Is It Back to Nuns with Rulers?

nunruler

One of the things I have always found most delightful about the Catholic Church is nuns. Protestants have fearsome and holy women, but they don’t have nuns. There is something feisty and admirable about a nun. Especially a nun with a ruler. How the whining ex Catholics love to whimper about the hatchet faced nuns who rapped their knuckles with a ruler, or how they like to mock the nuns who patrolled the school dance, thrusting a ruler between the pelvises of a close dancing boy and girl while crying in an Irish accent, “Come now, you two– leave room for the Holy Spirit!”

For the graying revolutionaries who lament the turn away from the all encompassing “Spirit of Vatican 2”, it turns out that the new translation of the Mass has become a symbol of a new spirit within the Catholic Church. That is to say, a new-old spirit, for Father Folkmass and Sister Sandals and all the felt banner brigade are squealing because they think a wave of traditionalism is sweeping the church, and it is all summed up by the horrid new translation which has no time for inclusive language and uses difficult words like “begotten” and “consubstantial”. They’re wringing their hands and expressing “concern” and even “deep concern” that the new translation tell us that Jesus died for “many” and so everyone won’t be automatically saved after all. Never mind that this is a direct quote from Jesus himself in the gospels, and never mind that the limited atonement (if that’s what it means) is balanced by the words the priest pronounces, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

So a reader of my blog commented that the new translation made her angry because it was clearly an insult to gay people and women. Of course she didn’t make any specific reference to the lines in the new translation that insult women and gay people. It was just the way she felt. For her it is clear that the church is shifting to the dark old ways of nuns with rulers, and that the new translation was a symptom of the harsh, reactionary, hierarchical, patriarchal, heterosexual, misogynistic old fashioned, pre-Vatican II church. You know the one headed up by Pope Pius XII who was “Hitler’s pope” right?

I thought one disgruntled blog reader could easily be dismissed as a sad and angry revolutionary disappointed that the younger generation had rejected her ideals as much as she had rejected her parents’. Then I discovered that her mood was a movement. A group of graying radicals have put together a website attacking the new translation, and using their dislike as a tool to dissent from just about everything in the Catholic Church that is on its way up. Their website has an admittedly clever name. It’s called A Misguided Missal.

When you visit the site you’ll see that the protesters are part of the definite artically-challenged “We are Church”. They say they are protesting out of “love for the church” and pretend that they are concerned that the new mass is not easily pronounced or understood. In fact, their real agenda is that kind of politically correct feminism that continues to be all the rage in academia. Their real agenda is revealed because they are championing the ill fated 1998 translation of the missal.

When we take a look at the 1998 missal it becomes obvious that much of it was driven by the feminist agenda that dominated the mainstream Protestant churches throughout the 1990’s. Those promoting this agenda wanted “inclusive human language” and “expansive/inclusive God language.” For those who are innocent of such “newspeak”, “inclusive human language” means we mustn’t refer to the whole human race as “men”. Instead we must use words like “Humankind” or “People”. “Expansive/inclusive God language” means that whenever possible we must weed out all those offensive references to God as being masculine.

A quick look comparison of the 1973, 1998 and 2011 translations illustrates the point. So in the Invitation to Prayer in 1973 the people reply, “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name…” The 1998 translation, on the other hand says, “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God’s name.” See? Remove the masculine pronoun for God whenever you can. When I was witnessing this in the Anglican Church in the 1990s part of the plan was also to cut out references to God as Father whenever possible. So prayers that used to begin by addressing the Heavenly Father were routinely sanitized to refer to “God” or “Creator”. The most famous of these travesties was a faux Trinitarian blessing and baptismal formula, “in the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.”

So what happened and why have we been spared the triumph of the trendy feminists? Throughout the 1990s the Catholic liturgists had been working ecumenically with the Protestants to use agreed texts. In 2001 Catholics pulled out. We walked. The Vatican decided that the agreed ecumenical texts were driven by a modernist, politically correct agenda and decided to go it alone. The Misguided Missal website reports that, “Presbyterian liturgist Horace Allen said that after he read the 2001 Roman document, he slumped in his chair and wept. ‘I realized that something terrible had happened which in my own worst imaginings I had never anticipated. A trusted and beloved ecumenical partner had suddenly and effectively walked away from the table.’ Boo hoo.

So is it back to nuns with rulers? Is the Catholic Church turning back the clock? Are we reversing all the ‘gains’ of the second Vatican Council? No. Church historian and Newman scholar, Fr Ian Ker observes that it has usually taken about fifty years for any council to really get into the bloodstream of the church. I reckon we’re just finding our balance and the real fruit of Vatican II is only now beginning to ripen. The new translation is a particularly sweet and juicy fruit.

Happily, we have been spared the politically correct nightmare that would have been foisted on us by our “ecumenical partners” with a combination of bogus scholarship, political manipulation and emotional blackmail. I, for one, am delighted that we walked away from a partnership that was disastrous. I’m only sorry that when I first sampled the new translation I commented that some of the prayers seemed clunky, and the editors at Misguided Missal quoted me.

If there’s any doubt, let it be on the record that I think the new translation is fantastic, and what slight problems there may be are far outweighed by its strengths. As a parish priest I have had not one complaint from the people. Indeed, their participation in the Mass is more robust and unified than it ever was with the 1973 missal. The new words are not only beautiful, but they have a rugged solidity to them which the 70s mass lacked.

I am a thoroughgoing fan of the new translation, and I wouldn’t mind a few nuns with rulers either.

 

Rev. Dwight Longenecker

By

Rev. Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, South Carolina. His latest book is The Romance of Religion published by Thomas Nelson. Check out his website and blog at www.dwightlongenecker.com.

  • Josephkelly

    Right on Father Longnecker

    • Tout

      I see only the Latin (Tridentine) Mass as a proper Mass, the same in so many places.  I receive H.Communion always on tongue, never in hand. Alays kneel for Consecration, even if I am the only one in the church. Hope others will get the courage to honor thus our Creator. A proper Missal has the text of the Mass in Latin beside the local language. If you can do so, attend a Latin Mass by the FSSP priests.

      • Steve

        http://youtu.be/81Eo0BeCDjE the FSSP on the Mass :)

        http://youtu.be/mSyN5TNOdZg the Vortex on Latin Mass being very popular with the youth (I can relate I love it! & has got me back into the Church & to know Her.  Got tired of liberal sermons or Barney type sermons & no reverance)

      • maggie mae

        My parish prays in Enlgish, but facing east. The mass is very devout, we kneel from the Sanctus all the way to the time for communion, which is receive while kneeling at the communion rail. Our lord is given by intiction – on the tongue. The hyms are ancient and reverant. There is a mix of ages, races, ethnicities (I can name Fillipinos, Germans, Poles. young, old, middle -aged, and a Jesuit. We are using more and more Latin, but not the tridentined’

  • rtjl

    I had the opportunity to observe the implementation of the new translation in 3 different parishes. For the people in all three parishes, it was pretty much a non event that they simply took in stride. In only one parish was it a problem and that was the parish that prided itself on its liturgical acumen and it was only a problem in that parish among the liturgical leadership. They were clearly distressed by the new translation and projected their own disaffection on the people in the pew. The poor people in the pew there were subjected to interminable “education” sessions in an attempt to get them to accept and understand the new translation – sessions they didn’t really need because the problem really wasn’t with them.

  • StellaMaris

    I help with an English Mass in Poland.  I guess in America, you’d call me a one-woman liturgical committee, except in Poland, there is no such thing as a ‘liturgical committee.’  Or if there is such a thing, it’s a one-man liturgical committee.  And his name is ‘Father-whoever-is-celebrating-this-Mass.’   My role is to help the Polish priest do what he has to do in English, which includes keeping abreast of things like a new translation of the Mass coming along and helping the priest and congregation make the change.  In our community of English-speakers from a variety of countries and first languages, I announced the new translation in our first liturgical bulletin of 2011 (a fold0ver sheet with two weeks’ readings inside and informative texts about the liturgical season, a saint, a devotion, etc. on the front and back covers).  Every two weeks the bulletin went step-by-step through the new translation, explaining what the changes would be and why the changes were made (we referred to it as ‘the restored translation,’ rather than the ‘new’ translation). 

    There was not a murmur of concern from anyone.  Next, we went step-by-step through the order of the Mass, explaining the biblical background of each prayer and action, and unpacking the meaning of the Mass.  We’re still working through the whole liturgy – it has been over a year. 

    We used the ‘restored’ translation, simply, as an opportunity to educate our congregation in the Mass itself, opening it up and showing it in all its richness and beauty.  One elderly man from a religious family (two or three priest-uncles martyred at Dachau), said that in this series of bulletins on the Mass he has learned more about the Mass than he knew in his entire life before.

    And the rest of the congregation?  No reaction to the new translation, unless you count saying, ‘And with your spirit!’ loud and clear.  No one seems the slightest bothered by the changes (except the young priest was nervous about getting it right – English is not his native language), and the native-speakers of English I’ve asked say, simply, ‘I like it!’

    Once again, it seems that the ‘cultural elite’ (aka dinosaurs still living in the ’60s) seems to think it knows better than the average person in the pews as well as the hierarchy of the Church.   Kind of warms the heart to think that the average Catholic – meaning the majority – probably is ready, willing and able to accept leadership from our bishops and priests, can discern what is authentically Catholic and is eager to embrace it.  We don’t NEED the cultural elite  telling us how to worship any more than we NEED them in the universities and on television  telling us what a family is or what ‘gender’ means or ‘what’s good for women.’   The Holy Spirit is on the job; those greyheads can retire.

  • Pargontwin

    All I know is, I have thoroughly hated so-called “inclusive language” since it first appeared in the early 1980s.  It’s clumsy and cumbersome, and makes any simple statement take twice as many words to say.  I drive people crazy because I absolutely refuse to use it.  I still refer to “mankind,” etc.  When they protest, I say, “Well, I’m not a dog, am I?”  It usually confuses the snot out of them, and they go positively ballistic when I point out the “homo” and “vir” example; it seems they can’t even bear the sound of Latin.  I predict there’s probably going to be another schism before long, unless the Consecration of Russia is performed and the promised miraculous conversion of Russia, and then the rest of the world, follows.

  • http://twitter.com/RFederle Robert Federle

    Dear Father L, at first I thought that “misguided missal” was a joke that you had come up with. Here is my comment to them, as posted on their website. Thanks for all of your great work.

    I read about this website in a blog, and at first assumed that it was just a joke. I am very disturbed with what I find here. No where in the nearly 2000 year history of the Church, has there ever been the notion that the Church is a democracy, governed from the bottom up. No where has it ever been stated that the Truth of the Church is subject to a vote, much like the vote you are encouraging regarding your dislike of the new translation of the Roman Missal. It is really very simple. If you want a church that worships in a banal manner, where everyone plays a guitar and wears Birkenstocks, there are about 30,000 of them to choose from. Have a little honesty with yourselves, and declare that you are no longer Roman Catholic since you no longer believe in what the Church authoritatively teaches, and how the Church requires you to worship. Be honest and get out. Quit trying to change the church to fit your ideas. QUIT TRYING TO SING A “NEW” CHURCH INTO BEING! We love the Roman Catholic Church just the way it is, the way that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and all of the Hierarchy have declared that it is. Get out and leave us alone!

    • zenith15

      I’m not sure that remarks like “get out and leave us alone” are very Catholic/Christian either. Are we not to bring people in error their wrongs, and if they will not listen, go back with others/some elders/etc to try try again? And only then if they are in a state of continuous unrepentant disobedience, to turn to excommunication, always with the hope and prayer that they will see the error of their ways and return? God loves and adores the” Birkenstock wearing” members of that site as much as He loves the readers and supporters of this blog.  We would do well to remember that before taking it upon ourselves to tell our fellow Catholics to “get out”.

    • Michellarizona

      The thing I miss most about the Latin Mass is that you could go anywhere in the world and not understand it there either.

      • Deacon Ed Peitler

         As an 8 year old armed with a St. Joseph missal, I had the Latin being said by the priest on the left side of the page and the English translation on the right.  I knew everything that was being prayed at Mass.  And while doing so, I was also picking up some Latin that would help in my academics later on.   And yes, we could go anywhere in the world and know the prayers that were being said. 

  • Jdcsmise

    Thank you, Father, for this delightfully accurate letter.  I understand all that you speak of and am
    100% with you in your analysis.

  • Shane

    I loved this article, but I must say that having always gone to a Catholic School  I never once received a scolding with a ruler, although I really deserved it.  But my grandmother who wasn’t Catholic had to have a medal rod put in her hand because of a beating from a teacher in a public school.   So when did the Catholic bashing really start?  Charlaine

  • Pburke445

    I didn’t go to a Catholic school until the second half of my junior year of high school.  The diocesan order of the Sisters of St. Joseph staffed the schools, in full habit, as this was the early 60’s.  To this day I have lovely and most fond memories of the Sisters–but cannot recall any rulers being brandished. 

    They were wonderful, delightful women for the most part–a couple of dour ones, but they were a group of 60 or so in the convent that operated the high school and you’re going to find people not to your liking in any group that large.  I miss seeing habited nuns and think they relinquished a lot when they gave up habits. 

    I was at a Jesuit university when Vatican II took place and though I struggled for many years, I gave up when all the weirdness really took over and haven’t been back to Mass on a regular basis since.  Recently, when I asked the pastor of the local Catholic church if he knew of a nearby church where there was a Latin Mass, he looked me up and down and responded “Oh, you’re one of THOSE, are you?”  Not conducive to one who is looking for the way back.  I miss the quiet that used to precede Mass, the dignity and air of sacred mystery that accompanied the most routine weekday Mass and the reverence that used to be an integral part of the Mass.  I refuse to give up hope, however that I will someday find my place again.

    Thank you for your letter and for your blog, Fr. Dwight–a great day for the Church when you “joined up”.

    • Tout

      You have to find out whether a Jesuit is right or if he belongs to the rebels. So keep at a good distance before you trust a Jesuit. I found a fine old one, dedicated to the truth.

    • Pat B

      Hey Pburke, your handle is eerily similar to my full name.  For what it is worth, I was born and raised in a post-conciliar times but walked away from the Church in a seemingly similar manner to yours.  My father and grandmother left over the English Mass way back when.  When the abuse scandals were really bad, I walked away from the Church and hadn’t been back for 15 years or so but have returned.  Since I’ve been back, I have found my place and have been very, very grateful for the Lord’s gift of the Church.  I have found more sincere Catholics since I left and–while there are dissenters among the sheepfold still–much more clarity about doctrine than when I left.

      Yes, there are some things I don’t like.  Occasionally I have to sit through a folk Mass (ugh) and many people don’t know how to behave in Church.  I look at these things as small penances now.  The baby is much more important than the bathwater.

    • Evaarnott

      There’s a great range even among different Masses at the same parish.  In my suburban Boston church we have a quiet reverent 7:30 followed by a noisy child-centered 9:00 followed by a formal 11:15 with choir and a 5:00 with music that appeals to teenagers.  Try a different Mass or different parish and I hope you’ll find one you like.

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  • AnonymousMe

    My kids have attended Catholic schools since day one, but have encountered few nuns and no rulers.  I would be completely fine issuing rulers to nuns.  I went to public school, and a few ruler whacks would have done me a world of good, and others would have profited even more.

    You don’t have to be a keen observer of the modern world to notice there are few people with the self discipline exhibited by my grandparent’s generation.  Now those were real grown-ups.  Maybe self control would bloom again if Sister Shutyourmouth and Sister Doyourownwork carried rulers.

    As for the new mass translation, I’m all in favor of a less kumbaya mass.  My wife, a sucessful professional, likes it too.  The feminists never did her any favors.

  • poetcomic1

        Ah, its the tough ones we miss.  Remember the Our Lady of Angels fire in Chicago 1958 with that ‘tough and feared’ sister found dead, her body sheltering her children like a hen over her chicks.  Then another one, fierce and stoic,  who, soon after the fire and all its horrors,  went right back to teaching and suddenly started weeping in class. For  half an hour she couldn’t stop sobbing- she went away and had a nervous breakdown.  Her children that God had put in her care, dead,…it was too much even for that ‘tough sister with a ruler’.  You can keep your smiley face catholic lite.

    • Maggie Mae

      I remember that fire… and I never understood why the sisters didn’t use their ropes and the outer part of their robe (NOT part of the dress – it is called a scapular, and just hangs over the front and back, similar to a long poncho) to make a rope ladder and lower the kids down. Maybe the sheer magnitude of the smoke flames, coupled with the short time span, caused panic. It would be difficult to calmly/rationally think of and execute a plan. I once dreamt that I was in that fire, and an older sister ordered me to remove my habit. She tossed it out the window and instructed a couple of passerby’s to “hold on tight and prepare to catch children.” And then I would cry with each safe landing.

      • Mts-1

        That fire spread through the wooden school so fast, it started in a trash can almost as school was letting out, and the fire trucks were getting there are parents were arriving to get their children, unaware a fire had broken out.  The first thing that went up was the staircase, trapping everyone above and torching them quickly thereafter.  Triangle shirt factory, Iroquois Theater, or Titanic all over again.

      • poetcomic1

          They were strictly trained to obedience in such matters and knew to stay put and be rescued  –  it was the second floor and could be reached by fire ladders.  Tragically, the firemen were sent to the wrong entrance of the school.  Just four to Seven minutes sooner and they would have saved virtually all 93 of them.  Also there was an iron gate that had to be broken down.  The fire intensified with brutal speed, the children were so maddened by heat and smoke that they were completely unmanageable to do anything with.  A ten year old disturbed boy probably started the fire but was never charged.  The drop was very far (three floors) as there was an above ground basement. None of your solutions would have worked, even early on.
           This photo was famous worldwide and was part of a campaign for fire safety in schools that effected over 165,000 schools and saved countless lives. It shows a heartbroken fireman carrying out the body of ten year old John Jajkowski, who sang in the choir, played accordion and wanted to be a priest.

           http://www.flickr.com/photos/35542196@N00/3121231186/

  • Tony

    I attended Catholic schools for almost twelve years.  I dearly wish we had more consecrated sisters teaching in our schools; the ones I see now seem to combine the ardent faith of the older nuns with the good cheer of youth.  When I was in school, we had quite a range, but I don’t think there were any who were deliberately malicious, and most were good women indeed, some among them even holy.  I owe my introduction to grammar to Sister Carmene, teaching sixth grade in Saint Thomas Aquinas School, in Archbald, Pennsylvania.  As I recall it, Sister Carmene dispensed with textbooks for her grammar classes and taught us straight from her head to the blackboard.  We learned what the parts of sentences were, how to parse nouns and pronouns, and how to conjugate verbs.  We learned about the verbals: gerunds, infinitives, and participles.  We learned about voice, mood, tense, person, number, and case.  We learned about adjectival and adverbial phrases.  We learned about clauses: noun clauses, adjective clauses, adverb clauses; main clauses, and subordinate clauses.  When I arrived in Latin and German classes in high school, I was surprised to see that none of my classmates knew anything about these matters.

    Sister Carmene was a dedicated teacher, smart as a whip, and devoted to the Lord.  She could have whipped me with a paddle every day for all the trouble I caused her — but she didn’t.

    • Ron19

      My favorite nun was Sr. Scholatica, Order of St. Benedict, in the second grade, in the late 50’s.  She seemed to have a special liking for us boys in her class.

      In the fifth grade, I received her greatest gift to me besides her prayers, which I’m sure are still going on.   One day when we were asked by our teacher what name we chose for our upcoming Confirmation name, I said that my choice was Scholastica.  The reaction of the rest of the class was on the spot laughter, and felt worse than you can imagine.

      I sat back down crying, and received unkind teasing from my best friends the rest of the day.  But next day, things were back to normal.

      Sr. Scholastica’s gift to me on that day, was that I have never since been afraid of rejection, by anyone.

      With Love in Jesus Christ,
      Ronald Ervin Scholastica Seibel

  • Steve

    I’d love for the Traditional Mass to be in all parishes (why not?) and all Mass (whether novus ordo or Traditional) have our Priests facing the tabernacle, alter rails (why were these taken out anyways?  Nowhere in V2 did it say to do this), the smells & bells all the time, no more girls as alter boys (notice didn’t say servers but alter boys), & bring back Gregorian Chant!!! How beautiful is that?  :) Pax Christi!  Reform the reform, Pope Benedict XVI (God Bless Him) the Pope of Unity!

    • zenith15

      But where does it say that altar servers CANNOT be girls? And why not other musical styles (reverent ones) along with chant?  I have attended two traditional latin masses now, and I have to say that I found it extremely difficult to follow along with the booklet provided, though I did like kneeling to take Communion on the tongue, and receiving Communion from the priest  I think it would be helpful if more Traditional Mass societies made more of an effort to include newcomers and instruct them briefly on how to follow along as they come in.  There was a coffee and snacks fellowship afterwards, and both times that I went, nary a single person spoke to me. 

    • Wexford

      Why not the traditional Mass…in Latin, with Gregorian Chant, altar boys and incense…just like Jesus celebrated the first mass.

      • zenith15

        Touche’

  • Frcorny

    Rulers, yes. And Nuns back in their habits. And dedicated to obedience and Christ. Maybe we could afford Catholic education again.

    • zenith15

      With this I agree.

  • Ann

    Best teacher I ever had was Sister Marita for second grade. She expected a lot of us, but was patient and kind.  After lunch, she would turn the lights off in the classroom and read a chapter from a book. That’s when I was exposed to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Cricket in Times Square, and The Indian in the Cupboard and other great works of children’s literature. It inspired a life long love affair with books and the deepest respect for those called to the religious life.

  • JERRYANDTERICOLBY

    let the dissenters go about forming the American Catholic Church, they will take with them ALL of the problems the Church in this country has encountered since Vatican 2 and become what they have been all along… Protestant . I mean this in the kindest of ways, but …good riddance! They will return when they are open to truth or not at all. That will be between them and GOD.

    • zenith15

      I don’t think there’s any kind way to mean “good riddance”.  The father of the prodigal son did not say “good riddance” when his son left him, with ideas different from his own hopes for him. He loved him, missed him, feared him lost and when he returned welcomed him with open arms.  And what of the good shepherd who left the 99 to go off to find the stray sheep? Should we not do the same, rather than dismissing them with a chilly “good riddance”?

      • http://twitter.com/lisajulia65 Lisa Julia

         I get what you are saying and this is something i think about a lot.  Then i also recall the words of Jesus to the Apostles about shaking the dust from their feet and moving to the next town, if their words fall on deaf ears.

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  • Rosemary Amend

    When I was seven years old, we moved into a new place, and I became the token Protestant in a mixed Polish, Italian, and Irish Catholic neighborhood. One cherished memory is  the vision of a six-foot-tall Sister with her charges at recess. With a quick tuck, the back of her habit’s long skirt was pulled to the front and secured with her cincture. I watched in delighted admiration as she jumped the rope turned by the uniformed students.  At that moment, my Protestant Sunday School teachers seemed very dour and dull by comparison. It was a long  journey of almost fifty years from there, but in 2004 I became a Catholic. And I’ve always liked nuns.  

  • Maggie Mae

    By the time I entered the convent, the rulers were gone. I felt so cheated!! ;-)  J/K .  My mother taught in the public schools though, and set me straight on something. Back in the day when the nuns were using rulers, most public schools had a belt or paddle. So… which would you rather have? A crack on the knuckles (nuns) a belt across the legs (public high school) or the paddle on the behind (public grade school)?? When the rulers, straps, and paddles disappeared, it was because they had already been removed from the home. At the same time, there was a shift from single parent homes and only child being the exception to being the norm, and the child led the parents. Let’s undo the past 50 years! We were all smarter back then!

  • Dixibehr

    Two things you need to correct.

    1. There are Anglican AND Lutheran nuns and religious communities. Other Protestant churches used to have them too, only they called them “deaconesses”. I recall a Baptist deaconess order in Germany that looked exactly like Benedictine nuns.

    2. “Sister Sandals?” Sandals used to be the usual footwear for most religious habits.

  • Lynn

    iBreviary offers both translations of the closing prayers, and I have found it fascinating to read and compare both every day.   The difference in depth of meaning is HUGE.

  • http://twitter.com/lisajulia65 Lisa Julia

    I agree that the new translation is beautiful…i find nothing ‘offensive’ to me as a woman and i love nuns in habits!  We are fortunate to have 2 schools in our Diocese that are staffed by the Nashville Dominicans; while they are in full habit,  they do not, in fact, wield rulers which is fine by my 9 year old daughter.  What they *do* wield is much stronger witness; a Rosary =)

  • tectonics2003

    I went through Catholic grade school and high school starting in the late 60’s and graduating in 1981.  I think we may have been the first wave of the sandal nun and felt posters that you refer to.  I think it’s interesting that the majority of the people that I went to school with ended up leaving he Catholic Church after we left school, but; now that the Church is rediscovering itself, many are coming back.  I guess we all wanted “substance” all  along, and not “feelings”.

  • Liesa

    Father, I am curious. Do you offer the EF Mass at your parish? If not, why do you wear the biretta? Is this something priests may wear outside of the liturgy?

  • donald951

    In my parish this week a women objected to the phrase in the creed “…for us men and our salvation,”  because (she said) in order to help the New Evangelization, the Church should use English as it’s currently used, to avoid insulting women.
    For one thing, “inclusive language” is not used by non-feminists, and if the Church doesn’t want to chase people away from the Church it should avoid giving the impression that church is only for women and children.

  • donald951

    Oh, and the only time I was hit on the knuckles with a ruler was when I was dueling with another boy during a break.  Sister tried to tell us to stop, but she was too busy giggling over how cute we were.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christian-LeBlanc/1279637969 Christian LeBlanc

    I am hugely indebted to Nuns with Rulers.

  • Product of Sacred Heart School

    Love your article, and it is oh so true, down to the core of that sweet and juicy fruit. I for one thank those straight-edge woody strip wielding nuns. Had it not been for them I may find  myself, these 59 years past, an whining ex Catholic democrat. I only wish we were “back to nuns with rulers”, when nuns looked like nuns, when jesuit priests were, well, jesuit priests, and  we could find ourselves at the end of a long line of penitents going to confession.

  • Arizona Mike

    A wonderful article, but I doubt that many “nuns” have struck children with rulers – although the term “nun” is used colloquially for both groups of women religious, by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, my understanding is that “religious sisters” are the ones who teach children in parochial schools as part of an apostolic ministry, whereas “nuns” are members of cloistered religious orders who live a contemplative life in an abbey, the female counterpart of monks even as the religious sisters are counterparts of religious brothers.

    http://anunslife.org/resources/sister-or-nun/

  • Ethel

    It is my belief that the lose of so many of our nuns is a primary reason so few Catholics today know their religion.  We were taught to know our faith both at home and by the good sisters.  I have never left the Church.  Why leave the best thing there is in life, founded by Christ, it is holy even when it’s people aren’t  And, I was hit on the knuckles twice for talking in the  halls and it didn’t do me any harm.   Love the return to the authentic Latin translation of the ‘new’ Mass.

  • Alisa

    as a cradle catholic, fallen away catholic, and coming home catholic, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new translation.  It’s no secret that after the new translation, Children grew up in homes that didn’t live the Gospel.  Well we’ve lost many.. Because partly, we didn’t stand out.  Our church is a HOLY place.. and so should the Mass and everything in be HOLY.  :)

  • sparrowhawk58

    Great article! I couldn’t agree more.

  • cdk

    We knew at the time it was feminist and didn’t like it. But there was a force beyond us and it happened. I attended a conference filled with the feminist nuns, priests and bishops! I don’t know why they invited me…I think it was a mistake. But I learned a lot: the loathing of the Patristic Church by these nuns was palpable; and the priests were sympathetic, even the bishops. The nuns were powerful in speaking and convincing. I felt like I was in another world, a misfit. Their anger and their fears didn’t seem even christian, but mean-spirited and demonic…and the male element weak. If I had ever felt sympathetic for any of their rhetoric that ended it. I knew it was time to educate those they might get into their clutches before that happened.

  • Mbsoignet

    Love the new translations. If anything they make you pay attention

  • http://twitter.com/RavinRay Raymond Ancog

    Reverend, this isn’t about nuns, but more about your bit on the Misguided Missal website, and you just made me post a message about how I as a Catholic from the English-speaking Philippines like the new translation.

  • flourgiggy

    Following one of the first Mass revisions, my dear mother bought me a new missal. I don’t think it was 6 months old when it changed again. I spoke to our parish priest about it, and he joked that they’d have to start putting the missals out as looseleaf books.

    I didn’t think it was funny and went immediately back to using my missal from 1956. I would just go ahead and say the responses as printed in my missal. My children would hear me and wonder if Mom didn’t get it. Lo and behold, all these years later, my now grown children are amazed at how “Mom was right all along.” What’s old is new again and I feel right at home.

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