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.
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.[more inside]
“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?”
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.
"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]
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).
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]
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]
Librarians vs. Nuns in a caged death match! (video) (Did I say "caged death match"? I meant "Spelling Bee".)
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.)
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?"
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.
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?
Priests and missionaries sexually abusing nuns. I'm thinking it's long past time the Catholic church re-thought the whole "celibacy" thing.