Monday, April 28, 2014

Nuns can have nose rings? (and other frequently asked questions)

One of my favorite things about being a young sister-in-formation is allowing people to ask me their burning (and sometimes silly) questions about religious life.  Questions like: Do nuns have jobs?  Can you still go dancing and swimming?  You mean you get to keep that nose ring?

Becoming a sister right now is an interesting thing: religious life has changed drastically in the past fifty years, but many people’s stereotypes about it haven’t.  Many of these stereotypes seem superficial (ie- all nuns wear habits; nuns don’t dance) but they may reflect deeper misconceptions about religious life… like the idea that sisters are somehow more holy or less human than “normal” people.  For a long time, my own misconceptions kept me from really considering religious life.

And so I enjoy the questions.  I love making people feel free to ask them, and I love surprising them with the answers.  After all, they aren’t really asking about my nose ring; they want to know about this way of life.  So I tell them: for me, pursuing religious life is liberating, life-giving, and joyful beyond words.  It’s a journey I’m excited to continue… with my nose ring intact.

How about you?  What are some stereotypes you have about religious life?  Might they be holding you back from giving it some thought?

Christin Tomy, Candidate

Jacksonville, FL

5 comments:

  1. Congratulations and Welcome to the Dominican Family Christin! I love this article - it really is not about the nose-ring! I get asked the same about my multiple earrings and wearing flip-flops or the tattoo [a flower] on my back. It's really about what's in your heart and your passion --- sharing your love of God with a wider community! Thank you for your, "YES!" I hope to meet you one day! [aneesah mcnamee, op]

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  2. Christin,
    I have really enjoyed getting to know you through this blog. I too have fielded many a similar question during my candidacy journey. Looking forward to meeting you at the CDN.
    Blessings on your journey,
    Kelly Moline, Candidate Springfield, IL

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  3. Christin,

    I love your response and your questions? I am glad we walk, as Joan Chittister says, "As Global Sisters". I hope to see your smiling face (with or without the nose ring ;-) Sometime real soon... And agreed... it is not whats on your face or about appearances it is about what is in your heart and how we give to the world.

    Mallorie Gerwitz, Candidate with the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth

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  4. Christin- yo are spot on! Here's a link to article that talks about commonly held misperspections about sisters. http://www.uscatholic.org/articles/201403/debunking-five-myths-about-nuns-28612

    Rejane

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