My colleague Jim just announced from across the hallway that my little blog had made the UK newspaper The Sunday Times. HA! And not just me … a few other blogging sisters were mentioned. I’ve added links to their blogs below. Here’s the article:
The Sunday Times (November 26, 2006 )
SOME days she goes to classes on chastity and obedience. Other days are reserved for prayer and contemplation. Yet life is not all about spiritual devotion for one of the younger members of an intriguing new religious order — nuns who have taken to the internet to describe their convent lives, writes Tony Allen-Mills.
“Yesterday three of us went and played mini-golf. We had a blast,” writes Sarah, a 26-year-old Benedictine novice whose weblog, The Ear of Your Heart, discusses everything from the teachings of Jesus to cooking tofu stir-fry.
They have become known as the “sister bloggers”, a network of nuns around the world whose online diaries are providing insights into previously closeted lives.
With disarming enthusiasm and intriguing frankness, dozens of nuns of all ages are contributing to a revival of American interest in life behind convent walls.
“I’m wildly enthusiastic about our mission of putting communications technology at the service of the gospel,” declared Sister Anne, a Catholic nun in Chicago.
Sister Julie Vieira, from Monroe, Michigan, wrote in her blog, A Nun’s Life: “More and more religious communities are getting ‘wired’ . . .. to spread the Good News and to tell people about who they are and what they stand for.”
While some of the blogs are devoted to theology, many are spiced with debate about convent life, from wearing habits to watching Hollywood films.
Many of the bloggers turned to convent life after marriage or other careers. Sister Claire Joy, a 60-year-old grandmother from New York, became a nun once her children had grown up. “My first year I asked things like, what was I thinking? When am I going to get bored with all this praying? How can I ever live with these neurotic women?” she wrote. Four years later she is still a nun.
Few appear to be troubled by their vows of celibacy, although one Filipino nun, calling herself Shireyu-san, confesses in her blog that she is constantly “tempted by the wants of the world . . . I know I must overcome the weakness of the flesh”.
The renewed interest in convents follows four decades of sharp decline in the number of American nuns from almost 180,000 in 1965 to about 68,000 today.
The arrival of a youthful new breed of believers is reflected in many of the blogs. Sister Steph, who describes herself as a “nun-in-training”, says her favourite film is the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, best known for a scene in which the actress Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm.