Thank You Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives by John Feister. Franciscan Media (Cincinnati, 2012) 129 pp., $14.99.
Thank You Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives is edited by John Feister, editor-in-chief of St. Anthony Messenger magazine and other periodicals at Franciscan Media.
He incorporates 13 lovely reflections from some talented and well-known people. The likes of Cokie Roberts, Jesuit Father James Martin and Franciscan Father Dan Horan give great testimonies as to how women religious have helped or inspired them.
The book evolved, in part, because of the Vatican’s doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. This book, though, is not a refutation, justification or argument.
Rather it is mostly a book of praise and gratitude. It also is an introduction to the great works of women religious for younger Catholics. The traveling show that highlighted 300 years of women religious in America gave a great overview of religious life in America. This book is a more modern snapshot of the nuns who shaped many in the world today.
Feister writes: "Younger Catholics today have far less chance of having ever met, been educated by or worked with a Catholic sister than did their parents. Sisters simply are more likely to work and live in the background today. So I thought, why not tell some positive stories of the profound influence these women had on the people’s lives?’"
He said that nuns probably would not brag so he let the authors in this book do it for them. It is a good mix of voices and stories. Perhaps the most touching is the tale of the nun who gave sandwiches to those who forgot their lunch at a Catholic grammar school. It seems to show the church at its kindest and best.
Weber is a reporter and producer for Catholic Communications for the Diocese of Springfield, Mass.