My Fascination With The Sisters

I have always been fascinated with nuns. Growing up Catholic and going to Catholic School, they were everywhere. Some were strict, some were nice, and some were downright mean and nasty. I tried to stay away from the mean ones, but they have a weird radar about them. If you’re doing something wrong, they just materialize right there, even if they are on the other side of the school, they can sense it and come seek it out.

I can’t tell you why or how the fascination began, but it has stuck with me my whole life. They dedicated their lives to God, which is cool, and truth be told…I like the habit (uniform). You may find this funny, but at several different points in my life, I thought about joining a convent. The last time I had this thought I was in my 30’s. I remember sitting on my sister’s sofa and having a conversation about it. The conclusion we finally reached was that it was not for me. There are other ways to serve God without taking the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. I have a big problem with the last one. I don’t think I would have lasted very long. It would have been like a scene out of “The Sound of Music”. Mother Superior would have sent me away for talking too much during contemplation hour or for not following all the rules.

One of my favorite nun stories is about a teacher I had in the second grade. We were living in Scranton, Pennsylvania and my music teacher’s name was Sister Karen. She was a young nun, in her 20’s and a lot of fun. My best friend was Teddy and we used to cause a bit of a ruckus at times. We weren’t bad, just a little bit playful. My family moved away to California and eventually made our way to Baltimore, Maryland. I entered the sixth grade at St. Agnes and my music teacher was Sister Karen. I couldn’t believe it!! I know they get transferred, I learned that by watching Bing Crosby play Father O’Malley in “Going My Way”. But what were the odds I would ever see her again? After class I asked her if she used to teach in Scranton. When she said yes, I told her she had taught me 4 years ago. She looked at me and immediately said that she remembered me and my little friend Teddy. Small world.

Like I said, I love the habits the nun’s wear. There are so many varieties based on what order they belong to. What I don’t like is how modern they have become. They dress like everyone else in just a skirt and shirt and there is no tell-tale sign that they are nuns. Not every nun, a lot still wear the traditional habit. When I was 19, I worked at a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop. I was one of the main cake decorators. The local nuns would come in all the time to order their feast day cakes. A feast day for them is like their anniversary of becoming a nun. Anyway, one day, a group of 6 women walked in, 5 wearing the habit and the other one in just normal clothes with a pin on the collar. I greeted the sisters with a smile and a “Good Morning Sisters.” I looked at the other lady and said, “Good Morning Ma’am.” She looked at me surprised and told me that she was a nun also. Before I could even think about it (this happens a lot), I shot back, “I’m sorry, there is no way to know that by the way you are dressed.” I looked over at the other nuns and they were quietly giggling over my comment. I guess they felt the same.

There was a long stretch of time where I didn’t see any nuns at all, only in the movies and television, until I moved to Hawaii. There is a catholic school near where I live and from time to time you see them out and about. One morning Neil and I went out to breakfast at one of our favorite places. We walked in to see a long table of about 10-15 nuns laughing and carrying on over breakfast and coffee. They were having a great time. I told Neil I wished I had more cash on me to buy them breakfast. The waitress overheard me and told me not to worry, 3 other people already offered to pay their tab. I also run into them at Sam’s Club.

Every Saturday morning, they go do their shopping and every so often we are there at the same time. I turn a corner to walk down an aisle and 5 of them will be milling around their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle. I always say, “Good morning sister and excuse me sister.” Neil always wants to know why I am so polite because they are in our way. Because I know better…you don’t mess with a nun. They have that sixth sense that they can look at you and know you went to catholic school. The look they give you can put you back into a classroom worrying if the ruler was going to come out and if they were going to use it.

But it doesn’t matter…nice or mean…the nuns will always have a place in my heart. I don’t remember a lot of the nuns that taught me, but I remember a few. Nice Sister Karen, Sister Dolores, who reminded me of Bea Arthur, Sister Wilma, who was old and mean…who am I kidding, she probably was mean her whole life and Sister Rosemarion, who I deliberately wrote down an old phone number for her because I didn’t want her to call the house on a Friday and ruin my weekend. (We had just changed our phone number, so I didn’t get into too much trouble) I will always remember them fondly and I will always smile and greet a nun when I see her.

***Question for the comments…If you grew up catholic or went to catholic school, what are your feelings about the nuns? Even if you’re not catholic, do have any feeling about the sisters?

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Hi, I'm Tracie. I am a writer, reader, life coach, lover of the city and the beach. I am a big fan of all things caffeinated. I dig things from many different decades, but am a definite child of the 80's. My blog is about everything and anything my mind conjures up. Enjoy the ride.

6 thoughts on “My Fascination With The Sisters

  1. You NEVER got hit with the ruler. Now me on the other hand…🤣 We had just changed our # on Millick and S’ter called me up to the desk and said our # changed and they wanted the new one. I said my mom said I can’t give it out to anyone. Well, she sent a note home and ONCE AGAIN I got in big trouble for not giving it to school.
    S’ter Mary Ann in 1st. S’ter Leonora in 2nd and 4th. She was the BEST! (I wonder what happened to her)The only lay teacher in 3rd. And I don’t remember which b kicked me out in 5th grade.
    But to this day, you get all the nun memes and of COURSE it’s “scuse me S’ter” (not “excuse me Sister”) when I see them in Walmart. Anyone who goes through a life of poverty, chastity, AND obedience deserves the utmost respect. Imagine 75Hard, the Religious Edition every. Single. Day. For. Your. Entire. Life. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you’re right, the era of hitting kids was over by the time I got to school, but the look in some of their eyes…they wished they still could. LOL I love the nun memes


  2. There is something about growing up Catholic and/or going to Catholic school (and Sunday school) that never, ever leaves you…. It’s comforting sometimes. Spooky sometimes lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As far as nuns are concerned sister act and the sequel is great movies…lately though I think Whoopi is out in Left field with whatever she thinking….going to Damien the brothers were hard core too…very strict, some great, some nasty as hell

    Liked by 1 person

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