One of my favorite things about being a young sister-in-formation is allowing people to ask me their burning (and sometimes silly) questions about religious life. Questions like: Do nuns have jobs? Can you still go dancing and swimming? You mean you get to keep that nose ring?
Becoming a sister right now is an interesting thing: religious life has changed drastically in the past fifty years, but many people’s stereotypes about it haven’t. Many of these stereotypes seem superficial (ie- all nuns wear habits; nuns don’t dance) but they may reflect deeper misconceptions about religious life… like the idea that sisters are somehow more holy or less human than “normal” people. For a long time, my own misconceptions kept me from really considering religious life.
And so I enjoy the questions. I love making people feel free to ask them, and I love surprising them with the answers. After all, they aren’t really asking about my nose ring; they want to know about this way of life. So I tell them: for me, pursuing religious life is liberating, life-giving, and joyful beyond words. It’s a journey I’m excited to continue… with my nose ring intact.
How about you? What are some stereotypes you have about religious life? Might they be holding you back from giving it some thought?
Christin Tomy, Candidate