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The Secret Life of Nuns

Alex Mar writes for the Oxford American on spending time in a convent:
I traveled here, arriving just yesterday on an early flight, to answer a question that I’ve had for years: Why would a woman make the very specific choice to marry God? I’m imagining a certain kind of woman—let’s say a woman like myself, in her mid-thirties and smart and not hard-up and with a few options in life. Why would she choose to live with his many brides and very little privacy and pooled resources; to abandon any and all romantic partners, along with the possibility of ever again touching someone else’s naked body; to set aside every personal need and closely held ambition in favor of the needs of others? I wanted to understand who this woman was—call her a nun or a sister or a woman religious—and why I’ve harbored a fantasy about her since I was a young girl.

posted by frimble on Oct 26, 2014 - 16 comments

a current overview of nuns in the US

The Sad State of America’s Aging Sisters: Why are there so few nuns today?
You may wonder whether the global church the sisters belong to is interested in keeping the convents open. It sure seems like it isn't. By 2005, the Catholic Church had spent $1 billion on legal fees and settlements stemming from priests sexually abusing children. Yet church leaders have allocated no funds to take care of elderly sisters, and while priests’ retirement funds are covered by the church, the sisters have no such safety net. When their orders run out of money, that’s it.

“Why would you want to be a nun if the archdiocese is going to treat you like they do?” Ann Frey at the Wartburg said. “Their whole lives they’ve been obedient and done what they were asked to do, and now nobody is helping them?”
[more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 31, 2014 - 79 comments

Ranzgia, Gauschin, Dunazz

Here are a glossary and alphabet for the Lingua Ignota, the secret language created by Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century abbess, seer, doctor, and composer.
posted by Iridic on Sep 30, 2013 - 6 comments

Something About Mary

"The convent would have been seen as a way for women to gain status. Nuns had a particular mystique and attraction about them. There was one in particular, and I would in hindsight say I definitely had a crush on her." Former nun Mary Skelley on coming out. [Vimeo]
posted by DarlingBri on Aug 16, 2012 - 6 comments

Sr. Brigid calls it like she sees it

I still call him Ratzinger. That fits him better. But that is just a personal bias ... The nuns that I talk to aren't really afraid, because they can't see or they can't imagine what he would do to change us. I mean, like, excommunication? That is a thing of the past. You can't excommunicate hundreds of nuns. Wouldn't that be kind of funny? Excommunicate the whole order! It is irrational. Sr. Brigid McDonald, of the Sisters of St. Joseph, speaks the truth to power (single link interview, but delightful).
posted by TheShadowKnows on May 5, 2012 - 86 comments

30 years of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Thirty years of community fundraising, flawless makeup, genderbending, and hysterically offensive names: the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are celebrating their 30th anniversary in San Francisco this weekend with parties, library exhibits, an art show, and their usual over-the-top Easter celebration. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Apr 10, 2009 - 18 comments

Nun of the Above

Are nuns keeping up with the times and are they having fun? From blogs to running, to the arts and union disputes, nuns are busy. Even a beauty contest is being planned. But, the old ways persist. [more inside]
posted by Xurando on Aug 25, 2008 - 42 comments

They Kick Ass for the Lord

Karate Nuns [more inside]
posted by Bookhouse on Oct 11, 2007 - 25 comments

Librarians vs. nuns

Librarians vs. Nuns in a caged death match! (video) (Did I say "caged death match"? I meant "Spelling Bee".)
posted by 445supermag on Mar 10, 2006 - 10 comments

Carmelite nuns in Indy respond to the child sex abuse cases

Carmelite nuns in Indy respond to the child sex abuse cases currently plaguing the Church. (from NPR) Great to see the perspective of the other half of the Holy Orders - these nuns are ballsy and discard the notion of the (Roman Catholic) Church as a superpower. The dedication of nuns always blows my mind - and breaks the mean-ol'-bitch stereotypes that linger in my head... ...meanwhile the Archdiocese of New York gives a D. A. abuse accusation records from the past 30 years (from NYTimes - requires login, etc.)
posted by ao4047 on Apr 4, 2002 - 9 comments

Police Arrest an allegedly Fake Nun.

Police Arrest an allegedly Fake Nun. But really, is she any more dishonest than a regular church is? "Say, why is that priest driving a Porsche?"
posted by kingmissile on Feb 10, 2002 - 10 comments

catholic priests in africa

catholic priests in africa have found a novel, if unethical way, to avoid catching aids. they rape nuns. the foundation for democracy in africa have a frightening report on the epidemic.
posted by quarsan on Jun 18, 2001 - 8 comments

Hardly Christian.

Hardly Christian. So many questions... were the nuns simply trying to save their own lifes? If so, does that make it any better? And does a Belgium court have the right to preside over crimes in another culture? Can anything good come of this?
posted by Neale on Apr 17, 2001 - 7 comments

Priests and missionaries sexually abusing nuns.

Priests and missionaries sexually abusing nuns. I'm thinking it's long past time the Catholic church re-thought the whole "celibacy" thing.
posted by dnash on Mar 20, 2001 - 22 comments

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