Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Shaking in their habits… err.. albs

July 3rd, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

Berkeley Brean, an investigative reporter for Rochester Channel 10, has put up a piece on the NBC Web site about the coming investigation of local groups of religious sisters, namely the Sisters of St. Joseph and Sisters of Mercy.

As you may remember, the Vatican not too long ago initiated a doctrinal investigation of U.S. orders of religious sisters and nuns to see how well they are complying with Church teaching. Renowned Catholic blogger, Fr. Z, reported on this story over at his blog, What Does the Prayer Really Say? back in April.

I hope that the Vatican will take a good long look at the local religious orders, especially the Sisters of St. Joseph. Rather than carry out important traditional activities of religious sisters, such as care for the poor, educating the children, etc., some (note the some) of these religious sisters have drifted into the role of priest (what the diocese calls “Pastoral Administrators”) and have on occasion preached during the homily, delivered excessive commentary during Mass, and even carried out Baptismal preliminaries while a priest was present. It is time that the local sisters remember their roots, and leave the job of priest for the priests of the DoR. There is plenty of good these women of God can do, but it is important that they show respect for those who were called to the priesthood, and not treat them as mere “Sacramental Ministers.”

The article informs us that the local orders will fill out a survey in August, and could then be in for an official visit.

Tip: DoR Catholic



13 Responses to “Shaking in their habits… err.. albs”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Long overdue.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Given their length of service in the diocese and the variety of ministries they have performed, I believe that the sisters are owed better than one of your sweeping, acidic generalizations.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anon 10:38-

    What is it about the emphasis on the word 'some' that you don't understand? I believe the author made it very clear that some elements, not all, of the Sisters of St. Joseph have taken on priestly duties. To say otherwise would be a bold faced lie. Don't forget that the superior of the SSJ was present for Sr. Joan's installation Mass, showing a sign of approval for what their member was doing.

    And remember one more thing, these aren't your parents' SSJ. Times have changed. Religious orders in the U.S. have lost their way, gotten in with Reiki, New Age ideas, and all sorts of ideologies which clash with Roman Catholicism. The SSJ not excluded from these other orders.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Having members of your order calling for an "inclusive" priesthood that includes women is uncalled for. If these religious orders won't remove the Sr. Joans of the world, then it suggests approval or at least tolerance for their dissent from Church teaching (heresy).

    Anon 10:38, there are lists out there on the Internet where Rochester sisters have publicly added their names to support for the ordination of women. And it is not just Sr. Joan Sobala either. There are several others.

    So if you ask me, the Vatican should closely investigate our Rochester nuns. They are losing their way, some wanting to priests, some others pushing for women priests. It needs to stop. The Vatican needs to put their foot down and expel those who promote heresy, while allowing the good nuns to continue on with their ministries without the taintedness of the heretics.

  5. Greg Hussong says:

    Hey, Pope Benedict, you may want to have your investigation take a look at what's going on at St. Anne. The nun there is giving homilies and pretending to be a priest.

    Your pal,

  6. Tony says:

    The NCR article "Are we willing to sacrifice Eucharist for the sake of a male celibate priesthood?" contained some Rochester nuns, both RSM and SSJ, as well as a few area priests. These people were listed as supporting the ordination of women. How one could put their name to such a public list in baffling.

    Thanks anon. for reminding me about this.

  7. Tony says:

    Here is a brief copy of that article

    I'll try and find the full thing later.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe one by one they should all take a retreat at the Carmalite
    monestary on Jefferson road to jog their memory as to what it is they "signed up to do"

  9. Dr. K says:

    Thanks, Tony, for the list. Does anyone know where the entire list can be obtained (hopefully without having to spend any money)?

    ~Dr. K

  10. Rob says:

    Dr. K,

    I was able to get that site to show us a little more of the list than is available in the original link. Here is the list for the first half of the alphabet.

    There are plenty of interesting Diocese of Rochester names on this list of women ordination supporters. Here are some that stuck out for me:

    -"Anonymous, RSM Rochester" (a Rochester Sister of Mercy who did not provide her name)
    -Rev. Michael Bausch Pittsford (Pastor of Church of the Transfiguration)
    -Mary Lou Brien, SSND Rochester, NY
    -Anne-Marie Brogan Rochester, NY (Pastoral Administrator of St. Mary Rochester)
    -Sr. Ann de Porres Amesbury, Fairport, NY
    -Nancy DeRycke, Penfield, NY (Pastoral Administrator of Church of the Good Shepherd)
    -Raymond Grosswirth, Rochester, NY (future associate pastor of Spiritus Christi)
    -Mark Hare, Rochester, NY (D&C; columnist, and shameless Bishop Clark supporter)

    Who knows what other interesting names we might find in the rest of the list.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I would really like to see the rest of the list. Is Sr. Joan Sobala on there? How about Fr. Murphy?

  12. Mike says:

    Rob, Dr. K. and Anon.,

    The full article ? and list ? is available on I found the site by putting the phrase ?Carmela Abbruzzese, CSJ Braintree, MA Grace Acheter Rochester, NY? (from the first line of the list) into Google.

    I signed up for a free, 7 day account just by giving them an email address (no CC info required).

    Anyway, the rest of the list includes such DOR names as ?Edward L. Palumbos Fairport, NY?, ?Rev. Gary Tyman Rochester, NY? and ?Rev. Robert Thomas Werth Rochester, NY?.

    Neither Fr. Murphy nor Sr. Joan are on the list.

    FWIW, the entire list includes just over 600 names, about 1/3 of which are from towns and cities in DOR.

  13. Dr. K says:

    Thanks for the info, Mike.

    "the entire list includes just over 600 names, about 1/3 of which are from towns and cities in DOR."

    That may be the best reason I have heard yet of why we could use a new Bishop in Rochester A.S.A.P.

    ~Dr. K

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