What is a Sister?


Sister is a word that describes a close, familial relationship. It is also a title given to women who have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to serve God and others. Sisters are known for their many ministries around the world including education, health care, social work and advocacy. The term was first used by a Christian church in the early NT to refer to female followers of Christ who lived as part of a community. Today the term is more often associated with women in religious orders or communities.

A nun or woman religious is bound by solemn vows and lives a life of prayer and ministry within the confines of a monastery or other cloistered environment. She professes perpetual simple vows and lives according to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Check out A Nun’s Life Ministries for more information.

Sisters, on the other hand, live a more active lifestyle in the world and engage in works of mercy and outreach to those in need. They are sometimes referred to as “active sisters” or “apostolic sisters.” Sisters may be found working as nurses, educators and social workers. Some may even be on reality shows like Seeking Sister Wife and the original Sister Wives.

As such, Sisters are a very visible part of the Catholic Church. Many people, especially in the US, have heard of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, a 98-year-old Catholic sister who became a household name during Loyola’s run through the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in March of 2018. Aside from being the team chaplain, Sister Jean is an advocate for the poor and homeless and teaches students to pray.

SIBLINGSHy sibling is a girl or woman who shares at least one parent with you. If you and your sister have the same father but different mothers, you are called consanguine sisters. If you have a half sister who shares only your mother with you, she is called a uterine sister. A step-sister is the daughter of your stepparent.

The word sister can also be used to describe a close and loving friendship. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as a special bond of affection between two individuals. So, whether you’re searching for the perfect gift for your sister or simply wanting to remind her of how much she means to you, take a look at some heartwarming quotes below. We hope you find them as inspirational as we did!