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Like Night and Day

Like Night and Day

Sisters’ Personal and Communal Religious Practices in Two Places

(p.58) Three Like Night and Day
Unequal Partners
Casey Ritchie Clevenger
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the personal and communal religious practices of Congolese and US Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, asking what leads members to organize daily rituals and annual gatherings differently. It describes how sisters in the United States and the Democratic Republic of Congo account for varying forms of community life in the congregation and the cultural and institutional explanations they offer for differences across regions. Contrasting sets of expectations regarding community life among Congolese and US sisters reflect the distinct ways sisters prioritize collective bonds and personal autonomy in both places. They also reveal how members construct and embody their religious selves in relation to other aspects of their cultural and national identities.

Keywords:   Catholic sisters, religious practices, religious communities, Vatican II, inculturation, Catholicism, Boston, Democratic Republic of Congo

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