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 Post subject: Mother?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 3:23 pm 
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Call it a sick fascination with The Sound of Music that has had this question brewing in the back of my mind, but what is a "Mother"? I mean, I have a general understanding of Priest/Father, but what role does a Mother or Mother Superior play in the church as opposed to other nuns/sisters? At what point does she cease being a sister and become a mother?


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 Post subject: Re: Mother?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:31 pm 
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ErikB wrote:
Call it a sick fascination with The Sound of Music that has had this question brewing in the back of my mind, but what is a "Mother"? I mean, I have a general understanding of Priest/Father, but what role does a Mother or Mother Superior play in the church as opposed to other nuns/sisters? At what point does she cease being a sister and become a mother?



If I understand you correctly.....the answer is: A mother/mother superior is still a sister :)

Mother Anglica (EWTN) for example. She is the 'head' of the order of sisters there....and she is one of the sisters in the order as well.

Someone around here probably has a detailed explaination of Mother Superiors/Abbesses etc etc.


SV

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:57 pm 
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I always think of a House Mother, like the one in my dorm at college, when I hear Mother Superior.

Siggy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:55 pm 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
I always think of a House Mother, like the one in my dorm at college, when I hear Mother Superior.

Siggy


kind of how I look at you on this board... :clap:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 1:07 pm 
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Siggy's too young to be my mother. Maybe a big sister, though.,

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:48 pm 
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Awww, ain't cha kind! :cloud9:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:15 pm 
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"Mother" is a title, and therefore a form of address, for the head sister or nun of a religious community. It doesn't give her any power or authority or role in the Church as a whole, but it does recognize her role to guide, teach, and perhaps rule, the sisters under her care.

Different communities have different customs and constitutions about the terms of address they prefer, and how long their superior serves in office, and how she is elected. In some communities, they cease to use the title when the mother superior goes out of office. In other communities the title is continued as an honorific, similar to the way we call a former cabinet member such as Colin Powell "Mr. Secretary."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:06 pm 
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In the Orthodox Church, when an abbess is installed, she gains an extreme amount of authority. She is given a pastoral staff like a bishop, sits on a throne, can give blessings (of course we don't believe in women priests), etc. When greeting an abbess one bows to her and kisses her hand identically to how we do for all of our priests. She also cannot really be removed from office except under the most dire of cirumstances and has to actually be tried. Just thought I'd mention that for comparative reasons.


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 Post subject: Mothers in OC
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:25 pm 
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Anastasios wrote:
In the Orthodox Church, when an abbess is installed, she gains an extreme amount of authority. She is given a pastoral staff like a bishop, sits on a throne, can give blessings (of course we don't believe in women priests), etc. When greeting an abbess one bows to her and kisses her hand identically to how we do for all of our priests. She also cannot really be removed from office except under the most dire of cirumstances and has to actually be tried. Just thought I'd mention that for comparative reasons.


Thanks, Anastasios. That's really interesting to see the differences in traditions.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:50 pm 
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I like the old joke about the Jewish handyman who worked at a convent. Although his work was superb, he had a habit [no pun intended] which aggravated the superior there. Finally she told him: "Mr. Solomon, It's Mother Superior, not Mother Shapiro!"


Edward Pothier


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