Sensing the Culture of Death’s grip on our culture, a Benedictine order of sisters is striking out in new territory, trying to attract recruits for the bold mission of spreading the truths of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, Natural Family Planning, and chastity.
Benedictine Sister Nancy Boushey, of the Benedictine Monastery of the Good Shepherd in Rio Grande City, Texas, says that the idea came through her work as the pro-life director of the Diocese of Brownsville and through her work with Father Daniel McCaffrey, director of NFP Outreach.
“Our dreams of extending this aspect of our pro-life ministry into the heart of our apostolate is being realized,” said Sister Boushey. “New members of the community would have this as very important and urgent part of their prayer and work as Benedictines.”
The idea is not to create a new order, but to deepen the existing order’s apostolate to include work in teaching and training in the beauty of Natural Family Planning and Theology of the Body.
“We have been awakened to the serious consequences and the evil of contraception and sterilization and see the need for valiant women to come to the defense of our sisters and brothers in the fight against the culture of death,” says an ad that the order will be placing in various publications. “Armed with the truths presented in the Bible, Humanae Vitae, and the Theology of the Body, we will articulate these powerful truths to our younger generation and encourage them to embrace the richness of the Church’s teachings on sexuality and married love.”
“We would go out like missionaries for Humanae Vitae,” said Sister Boushey. “It’s been a dream of ours to go out and do conferences and retreats for parish groups and married couples.”
“They see Humanae Vitae as part of their charism,” said Father Daniel McCaffrey, director of NFP Outreach. “If we can get many holy young women who are on fire with this message, we can help save the culture.”
“We have frequently been told that those communities that are involved in pro-life work will have vocations,” said Benedictine Sister Nancy Boushey, who is a member of a community of three sisters in the Brownsville Diocese. “The future of the Church, and of the world, passes through the family. We want to renew and transform the culture. That’s in line with the charism of the Benedictines.”
The Benedictine Monastery of the Good Shepherd has been in Texas since 1986 doing apostolic work including youth and elderly ministry and post-abortion retreats. In addition, Sister Boushey has been the pro-life director for the Diocese of Brownsville for the past year and a half.
Sister Boushey said that they’ve already received some interest from a woman in Houston who has been teaching on these topics. They’ve also received interest from a Nigerian nun.
In December, all of the collaborators – the sisters, Father McCaffrey, assistant director Father Matthew Habiger, and San Antonio medical director Dr. Martha Garza, will be gathering to discuss the next steps. The sisters hope to host a Come and See weekend soon.
“Many of the clergy have utterly failed the people in this,” said Father McCaffrey. “We need valiant women like Esther and Joan of Arc.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the community can reach Sister Nancy Boushey at:
OSB Benedictine Monastery of the Good Shepherd
Rio Grande City, TX 78582