Aside from Deacon Greg Kandra, the Catholic News Agency, and EWTN, both the religious and secular media—including the Catholic media—have failed to report an important story that deserves wide attention: on New Year’s Day, 11 Anglican nuns from the Community of St. Mary the Virgin in England entered the Catholic Church. Moreover, a sister from another order of Anglican nuns joined with them to form a new Catholic order, the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The 12 sisters were received wearing their black habits, the signature color of their new Benedictine order. William Oddie, a prominent English writer and broadcaster (himself a convert), described the scene: “Here was a pristine, freshly minted Catholic community, fizzing with new life and (unlike, I fear, most Catholic sisters these days) wearing full habits….I had feared they might be received in lay clothes, only being clothed in their habits once the new community had been formally established, but there was no nonsense of that kind.”
The sisters will spend the next six weeks with a Benedictine community, learning the contours of the normative order. After that they will live a life of poverty in service to the Lord. “This historic event (I don’t think it’s too much to call it that),” says Oddie, “is a sign of great hope for the future of the Catholic Church in England.”
So why isn’t this “historic event” being publicized? Imagine the media reaction if on New Year’s Day 12 renegade Anglican nuns had held a press conference in their street clothes announcing their intent to join a dissident Catholic order so they can press for gay marriage and women priests! It would have been front-page news. And had they rented an oversized luxury bus to haul them around town, that would have been world news. But because these are humble orthodox nuns, who eschew media gimmicks, there is a news blackout.
God bless these wonderful women.