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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Come to the Stable in Santa Barbara

I wish I could show you a picture of Mr. Anthony Dal Bello. He's the gentleman in charge of the committee to help the Santa Barbara nuns. I happened to catch him on the local news here in Los Angeles and he happened to be standing inside the convent in front of a picture of the founder of the Santa Barbara nuns order. I think it was her picture. It was a nun in a full habit.

But it could have been a picture of Mr. Anthony Dal Bello in a habit. No wonder he has such an affinity for the nuns. I wonder if he noticed the stunning resemblance.

I can't show you Mr. Dal Bello's picture but I can pass on the information of how to help the nuns and I will urge you to do so in any way you can. The nuns either need a new residence in the area or they need a Bill Gates type to buy the house and give it to them. Stranger things have happened.

We need to call on St. Mother Frances Cabrini, the champion of nuns who got people to do things that needed doing (and fixing your car and finding parking spots). Mother Cabrini hitched a ride one day with a rich woman. Making small talk, she told the woman about a dream she had and pointed to a nearby hillside where Mother Cabrini longed to build a hospital. No wait, it was an orphanage. Hold on....maybe a school...the hospital on a hill dream is from the movie, "Come to the Stable." Anyhow, it turned out that the rich woman with the fancy car owned the hill and gave it to Mother Cabrini. Mother Cabrini built something good there.

You recall the other day when I brought all of this up. My main intention was to explain how nuns come to be where they are, doing what they do. I should have just made it your homework to go watch "Come to the Stable". That would have saved me some time. For one thing, Loretta Young makes the very best nun ever, and Celeste Holm reminds be of Sister St. Aloysius with a French accent. But mainly because it is a fairly accurate description of now nuns operate. Faith, then action, then faith again, on and on and on.

It's faith time for the nuns and action time for everyone else.

We've had a lot of discussion about scandal and fairness. We can talk about that until the cows come home. The nuns' cows are already home. They have until December to GET OUT. It's time for us to drop everything focus on helping their mission.

So here is the link and the information:
Anthony Dal Bello at bello510@verizon.net

Your homework is to at least pay a visit or write to the nuns at the convent, 215 N. Nopal St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103.

I won't be able to check your work. Please remember to use complete sentences.


Anonymous said...


As a poor, struggling seminarian, all I can offer is my prayers for the good sisters. You and I both know that, as difficult as this is for them, their spouse is a good one, the best. He will care for them in ways of which none of us can currently conceive.

Monica said...

it's times like this when I wish I were filthy rich. Thanks for posting the information!

Faithful Catholic said...


It's like you say, "life is tough but, nuns are tougher" I have all faith that this situation will be resolved to the benefit of these nuns and the community they serve.

Thanks for the email address for Mr. Dal Bello. I'm on it. And, thanks for the address to the convent.

May God bless you and keep you always!

Anonymous said...

Before opening your wallets for contributions to this gentleman who says he's raising funds for these three Santa Barbara nuns, I suggest you wait for the rest of the story. It isn't over yet. Their mother superior will have something to say soon.

Those of you familiar with Southern California may want to ask yourselves just how many "poor" there are who need ministering in Santa Barbara. And you may want to know why a retired nun isn't living with the rest of her community in Los Angeles.

Second, it's unfair to blame Cardinal Mahony for following Church protocol in how to communicate with nuns resident in his archdiocese over whom he has no authority. As archbishop he properly informed the head of the Order of what was going to happen with this house where the sisters had been living rent free.

Third, half of the 660 million dollars in settlement has to be paid from archdiocesan funds. The chancery was the first on the selling block. The Cardinal archbishop lives in a rather modest apartment in the Cathedral rectory downtown. The Cathedral and rectory were built with funds specifically earmarked for that purpose, so that it would be against both civil and canon law to sell those buildings to pay for the settlement.

There may be many reasons to disagree with the Cardinal, but in this particular case it would be wise and charitable to hold your ire.

Faithful Catholic said...

To: Anonymous @1:57am

Just what are you saying? Are you casting aspersions on the reputations of these nuns? Are you calling into question the validity of their service to the community? To my knowledge, these nuns have done nothing to contribute to the scandal which has placed them in this position, yet they are most definitely bearing the consequences. And, any other questions not withstanding, they most certainly are deserving of a place to call home, wouldn't you agree?

While Cardinal Mahoney may have been "following protocol" it does seem rather heartless. Along with the letter in proper form, a telephone call might have been nice! I would hope that the Cardinal, or someone from his office at least, places more value on the service of these nuns to his community than that which a landlord places on his tenant.

And, certainly, I will refrain from directing my "ire" at the Cardinal but, one might reasonably ask, why the Cardinal did not take a minute or two out of one of his days to let these nuns know this was in the offing. One might also ask what, if anything, the Cardinal has offered to do to help these nuns secure another form of housing. They have been, afterall, assisting him by tending to his flock for many years. Yes, I will reserve my judgement. And, yes, I pray that the Lord sends graces enough to Cardinal Mahoney that he may see his way clear to assisting these nuns in some significant way in their hour of need.

And, I dare say, most people wanting to help these nuns will not be foolish enough to send any money anywhere without first inquiring as to the intent and integrity of the receiver. Thanks for the warning.

That being said, I'm sure that most of us who can see and do value the service of these fine nuns know in our hearts that the Lord will provide.

Anonymous said...

On a lighter note..."Come to the Stable" brings back fond memories of St. Mary's Grade School. The good Sister's showed us that movie in the school cafeteria...we all loved it. A few years back I ordered myself a copy off the internet.

Cathy said...

There's this new development:



Sister Mary Martha said...

To the anonymous person who believes there are no poor people in Santa Barbara...who do you think cleans the mansions and buses the tables and parks the cars and scrubs the bathrooms in the office buildings? The people who live in the mansions?

The nuns live where they live even after they retire (as we do here at our house) because they often isn't really any place for them to go. Some nuns end up in state run nursing homes. It depends on the order, the amount of space they have and who's around to take care of them. Often the answer to the last two questions are "none" and "no one". Thousands of nuns are in the same boat. Good for them that they continued their mission after retirement.

And another thing said...

Anonymous apologist for the Chancery:

Allocated funds, as by the faithful for the building of a school or parish church or hall, don't stop Chanceries from closing and selling those properties. It's happened all over the country. The difference? The Bishop isn't living in one of those places.
Why hasn't Mahony slashed his staff, particularly the ones complaining about pay raises?
If he lives in "a modest apartment" already, it shouldn't be a problem finding him "a modest apartment" elsewhere. Immediately.

Sister: I've tried the link several times with no success. Are others getting through?

Totus said...

Gosh, 1.57 Anonymous, Omnia In Caritate. You managed enough nasty insinuations in your post to stagger the less practiced.

The fact remains: Witnesses to Christ, still in habit, witnessing to the wealthy and the poor, have to get out and have been treated impersonally - to say the least.
The Cardinal remains in place.

By the way, I was gratified to see that in some way, even if it is just the apartment which you have apparently visited, the Cardinal has witnessed modesty.

Lynne said...

Did you mean this link?

Anonymous said...

The Cardinals, Bishops have not done a good job of handling the Sex Abuse Scandal, the pain and suffering to all the innocent catholics, priest, religious, victims and the faithful has been a terrible cross to bear. First with the cover-up and now with the abuse of women who have served the church for years. The Sisters were always victims of the Hierarchy of the Church, They never got a decent salary for staffing the schools, and now they have a gag order forced on them. Shame on the L. A. Archdiocese.

Anonymous said...

This is just classic. Everyone jumps on the band wagon and gasps at the insensitivity of the L.A. Archdiocese and NOW new facts are surfacing. In the mean time all can continue to let this issue fester and make judgements and continue to slander without having all the pertient information. It's very typical of today's media. How about we let the superior of this order do her job and we continue to pray for ALL religious trusting Our Lord to do what's best eh?

Jeffrey Smith said...

A dose of the truth

Faithful Catholic said...

Sister Mary Martha,

Several (or possibly the same person) have alluded to the possibility that there is something more to the story given that the nuns have been told to leave Santa Barbara altogether. Do you know anything about this part of this situation? Can you share it with us?

Thanks and God bless you.

Monica said...

anonymous, yess it's true we should trust the superiors of the order to take care of the nuns, but Cardinal Mahoney does not have a great track record these past few years, so I am not inclined to trust that he will do the right thing. I can respect his office and authority, but I am not obliged to trust his judgment. \

It is also appropriate for the people of this community to want them to stay and to pool funds together if that is what is necessary to keep them in the community. They could do this to assist rather than oppose the superiors of the order.

And another thing said...

"This is just classic...NOW new facts are surfacing."

Oh, yeah? WHAT new facts?

I tend to think you are the same poster who earlier insinuated "new facts". Dark insinuations ARE classic tactics, I agree, but are admissions that "the facts" are not on your side - as charity and fair play are not, also.

You just want us to shut up and go away. Kind of like those people who warned early on about problems. How did that turn out?

And another thing said...

Oh, might you mean the weird story that has come out that for years the Order planned to sell a building it doesn't own? Or, read another way, that Mahony was going to sell it out from under them even before the settlement?
"But the order's general superior indicated in a letter Thursday that there been a plan to sell the convent for years. Mother Luz Elena Ordonez Quezada wrote that she had intended to move the nuns after Escalera, 69, had retired two or three years ago.
'Our plan was to expand the property we own in Oxnard so they can live there, especially since Sister Angela needs lots of care and attention due to her limited condition,' Quezada wrote from Guatamala."
Notice, though, they HAVEN'T "expanded" the Oxnard property. They'd have to "expand" it because it is too small now for the 3 Sisters. So where did Mahony think they were going to go?

kevin said...

There's a Troll in da house.....

Sister JEM said...

These dear blue nuns (their habits are blue) occasionally come up to our area to attend Church. I live just North of Santa Barbara.

There are many locals from many parishes ready to step in wherever help is needed for them. Our family is one.

I spoke to one local priest - and asked if we needed to worry about our Church property being sold out from under us. He said, "No - most parishes own their own property, not the Archdiocese."

Prayers definitely still needed.