Saturday, December 09, 2006
or as they more often style themselves these days, Sisters of Sion (!) or simply Sion (!!).
They were founded by Theodore Ratisbonne with rather different aims from inter-religious dialogue (they have the rather ambitious aim no less of reconciling church and synagogue, repairing a breach as old as Christianity. Without this breach indeed, Catholicism would not exist today), helping asylum seekers and in the case of one sister in the UK, promoting aromotherapy and providing massages.
Here he is with his brother, Alphonse also a convert from Judaism.
The irony is that the modern sisters would turn these two brothers (one of them their founder) away at the door if they had attempted to convert today. Anyone who is interested in learning more about their remarkable story should read the book "A Nineteenth Century Miracle, The Brothers Ratisbonne and the Congregation of N. D. de. Sion" trans. L. M. Leggatt (London, 1922)
No prizes for guessing which of these Sisters that the Ratisbonnes would recognise as their own.
The house of this Belgian sister, located opposite a synagogue is now closed. I believe, but would have to check, that it is used to house asylum seekers.
The community still exist in the suburbs giving Hebrew courses. However, they also organised a day seminar, My Conviction, way of opening, 6 contributors, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, humanist and bahâ’ï, followed by a concert by the group, Sun of Fraternity.
Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father, except through me". There is nothing more important than mission. This Chinese woman teaching the Rosary to her grandson at the turn of the century knows that, but every Catholic should today.