stang, murdered for her activism in the Brazilian rainforest. A surprise comes in a priest’s tale of how three sisters taught him how to preach—despite not being able to preach themselves. As Feister hopes, the book will spark Catholics of a certain age to recall the women religious in their lives and spread an appreciation for sisters’ influence in society. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"Since the Vatican started its investigation of women religious in 2009, American Catholics have rallied around the sisters, applauding their work on the edges of church and society. Feister, editor-in-chief of St. Anthony Messenger, adds to chorus of praise with this compilation of essays, a response to the investigation’s April 2012 report. Together, the essays...fit Feister’s goal: to show women religious as compassionate, generous, joyful, faithful, and prophetic—“heroic examples of Christian living.” The essays that stand out tell sisters’ stories rather than listing their qualities and achievements. While most feature sisters whose service is unknown outside their communities, highlights include the essays on anti-death-penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean (of Dead Man Walking fame) and Sister Dorothy Stang, murdered for her activism in the Brazilian rainforest. A surprise comes in a priest’s tale of how three sisters taught him how to preach—despite not being able to preach themselves. As Feister hopes, the book will spark Catholics of a certain age to recall the women religious in their lives and spread an appreciation for sisters’ influence in society." - Publishers Weekly, Reviewed on 01/11/2013

"I heartily recommend Thank You, Sisters, and hasten to include my own personal gratitude and praise to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who taught with great humor and compassion and helped form my conscience at Holy Trinity Parish and School in Dayton, Ohio. Thank you, Sisters, indeed." -Martin Sheen, actor

"There are books which are written and there are books which need to be written. This is one of the latter. And yet it did not really need to be written, because anyone with eyes already knows it is true. This book is just pure celebration and gratitude!" -Richard Rohr, O.F.M., author, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps

Library Journal
One of the more shameful episodes in an inglorious recent history was the Catholic Church's scolding assessment of American nuns, reproving them for doing what the Gospel says rather than obeying their male superiors; this brief riposte includes several true stories of American Catholic nuns and the lives they have touched. VERDICT Nothing will puncture the Vatican's shell, but these touching stories should help remind American Christians of the immense benefits brought by Catholic Sisters.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616365325
  • Publisher: Franciscan Media
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Pages: 129
  • Sales rank: 1,081,199
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

John Feister is editor-in-chief of St. Anthony Messenger magazine and other periodicals at Franciscan Media. He is coauthor, with Charlene Smith, F.S.P.A., of the Christopher Award-winning Thea's Song: The Life of Thea Bowman, and has cowritten four books with Richard Rohr, O.F.M.: Radical Grace: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr; Jesus' Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount; Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety; and Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality.

Feister has interviewed and written about celebrities from Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, Iran hostage Terry Anderson, Thea Bowman, F.S.P.A., Helen Prejean, C.S.J., actresses Susan Sarandon and Roma Downey, Cardinal Roger Mahony, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan. He holds a bachelor's degree in American studies from the University of Dayton, and masters degrees from Xavier University in Cincinnati in humanities and theology.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Introducing his new book, Than You, Sisters, John Feister refers

    Introducing his new book, Than You, Sisters, John Feister refers to the U.S. Catholic Bishops' 2012 takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an organization composed of women who lead 80 percent of the 59,000 Catholic Sisters in the U.S. Feister recalls being surprised by the bishops' move, which generated considerable public support for the Sisters. Among the comments was a tweet from James Martin, S.J: "Thank you, Sisters," that became the inspiration for Feister's book. He recruited a variety of authors to write essays on positive effects Sisters have had on their lives.

    The first entry, written by two journalists, Cokie Roberts and her husband Steven V. Roberts, focuses on the gift women religious have been giving to the Church and country for the past 300 years. The essay singles out Rose Philippine Duchesne, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Katharine Drexel, and Frances Cabrini, all of whom have been canonized.

    In another piece, Liz Scott Monaghan, a freelance journalist, shares the story of her relationship with Sister Helen Prejean, a well-known opponent of the death penalty. The essay begins with Monaghan as a Catholic school pre-teen sneaking by the convent to avoid being caught wearing short shorts.

    In an interview with freelancer Judy Ball, Fr. James Martin, S.J. cites women religious as some of the most influential people in his life. He has been astonished by their ability to minister in a situation in which they are powerless. Powerless in the institution of the Church, he explains, yet filled with moral and spiritual power among the people of God.

    Another priest, Maurice J. Nutt, C.SS.R., writes about three Sisters who taught seminary classes in homiletics. He admits to being baffled that they would dedicate much of their lives and ministries to formation of men to preach the Gospel, a ministry that Sisters are not officially allowed to practice at Mass.

    Many of the 12 contributors have worked alongside women religious delivering food, clothing, and basic health care for those in extreme poverty. Others have joined the Sisters in support of political issues such as obtaining fair wages for farm workers and protesting the School of the Americas.

    Thank You, Sisters pays tribute to some unsung heroes and provides inspiration to the rest of us.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 26, 2013

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