Catholic monks & nuns have had 2 branches for at least 900 years, those who are dedicated to service & those who are dedicated to meditation and prayer (cloistered). Service work creates compassionate contact with suffering people, so social
Here is what I can find. Sister Simone Campbell, SSS is a member of the Sisters of Social Service (www.SistersOfSocialService.com). This order presents itself as a vowed order following Benedictine Catholic rule. Vowed women are Catholic, and take the traditional vows of chastity, celibacy, and obedience "within the communal spirit of St. Benedict." The order was founded in response to a groundbreaking social letter of Pope Leo XIII in 1908, and responded to Vatican II by deepening its charism, that is, it's spiritual foundation, and by growing the scope of its global service.
One member of the Order of Sisters of Social Service was beatified in 2006 by Pope John Paul II after her martyrdom while protecting the Jews of Hungary during World War II. Beatification is a step on the path to sainthood, authorized by the Pope and the Holy See (the Vatican). So, clearly the Vatican recognizes the SSS as an order of the Catholic Church.
Orders of the Catholic Church may be cloistered (isolated from society) or not. Those who are not cloistered may be called "secular institutes" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_institute) and the S.S.S. might fall into this category, as it operates in the world and performs social service. However, in all respects, it is an order of nuns who observe chastity, poverty, and obedience, and follow a traditional Catholic rule (the Benedictine), and are a part of the Catholic Church. The SSS is found on a list of Catholic religious institutes at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_so … atholic%29 .
Thanks Sid. I was trying to research NETWORK, and it kept using references I was not familiar with at all, though it did not seem like a Nun int he traditional sense to me. I am not Catholic so was not aware of the secular part of that.