This evening, Friday, November 6, 2012, six Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church, will pronounce perpetual vows at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane, Washington. The congregation will also witness the temporary profession of three sisters.
This was no ordinary journey for the sisters.
In 2007, 15 nuns from a schismatic convent in Washington State rejoined the Catholic Church by formally renouncing their state of schism and making a profession of the Catholic faith. Their former order holds to the position that popes elected since John XXIII are invalid and that Vatican II was a heretical council.
The new order’s title reflects its pilgrimage to full communion with Rome. “Mary is our guide. With a title so ancient and yet so popular today, ‘Mother of the Church’ she understands the need for unity in the Church,” explains Sister Mary Eucharista.
It all began in 2002 when a parish priest and his parishioners began a prayer campaign to bring the sisters back into the fold. They enlisted the help of the Missionaries of Charity who came to Spokane in 2006 in part to address the spiritual poverty of the sisters on “the Mount” (a former Jesuit scholasticate).
To a sister, they credit the witness of the Missionaries of Charity as their strongest motivation to return to Rome. They saw in the MC sisters “so much charity, so much love, so much goodness;” says Sister Kathryn Joseph. “They won us over with their prayer and charity.”