Sister Regina Comic Strip

Sister Regina is a fictitious Handmaid who appears almost every week on this site, on our Facebook page, and in our Twitter feed. She gives those outside the cloister an idea of what life within the monastery can be like. Click any cartoon to see a larger image.

Sister Regina the cartoon is not published during the seasons of Advent, the Christmas Octave, Lent, or the Easter Octave to not only allow the Handmaids to more deeply enter into those times of more intense prayer, but also to encourage others to do so as well.

What’s in a name? Everything. For our purposes, we will say that names count for everything. They tell us, among other things, precisely who we are praying for. A quick glance at the Bible indicates that God takes names very seriously. Think of Isaiah 43:1 "I have called you by name; you are mine." or Is 43:6 ff "Bring back my sons from afar...everyone who is named as mine, who I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Apply these words to priests and see the link between naming and possessing: being called and possessed by God! We are named because we are God's. So too with priests. When we install a name plaque in the Mary, Mother of Priests, Tribute Garden we aren't so much honoring individual men; we are honoring God, who called each of them to be his special possession, his anointed ones as priests.

Each name plaque, each name, each life, each vocation, each man is unique and different yet infinitely, personally precious in God's eyes as his co-workers in his vineyard. Each name mounted is, as it were, a permanent prayer request "Remember me in your prayers, I beg you!" This "me" has a name. His name matters. Names count. The extra burdens priests carry in their lifelong imitation of Christ Crucified for the sake of others, demand our faithful and continuous prayer support.

Names count. The individual name can be unique, but his Cross is universally fashioned to follow the footsteps of the High Priest.

If you would like to pay tribute to a special priest you are grateful to God for; consider making a donation and submitting his name to the Mary, Mother of Priests, Garden. To learn more, visit this link.

PS Even if you are unable to donate, we will still pray for that priest. They all deserve our prayers!
#sisterreginacomicstrip #tributegarden

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In The Full Habit and Scapular

The transition to monastic life isn't accomplished in one day or even one year. The Church in her wisdom demands no less than nine years of formation for a cloistered nun. The more today's secular culture is at variance with the religious life, the steeper the learning curve, not just spiritually but physically as well. Different schedules, food, prayers, study, recreation, even clothing must be adapted to. As a candidate progresses along her formation journey, her garb will not only have some symbolic meaning in the consecrated life but also change incrementally to permit physical adjustment. Our cartoon this week draws from the experiences of many a new novice learning to pray, work, and play with a full length scapular.

The garment serves as a symbol of consecrated religious being yoked to Christ. That's another way of saying it can represent the Cross willingly carried on the shoulders of the nun. It can also serve as the source of a few holy laughs as it inadvertently finds itself in use as a dish towel, tripping device, floor mat, car door flag (as it dangles out the closed door in traffic) until one learns the attention to detail it requires in being aware of the scapular's location relative to the body. "Did I just shut the window on my scapular front?" "Am I sitting on my scapular back?" "Where is my scapular hanging this moment?" As a sister learns this practical sensitivity, she can perhaps more easily ask very often, "Where is the Cross Jesus is asking me to carry for his priests right now? What work am I doing yoked to Christ this instant?"

Who knew a few square feet of fabric could bring one closer to Christ?


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Make a plan and God laughs, right? There is a converse rule of thumb too. Make a plan that is NOT God's and be miserable. Despite appearances to the contrary among the elite, celebrities, and the lives of the rich and famous, have you ever personally met someone who got "everything they ever wanted" apart from God to be truly joyful, content, peaceful and satisfied?

What a blessing it is that WITH JESUS we already have everything we can want or need - even amid the trials, difficulties, persecutions, poverty etc., that may never have been part of "our" plans! God's plans for us are always the best.

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O Lord, can I go back to bed? Monastics follow a set schedule of prayer, work, and rest. But it isn’t always an even balance. Sometimes we get tired and behind in sleep, not surprisingly, with a life that deliberately includes regular nocturnal adoration. While the heart may soar before the Blessed Sacrament the body may understandably sag for want of slumber. In such cases, it can be forgiven that one may wish the day to move a little faster (towards Sacred Silence and bedtime, that is) and perhaps subliminally open the prayer book not to Morning Offering that starts the day but the Prayer for Daily Neglects that ends it. Even nuns can have wishful thinking….and coffee. #sisterreginacomicstrip ...

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The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe is often shortened to Christ the King. One lesson of this great Feast is that all authority, civil or otherwise, on earth is derived from God.

When Adam and Eve fell, it was in part because they wanted some of God's authority for themselves, "you will be like God". That certainly made a mess of things, didn't it? If instead we act opposite of this tendency to usurp by willingly welcoming God's kingship over us completely, as this Solemnity reminds us to do, rightful order returns to our lives and with it, peace. Real peace.

Start small. Start with the individual self. We can look around and find ourselves disappointed with leaders across the spectrum in our world and it's not surprising. But we can never be disappointed in our King. He has already died and risen for us and achieved absolute victory. That gives us freedom to be his entirely. And that is glorious.

Hail, Christ my King! #sisterreginacomicstrip

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Website note: September 2020 – We switched to posting Sister Regina’s Comic Strips on Instagram, but you can still enjoy her past comics in the archive below.