THE HEART OF A WOMAN
Women are the pinnacle of creation (cf. Gen. 2). As such, God works with women to bring life into the world by their unique abilities of loving those around them, being present to the needs of others, and reflecting the compassion of God himself. When cooperating with God’s will in their lives, women reflect the truth, beauty and goodness of God in their vocations, inspiring the students, patients, husbands, coworkers, and children in their lives to pursue God’s goodness in their own lives.
Each of the particular vocations for women answer the deep ache in their hearts to bring God’s goodness into the world. By their ministry in the home, hospital, school, workplace, community, and convent, married women, religious sisters, consecrated virgins, and single women draw us all into a deeper relationship with God.
The consecrated life is a counter-cultural, love-filled, life-giving response to God’s love. In this vocation, a woman imitates Jesus Christ by taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and in doing so, finds a profound source of joy. She gives her heart to God alone, becoming a bride of Christ and an image of the Church — that is, a witness to the world of the dedication we all should have to the Lord. She witnesses by her life that God is enough to satisfy all the desires of our hearts! A woman who is called to this vocation lives in a community that prays, works, and ministers together, and that community is a profound source of support and joy.
Religious communities have different ministries (or “apostolates”) in which the women of the community can pour themselves out in service to others out of love for the Lord.
All religious women bear profound fruit in the Church by their life of consecration to God, whether their ministry is silent prayer and work in a convent, teaching in a school, giving retreats or spiritual direction, serving the poor, or missionary work. Religious communities all respond to a particular movement of the Holy Spirit in the Church, so they are distinguished by their charism–the particular gift they bring to the Church–as well as by the way they live community and by the work or ministry (called an “apostolate”) that they do. Religious communities fall along a spectrum, from strict contemplatives like the Carmelites, to very active communities like the Daughters of Charity.
The links below will help you explore the different religious communities of women serving in or near the Diocese of Austin. Contact them for more information or to arrange a visit!
Cloistered Life – A wonderful website sponsored by the Institute on Religious Life. You’ll find information about the contemplative life, how to discern it and some great discernment resources!
Religious Communities for Women in the diocese of austin
- Communio en Christo (CIC)
- Congregation of Divine Providence (CDP)
- Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM)
- Discipulas de Jesus (DJ)
- Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (OP)
- Franciscan Daughters of Mercy (FHM)
- Inst. Of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA)
- Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (SMIC)
- Oblatas de la Iglesia Misioneras Ecumenicas (OME)
- Pax Christi Sisters (PCI)
- Secular Institute for Women, Heart of Jesus – Cor Unum Family (ISFCJ)
- Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary (SCTJM)
- Sisters of St. Francis of Our Lady of Lourdes (OSF)
- Sisters of Mary Morning Star (SMMS)