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Who are the Red Nuns and what are they doing in Thailand?

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A new monastery has been opened by an American group of cloistered nuns in Thailand in pursuit of planting an aura of "contemplative monastic spirituality."


Catholic Online (
3/31/2016 (8 years ago)

Published in Vocations

Keywords: Thailand, Red Nuns, prayer, Redemptoristine, monastery

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sister Joan Claver O.Ss.R. has been a nun for 63 years and has moved to the Redemptoristine Red Nuns in Thailand. The monastery was founded by Italian mystic Venerable Maria Celeste Crostarosa in 1731, whom Pope Francis recently approved to be beatified.

"We have a great admiration for apostolic work like preaching or nursing and family life, but we as Redemptoristine nuns are called to this distinct way of contemplative prayer life," Sister Claver described. "All together we contribute to build a better society and a better world."

The Red Nuns, nicknamed for their traditional red habits, also don a scapular and blue choir-mantle. Their belts include a 15-decade rosary and the medallion is embossed with the emblems of Christ's passion.

Sister Claver and a few members of the St. Louis, Missouri Order of the Most Holy Redeemer moved to Thailand to plant the seeds of their priory in 2011. Since then, four nuns and one aspirant have joined their number.

"We follow a life of prayer in every moment right from the time we wake till rest," Sister Maria Suphavadi Kamsamran, a Thai Sister, told the Catholic News Agency. "Our meditation ranges from Jesus Christ's infancy in the crib to the Passion on the Cross and the Holy Eucharist which are our spiritual sources."

She continued, explaining how grateful the Sisters are to God and the Diocese of Nakhon Ratchasima for their support in the prayer ministry.

Prayer permeates the Sisters' every activity, including their daily chores. Their contemplation includes psalms, prayer, Eucharist Adoration and silence.

Bishop Joseph Chusak Sirisut blessed the monastery last October and shared, "I want the diocese to be also a focal center of prayer," adding the monastery can serve as a "beacon of prayer" in the region.

Though Buddhism reigns in Thailand, Bishop Chusak described the acceptance and respect the Buddhists offer the Red Nuns. "The Buddhists and other faiths here have mainly seen sisters in action, but they will also see sisters who continuously pray. It does not mean that our other religious and consecrated nuns don't pray.

"People will get to know our silent contemplative monastic way of life."


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