Sister Hannah, Prioress of the Sisters of Saint Mary at Sewanee, recently wrote the diocese of East Tennessee highlighting the recently approved Sunday for Religious Life.
Dear East TN Episcopal Family,
Greetings from Sister Hannah, prioress-elect of the Sisters of St. Mary in Sewanee, TN. I am writing to share some exciting news – that General Convention approved establishing Religious Life Sunday on the third Sunday of Epiphany. This year that falls on Sunday, January 22nd.
Monastics have a long history of enriching the church through their prayers and life of service on behalf of the world. From ancient times, spiritual seekers would find a monk or a nun to help them discern the presence and call of God in their lives. Religious houses were known to be places of safe refuge and hospitality. Monks and nuns regularly guided people along their spiritual journey, and still do today. In this day in age, vowed religious communities in the Episcopal church are still places of hospitality, worship, retreat, and spiritual discernment. There are also intentional Christian communities within the Episcopal church who commit to following a Rule of Life in their day to day lives of working out in the world and living in their own homes.
People are often not aware that the Episcopal Church has vowed religious communities and intentional Christian communities. But we don’t want that to remain a secret anymore!
We invite you to use the attached bulletin insert to share with your congregations on Sunday January 22nd. We also encourage you to learn more information about Religious Life Sunday by going online at https://www.religiouslifesunday.org/ There are great resources on there such as a YouTube video that could be played at coffee hour as a way to continue to spread the word about Episcopal religious life. Perhaps that Sunday you could, in the prayers of the people, pray for vocations to Episcopal religious communities (especially the Sisters of St. Mary!) as well as Christian communities that your congregation members are a part of.
We appreciate your support in helping us promote this!