Monday, May 22, 2006

From Kansas City: The Nun's Story

A fortnight ago, the National Catholic Reporter devoted its cover story to an unfortunate but predictable hatchet-piece on its hometown bishop, Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph.

Suffice it to say, the piece was more a paean to NCR's ecclesiology of choice than a constructive contribution to the future and the good of the local church in which it's based.

Make of that what you will.

Well, if the Reporter wasn't happy then, this week's Catholic Key will have them jumping out of windows.

In addition to ordaining a transitional deacon at the Benedictines' Conception Abbey, located in the diocese, Bishop Finn welcomed a new Benedictine community to KCSJ: the sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, who marked their move to northwest Missouri (at Finn's invitation) with the vesting of a new member.

A snip from the latter:
When Communion was finished, Bishop Finn presided over ceremonies clothing Sister Greta with the habit of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. Sister Greta, the novice-to-be, dressed as a bride, approached the altar, accompanied by two older sisters.

In Latin, Bishop Finn said, "Quid petis?" (What do you ask?)

She responded, "Misericordiam Dei et habitum sanctae conversationis." (The Mercy of God and the habit of holy conversion.)

Following prayer, Sister Greta's wedding veil was removed and the bishop cut her hair.

After she changed from her wedding gown to her tunic, Bishop Finn presented Sr. Greta with her cincture, her scapular (the monastic garment that rests on the shoulders), her veil and a candle.

Sister Greta became Sister Misericordia, Latin for "mercy." Her smile at that moment was brighter than any ray of sunshine.
And so, the church in KC continues on, diversifies, flourishes -- call it what you will.... If only NCR might share the journey and, so, accomplish the same.

John Baccala/Catholic Key