December 9, 2014
By Sister Megan B.
“It’s not all about you”—this quote from one of the professed sisters captured my feelings about Episode 2 of “The Sisterhood.” In many ways, the show is all about them, the young women who are in the process of discernment. In many other ways, the show is about the religious communities who agreed to participate.
In talking about last night’s episode with the members of my local community, several questions arose:
- From where did these young women come? Who selected them?
- What preparation, if any, were the young women given before meeting with the communities?
- How were the communities chosen? By whom?
- What does it say about our culture that we broadcast and view reality TV?
And more profoundly:
- What is the nature of religious life?
- What is the nature of discernment?
- What about prayer?
- What about the vows?
- What about community life?
- What about theological reflection on ministry?
And most importantly:
- What about God?
While focusing on ministry and community life, Episode 2 felt more exploitative than Episode 1. I am still unclear about the purpose of the show, other than to show us a group of young women who have a wide range of personalities and experiences and who think that they might want to be sisters. I think that the show does a grave disservice to those women who do enter into serious discernment with a religious community.
I have found the column by Sister Susan Rose Francois, SSJ, on the Global Sisters Report website to be a measured reflection by a young religious. I recommend it as a way to hear another experience about a young women’s experience of religious life.
So, it’s not all about the young women or the sisters or us; in the end, it really is all about God and the needs of God’s people.