Friday, January 13, 2023


 Sisters/nun’s habits have evolved over the centuries. 

From looking like nuns to looking like nones:


ByzRus said...

True, it's more practical to work in the garden without bulky attire. However, many religious are not physically toiling in the fields as an occupation.

What to say - clearly those changes didn't help.

New Coke was a colossal disaster for Coca-Cola. So much so, that it reverted back to the old recipe and branding to save face and the bottom line. Coke lost its identity only to reclaim it for the sake of survival. Interesting that - to save the company due to a disaster of a product, the company re-embraced its heritage.

From the perspective of a business, these orders became unsustainable. In fact, anyone in the private sector running their business this way would be swiftly removed by their Board.

TJM said...

They really made a statement to the world then. My late mother-in-law, a daily Mass goer, who was the director of surgery at the local Catholic hospital recalled a directors meeting at which some of the sisters (sans veil) were present. The sisters were bemoaning the fact the patients did not know they were sisters. With a laugh she said “maybe we should put your pictures on the daily menu!” They were not amused!

Jerome Merwick said...

Goodbye Sister Mary Alphonsus.

Hello Sister Butch.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The initial changes in the Church after Vatican II were mostly appreciated and many changes people thought were practical and helpful. The 1966 missal is an example of this. So too, were the initial medications of the habits. Some outdated habits were bizarre although quite interesting and unique to look at. But the initial modifications, while very practical, still looked like habits, even if they were not floor length. Although, it seems to me that a habit should be a robe. Just my humble opinion. I go ballistic when I see priests wearing albs that do not touch the top of their shoes. Please.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Official modification not medication. Can we sue those who force auto-correct on us?

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Many orders modified their habits in practical ways in the 1950s, e. g., some Dominicans modified a complicated whimple which improved visibility from the side - necessary if driving a car. The teaching order who taught me, the Sisters of the Holy Cross abandoned the flowing blue cincture when a sister caught it in a car door she was exiting and was pulled down when the car began moving. Some of course modified the habit to be mid calf in length - but nonetheless a distinct habit remained. Pantsuit sisters do not inspire - Hollywood generally still shows habited nuns

William said...

Fr. Mc, I found "medication" odd but kind of clever.

William said...

TJM, I, too, was taught by CSC Sisters (French Canadian). Oh the stories I could tell!

Catechist Kev said...

From The V2 document Perfectae Caritatis:

17. The religious habit, an outward mark of consecration to God, should be simple and modest, poor and at the same becoming. In addition it must meet the requirements of health and be suited to the circumstances of time and place and to the needs of the ministry involved. The habits of both men and women religious which do not conform to these norms must be changed.

Hmmm... "habits"? What habits?

TJM said...


We had 21 Holy Cross Sisters in my grade school, with the exception of one or two, they were marvelous teachers and wonderful human beings.

Catechist Kev,

You will like this: a friend of mine owned a floral shop across from the hospital. One afternoon an attractive, well dressed woman came in to buy flowers. When she went to pay she asked for the “clergy discount.” Without missing a beat he told her that went out with the habit. She was not happy but he said no way was he giving her one. She was better dressed than he was

Catechist Kev said...


So funny! 😂

Thanks... and please do keep posting!