Journal Sentinel profiles Catholic nuns doin reiki and talkin Spirit of Vatican II

In case you didn't know, this is Catholicism
Vatican II, the 1960s-era council of bishops that catapulted the Catholic Church into the modern world, profoundly affected every aspect of the church, not the least of all its female religious.

Cloistered for centuries and relegated in recent decades to roles in education and health care, Catholic sisters took seriously the bishops' call to engage in the broader society. And they branched out into myriad ministries, often to serve the poor and marginalized.

Their work is highlighted in a new documentary by Chicagoan Mary Fishman that is featured this week as part of the Milwaukee Film Festival. "Band of Sisters" follows several women — including two with ties to Milwaukee — as they experience what it means to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

"They talked about Vatican II opening the doors and windows of the church, and it really did," said Sister JoAnn Persch, who ministers to immigrants in the Chicago area, many of them undocumented, with fellow Sister of Mercy Pat Murphy.

"For the first time, we were able to follow the signs of the times to see what the needs were in the changing world," said Persch, 79. "I know for me and for many women, that was very exciting."

Sister Madeline Gianforte also ministers to immigrants and others, but in a much different way, as co-founder and co-executive director of CORE/El Centro, an alternative healing center on Milwaukee's south side.

ROFL!  I wish I had more time to dive in.


  1. This is so embarrassing. When will Milwaukee Catholics get a reprieve from this kind of stuff? The Weakland effect is still around. When will these liberal Catholic nuns realize how irrelevant and cliched they've become. Their orders are dying out because young women are not interested in dedicating their lives to Oprah's interpretation of spirituality. Why doesn't our archbishop bring in vibrant, newer orders that are growing by leaps and bounds?

    1. I'm still puzzled why none of the dioceses seem interested in bringing in new orders or starting new orders here in Wisconsin.

  2. It's weird because they don't have anything about Reiki services on their website unless I missed it. I don't think the idea is terrible if they got rid of services like yoga and reiki I would actually be interested in something like this.

  3. Alas, Anon, it will continue because Rome keeps sending Milwaukee ineffectual and embarrassingly mediocre Ordinaries. I know. I live in Milwaukee.

  4. Hey, you don't have to go to Milwaukee to get that. The FSPA hands it out in LAX.
    A number of years ago, Franciscan Healthcare Onalaska took out a full page ad in the local "alternative" newspaper advertising a sister giving Reiki treatments there. Haven't seen as much openness about it lately. No, wait, they still offer it....

    I wonder if having to put up with the sisters' reiki was part of the merger deal.

    1. One of the reasons I am not legally allowed on their property.


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