I love nuns. And I’m hopeful that this new pope will restore them to their rightful place of respect in the church.
If you’ve read my column for any length of time, you’d know several things about me. And I’d venture to guess that one of them is that I was raised Catholic and believed from my earliest cogitions, that I was destined to become a nun. I even picked out my name: Sr. Mary Cecelia.
Taught solely by Dominicans at the parochial school I attended, I wrongly assumed that it was the only order around. And this was no good. The problem was, while I didn’t cotton to the idea of teaching for a living, I absolutely detested the thought of being around children. Raised with six brothers and sisters, the last thing I wanted was to be surrounded by more kids.
No, I wanted a contemplative life. And as I grew into my prepubescent years, I realized there were more orders than just the Dominicans. I dreamt more along the lines of a cloistered order, being shut away from the horrors and realities of this world, allowed to sit and pray, eat modestly, enjoy a glass of the grape every now and again, and discuss philosophical issues with my fellow sisters. The bride of Christ gig was appealing to me, especially and specifically because it also involved a key component: I could wear a habit. Boy, how I wanted to wear one of those.
When Vatican II came and went, it took with it the holy garb of the nuns. No longer could nuns be spotted from a football field away. Habits were replaced with street clothes and a small lapel cross. Where’s the fun in that?
My shallow intentions exposed, I rethought my life as a nun, and decided to postpone it. And if it doesn’t work out in the future, I can always convert to Islam, and wear a burqa.