Page 4, 23rd June 1995

23rd June 1995
Page 4
Page 4, 23rd June 1995 — It's not what a nun wears that counts

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Organisations: Police Force


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It's not what a nun wears that counts

I WAS LEFT feeling frustrated and angry after reading the article `Letting Down Old Habits' (Alice Thomas Ellis, 9 June). I found it a patronising, inaccurate and insulting view of nuns.

Having considered religious life for several years, now at the age of 24 I am about to become a Novice in a religious Congregation. 'What attracts me me to this particular Order is the ability of the sisters to relate to people, their down-to-earth nature and their charism of education especially to young people. Although the majority of sisters no longer wear a habit or veil, they are caring, committed and dedicated women.

Surely, being a religious, in whatever Order, is primarily about responding to God, desiring to deepen that relationship and not about wearing habits.

Nuns who do not wear habits are no less committed to their vocation than nuns who choose• to wear habits. Plain clothes detec tives in the Police Force are no less effective than their colleagues in uniform.

Religious do not have to wear a habit and veil to prove to themselves or to others who and what they are. Being me who I am and what God is calling me to be that's what is important.

Do not misinterpret me, I respect ALL religious, but we all need to challenge our assumptions and judgements and look beyond stereotypes.

Jane Kindlen Roehampton, London Surely the answer to those who so dislike Alice Thomas Ellis's splendid pieces is: don't read them, nobody forces you to.

The more as the ones who so dislike them seem to read them solely so that they can snarl or squeal about them. And they are not placed where they "hit you in the eye", and just above them you'll find Fr Rolheiser's very fine ones.

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