Habits are out of fashion

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Someone must have dug deep into the archives to find photos of active sisters dressed like the photos in ‘Fair Point’.

Within 10 years of the second Vatican Council in the early sixties, nearly all of them had given up the old habits (form of dress) for discrete, simple habits or ordinary clothes.

Only enclosed, contemplative nuns still wear full habits, complete with long black veils and white kerchiefs.

I entered such a monastery at the age of 22, and if failed surgery had not forced me out, I would still be there.

Your correspondent is very much mistaken, imagining that such a choice of life is due to a ‘deep-seated dissatisfaction with the way their lives are panning out’. If their vocations are not genuine, this will be found out by the community, who must vote for them to be accepted as novices after a year as a postulant (one who knocks at the door), then again after two years with a white veil as novices, followed by at least three years in temporary vows.

I survived the ticking of the maternal clock, as did most of my sisters. Those who couldn’t applied to be dispensed from their vows, if they had got as far as solemn, perpetual vows. The last thing communities of nuns want is women running from life hoping for a refuge