Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What do Nuns do?

I miss the presence of nuns in my rural parish. I was fortunate to attend Catholic school for most of my school years and they were everywhere then. They were our teachers, disciplinarians (ya, that was way back!), role models, referees and playmates.

There was Sr. Josephine, 3 feet tall, who swung a wicked ruler; Sr. Rita, who would perform a juggling act to recapture the attention of an unruly class; Sr. Rachel, who would jump right into any sport we were playing, from handball to volleyball, jump rope to kickball.  The flying skirts and veils of recess gave way to the dignified setting  of the classroom and frequently a stern look was all the ammunition needed to maintain order.  These amazing women lived in the convent next to the school, attended daily Mass with us, and exuded a love of living for Jesus that spilled over into everything they did.

So what's a nun's life really like?  Thanks to the internet, you can find out.  There are several nun blogs where cloistered and non cloistered sisters open up about their daily routines, hopes, frustrations, joys and adventures.  Would you believe a nun having a pirate-themed birthday party?  Check out  Nuns in shorts and tshirts climbing ladders to make building repairs?  There really is a place for any interest in religious life - seclusion, working with people, health care, education, missions, and so much more.  Most orders have websites now, and interested parties can email for more info.

The Smithsonian Institution is sponsoring a travelling exhibition, through 2012, called "Women and Spirit - Catholic Sisters in America"  The exhibit's homepage contains an awesome video of some of the exhibit and commentary.  Definitely worth a look.

No comments: