A Sister is a young Catholic woman who after some years of formation in a Religious Order professes the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. These vows are professed in public.
Nuns are Sisters who live in enclosed convents called monasteries. They dedicate their lives to contemplative prayer, work and do penance for the Church and the world. They have very limited contact with the outside world.
Sisters live in special houses called convents. The size of these convents depends on the number of Sisters living in it. Some of them are attached to their places of work like schools or hospitals. Each convent will often have a chapel where the Sisters pray.
At this point since after the Vatican Council II, not all Religious Orders wear the habit.
Yes, to be a catholic Sister you have first to become a practicing Catholic, be baptized and receive other Sacraments of initiation in the Church.
It all depends on the depth or extent of the relationship. Someone whose dowry has been paid and was never returned cannot become a Sister. The lady can only be considered if necessary refunds and cancellations are made.
The Sisters take the vows of Chastity which means that the Sister is bound to live and share the love of Christ to all without crossing boundaries, hers and others. The vow of Poverty which involves total self-emptying. She does not cling to possessions both of grace and of nature but rather uses them all for the better glory of God. The vow of Obedience which involves total submission to the will of God through the directives of her lawful Superiors. These vows are taken by the Sisters willingly without cohesion.
Religious Community comprises of Sisters that have no family ties. Sisters in a Community are not from the same mother and father. What binds us together as Sisters in the Community is faith in Christ and the communion we share as children of God.
Sisters work and in fact should work very hard. Those who have professional works are paid salary for the work they do but they freely turn in their earnings to their Institute according to their vow of poverty. The Institute, in turn, provides for the needs of all the Sisters.
A young lady who feels called will take the first step of seeking which Religious Order to join. Once the choice is made, she will then go in for formation which vary from Order to Order. At the end of this formation the Sister makes her first profession and after the number of years as mapped out will make her solemn profession.
Discernment is a process and to a very great extent is a life-long process. When felt called one commences intense prayer, study and seeking someone who can provide some guides; someone who is a Religious should be the best guide.
There are no much differences, but the major difference lies in the Charism and Spirit of the Religious Congregations. Charism and Spirit of Religious Congregations are aspects of Jesus Christ as picked up by the different founders of the various Religious Congregations.
Choice of Congregation can be made when one takes care to study the Charism, Spirit and history of different Religious Congregations. Through discernment, one can as well make her choice.
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