Catholics On TV: “The Sisterhood”, conclusion

So Lifetime got a little crazy with the scheduling, and did episodes 3/4 and 5/6 (six being the finale) back to back. I had to watch episode 4 on my computer, because my DVR didn’t record it, and I just watched five and six. The series is over–not sure if there will be a second one?. Here’s a brief re-cap of the last few episodes, and then how it turned out:

  • After their visit in Chicago, the girls headed to Kentucky, where they visited the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker, a small community in what appeared to be a rural part of the state (Eseni and Francesca were freaking about this–“Where’s Kentucky?” one of them asked). Christie told Stacey as they were leaving Chicago that she wanted to join the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence (the Chicago order), and when their time was over in Kentucky, she would go back to ask for admission. Stacey is happy for her friend, but says she still hasn’t found the convent/order that’s right for her.
  • On the way to Kentucky, the girls stop in Indianapolis. At a restaurant, Eseni and Francesca “change” into high heels and roll their skirts up so high that Christie says she can “see everything” when they’re sitting down. Christie and Stacey are NOT happy with this at all. The talk turns to romance and sex–Stacey is still a virgin, and both Eseni and Francesca seem really freaked about that. Stacey doesn’t understand why they feel that way (And I gotta admit, I felt the same way as Stacey! Um…….no sex before marriage is the catholic rule, y’all). Claire was talking to a young man about Catholicism and religion in general, which Francesca interpreted as “flirting”, but it reminded me of St. Dominic staying up all night with the innkeeper. And as someone who has had those long conversations with guys before, let me tell you–it’s not the same as flirting, y’all.
  • In Kentucky, Claire sees a statue of the Infant Jesus, and is immediately attracted to it. She also loves that the sisters have a school, and the girls visit a music classroom, which is right up Claire’s alley. She immediately plays the piano and seems to be having a great time. The other girls are having some trouble, however, because Stacey and Christie are angry that Francesca and Eseni lied to Mother Christina about “losing” their phones when it was time to turn them in again.
  • This order is smaller–there are only 12 sisters. They run a school (St. Joseph’s Academy) and a senior care facility (Taylor Manor), as well as help people in need in the area. The girls are taken to a woman’s house, where they clean the house, weed the yard and patio, plant flowers, and change sheets on the bed inside.
  • Claire is feeling like she’s called to enter this order. She feels a real kindred spirit with the women in the order and the work they do, so she decides to ask Mother Christina for admission before they leave. Francesca takes Claire aside and asks her if she’s sure she’s doing the right thing, since Claire has never had a boyfriend, or kissed a guy. Claire talks about agape love, which Francesca totally does not get, but….
  • A point about the above: I think you can be a nun without having the physical experiences Francesca is talking about. You can really love someone without kissing them. I think we’ve all had those experiences. I know I have. You don’t need to experience these things (i.e., physical expressions of love)  in order to be a nun, sister, brother, priest, or other consecrated vocation. You have to be able to love, you have to have experienced it(i.e., felt it for another person), yes–but that doesn’t mean just physical romantic love, the way Francesca thinks it does.
  • Claire asks Mother Christina if she can begin the formal process of entrance. After a long moment, Mother Christina says yes (I’m sure there was editing here.). I was so happy for Claire, because I’ve been on the other side of that–when they say no–and it’s so hard. Claire, Mother Christina, and the other sisters were so happy. When they told the other girls, both Christie and Stacey were happy, but Eseni and especially Francesca seemed gobsmacked.
  • The last episode details what happened with each girl once she went home. So here we go:
  • Eseni decided not to continue discernment. She’s still with Darnell and they’re “planning a future together.” (I’m not sure what that means.) She is going back to school to become a pediatric nurse. She has spent more time with her family, including her father ,and says that going to confession while she was on the trip was a huge benefit for her.
  • Stacey initially thought she’d join Christie in Chicago, but then decided that she felt her call was in New York state, where she’s been living, so she’s going to stay there for the time being.
  • Francesca is continuing to talk to the Carmelite sisters, since she felt the closest to them, and even invited Sr. Marie Therese and Sr. Peter to her parents’ for a cookout! She says she’s grown spiritually as a result of the experience and now she’s working in New York City in real estate and has her own apartment. She’s only 21, so she has time if she decided she really does want to join the sisters, but it seems like they have really helped her.
  • Christie  stopped in Chicago to visit the Sisters before going home to California, and formally asked for admittance to the   Sisters of St. Mary of Providence. She has formally been accepted to begin discernment with them, has begun selling her things, and has made several visits to the sisters. She says she’s taking her parents on the next one. Her mom took is very hard, initially, because she’s close to Christie, but it seems like they are becoming more accustomed to the idea as time goes on.
  • Finally, Claire went home to Illinois and told her parents and her family of her decision. Her father was definitely taken aback, because he thought it was a bit fast–she just met the sisters and she wanted to join them. However, he did give her her blessing. Claire is, presumably, going to Kentucky for a retreat soon, and will hopefully be admitted as a postulant, which lasts for 8-10 months with that order.

So that is the end of the series. It worked out essentially how I thought it would–I knew Claire was serious, and Christie’s growth during the series was evident. I hope that Stacey can find her calling, whether it be in or out of a convent. I don’t think Francesca will actually join the Carmelites, but nothing is impossible, and Eseni would be a good nurse.

Most of the filming was presented in a tactful way, and I loved the sisters and the perspective that they gave, not only on the girls, but on being a sister in the 21st century, and on what life of a Bride of Christ is like. They were earthy, funny, real…very enjoyable. I wished the sisters in Kentucky were here in Ohio, too!

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Catholics on TV: “The Sisterhood”, Ep. 3

Yes, it’s Tuesday night…. 🙂

  • We’re half-way through the run of “The Sisterhood.” Only three more eps to go!
  • We start with Day 15: Their last day with the Carmelites.
  • Mother Mark has “a little chat” with the girls. She tells them she’s going to the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence in Chicago.
  • Francesca’s freaking because it’s “so far away.” Um…..it’s not India, hon. It’s Chicago.
  • (I can’t believe Eseni still has the nails….)
  • Mother Mark gives the phones back, but this won’t last too long, because they’ll have to hand them in when they get to Chicago. (At least I’m pretty sure they will.)
  • We try to have fun together, because that’s part of life too–Mother Mark. Amen.
  • Look like the girls got some sot of parting gifts, in purple gift bags. That was sweet.
  • Francesca is crying.
  • The girls all had their phones back out almost immediately upon getting in the van, except for Christie and Claire.
  • They’re in Chicago, still in the same uniforms.
  • Eseni talks about how she felt connected to Sr. Marie Therese, which is good, but that she feels nervous about the new group of sisters.
  • Annnnd Eseni calls her boyfriend. Sigh. Not the best idea. There are tears and hugs from the girls.
  • The sister is waiting….and praying a rosary, it sounds like.
  • Francesca and Eseni are like buddy-buddy. This doesn’t surprise me that much.
  • Someone took the Lord’s name in vain in front of a sister?!?!?!?
  • This is Sr. Beth Ann. Their habit is a gray dress with matching veil, white border around the veil, and a white collar.
  • I really like Sr. Beth Ann. She seems very friendly and forward. “He’s got a plan for each one of us,” she says. “Well, I want you to do something every day for 10 minutes. Sit in the chapel and let Jesus love your heart.” This is what Bl. Mother Teresa told Sr. Beth Ann when she was younger. FREAKING WIN.
  • Christie is really liking that. She’s tearing up. It’s nice.
  • “This is urban Chicago,” Sr. Beth Ann says. “It’s really kind of tough.” The convent is enclosed by metal gates. Eseni is sort of freaking about the gates. “The gate is more of a security issue,” Sister says. They have clients who could wander off, so it’s designed to keep them in.
  • They seem very friendly and huggy. I like that.
  • The order was founded in 1881 in North Italy by St. Louis Guanella. He was an Italian priest who wanted to start a house where people would work with special needs populations–the poor, etc. “Whenever there’s a need, there we go.”
  • I think Christie really likes this order. She keeps smiling.
  • “Holy souls find that common bond with one another in Christ.”
  • The girls are in more of a dorm, as opposed to what they had in Germantown. Francesca doesn’t like it. (They all have their own rooms, but it’s not quite as “hotel-ish” as Germantown was. Those rooms were pretty nice. When I stayed with Nashville Dominicans for a weekend retreat, we had rooms that the sisters had when they came home for the summer and other times of the year; there’s one huge room that has beds partitioned off by curtains, and then separate “cells”, which is what I had. Each room had a twin-size bed, a small bookshelf, a desk, a nightstand with a lamp, and a closet.)
  • And the phones are coming back. 🙂 Yup!
  • Francesca is freaking out again. Wow, she really needs to GET A FREAKING GRIP and grow up. “You can’t talk to your family when you’re scared!” she moans.
  • Christie says she’s excited to have this time to focus on Jesus. Yay, Christie!
  • In the Heritage Room, they learn about the history of the order. Sister showed them a hair shirt (A cilice) that people used to wear for part of self-mortification. Sister says they don’t wear them anymore, but Francesca is still freaking out.
  • Christie is growing on me. I gotta say. Francesca is freaked out by the hair shirt, and by a first class relic. Ooooookay. I mean, this is basic Catholic 101 stuff here.
  • Eseni is a bit anxious so she wakes up in the middle of the night, and she says she needs to speak to Darnell (AKA, the boyfriend). “Two weeks of this is bugging me out,” she says. So the producers called him to make sure he was “fine.” OK.
  • There is a bell to wake the girls up, and sister comes in each room to get them up at 6:30.
  • They are going downtown to work with the poor. Francesca is (again) freaking out. Eseni is also wearing a bright lip gloss.
  • “It doesn’t make any sense to be a sister if she’s not got her head with us,” Sister Beth Ann says re: Eseni. I agree.
  • Francesca is freaking out again. Like, really freaking out, because she might be touched by a homeless person. Really? They’re not dragons, here.
  • Claire seems to like Sister Beth Ann. Sister calls her habit the “armor of Christ.” Love that. 
  • Sister is a real natural with the people she works with.
  • Claire and Christie seem super into this, especially Christie. Stacey exclaims, “I got chills!” (Love it.)
  • Sister doesn’t think Eseni is giving herself a chance.
  • Sister breaks the girls into two “teams”, Francesca, Eseni and Claire together. Claire is really working this. She hugs people and talks to them and treat them like people, like brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s great. This is a great fit for her. Francesca says she’s “super impressed ” at what Claire does.
  • Christie and Stacey and Sr. Beth Ann are walking and “chatting”, mostly about Eseni. Sr. Beth needs some info here. When she found out Eseni had a boyfriend, she sort of closed her face. Sigh. Sister had heard her talking to the producers after night prayer. Sister is concerned; ” we have to pull her back in.” Sr. Beth Ann has excellent intuition.
  • The next day, the girls go to Mass with Sister for some individual prayer time and adoration. (Yay, Adoration!!!) The church is gorgeous. Oh my. I just love it. Christie is drinking up the beauty.
  • They have perpetual adoration, and a life-size of Our Lady Of the New Covenant. It’s a monstrance, which is AWESOME…..I mean I love it.
  • Eseni says she has trouble with adoration because she “doesn’t like the feeling.” Um, that means you need it, hon (Personally, I adore adoration. I just love it.)
  • Claire is kneeling on the floor, Christie prostrates herself before the Sacrament (awesommmmmme). Claire’s not feeling it, but there have been times when I’ve done that in adoration. (When I’m alone, of course.)  Sometimes that’s what you feel you need to do.
  • Francesca also struggles with adoration. She says it’s a “mental battle.” “Trapped in her own body, her own religion, her own”….whatever. And she needs to call her mom. Hon……………
  • “But in times like these, it’s Christ we turn to,” Sister said. Yup.
  • We’re praying too much, Francesca says. Wow. Um, then why do you want to be a sister???????? She says she “hates it.” Well, then, OK. Go home. Geez.
  • Claire is losing patience with Francesca. “This is what I meant when I said drama queen,” she says. And it’s true. That’s what Francesca is. Christie also seems to be losing patience with Francesca.
  • “It’s a sign of immaturity when a person has to constantly call her parent,” Sister says. Yup.
  • Day 18: Today they’re going on a road trip to the South Side to visit a market . They do some begging, Sr. Mercy is the “begging sister”, and she’s small and lovely. This is a new market. “We’re going to trust in God’s providence,” Sister Beth Ann says.
  • Francesca, stop taking the Lord’s name in vain! Holy moly!
  • The men come back with so much stuff! Beans and crates of vegetables…so much stuff. “Our charm can work for us or against us,” Claire says. Evidently it worked for them, here. 🙂
  • “He’s so willing, God, to give us whatever we need,” Sister Beth Ann says.
  • The girls drive back, and we see…DARNELL! Here in Chicago. Oh my.
  • “They takin’ her phone, I need to speak to my baby, yo,” he says. Wow (I’d be kicking that one to curb….)
  • Stacey: “Oh my gosh, that’s Darnell.”
  • Sister: “Oh my gosh, this guy is here…I wasn’t really pleased…I was getting a little hot and bothered.” AGREE.
  • Eseni is freaking out and hugging and all this jazz.
  • Next time: Eseni wants to come home; Francesca doesn’t know if she can stay if Eseni goes; “Why do I feel like Jesus isn’t enough?”; swimming time!; the girls are given their next assignment.

Catholics on TV: “The Sisterhood”, Ep. 2

And we’re back for more! 

  • So last week, the girls arrived at the Carmelites for the Aged and Infirm Motherhouse in New York, where they’ll spend a few weeks living the way the sisters do. That means: no make-up, no cellphones, and they wear a uniform.
  • We start on Day 3 in the girls’ discernment process.
  • Mother Mark describes the prayer life of the sisters: daily Mass, daily private and public prayer, weekly Benediction. She says it keeps them grounded and feeds their souls. I love Mother Mark.
  • Christie says she’s more into “charismatic prayer” and not “written prayer.” Um……..ok……….there’s a place for that (like Franciscans), but “written prayer”, the Divine Office, is vital to any nun or sister. It’s a part of their lives, and a big part. If you don’t like that, you’re going to have problems. You can have free form prayer, but written prayer, “set” prayer, is just part of it. It’s something you have to adjust to. Did she not say the rosary at home? Mass is “set prayer”……She can pray in front of the tabernacle whenever she wants!
  • Eseni is talking to the vocations directress, Sister Marie Therese, who seems like a lovely sister. She seems very good at this, and it’s not easy to be a vocations directress!
  • “A tugging in my heart to religious life.” That’s a lovely way to put it, sister.
  • “I was very romantic when I came to religious life.” Aren’t we all? I think everyone has an idea of bon-bons and roses and JESUS LOVES ME!
  • This is an interesting conversation between Sister and Eseni, about the different ways we can love people. Eseni says she’s confused, but it’s good that she’s exploring this call.
  • (The crazy nails are STILL THERE!)
  • Poor Eseni. She’s had a really rough road to get here. “You are as beautiful as you are in the inside as you are outside.” Go, Sister! “All of us are broken!” That’s right! None of us are just perfect beings.
  • Nuns, sisters, monks, priests….none of us are perfect. It’s a process of working toward what God has called us to be.
  • The ladies are going to Massachusetts to one of the sisters’ homes, to see the sisters’ work and what they would be doing as Carmelites in this order.
  • “Working with the elderly is very real, and it can be…very uncomfortable,” Sister Cyril says.
  • Claire’s excited to experience this.
  • I LOVE the Carmelites’ motto for their homes: “The difference is love.”
  • The girls enter an art class and help out the sister in charge. Francesca isn’t there. Sr. Lois Ann is one of the sisters here, and she explains that art therapy is a beneficial part of working with people with dementia, as therapy for them.
  • Sister Peter tries to talk Francesca off the ledge…because she’s freaking out again. Understandably, in a way, because her grandmother has dementia.
  • (Gosh, I love these sisters!)
  • It IS hard to do this. I mean, I’m very medically experienced, and I don’t know how I’d react in a setting like this, because my grandmother also had dementia. It’s tough work, but what they do is SO important.
  • Francesca says she can’t talk about it on camera, so we go back to art class. Claire seems to really be alive and connecting with the residents.
  • “There are two levels of maturity going on here,” yup, I agree with Claire.
  • Sister Peter allows Francesca to call her mom and talk about what’s going on with her grandmother.
  • “My mom is a huge coping mechanism for me,” Francesca says…..um…………..
  • “You can’t just…always rely on another person to help you through something. If… you do, then you’re never going to be happy or feel at peace,” Sister Peter says. Preach it.
  • Sr. Cyril: “My first reaction was, get a grip! It’s not all about you!” I LOVE her! She goes on to say that these girls are a product of their environment, but……..I don’t know. That’s true to an extent, but there’s a difference between working through something new, and totally trying to avoid it.
  • Eseni and Stacey are going with one of the sisters to visit a patient in hospice, and they’ll say a rosary with her. Stacy says it reminds her of when her grandmother died when she was 18, and they were praying the rosary around her when she passed away. (Personally, I would want to go that way. That’s a lovely way to go, saying the rosary with others around you.)
  • The captioning is wrong: It’s St. Thomas MORE, not St. Thomas MOORE. Sigh.
  • It is definitely very intense, working with this population. It’s a lot like being a nurse. You form relationships with them, and then they die…and you know….that’s hard. But it’s so great that they would be able to help someone prepare for heaven, and provide that spiritual sustenance. “No one dies alone,” the sister say to them. That’s so beautiful.
  • The girls are gonna have a party! Yes, they stopped at a wine store. Ok.
  • “Having some nightcap,” Stacey says.
  • “It seems like they may be missing the point about why we’re here,” Claire says.
  • Eseni demonstrates twerking to Claire. Holy crap. Claire isn’t feeling this at all. And I can’t say I blame her.
  • If I were Claire I would’ve been a lot more, um…Italian. Mother Angelica, let’s put it that way.
  • The motherhouse chapel is really beautiful. What a great place for prayer.
  • Claire talks about the behavior last night, and she says it disturbed her. I don’t blame her. She decides to talk to Sr. Cyril about it.  She asked her what she thought of Twerking. HAHAHAHAHA! Oh that’s great. She’s trying to explain Twerking to Sr. Cyril.
  • “What I try to do is not let the conscious become a bias,” Sr. Cyril says. That’s good advice. “It is an important question,” she says later.
  • The girls are back in the van for another trip, but this time to a shrine with Sr. Maria Therese. (They spell it differently–Marie or Maria….not sure which is right.)
  • Sister explains that the sisters have a van with air condition that might not work when one of the girls asks about cars.
  • Hahah! The shrine is ice cream! That’s awesome! I love you, Sister.
  • “I”m not sure if I’m read to be a nun,” Christie says. She says that Jesus feels further away than he did before.
  • “Work hard, we pray hard, but we play hard, too.” That’s true. All the sisters/nuns I know are like that. 🙂
  • Does Christie want a contemplative vocation? She’s sort of confusing me, because she talks about how she wants time to be alone….
  • But [free-form prayer, like Christie prays, Charismatic prayer] it’s not within the Carmelite’s style of prayer, Sr. Peter said. Christie has her own spirituality. But the Carmelite spirituality isn’t that different than Franciscans, Cistercians, Benedictines, Dominicans….they all have a sense of rooted prayer, in the office. So…..I don’t know what’s going on here. Because a contemplative order has even MORE of that…..there is a flavor to each order. But the Liturgy of the Hours/Breviary/Divine Office is vital.
  • The girls are now learning to do chores like sisters: “bringing the Lord with them in the tasks,” Sr. Cyril said.
  • Sr. Marie Therese’s accent is awesome. I think she’s Irish?
  • Christie doesn’t understand why she’s not having visions or closeness with God. Um….wow. But finally she saw him, during prayer in the chapel. (I”m not sure what that means.)
  • She called the crucifix a “Carving.” Um……wow.
  • She clearly hasn’t read about the Dark Night of the Soul. She breaks down and starts sobbing, alone in the chapel. She says it’s like her husband coming back form war.
  • Day 14, the girls are meeting on the path by the ducks. “We finally get to meet the ducks!” one of them says.
  • Claire says she’s working on really accepting them, and she feels like she needs to apologize to them. So she goes for it.
  • I don’t think she was feeling isolated, Francesca. I think she just wanted to apologize. She doesn’t do the world’s best job of it, but….she’s trying.
  • Eseni says she’s “Throwing shade.” Um….Gotta say, I don’t know what that means. Is it like an insult? (And I’m not that much older than these girls….slang is definitely one thing that doesn’t translate between age groups!)
  • Although calling Francesca a drama queen was probably not the best thing ever. But come on, spade a spade. But Eseni isn’t taking it the way it was meant. Is Claire apologizing well? No. But Eseni and Francesca are really freaking. Christie seems sort of…..condescending. Stacey seems totally OK with whatever. She seems the most peaceful of all the girls–she just sort of goes with it. We don’t know a whole lot about Stacey yet.
  • Sr. Cyril says that she thinks one of the hardest parts of religious life is just getting along. I agree with that, and I just have my Lay Dominican chapter. There are ALWAYS conflicts of personality and things like that. No matter how religious you are. 🙂 “You don’t know where everyone is.” That’s so true. “It’s more than just the laundry.” Yup.
  • Francesca’s going to take Claire to task. “What did I ever do to you, man?”
  • Well, no, we don’t take everybody to be SISTERS, Stacey….yes, we take everyone as CATHOLICS, but not every Catholic is called to be A NUN OR A SISTER. So bring that down a bit, Stacey. (Overzealous pope quoting does, occasionally have a place, however. 🙂 )
  • NEXT WEEK: Urban experience with sisters in Chicago. Eseni calls her boyfriend and cries some more. They’re in the South Side of Chicago with electronic gates around the convent. The phones get turned in again. “You don’t need a phone to call Jesus, and that’s why they’re here!”, a sister says. The girls go shopping in the neighborhood. And DARNELL shows up! The sister is not pleased that he’s shown up. Francesca predicts that Eseni will go home. I think she might be right.

Catholics on TV: “The Sisterhood” episode 1

When a friend told me there was going to be a reality TV series about women discerning a call to religious life, I was sort of floored, really interested, and skeptical. All at once. “The Sisterhood” , on Lifetime, debuted tonight, and I thought I’d share my “real-time” thoughts with y’all:

  • “No divas here today, all right?” Yup, that about sums it up.
  • WHAT are those nails, Eseni?
  • Eseni is from the Bronx.
  • Sisters don’t have drama?!?!?! Oh, ha hahaha. Hahahaha. That’s funny.
  • If a guy I was dating told me he wasn’t cool with me exploring a vocation, he’d be kicked to the curb, real fast. REAL fast. That being said, I can totally understand Eseni’s boyfriend’s feelings about losing her. And I agree with him that she should’ve let him know this was something she was considering. That’s not cool to just throw it out there when someone’s already in love with you. Not cool.
  • Sr. Cyril: “Women don’t enter with halos.” Amen.
  • Christie is from California. I like the way she thinks about being a Bride of Christ. “Sometimes you yell at him!” Preach it, lady.
  • Claire is 26 and is a music teacher and a church musician. Her parents seem very supportive of her potential vocation. She’s from IL.
  • Eseni looks like she’ll have a problem with the dress code–those high heels and those nails!
  • Sr. Marie Therese: “How is this going to work?…But then I started to see her vulnerability.” Yup, we’ve all got that.
  • The girls are starting with the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm (we have some of these in Central Ohio so they’re the only ones I’m even marginally familiar with), in Germantown, NY. The other two places they’ll visit are Chicago and Kentucky.
  • “Dedicated single life.” Well, I think Claire is on to something. Christie is…I don’t know. She’s older than Claire but she seem younger in a lot of ways.
  • Her roommate says her natural tendency is to be “flirtatious.” She also says she struggles with giving up the idea of family and marriage and children. That’s normal, because those are good things.
  • Her mom said a good thing: “Is God calling you to the convent, or are you calling you to the convent?” That’s important. Her mother also seems supportive and very open and straightforward, which is nice.
  • Christie is also really chatty about her spiritual experiences. That sort of turns me off. I don’t like sharing the big deep things…Claire also looks sort of afraid while Christie is talking.
  • Claire is so far my favorite. I’m liking her a lot.
  • Sr. Peter’s talking about “conservative” and “traditional” Catholics and I’m like, um…….OK….As a “conservative” (I guess) Catholic, I don’t have a problem praying and working with people who aren’t Catholic. I think that’s sort of prejudicial idea here, Sister.
  • Stacey is 26, from New York. She’s an actress and a singer who’s done several national Broadway tours. She’s also makes dolls…that are sort of sculpture-ish?  I don’t know if I’d call them dolls. But that’s what she calls them, so, there you go.
  • Just because you’re a nun doesn’t mean you give up all your gifts–Mother Dolores, whom she so admires–is a GREAT example of that! You use your gifts in a different way.
  • Yeah dinner prayer. 🙂
  • The last girl to arrive is Francesca, who is 21. She’s from NJ. She’s arriving with her dad, and it looks like she’s been crying in the car.
  • Vocab, here: A nun is a religious woman who lives in a  monastery and very rarely leaves.Mother Dolores Hart is a nun (She’s a Benedictine at the Abbey of Regina Laudis). The Dominicans in Summit, NJ, are cloistered nuns. Sisters live in convents, and that have apostolate outside the convent. So these girls are looking to be sisters, not nuns.
  • Yes, Francesca, you’ll have to leave your family….she’s definitely acting like the youngest in this group. She’s having a big crying jag in the car and keeps saying she’s “freaking out.” Her poor Dad.
  • Hon, it’s six weeks. It’s not forever! (yet)
  • What’s with the sponge in the holy water? That’s super weird. I’ve never seen that before.
  • I like Mother Mark. I like her no-nonsense attitude. She’s compassionate but also firm.
  • Also, WHY DO THEY HAVE SO MUCH LUGGAGE? I Mean, come on! One small bag would’ve been fine! You don’t need all these things.
  • The rooms are, yes, very small. That’s sort of the point. They’re “cells”. That’s what it’s about. A small space, nothing elaborate.
  • And yes, there’s a uniform. This order wears habits. So, you’re going to need to wear their approved clothes. Some orders have outfits for women who are in aspirancy, and some don’t. Postulancy, you definitely are told to wear something.
  • A Louis Vuitton bag? Really????
  • “Maybe we could do something about the nails.” Um, yes.
  • And we’re taking the phones. PREACH IT, Mother Mark!
  • (Have any of these girls been on retreat? I’m thinking not. They all need a good silent retreat, except for Claire, who seems very grounded. Hey, and here’s Claire saying she’s done this on silent retreat! Yes!
  • Francesca is freaking out because the sisters asked them to take off their makeup. Um, nuns and sisters do not wear make-up. For the love of all that is holy! Geez!!!! And again, it’s only for six weeks. She really doesn’t seem to have an idea of what being a sister is about, or what is required of her. Mother Mark is totally right. You can’t be worried about how you look. You need to be focused on the bigger things.
  • Francesca has clearly not heard of the “obedience” thing…..geez. This girl needs to get over it. Like, really get over it. She’s talking about acne. I really just want to smack her. This is the worst thing in your life? Wow.
  • “Handsome surfer dude Jesus.” Wow. I don’t even know what to do with that.
  • WHY are they not using the holy water?!?!?!?! Girls!!!!!!!
  • Community is vital to every religious order in the Church. Even the Carthusians realize that!

Coming up: Eseni talks about feeling broken, and what she’s going to be giving up; “Jesus is the best boyfriend, ever!”; Claire and Eseni seem to be not getting along; “Twerking?” ; Francesca is confronted with poverty.