A new reality series had been produced by Lifetime. This show is not about people suriving on a beach, or people eating bugs or a family who picks noses and passes flatulence without shame. The series was about five young ladies who felt called to the religious life. The show is entitled, “The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns.”
However, this show doesn’t show the lives of postulants or novices, rather, it shows five young women visiting different religious communities in different states. While visiting, they lived, work, and prayed with the sisters in order to get a “feel” for the community life. Some of the religious sisters of each community were also interviewed and gave comments regarding each of the young women as well as their own testimony of why they became sisters and continued in their orders.
One of the young women is from my hometown, the Boogie Down Bronx and attends St. Anselm parish. She has a boyfriend who struggled with her participating in this program. The others are from other states and have different life experiences. The show ended this Tuesday and was well done in my opinion. Lifetime portrayed the sisters and the Catholic Church well. There was no Catholic bashing that I noticed. The sisters were given privacy when asked and there were no hidden agendas promoting anti-Catholic values. In the end, two decided to begin the process of formation after feeling called to serve a specific community they visited while on the show. The others decided to wait and discern more while the one from the Bronx decided that the vocation of marriage suited her best.
The show was fun and inspiring at the same time. However, I had some issue with the way some of the young women described Jesus in their prayer life. It seemed a bit secular, sexual and in poor judgment. Moreover, the use of vulgar language by some of the young ladies was scandalous to say the least. Hopefully this did not give the wrong impression to viewers regarding women joining the religious life. While we all have our faults, usually a person entering a religious community or seminary has a lot of temperance among other virtues. Nevertheless, the show gave a glimpse to outsiders regarding how difficult it can be to live in community. It didn’t water down religious life nor paint it as something that’s easy or fun to do.
Hopefully this program will inspire young women to discern any possible calling to the religious life. This show could aid in alerting possible candidates on what to expect if and when they enter. As one of the sisters said on the show, “we’re all broken.” This is true. We all make mistakes and sin. Nevertheless, with God’s grace and the unity and support of the community, members of religious orders can strive to improve themselves.
I hope Lifetime continues this series and hopefully do one with males and the priesthood. Some of the young ladies even “favorited” my tweets! 🙂 I’m flattered.