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Linda Gibler | Catholic Nuns Today

Dominican Sisters of Houston

When I was 28 years old, I was a waitress and knew something was missing from my life. The thought of becoming a Sister had never entered my mind. I went to church one Sunday and a member of the Serra Club was there to speak about vocations. I walked passed him to my car, but a voice pulled me back to get more information. I went on their retreat and I knew I had to consider religious life. Although I tried to talk myself out of it, I went to visit a couple of congregations but I didn’t find a fit. Then, just like Goldie Locks, the third try—the Dominican Sisters—was just right. I especially liked their feminist and justice stances. I was being drawn into a more intimate love of God and being a Dominican was the best lifestyle that I could live.

Tying together science and religion: When I came to the Dominicans, I already had my BA in Sociology. I later received a Master’s in Pastoral Studies. My first jobs as a Sister were as a chaplain in a county hospital and in parish ministry. Later, when I saw the first of the pictures from the Hubble telescope, the beauty of the Universe overwhelmed me and I wanted to learn more about the relationships between philosophy, science, and religion. I went on to receive another Master’s in Philosophy & Religion. As I was studying, I investigated the “cosmocentric” aspects of Roman Catholic celebrations especially the use of water, olive oil, and fire in the sacraments. My Dominican congregation was extremely supportive of me and very encouraging throughout my eight years of discovery. I have just obtained my Doctorate in Philosophy & Religion with a concentration in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. This means learning to incorporate the significance of what we are learning from science, especially in our knowledge of the Universe, into our theology and spiritual practice, and how that new understanding affects everything.

The indomitable spirit: From my studies of the Cosmos, I see how the Spirit is magnified in each individual. For example, once I was helping a Salvadoran woman who had immigrated to the United States. Her family had very little, but she was given the opportunity to get free furniture for her family if she could get it home. She had only a small truck, but she did not let that limit her. I saw this woman’s indomitable spirit get furniture for a family of eight to fit. Amazing. The Spirit is alive in the Cosmos, from the largest stars to the smallest atomic particles, and it all fits!