AMERICA/UNITED STATES - Religious habit testifies, attracts and encourages evangelization

Tuesday, 30 April 2019 faith   evangelization   consecrated life   orders  

Irondale (Agenzia Fides) - "People do not need religious people who are like one of them, just as children do not need parents who are their friends or companions. They need religious people who guide them to Heaven": says Sister Miriam of the Lamb of God, foundress of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Hope of Israel, explaining the importance that the consecrated communities in America assign to their habit for the purpose of Christian witness, of mission and evangelization.
Sister Miriam comments that she wanted to wear a dress down to her feet, which had caught her attention when she was a young Jewish woman, without any knowledge of the Catholic faith.
"I walk the streets and shopping malls, and people come up to me and often ask me: Are you a nun? I thought they did not exist anymore! And they ask me for prayers. The habit brings hope to society and the world", she concludes. Marie Andre, abbess of the monastery of Our Lady of Solitude in Tonopah (Arizona) according to the US magazine "National Catholic Register" says: "We love our clothes! And whether you believe it or not, they are practical and propitious for our contemplative life, even in the desert. We are covered from head to toe, like most people who live in arid and very hot lands, but our clothes are comfortable".
According to brother Glenn Sudano, priest and co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, the habit recalls the identity of a Capuchin friar and the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, represented by the three nodes of the belt that tie his grey tunic. "We dress like this every day, he explains. "If you meet me on the subway, on a plane or at home, you would always see me like this". "The reaction to the way we dress - he adds - is positive, even if some young people do not know who we are. We travel often, and people respect us. We wear our clothes with a smile", he concludes.
Sister Clare Matthias, general superior of the Franciscan Sisters of Renewal, also emphasizes that the typical way of dressing the religious makes them easily identifiable and therefore "tells people that we are here to help them. I walk down the street and people stop me, because they want to talk to me", she notes. "People start an immediate conversation with us, they immediately share their lives and ask us for prayers". "In New York we are now part of the social panorama", she comments in a friendly manner. (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 30/4/2019)