Nuns on the March
If the Sisters of Mary have any real doubts about their faith--real, dark-night-of-the-soul doubts--they're not letting on. Why should they? Our so-called "real" world is not quite real to them, and they don't owe us any explanations. To them, spiritual issues are much more urgent.
"Listen," says Mother Assumpta, "the devil doesn't stay outside the doors of the convent. We're not excused from temptation. We're all human, and we all have temptation."
"Satan would like to win the religious away from Christ," concurs Sister Mary Samuel. "He's very real, and sin is very real in our lives. But the Eucharist is our strength and our joy."
As for the world, she says, "we're not going to correct it. It is what it is: secular and hedonistic. But through our witness, we show [people] what they're really looking for: proof that God loves us and has a plan for us."
In their full habits, the sisters rarely pass unnoticed. "We always get questions," says Sister Stephen Patrick. "Ann Arbor is pretty friendly, though not always. Some days, people will take steps to avoid you. Other days, people will come up to me and say, 'Sister, could you pray for my husband or wife or mother?'"