Saturday, October 16, 2010

If I Blog About Nuns, Will I Go to Hell?

When we were little and people would ask what my sisters and I wanted to be when we grew up, my father would always respond "NUNS!  None of this and none of that!"  Ahh people thought he was so witty.  I was raised Catholic, though that was my mother's religion, not my father's.  Interesting that though he wasn't Catholic, he thought the lifestyle of the nun would be perfect for his daughters so they would stay away from boys. 

When I still liked Catholicism, oh who am I kidding, I pretty much never liked it, I did think being a nun would be great.  I liked the idea of living, basically, in a dorm for the rest of my life.  And doing creative things like making clothing out of curtains for children when I was their governess. Oh, that was just Julie Andrews playing a role, huh?  And then you could fly around.  Wait, Sally Fields really didn't fly and wasn't really a nun, you tell me? 

So then I realized that being a nun meant always having to smell that nasty stuff that churches always smell like.  And you have to be quiet all the time.  And you aren't supposed to laugh a lot.  Or have your own opinions.  I don't know, maybe the nunhood isn't all that strict, but I did get quite turned off to it at one point, so I never really pursued it.  I think I just wanted to be the rebel nun.  The "bad" nun. The bawdy nun, where the Mother Superior was always shaking her head at what a rascal I was.

What brought all this up, you ask?  I was just reading the paper and the headline says "Nashville nuns lead nation in number of newcomers."  Excuse me?  I went to Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, which is where the Bible belt has a notch or two.  Nuns????  Baptists, Presbyterians, you name any protestant religion and I'll buy it, but nuns????  There were so few Catholics I met that they basically had a support group of about 3 people because we were surrounded by protestants!

Apparently the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville have done something to lure them in.  27 postulants (those are nuns in waiting) have entered the convent this fall.  What on earth is going on????  Here is another staggering statistic.  In 1965, there were 179,954 nuns in the US and today there are 57, 544.  Are you kidding?  There are still 50,000+ nuns around here?  I would have believed maybe 5,000.  I'm not sure there are any nuns around where I live.  I never see them out in their habits.  Not even their casual habits (those make me laugh the most). 

I have nothing else to say.  I'm just amazed that anyone is going into the nunhood anymore and in Nashville, of all places.  If you are a nun, please enlighten us as the joyous lifestyle that nunnery brings because all I ever picture is doom and gloom and sadness and never being allowed to express yourself.


  1. I landed here because I have a Google alert for "Nashville Dominicans". Two girls I know are in their new class of 27. I'm about to join a different order myself, and for me it's all about God, wanting to give myself to Him and wanting Him to be my portion and inheritance, rather than anything else in the world. A few years ago I knew very little about nuns and their life seemed like it must be constrained and boring, but now I don't feel that way at all. Thanks for the post!

  2. You should check out the Nashville Dominicans website: They have a lot of good information on there that might help you understand what being a nun/sister really is like.

  3. Maybe they're closet Opry fans? I got nothin'.

    I am Catholic and went to parochial school for twelve years. I wanted to be a nun for five minutes. Then I came to my senses after I realized that even though black is slimming, there's nothing flattering about a non-form-fitting sack. I haven't seen a nun "in the wild" in years.


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