What nuns talk about at parties

Blog Published: December 27, 2012
By Sister Maxine

Local IHM gathering, Christmas Day 2012When was the last time you were at a party with lots of nuns? For those who’ve had little or no experience with that, here’s the inside scoop based on my Christmas day.

In the morning, I de-iced the sidewalk at the apartment so my neighbor wouldn’t wipe out, then I went to the Motherhouse for Christmas festivities. At brunch, the dining room was a sea of red, green, and silver sweaters. The conversations were as lively as the Christmas colors. We talked about education and how it’s changing; about the global economy; about nieces, nephews, and siblings; about the wonderful sweet potatoes we were eating. With so much great conversation, it was hard to imagine that prior to the 1960s, the sisters often ate meals in silence.

Later, I went to dinner with other IHMs from the local area. One had delivered Meals-on-Wheels earlier in the day. Some had visited people who were ill. Others had prepared our potluck meal for the evening. From mid-afternoon to early evening, we talked about what it means to be faithful Catholics in a world of increasing complexity. We talked about new theological ideas and the expansiveness of God. And we talked about family and friends, parish life, green beans and potatoes, vocations to religious life, the Second Vatican Council, the fiscal cliff, the tragedy at Newtown, and many other things.

By the time I drove home, I was totally talked-out, but I had a lot to think about. I had prayed several times throughout the day, and as I drove, I added one more prayer – a prayer of thanksgiving for community.

What do you give special thanks for as you reflect on 2012?

Image: Local IHM gathering, Christmas Day 2012


Archived Comments

nerdymko December 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

after midnight mass, i didnt see another human being for the rest of the day. what a blessing your community must be! (although if i was there i could have used some more bike talk and tips for what makes a good snow cave.)

Sister Maxine December 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Community is a great gift! As for the bike talk and tips — yep, I’m good with that. What makes for a good snow cave…hmmm for one thing, no polar bears 

Another Sister Julie, CSSF December 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

An hour before our 4pm Mass, one of our sisters was anointed. Sr. Alyce is the eldest member of our local community and was supposed to carry the figure of Jeaus to the crèche. Another sister ws chosen to carry the Babe as the local minister pushed Sister’s wheelchair.

The next day, Sr. Alyce perked up enough to join us for our community rituals. Sr. Alyce carried the figure of Baby Jesus to each sister to venerate. When a sister only placed one kiss on Jesus, Sr. Alyce would thrust him back out to the sister and say things like, “Take two! Give him another!” After that we shared Christmas greetings with one another while breaking the oplatek (Polish Christmas wafer).

Then gifts were distributed, including Rosaries made by the sister-in-law of one of our sisters. The Rosaries were made of hematite beads with aurora borealis beads for the Our Fathers and tiny, colored glass beads instead of chain (they were strung on wire.). Mine felt so good in my hands that I thought to myself, “I can’t wait to take this on a test run!”

It was at that point that I realized that I am a nerd nun!

Here’s to rallying elder nuns, new rosaries, and loving community.

Sister Maxine December 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

What a beautiful story of community life! And God bless all nerd nuns!

Joyceelaine December 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

This year, I’m grateful for family. I lost the aunt who helped raise me, and my Great Gran that always made me laugh. I’m also absolutely grateful for my health. A lot of scary health things happened this year for my family and we all got through them relatively unscathed.

Betsy Bauer December 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I have been to plenty of nun parties and they are usually quite entertaining! Lots of love and joy and chatter. This year I’m grateful for the ability to continue to work at a job I love love love. I’m grateful that even though my dear dear friend Sr Margaret died I had 33 years of joy and laughter with her. I’m grateful that my fabulous husband, wonderful kids and I snuggled in on Christmas day and didn’t do anything except BE TOGETHER as a family – cooked together, played games, watched movies and didn’t get all caught up in the go go go of the outside world. And that we made memories together.

Kerri Leigh Power December 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm

How wonderful to share in your joy-filled day – thanks!

Jacob Neale December 31, 2012 at 2:53 am

i feel, its always nice to gather around and to talk about ideas, love, and God. To know that your not alone and that you have friends and family, to talk to, and to feel like you really have a voice. I hoped that you had a great Christmas, and i also wish you a happy new year, may we all as people look back 2012 and remember this wonderful year. hope you and the other sisters, have a wonderful 2013 also Maxine.

Sister Maxine December 31, 2012 at 6:06 pm

For people to feel a deep sense of belonging is so important. Blessings to you and your loved ones, Jacob, for a joy-filled New Year!

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