Over the past few months we've seen the release of two one-hour documentaries featuring Catholic sisters. The two films offer a view into the world of women's religious life. While there are some similarities between the documentaries -- both follow 5 Catholic sisters, both have the sisters themselves tell their story -- there is much diversity (good diversity!) such as how the sisters express their relationship with God, how they engage they world, how they view religious life, etc.
I'm grateful that my introduction to The Divine Sister, a comedic play written by Charles Busch, came from a review by Lawrence Toppman, a theater critic and culture writer with The Charlotte Observer. Had I run into the predictable story line and characters elsewhere, I may have been less than amused with this comedy and missed its actual intent.
Just the other day a large vase of incredibly beautiful roses arrived at the convent, to our great surprise and delight. The flowers were a gift from the Divine. Really. The card that came with them said so. It was signed, “Love, Jesus.”
I’m not a big fan of making fun of nuns. No. In fact I detest stereotypes of nuns. Granted, some folks play with the image of nuns in order to have a little Catholic fun and stoke the nostalgic fires. But many, many of these images of nuns are at best cheap shots and at worst degrading and offensive stereotypes.
Is our popular image of what nuns look like taking a turn? I read an article in the Mail Online, a UK news outlet, about Kelly Osbourne, in which writer Leah Simpson comments on in a recent sighting of Kelly and her boyfriend and the goings-on of the Osbourne family.
I recently read some scripture commentaries on the story in Exodus about baby Moses being placed in a homemade boat and sent down the Nile River. As intellectually awesome as those were, it was a comment on a Carmelite blog that realy helped me dive into this story as not just an inspiring scripture story but as a the Living Word of God.
When you hear or read the word "nun", what visual immediately springs to your mind? Do you see a person, outfit, location, activity? Do you see something more abstract like a scene of simplicity, complexity, gentleness, or motion?
The Conference on the History of Women Religious has been great. Yesterday we had a preview of a soon-to-be published document called A Question of Habit: The Curious Image of Nuns in Popular Culture by Dr. Bren Ortega Murphy of Loyola University Chicago. I wrote about A Question of Habit project when it was in its early stages back in 2008 when Dr. Murphy gave a lecture at Loyola.