From Vatican II to 2022
The year was 1968 and that summer I would become invested with the habit of the Sisters of Notre Dame. What would my classmates and I wear? This was an important question—and an unusual one that hadn’t needed to be asked for decades. Vatican II allowed a seismic shift in the manner in which apostolic religious sisters would live and minister. Our class would be the first to wear what was called a “modified habit.” Now 54 years later I look back to that day when I received the name Sister Valerie and the habit of the Sisters of Notre Dame on August 9, 1968. Two years later on the same date I would make my promise of fidelity, a commitment completely new and quite different from temporary “first vows.” Over more than five decades there have been many changes in most areas of life and ministry: clothes, finances, modes of travel, vacations, housing. All has been good. But who would ever have imagined in ’68 what we live now? Change will continue. It always does. But the change now has become more spiritually transformative. The big question is How are we becoming what God wants us to be? How are we living the life of Christ in unity with God and all creation?