In a recent video posted by Ascension Presents, Sister Mary Grace and Sister Marie Veritas of the Sisters of Life answer some of the most-asked questions about nuns and religious sisters on the internet.
Some questions include “Do sisters still exist?” and “How do sisters get their names?” Others cover their habits and daily life.
“It’s really a privilege to speak on behalf of sisters of the world,” Sister Marie Veritas begins.
“We’ll do our best,” Sister Mary Grace adds.
Do nuns or sisters have cell phones?
“We don’t have our personal cell phones, we have landlines,” Sister Mary Grace says, also explaining how reliable and helpful they are.
Sister Marie Veritas adds that they sometimes have mission-shared cell phones, which may not be true for every religious order.
Do sisters still exist?
Sister Mary Grace pipes up at this question, recalling her first meeting with a sister at age 18.
“I had no idea that they were still even around. I thought that they were kind of like an extinct species or something, but clearly not! Still here.”
Why are sisters only female?
“If you read all through scripture, God talks about how He’s like the bridegroom to Israel. It’s like this love story between bridegroom and bride. The Church is the new Israel. So as sisters, we’re like an image of the Church, 'in persona Ecclesiae.' So in a way, yeah, we’re brides of Christ. We’re brides of the heart of God. That’s why we’re female,” Sister Marie Veritas explains.
Sister Mary Grace adds that they also reflect the Blessed Mother.
How do sisters get their names?
“That’s another thing I didn’t know until I entered the convent,” Sister Mary Grace says.
The sisters chuckle.
Sister Mary Grace shares what a gift it is that they get new names upon entering the convent. She also shares a brief story on how she arrived at her own name.
“It’s a mystery, but God literally gives it.”
Sister Marie Veritas adds, “It really comes through prayer and then discernment. You’re talking with Mother Superior and it’s pretty awesome.”
Can sisters drive?
The sisters share that they do indeed drive, and a lot.
“Depending on your mission, too, you might actually get around quite a lot,” Sister Mary Grace says.
Why are nuns called sisters?
Sister Marie Veritas explains the crucial difference between a nun and a religious sister.
“Nuns actually refer to women who are religious women who give their lives totally for the Lord, but they’re cloistered so they actually stay in a convent and they basically spend their lives praying for the world.”
She then elaborates on sisters like herself.
“Women who are religious who are in the world helping people are called sisters,” Sister Marie Veritas explains.
Sister Mary Grace adds that you might see more sisters in public, but nuns are the "heartbeat of the Church."
What do sisters eat?
“You’ll be happy to know that we usually eat three meals a day and the gift of living in community is that we usually eat those three meals together,” Sister Mary Grace says.
How do sisters make money?
The sisters note that every order is different when it comes to making money.
“In a general sense, there’s a kind of history of religious life where we totally rely on God’s Providence and people donating to us,” Sister Marie Veritas explains.
Sister Mary Grace says this way of life, of completely depending on God’s goodness, is risky but also surprising,
“You see God more clearly in people when you have a space for people to provide.”
Do sisters marry Jesus?
“Yes! We do! It’s really true!” Sister Marie Veritas says with a broad smile on her face.
“Jesus has called each one of us in a particular way to belong totally to Him and He satisfies every element of the female heart and soul," Sister Mary Grace later shares. "It’s a promise that He makes and a promise that we experience.”
When do sisters retire?
“In some ways, we retire when we enter the convent,” Sister Mary Grace answers.
She is referring to the vows they take and that they leave the world’s work behind.
“You can’t stop being a bride of Jesus,” Sister Marie Veritas adds.
Are sisters only Catholic?
“I’d say most sisters are Catholic. There are some Orthodox nuns…There’s also Anglican sisters,” Sister Marie Veritas says.
Why do sisters wear habits?
“There’s multiple reasons but one is like, this is my wedding dress,” Sister Marie Veritas gushes.
“I can wear my wedding dress every day and be a sign that I’m married to Jesus," She continues. "It’s also a sign of poverty that these are my clothes. I don’t go shopping…We actually make our habits.”
“It’s a gift for us," Sister Marie Grace adds, "but it also puts on display the call of every human heart that when we go out in public…when they look at us, please God, they’re reminded of the truth that you are created for an intimate union with God and this is not just reserved for religious…”
The sisters conclude the “Ask Ascension” video by opening up the comment section for more questions.
Viewers give encouraging words and bits of gratitude in the comment section.
One user says, “As a fellow female Catholic, I find this fascinating. I learned so much. Thank you to the Sisters of Life and Ascension Presents!!”
Another user adds, “What a wonderful way to break the stigma around religious life. Thank you, Sisters Of Life and Ascension Presents!”
You can view the full video here.