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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Contest

We've had quite a response to the nun beauty contest, although not one person offered to help me with my evening gown selection.

I'm joking.

I do feel I should clarify my own reaction, especially since there was quite a bit of anger toward poor Father Italianpriest, who dreamed up the plan (at the some nuns' behest...who were these nuns? How did they get off so easy?) I do think his heart was in the right place.

I just can't picture a bunch of nuns saying, "Can you run a contest to show how beautiful we are?", even if they aren't talking about physical beauty. Something about that just makes my brain go Ba Boing. But I mostly agree with this reader:

I really think that priest was just trying to show that not only ugly girls who can't get husbands become nuns. Give him a bit of a break. I PLEASE stop with the nun with a ruler stereotype.

I agree with the first part of this sentiment.

I don't agree that anyone needs to stop with the "nun with a ruler" stereotype. You may be too young to realize that this reputation (not a stereotype, but the experience of many, many wide eyed third graders as a vision in black swept toward them) is well earned. The rulers are all retired these days. I'm thinking of having mine bronzed.

I also think part of the problem altogether was having a contest. Would there be a trophy? What does the winner win? What nun wants to hold the title "World's Most Beautiful Nun"? Does that make her better than all the other nuns?

Is getting to heaven a contest?

I particularly enjoyed this comment:

If you really really want to get into it, NO woman - nun or otherwise - should be judged by their appearance alone. Yet still, there are beauty contests. Not because women are being forced at gunpoint to parade around in a prom dress and give answers to dumb questions (thank you, miss teen South Carolina), but because there are some women who WANT to. I am assuming the same goes for nuns. I am disappointed that the article wasn't written from their point of view - I would have liked to have heard their thought process on this one. Whether I agree with it or not.

Again, I agree with your thoughts here, dear reader, except for that idea that the 'same goes for nuns'. While it may sadly be true, no nun worth her salt can really want to be the prettiest most wonderful nun, parade around anywhere except in the name of Jesus and answer any dumb questions....except..in a classroom......or.......maybe on a blog.....

Point taken.

At any rate the contest has been called off. Father Italianpriest:

"It was interpreted as more of a physical thing," he said. "Now, no one is saying that nuns can't be beautiful, but I was thinking about something more complete."

He said he had intended to showcase the good works that nuns do, especially in education and health care, so as to boost interest in religious vocations.

Again, I think he just got a little carried away. Poor man. If only he had said an "Inner Beauty Contest". And see..

....there's the problem, again. Contest? Is there a scholarship? A new car? A tiara?

At any rate, I've decided to take up the gauntlet. Since the real idea was to show nuns at their best doing the work they do, I'm inviting my readers to send in pictures of their favorite hard working nuns and I'll post them here. It won't be a contest. We'll just have a great time looking at nun world. Get the word out! I'll have to make a deadline! Let's say October 31st...

No...that won't work. That's Halloween. We don't want to post a bunch of nun pictures on Halloween.

Let's say October 1st. That's plenty of time unless you are a lazy procrastinator.

In which case, I'll have to crack out my bronzed ruler.

You get to work and I'll make a place for you to send your pictures.


deb said...

I love that black and white picture of the nun dancing.

Anonymous said...

Sister Mary Martha / others :

* I receive posts from the Ask Sister Mary Martha blog via RSS Feed.

I'd like to submit a question to Sr. Mary Martha, however when I go to the blog site I can't find the location on the blog that allows for asking questions.

Would someone be so kind to provide the answer for me in the comments to this blog entry.

I realize it may be unusual to post such a question in this comment box, but this is the only method that I can determine in which to connect with Sr. Mary Martha or another reader of her blog that can provide assistance to me on this matter.

Thank you.

Kazimer - "Kaz"

Anonymous said...

I am a lazy procrastinator, how did you know? Is it a sin to procrastinate? I've always wondered.

Anonymous said...

Just put your question as a comment to one of the posts. We're not that technical here.

Sister, great post as usual! If you do get your ruler bronzed, I'm sure we'll all want to see it.

Anonymous said...

Just leave your question here. She reads them.

Anonymous said...

Btw, Sister, there is a sedevacantist ad in your google ad box!

Joyful Catholic said...

I was wondering if a nun with a ruler might perhaps use that ruler on the hiney of one Madam Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi? She could use a swat.

Joyful Catholic said...

Ano Nymous said: "... Is it a sin to procrastinate? I've always wondered."

Maybe someone will answer this....you know...after a while. ; )

Smiley said...

rev. Sister

how do i post you a picture. I have a lovely picture for you of a very hard working nun :)

Smiley said...

Rev Sister
I have a question in two parts.
1. Some family friends have converted to Judaism. I did not know that it was possible to convert to Judaism, you wer either born or you married into it. Anyway these Catholics left the church and became jews.
2. How do i get them back. They are business people and their main motive is to increase their business, i don't need to elaborate you can figure out why they chose Judaism.
Lastly a lil joke for you

Ben Abraham was in the temple he was the high priest he wailed in a loud voice at the altar 'YHWH how could you do this to me, my only son he left the faith and has become a Catholic' Ben Abraham was distraught and then a big cloud overshadowed him and from the cloud he heard the voice of of IAM 'What are you crying about my son founded the religion'

Anonymous said...

Maybe your deadline should be November 1st. Celebrate All Saints day by showcasing those following in their example! Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Don't most nuns have their favorite causes? Couldn't the winner have earned recognition and $$$$ for charity?

Anonymous said...

OK, this is rather scary, but here's a picture, apparently, of a 'hard working nun' for your contest. *sigh*


Maybe one of the rules for your contest is that they need to be in (a non-pantsuit) habit.

I'm googling about to see if there are any picures around of nuns with their llamas and alpacas at any of the zillion or so enviro-farms so many orders have setup in recent years. But, something tells me that while many communities sponsor these farms and make a big deal of them in their newsletters, that never has a nun actually fed or cleaned up after these creatures, much less know what one is.

Smiley said...

Rev Fr. Carpenoctem

That did not even look like a nun. I think this competition really needs to have nuns in habits. Lets frim up the rules a bit.

Anonymous said...

I think that Sister Mary Martha was quite right to make no such requirements regarding habit. Why should the nun have to be in habit anyway? There are plenty of beautiful sisters and nuns doing amazing work that don't wear a "traditional" habit. Is the work they do somehow less valuable and less a ministry of Christ because they don't wear a veil? I think we should be very careful before insinuating that someones work is less than a gift from God because of outward appearances or because we don't understand it. God blesses us all with different talents and callings, that's part of what makes the Catholic church and ALL sisters soooo beautiful! ~Mariana

Smiley said...

No habit is a bad habit

Helen said...

I am partial to nuns wearing habits, but I agree with anonymous 2:04. If priests can walk around in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt in the summer, yes some do, I see no problem with a sister wearing clothes off the rack, so long as she remembers modesty, and wears something that identifies her as a religious.

The Crescat said...

I'll submit every nun in my "nun gazing" files. http://thecrescat.blogspot.com/search/label/Nun%20Gazing

but she's my fav, Sr. Agnus.... beaming bride!


The Crescat said...

do they have to be catholic? what about orthodox nuns? I like these gals alot...


The Crescat said...


Anonymous said...

My sister is a sister in the Benedictines of Mary in Kansas City. Their website is benedictinesofmary.org.
Check their newsletters for pictures.
You'll find at least one of my sister on a tractor. :)

Smiley said...

I don't think priests should go around in civilian clothes either. A cleargyman outfit exists for occasions when he is to go out in public.

Anonymous said...

I pray you and your students will have a delightful year, and that you'll have time to blog in earnest again as things get underway. You've been a great help to me in readjusting to the Catholic church after having been gone for 30 years. I'm one of those "on fire converts" now! Yeehah!

Anonymous said...

I think some people get worked up about the nuns not in habit because at one point PJPII did ask that they return to wearing habits, so to say 'no' to your spiritual father is a little snarky maybe. Our local nuns wear varying degrees of habit (I guess it's whatever they want - some are full and some wear clothes off the rack) and it seems to have no bearing on the good works they do, their dedication or devotion. One in particular I have great respect for but I don't have any photos to contribute for SMM's album, which is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I've read the back-posts about Reconcilliation, but there's one thing that I still don't get. If you go to Pennance and get forgiveness for sins(mentioned/forgotten), do you still have to suffer them off in Purgatory, make up for them, or do they all disappear? I'm wondering why we "offer up our suffering" if they do disappear. I'd also like to know what we can do for our relatives and are not Catholic, but are batized Christians, who certainly will end up in Purgatory if they don't committ mortal sins. We cannot go to Confession for them, but is that who we should be offering up our suffering or praying indulgence prayers for? What about people who get ExtremeUnction? The priest says, "All your sins are forgiven." Do they pass straight to heaven? I just want to limit my time in Purgatory as much as possible, and to get my family to heaven somehow. It sounds selfish, but in my defense, I do pray rosaries for the souls in purgatory a lot too.

bill7tx said...

There is still temporal punishment due even for forgiven sins. Jesus told St. Faustina, "My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it." However, the church provides many opportunities to gain indulgences, partial and plenary, that remit before God the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven. Talk to your parish priest about these.

As for your living Protestant relatives, you cannot transfer indulgences to other living persons. You can offer your indulgenced acts for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, by name or generally. You can also wear a Brown Scapular for yourself and keep the conditions for the Sabbatine Privilege, and offer all your indulgences up to Mary to use as she wishes. She won't forget about you when the time comes and neither will the Holy Souls who were freed through your actions.

It's a big subject. I've put together a little Guide to Indulgences for a study group at our church that covers the basics and lists some of the most readily available indulgences. Sister would have to figure out a way to get this Guide to you, but I am willing to send it to her if she thinks it would be worth the trouble (technically, she might need to get permission from her bishop to "publish" it on the Web -- canon law requires that, I think).

Smiley said...

Regarding the reconciliation question and reparation, please refer to the following web site


Dr. Mooney said...

For smiley's information, there can be MANY good reasons to convert to Judiasm. I was a RC religious who converted 10 years ago and have never been happier. I treasure all my Catholic training and friends/family, but this was "right" for me. I didn't convert for "business reasons". That is disrespectful of all other people who truly seek out G-d.