Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

LAY SISTERS

Members of a religious institute of women who are not bound by choir duty or engaged in the distinctive apostolate of the rest of the community. Their role in a community of nuns is to serve the physical and temporal needs of those who are strictly cloistered. The term "extern Sisters" is sometimes used, but the expression is misleading. They are full members of the community and share in all its spiritual benefits. The Holy See has provided that monasteries of contemplative nuns may have "Sisters employed in the external service of the convent, in accordance with the statutes of each Institute" (Sacred Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes, Venite Seorsum, August 15, 1969). Since the Second Vatican Council, however, the Church's general policy is not to favor a division of classes in convents. Therefore, "unless conditions really suggest something else, care should be taken that there be only one class of Sisters in communities of women" (Perfectae Caritatis, 15).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Facing entrenched opposition, Pope Francis plows ahead on Vatican reform 6 hours ago
The cardinal who can't let go 12 hours ago
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17