Skip to comments.Sister or Nun: What’s the Difference?
Posted on 09/24/2014 9:37:00 PM PDT by Morgana
Sister Timothy, are you a nun? Well, I do wear a long brown habit and I have professed three vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty, in consecration to God forever. But am I a nun? My name is SISTER Timothy Marie. But am I a nun?
Here is the answer. In a practical, everyday sense people have no hesitation about identifying me as a carmelitesheaderCatholic nun. Yet, in the technical sense of the real definition I am not. So, what am I? I have entered a consecrated life, and I am a woman religious. I am a sister. Ill explain.
There are many different communities of women religious, each one bringing a specific gift, or charism, to the treasure house of grace that is the Church. Each communitys charism is for the good of and at the service of the Church and her members.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicexchange.com ...
One would never ask: “Nun Timothy, are you a sister?”
From the name, for a second I was scared this was one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
She was named after St. Timothy.
My brother has a blog and at times writes about his Catholic school experiences with nuns or sisters (they’re all the same to him).
Aren’t all nuns sisters, but not all sisters are nuns?
My memory, such as it is, was that ‘nuns’ were cloistered? Didn’t clic to read the article, sorry, just too tired.
I went and had a look at your brother’s page - I really enjoyed his writing. So tell him, if you will, a guy from Australia was reading his page and most enjoyed his reminiscing and his easy writing style!
No, not all nuns are sisters. Some are “Dames” and others are “Mothers.”
“Women Religious on the Bus” certainly doesn’t have a ring to it. Nevertheless, none of those baby-murdering harridans is a nun.
That’s what I have known all my life.
I don’t see a meaningful distinction. They are both devoted to religious service.
And that’s what the Catholic Dictionary basically says.
I will say that Sisters who are referred to as Nuns generally don't correct anyone on it.
True, but that's not the same. Priests are ordained and Brothers are not, even in the same religious order.
I think the technical distinction between "sisters" and "nuns" is their vows: "nuns" of various orders take permanent vows, while "sisters" take temporary vows (one year, three years, five years).
Thus, you can have "sisters" and "nuns" in the same order, and you can have "sisters" who are enclosed ("cloistered") and nuns who are not.
I’m not the expert here, but I never heard of a ‘sister’ taking a temporary vow. IIRC, they go thru several phases prior to taking their vows, but once the vows are taken, they are meant to be for life.
And, I don’t think most orders have “nuns,” only sisters. The leaders of which orders can be ‘Mother Superior” or whatever title the order may bestow, but still from a Church perspective a “sister,” not a “nun.”
You could be right. I’m not going on a search for the information.
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