Powerful Photos of Nuns & Sisters

By Carolyn Shields

Ok, let’s first get this out of the way: the Sisters of Providence state “while both Nuns and Sisters are addressed as "Sister," there is a distinction made in the Catholic Church which is generally not made by the public. Nuns take solemn vows and are cloistered, that is, they reside, pray and work within the confines of a monastery. Sisters take simple vows and live a life governed by the particular mission, vision, and charism.”

Not only have I been watching a lot of Call the Midwife lately that features a convent, but I can’t shake the images I saw of the Sisters of Bethlehem a few weeks ago. I called a coworker over to my desk because I was, to be honest, kind of freaked out. I stared for the longest time, scrutinized the heck out of my feelings, and mulled over how much simplicity can speak. After admittedly a long while, I began to see the beauty of it all.

But it wasn’t just these sisters, but other images that began to move me. I began compiling a little portfolio of some incredible and powerful photos of nuns and sisters, though the memory of Sr. Mary Catherine teaching me how to hopscotch in 2nd grade will probably always be my favorite.

Sisters of Bethlehem

Sisters of Bethlehem

Sisters of Bethlehem

Sisters of Bethlehem

Cloistered Mexican nun

Cloistered Mexican nun

Cloistered Mexican nuns

Cloistered Mexican nuns

(All photos are cited through hyperlinks. Please click to see original source.)

Tyburn silent Benedictine order

Tyburn silent Benedictine order

Carmelite Nun

Carmelite Nun

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