The Tau Cross (right) is the symbol for our Congregation. The Tau (in the middle; it looks like a slanty "T") is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet and the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is the symbol of our guy, St. Francis of Assisi chose for his followers. He read a passage from Ezekiel which said, "The Faithful of God shall be marked with the Tau on their foreheads." So Franciscans everywhere (men, women, lay, religious...) use the Tau symbol to identify them as Franciscan.
For the SSSFs, the whole cross is our identifying symbol. It is unique to our congregation. ALL of our sisters, no matter where they are in the world have the same Tau cross. For us it holds the meaning of our Franciscan values and life and it is a symbol which reminds us that we are consecrated, commissioned, and committed.
When we are received as a novice and become "Sister" we receive the Tau cross. This picture is the Tau cross on our Congregational constitutions Response in Faith (RIF). The Taus come in many different shapes and sizes. We have "Big official Tau" (right) and little Tau necklaces, little Tau pins, Tau rings. My students call the big one--Tau Bling--ahh generational language. There's me on my reception day with the newly received Tau cross.
So...you ever see a Sister wearing that symbol...you can say, "Hey...You must be one of those rockin' School Sisters of St. Francis! I read about that Tau Cross on Sr. Katy's Blog"...my won't they be impressed!
That's your Nunspeak lesson for today. Ciao!